How to Repair Cracks in a Dashboardby Brooke Pierce
Most of the damage on your dashboard is caused by direct sunlight whose rays are magnified by the glass. When you run the air conditioner or heater, you expose the dashboard to those temperature changes. Prolonged exposure causes the vinyl to crack. Repair your cracked dashboard using readily available materials that are affordable and will save you time.
Items you will need
Prepare the Dashboard
Use the sandpaper or a knife to bevel into the cracked area, and ensure that you sand out any crusty or dried foam. Clean both the inside and outside using the cleaning rag.
Most old and some new car dashboards are made of vinyl. Proper preparation of the dashboard is critical to the success of the repair, as it will enable the filling to adhere well to the dash.
Be cautious to avoid cutting too much of the surface.
Filling The Small Cracks
Fill the silicone caulk in two layers in the smaller cracks. Inject enough to fill the crack, and allow it to cure. Smooth out excess silicone on the surface using your fingers. Use the vinyl tape to cover the silicone that has dried and also to prevent it from spreading to the good dashboard vinyl. Use the brush to paint that part so that it can blend with the rest of the dash.
Silicone caulk preserves your car dashboard and helps it remain flexible over time. It is also strong enough to hold fast in the edges of the panel cracks as they contract and expand.
Repair Large Cracks
Texturize the silicone within 10 to 15 minutes before it dries. Use the texturing portion of the vinyl-repair kit to accomplish this. Let the silicone dry for about two hours. Lightly scuff the surface using a scuff pad to get rid of any spots. Paint your car dashboard using the vinyl paint to minimize visibility. Blend the edges to match the dashboard.
The texture coating on the dashboard can be a bit rough after its application.
Replace Your Dashboard
If the cracks in the dashboard are too large to be repaired at home, consider replacing it with a new one.
Things You'll Need
- Utility knife
- Painters' tape
- Silicone caulking
- Vinyl paint
Based in Amsterdam, Brooke Pierce has been writing automotive-related articles since 2012. She holds a Bachelor of Science in automotive engineering technology from Ferris State University, Big Rapids, MI.