Your automobile’s vinyl dashboard is susceptible not only to dust and dirt build-up, but also to fading and cracking due to sunlight. The sun also causes the vinyl to dry out and crack even if you frequently clean and treat your dashboard with a vinyl cleaner and protector. Taking your automobile to an upholstery shop for repair or replacing the dashboard is expensive and may not be necessary. You can repair vinyl dash cracks yourself without special tools or a professional repair service.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- 2 soft cloths or rags
- Latex gloves
- Vinyl cleaner
- Utility knife
- Vinyl repair kit
- Sandpaper, 200 grit or finer
- Transparent tape
- Electrical extension cord
- Vinyl protector (optional)
Wipe your vinyl dash with a soft cloth or rag to remove any loose dust and dirt. Wear latex gloves to keep your hands clean.
Apply 2 tbsp of a vinyl cleaner to the soft cloth or rag. Wipe your dash with the cleaner-soaked cloth or rag.
Cut any raised pieces or loose vinyl on your dash with a utility knife to make your dash smooth and flat.
Spread the vinyl repair kit's adhesive/filler mixture into the crack using the spatula in the kit. Fill the crack to the dash's surface level.
Let the adhesive/filler dry for four hours. Sand the dry adhesive/filler with a piece of 200-grit or finer sandpaper to smooth out the surface.
Select the grain paper that matches your dashboard--fine, medium or coarse. Place the grain paper on top of the crack and use a pencil to draw an outline of the crack.
Select the colour repair compound that matches your dash or mix the colour according to the colour chart in the vinyl repair kit.
Use the kit's spatula to spread a thin, even layer of the colour compound over the crack and the surrounding area. Feather the edges around the crack so the colour blends properly.
Tape the piece of grain paper on the dash so the outline matches up with the crack.
Plug in and turn on a household iron to its highest setting. Let the iron preheat for three minutes.
Hold the kit's heat transfer tool's metal tip to the iron for three minutes. Place the hot metal tip immediately on the outline on the grain paper. Do not let the iron touch the grain paper or your dashboard.
Rotate the heat transfer tool in a circular motion for 45 seconds. Do not move the grain paper.
Repeat steps 2 and 3 until the entire outline has been heated. Let the grain paper cool for two minutes.
Remove the paper slowly from your dash. Touch the crack with your finger. if the repair compound is sticky, place the grain paper back on the crack and repeat steps 2 and 3.
Tips and warnings
- Let the repaired area cool and dry overnight before wiping the area with a cleaner-soaked or water-soaked cloth or before applying a vinyl protector to your dash.
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