THERE are few things in this world I hate. Celery, tin openers and drizzle rank highly among the things that really tick me off but I must admit I really do hate rattles in a car.
Because I drive quite a few new cars every now and again rattles are a rarity. Manufacturers go to extraordinary lengths to identify and fix rattles before cars go on sale so, generally, they don't happen. And, if they do, they're easy to spot.
But my old Volvo is getting on a bit and rattles are becoming a bit more common. Spotting them and fixing them is becoming an on-going challenge.
My wife doesn't get this at all. My obsession with rattle-free motoring washes right over her. But then she has a slight hearing problem so she doesn't count.
Also, she's just sold an MG sports car that rattled from just about every square inch of its structure. In fact, the thing was so overcome with rattles it would have been impossible to identify and fix just one. So I never bothered.
Because of this I hated driving it. That was also because the thing was fundamentally broken and it scared the hell out of me, but that's another matter entirely.
Every now and again when a rattle develops in a car I'm testing, there's a temptation in me to pull over and clamber around the car until I find it. Except, when you stop, the rattle stops too.
So, because I'm a man and I'm a bit stupid and reckless, I attempt to prod and poke at things while I'm driving. A Vauxhall Astra I was testing once nearly caused me to crash into a flock of sheep because I was so busy mutilating the dashboard. I never did find that rattle, but the sheep lived to bleet another day.
So rattles are not just annoying, they're downright dangerous. Companies are always extolling the virtues of the safety measures in their car and they are rigourously and independently tested but there is not, as far as I know, any sort of test for rattles.
This hidden menace needs addressing before there's a terrible accident. Do we agree?