Save Your Lexus’s Dashboard from Crackingby Mechanics Direct April 25, 2020
When you own a Lexus, you have an investment in a quality vehicle that you want to take care of. While a lot of that focuses on the more mechanical side, a piece as seemingly simple as the dash can also experience problems. Here are some tips on how to keep your Lexus’ dashboard in good shape!
Why Do Dashboards Crack?
Typically, it is the older vehicles that are subject to their dashboards cracking. After years and years of exposure to the direct heat of the sun, it makes sense for the material to lose strength and integrity over time. I used to drive a ‘99 Ford F250, and within a year of me owning it, the dashboard cracked so badly that it actually came apart. You don’t want to let yours get that bad!
The dashboard of your Lexus and all other automobiles is made of several layers of plastics. In older vehicles, the top layer is made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). After being exposed to sunlight and heat over a few years, if not properly maintained, the PVC will begin to crack. Some vehicles are more vulnerable to such damage than others are.
Your dashboard can certainly be damaged from low-quality cell phone mounts or faulty manufacturing. For example, there were several Lexus models recalled due to multiple reports of cracked, melted, or otherwise damaged dashboards. Here are the 2 main sources of damage to your Lexus’ dashboard:
This is the most common source of damage to automobile dashboards. UV light is especially harmful to the chemical components of the dashboard, including PVC. After years of exposure to UV light, the oils from the dashboard will begin to evaporate and the plastic molecules will start to break down. Ultimately, the dashboard will become dry and brittle and will crack.
Heat comes hand-in-hand with the UV light. The exposure of heat for the dashboard, especially in times when your Lexus is left in a parking lot with no window screen or shade, the interior of the car can reach 130F or higher in some areas on a sunny, summer day. You can tell if your dashboard has been heat damaged if it appears to have a dusty or powdery appearance.
How to Prevent Your Dashboard from Cracking
There are many different preventative approaches to protecting your Lexus’ dashboard from cracking. The primary thing you want to keep in mind when preparing to protect your dash from excessive UV and heat exposure is recognizing that it is not simply one step of some sort of sealant to make your dash last for years and years.
You can add preventative steps to your overall care routine of not only caring for the dashboard but the whole interior of your vehicle, by doing things such as parking under a cover of some sort and/or putting up a window visor and shades.
To “hydrate” and add a layer of protection to your dashboard for defense against heat and UV rays, you can create a mixture of car wash liquid and half a gallon of warm water. Stir the mixture and dip into it with your choice of a rag and wring out the excess. Wipe down your dashboard thoroughly and then dry it off.
After this, apply two teaspoons of a vinyl and leather protectant/sealant to a rag and wipe down your dashboard again. Use the opposite side of the same rag or a new one to wipe down the dashboard one last time to remove excess fluid. From here, make sure to always use a sun visor and/or shades, and you’re ready to go.
Repair Your Cracked Dashboard
Though the older models are more vulnerable to dashboard damage, this does not mean that your more up-to-date Lexus is invincible. The models of Lexus that have been recalled in recent years due to significant issues with the dashboard include:
- 2007-2008 Lexus ES 350
- 2003-2008 Lexus GX 470
- 2006-2008 Lexus IS 250/250
- 2007 Lexus LS 460
- 2004-2006 Lexus RX 330
- 2007-2009 Lexus RX 350
- 2005-2008 Lexus RX 400h
If you happen to be driving any one of these models, you may want to do some preventative maintenance and head into an experienced auto shop today.
Mechanics Direct for Repair and Restoration
At Mechanics Direct, we offer first-class auto repair and 5-star service all-around. We offer complimentary transportation if you need to be elsewhere while your Lexus is being serviced, vehicle health checks and results sent straight to your phone, and a worry-free 3-year/36,000-mile guarantee.
We are your local experts for your Lexus, and also specialize in Subaru, Toyota, Honda, and more. If you are having trouble with preventing cracking on your dashboard, or if your dashboard is already cracked, call to schedule repair or visit us at any of our locations in North Chelmsford, Chelmsford, Drycut, Tyngsborough, Westford, and Lowell, MA.