BMW Dashboard Crack Repair – Time Varies
There is a simple BMW dashboard crack repair that can keep the damage from spreading, and make the crack almost invisible to the naked eye.
Simply put, a cracked dashboard on your BMW really sucks. Not only are replacement dashboards expensive but replacing the part itself is not an easy procedure. New dashboards can run close to $4500…just for the part. Purchasing from Ebay is always an option, although you are often running unforeseen risks when buying and installing used plastic parts.
The good news is there is a simple BMW dashboard crack repair that will stop the fracture from spreading, and will adequately hide the crack from being seen. Our repair works best on smaller cracks ranging from 3 to 4 inches. It will work on larger dashboard cracks, although be aware that larger gaps become harder to conceal.
The number one cause of plastic dashboard cracking is over exposure to ultraviolet light.
The main function of a BMW dashboard crack repair is not cosmetic. The main function is to keep the crack under control by stopping it from becoming larger and spreading. It is important that you use a high grade epoxy putty for the repair, and that you apply the epoxy correctly within the split plastic dashboard. The BMW Repair Guide uses NuMetal epoxy putty by KBS Coatings. It is a fantastic product that comes in several different colors that may match your project. If your dashboard is black, get the black epoxy…it should blend right in. If you have a dashboard that is any color other than black, we suggest using the white NuMetal epoxy and touching it up to match the dashboard after it hardens. We show you how to do this in the repair article below.
The number one cause of plastic dashboard cracking is over exposure to ultraviolet light. Overtime, the sun’s ultraviolet rays break down the plastic’s molecular structure leaving it dry and brittle. Heat also plays a large roll in dashboard cracking…the interior temperature of your vehicle can soar well over 100 degrees on a sunny day, also changing the dashboard’s molecular structure and drying out the essential oils present in the pvc plastic. To avoid future cracking, try and keep your vehicle parked in a cool shaded environment, preferably in a garage. If a garage is not an option, try parking under a tree…or positioning your car next to a structure so it is not constantly in direct sunlight. Most importantly, keep your dashboard moisturized with a good plastic protectorant. We recommend using Sonax Plastic Care on a regular basis.
Painting a repaired crack
As mentioned above, if your dashboard is any other color besides black, your best bet is using a white epoxy putty and touching it up with an ultra fine paint brush. The trick is to try and match your dashboard color as close as possible. Matching your dashboard is easily done if you can find a piece of trim in your vehicle that is the same color. Bring the trim piece into your local paint shop (we use Sherwinn Williams) and have them color scan it to get an exact match. If you can’t find a piece of trim that matches (or don’t want to deal with removing interior trim from your vehicle), there are mobile apps that work on your smartphone that allow you to color scan. Try using the Sherwinn Williams ColorSnap app to scan your dashboard and get a close match to it’s color.
Once you determine the color, purchase a high-quality flat (not satin or semi-gloss) oil based satin enamel to touch the crack up with. It is very important that you use a flat paint – any type of gloss (including satin) will stand out and not blend in with the dashboatd. We used Sherwinn Williams All Surface Enamel in this repair article and it worked exceptionally well. We suggest using an oil based paint because of durability and compatibility with the oil base plastic dashboard. Unfortunately, the smallest quantity you can get in the Sherwinn Williams product is one quart. We used a Princeton 10/0 “petite spotter” paint brush, which has a small sharp brush head…ideal for finely applying paint to excruciatingly thin crack lines.
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No parts are required for this repair.
- Locate the crack on your dashboard and make sure it is thoroughly clean and free of dust.
- Prepare the epoxy putty by cutting it into the required proportions and kneading into a small round ball with your fingers (read instructions supplied with epoxy for correct proportions…it is usually 50/50). Kneed the epoxy putty until it is one uniform color.
- Use your fingers to fill the crack with the epoxy putty. It is very important that you completely fill the crack. Forcefully press the putty into the crack so it pushes out the bottom side, completely filling any voids.
- Use a clean wet rag to clean up the epoxy. Make sure to thoroughly clean the dashboard of any epoxy residue…once it dries it will be impossible to remove.
- ***Make sure the epoxy is level with the top of the dashboard…this will make the repair less noticeable when painted. Let the epoxy cure in the dashboard crack for a minimum of 24 hours.
- After the epoxy has cured, use the 10/0 petite spotter brush to paint the crack so it blends in with the rest of the dashboard. Using a magnifying glass is often helpful when painting the crack.
A BMW dashboard crack repair performed as we have shown in the above steps will stop the repaired crack from spreading across the rest of the dashboard. Please be aware that other cracks may surface if you don’t start immediate preventative measures. Keep the dashboard constantly moisturized with a high-grade plastic conditioner like Sonax Plastic Care. Most importantly, try and keep the vehicle parked out of prolonged direct sunlight.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us. And congratulations for Doing It Yourself!
The Repair Difficulty Level displays graphically how challenging the repair is, from easy to advanced. Easy repairs usually require very few tools, have short repair times and do not require jacking and supporting the vehicle. As the difficulty level rises, expect the repair to demand more time, specialized tools, and better understanding of mechanics to complete the job.
This article applies to all applicable BMW models.