Disclaimer: Use the following information at your own risk! Always disconnect your battery when working on electrical components or anywhere near the airbag system!

Alright, at one point I almost called my Contour a Creak-tour because I would be going down a perfectly flat and paved road and all I would hear is squeak, creak, creak, squeak, and maybe some rattles coming from the dash. This drove me crazy at times and varied depending on the temperature inside the car. (Because the plastic and vinyl parts expand when they get hot). I have found some fixes that will help clear up some of those noises.

First is the plastic trim on the dash that goes around the windshield. Ford got rid of it starting with the 1999 model. I’m not sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing because these models experienced warping of the dash. Anyway, the same effect with that plastic piece is probably what causes the creaking noises when it warps and rubs up against the vinyl dash. Take a piece of paper or felt and fold it several times to create a shim. Then wedge it in-between the plastic and the windshield where you think the creaks are coming from. It may look terrible, but at least it will help diminish the creaks.

There should be a noticeable gap between the air bag cover and the vent to prevent squeaking.

Another source of squeaking can come from the passenger side air vent in model years 1995-1998. This is caused when the vent assembly is too close to the passenger side air bag cover, causing the air bag cover to rub up against the vent assembly. First, examine the vent assembly where it meets the passenger side air bag cover and look for a noticeable spacing or gap of about 1/16 of an inch. If there is a little or no gap anywhere where the vent assembly meets, you should move the vent assembly over. Remember to disconnect your battery and wait several minutes before working around the air bag! Once you have disarmed the airbag system, you can continue by dropping the glove box down to the floor. I did not detach mine but you might want to if you need more room. Remove the four screws that secure the liner in place. Remove the liner carefully by pulling it straight out. If the liner has a glove box light attached, remove the socket by twisting the base. When underneath the dash, look towards the passenger side window into the corner of the dash. You will see the vent assembly being held on by two bolts. Using an 8mm ratchet socket and an extension, loosen the bolt closest to you. Do not completely remove the bolt. The second bolt is hard to get to as the dash prevents you from using a ratchet extension. Use a small ratchet (if possible) and feel your socket to the bolt. The angle and lack of room will also make it difficult to loosen the bolt. Again, don’t completely remove the bolt. Once the two bolts are loosened, from the top of the dash, slide the vent assembly towards the passenger side door. Fold a couple pieces of paper and wedge them between the vent assembly and the passenger side air bag cover, making sure they don’t fit too tight and not too loose. Double check the gap between the vent assembly and passenger side air bag cover and make sure the gap is about 1/16 of an inch wide and is even from top to bottom. From underneath the dash, tighten the two bolts for the vent assembly. Insert the glove box light socket into the liner and snap the liner into place. Insert the screws for the liner, attach the glove box door and pop it back in place. Remove the folded pieces of paper from the vent assembly and passenger side air bag. The creaking noises should stop.

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