Tag Archives: Sony

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.

Install of WeatherTech Window Deflector

I ordered vent visors from WeatherTech for my Scion tC. WeatherTech brands them as “window deflectors”. I was going to go with the cheaper vent visor that attaches by adhesive tape. I was dissuaded by some forum posts stating the adhesive tape doesn’t stay stuck for long. The other option, but much more expensive alternative was the precisely molded in-channel visors sold by WeatherTech. The cost is around $75, which includes shipping.

I hoping this investment will pay off. It’s near winter time; we’re finally getting some rain (I live in the Bay Area, and we’re suffering from a major draught — this is well needed stuff). The trouble with rain, no matter how small you crack open the window, you’ll still get water inside. With these installed, that shouldn’t be a problem anymore. I also plan on leaving it cracked open. I’m getting tired of the condensation fogging up my windshield after my late evening workout. Hopefully this will save on running the AC to defog the windows.

I could have used these this past summer. I gets hot here. Not desert hot, but hot enough to steam when getting into the car after it’s been baking in the sun for 6 hours. I have a Broadway mirror attached to my rearview. When it gets too hot, any slight vibration from rough roads will cause it to move on its own. Really annoying when driving. I could crack my moonroof to help vent when parked, but find that leaves tend to blow inside when I do this. These vent visors should help with that.

Is this a worthwhile investment? I’m kinda talking myself into thinking it is. The design is unobtrusive and install was easy. The question is, will it fulfill its purpose and help regulate the inside temperature and relative humidity? Dunno… have to wait and see.

Sony HDR-AS15

Sony has discontinued the HDR-AS15. Deals are to be had…and I was able to snag one, plus multiple mounting gear to boot (more on that later).

YouTube is finally supporting faster frame rates. I stumbled upon a few videos at 60 fps. I like the faster frame rate. To me it looks like there’s more detail (optical illusion because of the extra frames?–dunno, but I like). I have multiple devices that can record 720p @ 60fps. I didn’t shoot at that setting because YouTube didn’t support it. I opted for the max resolution of 1080p instead. And now YouTube supports 60 fps. I’m all in!

Techmoan on YouTube posted a comparison video of two action cams: Hero and Sony (link here). GoPro has a strong presence in action cam videos. I didn’t necessarily want to buck the trend, but GoPro’s price points are too steep. There are a lot of non-mainstream brands that are considerably cheaper, but I’m not too confident about their product support, and the build and video quality. I didn’t know too much about Sony’s offering. So I watched some reviews and posted videos. I liked what I saw. I then stumbled upon Techmoan’s AS15 review (link here). What caught my attention was Sony’s firmware updated to allow the AS15 to shoot 1080p @ 60fps.

I didn’t really consider an action camera. I’m not a big fan of the wide angle. I don’t do extreme activities. I do however, find myself holding my video camera or my phone at awkward angles to try to get that POV shot. That’s where an action cam (with the right mount) excels. But what really sold it, was again 1080p @ 60 fps. There are units that can shoot at that frame rate and also within my budget. I had to at the very least look into it.

I priced the HDR-AS15 at Amazon — around $150 (US). I then checked BHPhoto.com — $120 with the headband mount (BLT-HB1)!

Apparently that’s not all of it…I guess I got a little tunnel vision because I was only interested in the Action Cam + the headband mount. The deal also included:

Sony has discontinued this model, and they have a newer offering, but this thing can still get the job done. Even with the discontinued pricing from various vendors, BHPhoto’s offering had more bang for the buck. In fact, at the time, the camera and the various mounts were still cheaper than purchasing only the camera from the other vendors. This was like a Black Friday or Cyber Monday deal. I couldn’t pass it up.

The HDR-AS15 firmware required an update. I was expecting this (thanks to Techmoan). It’s now ready to shoot at 1080p @ 60 fps.

Here’s a little unboxing porn shots: