This article gives detailed instructions on repairing a dashboard crack in a BMW vehicle. Even though we used a 2005 645ci to perform this repair, this article can be applied to any BMW vehicle with minor modifications to the repair steps.
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 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. Over time, the sun's ultraviolet rays break down the plastic's molecular structure leaving it dry and brittle. Heat also plays a large role 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 protectant. We recommend using Torque Detail Plastic & Trim Restorer 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 white epoxy putty and touching it up with an ultra-fine paintbrush. 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 its color.
Once you determine the color, purchase a high-quality flat (do not use satin or semi-gloss) enamel to touch the crack up with. It is very important that you use flat paint - any type of gloss (including satin) will stand out and not blend in with the dashboard. We used a Princeton 10/0 "petite spotter" paintbrush, which has a small sharp brush head...ideal for finely applying paint to excruciatingly thin crack lines.
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