How to Fix a Vinyl Dashboard in a Car

by Brenda Priddy

A vinyl dashboard is a cheaper alternative to wood or leather dashboards. If cared for properly, a vinyl dashboard should last for many years without cracking. However, if drying cleaners are used on the vinyl and it is left in the sun for extended periods, the surface of the vinyl may crack. You can repair these cracks with silicone caulk or epoxy. These materials will seal the cracks and make them nearly invisible to the naked eye once the correct color of dye is applied to the repairs.

Cut away the rough edges of the crack with a utility knife. Try to keep clean lines with all of the cracks or tears.

Clean the entire surface of the dashboard with soft cloths, warm water and a few drops of dish soap. Wash the dashboard until the cloth comes away clean. Dry the dashboard with old towels.

Wipe down the surface of the dashboard with rubbing alcohol to remove any remaining traces of oil. Allow the alcohol to air dry.

Cut pieces of painter's tape and place the tape along the edges of each of the cracks. Do not cover the crack with the tape. Simply surround the cracks with a tape border.

Apply a line of silicone caulk or epoxy sealer to the crack between the two sides of the original vinyl. Use a damp cloth to smooth the line of caulk or epoxy so that it blends with the two sides of the crack and does not stick up from the level of the rest of the dashboard.

Allow the caulk or epoxy to dry for 24 hours. Apply one or two more coats to raise the level of the caulk or epoxy to the same level as the rest of the dashboard. Allow each coat to dry for 24 hours.

Sand the top of the epoxy lightly with a fine grit sandpaper. The epoxy or caulk should feel smooth to the touch. Wipe the surface of the dashboard with a damp cloth to remove dust particles.

Work a small amount of vinyl dye into the surface of the repaired area. Use a color that matches the color of your dashboard. Allow the dye to dry for 24 hours.

Items you will need

About the Author

Brenda Priddy has more than 10 years of crafting and design experience, as well as more than six years of professional writing experience. Her work appears in online publications such as Donna Rae at Home, Five Minutes for Going Green and Daily Mayo. Priddy also writes for Archstone Business Solutions and holds an Associate of Arts in English from McLennan Community College.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera sixteen image by catherine PERARNAUD from Fotolia.com