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Request

What does I-CAR say about replacing the cowl panel?

Response

Per I-CAR curriculum: "Cowls may:

  • be multi-piece, which is common. The cowl may have one or multiple layers of sheet metal.
  • be constructed of laminated steel, though this is rare..
  • include a cross-car beam or instrument panel frame, made of steel or magnesium.
  • have VIN plates or labels that may require removal. VIN replacement is regulated by state, federal, provincial, and local laws.

The cowl panel is not often repaired. Damage that radiates that deep into the vehicle structure may have too many other issues, and often times the vehicle is a total loss. Any repair to the cowl generally requires removal of the:

  • engine and transmission assembly.
  • windshield.
  • heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) parts.
  • instrument panel."