How to Fix Cracks in a Car Dashboard – The dashboard of a cars gets a lot more abuse than people think. Dust and moisture speedily accumulate on the dashboard. Whenever you run the heat or the air conditioner you are subjecting the dashboard to those temperature variations.
The sun is the most damaging element of all as it shines down continually on the dashboard with its rays getting magnified by the glass. And if you equally factor in using the dashboard as a drum set at stop lights, it is no wonder the vinyl cracks. You can take the car to the local mechanic or dealer to have it fixed or changed or you can DIY. This article will walk you through how to repair a cracked dashboard with inexpensive materials and wasting very little of your time.
Step 1 – Prepare the Vehicle Dashboard
To be sure of a strong bond the dashboard has to be clean. Wipe it down very thoroughly with a dashboard cleaning rag. In order for a crack to be correctly sealed it needs to be level. Use a utility knife to trim away areas of vinyl that are peeling away from the dashboard or are curling.
Step 2 – Handle Small Cracks
These are the easiest to fix if you get to them fast enough. You will have to use silicone. Fill the crack with silicone caulking and let it to cure. It is a good idea to put silicone in at least two layers. You want to inject sufficient silicone to fill the crack and not to just fill it on the surface. If excess silicone shows above the crack, simply wet your finger and smooth it out. When the silicone has dried you can cover it with vinyl tape and then paint and blend the edges with the right color.
Step 3 – Repair the Large Cracks
If your dashboard has been heavily cracked, then you need to take great steps to repair it. Fill the cracks as much as you can with silicone caulk, same way you did in Step 1. An alternative to silicone could be a two-part epoxy solution or other industrial filler. This is dependent on the size of the crack.
Now fill the crack so that the filler overflows slightly. Then smooth it out with a wet finger. If you are using epoxy or metal filler, then sand it down. Cover the top of the crack with fiberglass resin. This will produce a very strong repair due to the interlocking fibers. Let the fiberglass resin cure completely and then apply bondo over the fiberglass. This will fill in the voids available in the woven fibers. Allow the bondo cure for several hours and then sand it down flush with the dashboard.
You can then mix vinyl paint to match the color of the dashboard and put it to the bondo. Be sure to blend the edges so it matches the surrounding areas.
Step 4 – Change a Severely Damaged Dashboard
A dashboard that’s greatly cracked will not be able to be appropraitely repaired. In this case, you should change it.