I have a 2004 Chevy Malibu. I have a “ticking” sound coming from inside the dashboard, in the center of the dash, near the windshield. The sound is similar to the sound of baseball cards in a bicycle wheel. It happened occasionally for the last couple of years, totally random at any speed, lasting for a few seconds to a few minutes. But I just had my windshield replaced. Now the noise is constant, and louder, but only after I finally accelerate to about 40MPH. It continues no matter how fast I go, then stops when I reduce my speed to about 30. I cannot find any correlation of the sound to the fan, whether on heat or air conditioning, blower on at any speed or off. I thought it somehow might be related to the windshield and, since there was a small leak in the windshield anyway, I requested and got the windshield replaced. It did not alter the noise. I asked the windshield company for assistance and they even re-checked the installation and couldn’t find anything. Is my only recourse to remove the dashboard? Should I have a mechanic do that or can I attempt it? I am certainly no mechanic but am good with tools. If I attempt it my concern would be it seems that there are a lot of hidden clips, plus airbags, and other things I’m not familiar with. And then once in there, what do I look for? Thank you for your advice. Scott
I resolved this problem using the method below. It turned out to be loose trim on the windshield. Below is an email I got from a mechanic that pointed me in the right direction:
Scott I think you still have a concern with the windshield trim. The noise definitely changed when the windshield was replaced.
When I am trying to locate the source of a wind induced flutter noise, it is helpful to take the painters masking tape , and tape off the seams around the windshield, head lamps, fender gaps, etc. This helps identify where the air is entering, and also gives you a direction to start to locate the cause.
Air can enter lots of places on cars and cause all kinds of components to start vibrating. Using the masking tape allows you to start isolating possible entry points.
Once you have got the noise to stop, you can start pulling small sections off until the noise starts back. Then look in those areas for anything that could make that noise.
I had something similar. The cowling under the windshield wipers was vibrating when I hit 60 or so and driving me crazy. A little silicone caulk under the loosest part did the trick.