I got a call from my friend Gene Nichols at Richardson Glass Service in Newark, Ohio, last week concerning a problem with a windshield installation on a 2014 Dodge Durango. After the installation, the customer complained of a buzzing noise when the vehicle was driven at 65 mph or higher.
My first thought was that the noise complaints were from an exposed-edge glass, which is very common on Chrysler vehicles. However, I have never heard the term “buzzing” before when describing noise complaints. I asked Gene to let me know what he discovers.
Gene sent out his crack Auto Glass Safety Council Certified Technician, James Chapman, to investigate the problem and perform the fix for the customer. James took a look and went for a test drive to find that the cowl panel had warped in several locations.
Gene, being an investigator himself, wanted to find out if the original technician had somehow caused the distortion when he removed the cowl. He searched the Internet and found that this is not an unusual problem with this vehicle. It is simply an inherent problem with that cowl panel and was not caused by anything his installer did. They tried various fixes, such as double-faced tape and butyl tape, but nothing seemed to be strong enough to hold down the panel flush to the windshield’s surface.
Gene and James visited the customer again, took off the wipers and cowl panel and warmed the plastic panel between the built-in clip towers with a heat gun. They continued to heat it while smoothing out the distortion and reshaping it to normal. After reinstalling the cowl panel and wipers, the cowl fit flush and smooth to the glass surface. They then test drove the vehicle to confirm that the noise was gone.
Proof positive that a little innovation goes a long way and it is much cheaper than a $200 cowl panel replacement. Gene’s advice is to make sure that your tool box includes a heat gun.