iTunes. They are entirely who to blame for this. If it weren’t for a slight gap between songs, I would have never heard it. If you're at all like me, you’ve no choice but to track it down and fix it. It’s the automotive devil in the details. “The Rattle.”

Three weeks ago, it happened to me again. I may have heard it for only a fraction of a second between the concluding vocals of Aloe Black, and the low-fi joys of Washed Out, but I simply could not ignore it. The faintest squeak sound coming from what my ears told me was the front-right of the dashboard. It must be solved.

Now, Illinois’ I-90 is probably not the best place to be doing acrobatics in a car, so while paying close attention to the road, I steadily leaned to the right to get a better grasp on where the rattle emanated from. From here, the only logical action rested in pushing on various parts of the CLK’s soft dashboard in a vain attempt at hitting a sweet spot and shifting something back into place. Satisfied with my dashboard massage -and with half of my body still in the passenger side of the car- I waited in silence… It was still there.

Actually it wasn’t. The exact same sound was present, but the location now changed. “How wonderful,” I thought, now slumping fully into my usual comfortable driving position. I was forced to task myself with finding other places this noise might come from. “Maybe it could be coins in the tray in my center console...? No.” I tried pushing my sunroof shade forward (it likes to slide back a half-inch from brisk acceleration). No luck there either. I mentally noted the lack of clutter in my car, concluded the folding rear seats were fully latched, jokingly felt the steering wheel still firmly attached, but this had me increasingly concerned that my options were running out. “Where is this noise coming from!?”

I spent an additional 25 minutes going through this process of leaning out of my seat in some sort of strange road yoga, and opening and shutting every compartment within reasonable reach. There was a point in stopped traffic that I contemplated getting out of the car and firmly closing both the hood and trunk. This was not to be. Finally accepting defeat to this high-pitched annoyance, I continued on with my drive and rewarded my efforts with one of the two water bottles I had sitting in the back seat.

At that very moment, the rattle stopped.