Squeaking Noise & DIY Cowl Removal on 2006 Scion tC

I had a crack on the windshield that required replacement. I filed my claim with my insurance company and found an auto glass shop through Yelp. I wanted to get this resolved as soon as possible, but the weather forecast would make this extremely difficult. I don’t have a covered driveway, so I opted to get this replaced at the auto glass shop location.

crack on windshield

crack on windshield

crack on windshield

crack on windshield

crack on windshield

crack on windshield

long crack on windshield

The crack on the windshield is about 10.5″ long

Shortly after the install, I started hearing a high pitched squeaking noise. This is only really apparent on rough roads. There’s a lot of construction going on near my home, so rough roads are more the norm than the exception.

I thought this was due to the replacement glass. It could be rubbing on the frame or some other part of the cowl area (the perceived location of the noise). I checked the cowl (pushed on in it from the outside) and it seemed to have some play/movement. Could this be the cause?

I called the auto glass shop. We scheduled to have an on-sight visit. The plan was to re-seat the replacement glass (Pilkington Solar Laminated AS-1 DOT177 M65).

Pilkington replacement windshield

Pilkington Solar replacement windshield

I drove the technician around, using the same route as posted in the previous video, so he could hear the noise first hand. When the windshield was removed, there appeared to be no apparent wear; no unusual shavings, highlights, etc. The technician banged on all components near and around the windshield frame. He was unable to replicate the noise. He reinstalled the windshield.

I let the car sit for awhile so the adhesive could properly set and cure. Later that night, I heard the same noise, on the same road conditions. I did some searching and found a forum that suggested adding foam to the cowl area. The cowl was left alone during the reinstallation of the windshield. This is the video of the foam installation on the cowl.

That didn’t fix it. I then tried adding foam to the inside of the car, between the glass and the dashboard. Again, targeting the area where the noise is coming from. Still no fix.

The noise is coming from the center part of the cowl area. We ruled out the cowl and the engine compartment in general. Therefore, the noise must come from the other side of the firewall. I checked the radio. I pushed on the upper part (as highlighted in yellow in the picture below). I drove the same route, and guess what?… that’s it! The radio housing and/or the center vent is causing the noise. Something is loose back there.

Scion tC stock radio

highlighting where I pushed on the stock radio

This is good news. The noise is more of an annoyance. It doesn’t effect the running of the car, or the convenience of cabin (air, radio, etc). Nor does it effect the safety of the car; it’s not windshield related. This is an annoyance I’ll learn to live with. I’m not willing to pay for the fix, nor am I willing to personally take the dash apart.


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