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Discussion Starter #1
My 2003 Honda insight with 164k miles that makes a rattling sound starting at 3000 rpm when cold and around 5000 rpm when warmed up. I took off the belt and it still makes the same sound. So, I'm guessing that the timing chain has a little too much slack. Could it be the timing chain tensioner?
 

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From oem honda parts diagrams, I see a filter screen that is mounted behind the tensioner.

It is possible this is clogged up, reducing oil supply.

Have you ruled out the valve lash being out of spec?
 

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Check the heat shield over the first CAT.
If you use regular maintenance the tensioner and timing chain should last as long as you own the vehicle. The chain does not wear out.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I did the valves not too long ago so that's good. Thanks for your thoughts. I will check out the screen and heat shield first thing in the morning.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I checked the screen of the timing chain tensioner and it was completely clean. The heat shield on the first CAT is firmly in place and isn't rattling. Could a rattling sound be something in the transmission? It's a manual trans.
 

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If you are confident the valve cover gasket will hold up, I would suggest popping it open and double checking valve lash.

It is very possible something is loose, given you stated you did them recently.

Was the valve lash the original reason? Did the noise start happening within 1,000 miles of the valve lash?

Next on the list would be to grab the engine with the cosmetic cover removed, and give the engine a good tug. Maybe a motor mount has a bolt coming loose. Brake lines around the ABS pump could have seperated from the holder, letting lines hit each other. perhaps AC lines are touching together, if you have AC.

Rattles are a pain to track down!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I honestly can't tell when the rattle started. It's really faint when driving. I'll go ahead and check then again. Why not.
 
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