Your Lexus’ interior is a combination of textiles, plastics, and leather. While modern cars may use their own uniquely formulated composite, most models of Lexus use PVC for their dashboards. While PVC is generally pretty durable, there are some factors such as light and heat which can cause the surface to deteriorate and crack. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why this might happen to your Lexus, and how you can help to prevent this from happening.
The number one reason why your Lexus’ dashboard will get a crack is excessive UV light exposure. The main source of UV light that your dashboard will be exposed to is sunlight. Ultraviolet light breaks down the chemical components of PVC and other plastics by evaporating the oils found within the plastic, causing the molecules to break down. This causes the plastic to become brittle and it will then be prone to cracking. To help prevent this, avoid parking your Lexus in direct sunlight and use a dashboard or windscreen cover where possible.
Of course, there’s little you can do to change whether or not you live in a hot climate, but you can try to prevent the impact of extreme heat upon your dashboard as much as possible. On a hot summer’s day, the heat of your car can reach well over 100F. This heat is more than enough to break down the chemical composition of your PVC dashboard. You can tell whether your dashboard has become heat damaged by visually inspecting it. If the surface of your dash feels powdery or dry, then it is suffering from UV/heat exposure and needs some TLC.
When to Repair or Replace
If your dashboard develops a crack, you may not need to have it replaced. If the crack is small, you can purchase a repair kit from an auto repair store. However, it is worth noting that repairing a dashboard crack is likely to last little more than a year or two, which is good for buying yourself time to save up for a replacement. However, you’ll need to replace your entire dashboard if there are multiple deep or large cracks. This is also the case if your dashboard is covered in fine, web-like cracks.
Some models of Lexus have been found to have faults in their PVC dashboards, which cause them to crack much more quickly than they should. In response to this Lexus, will pay for the cost of dashboard replacement. As long as you have the records and receipts, Lexus will reimburse owners of affected models who have already needed to replace their dashboard. The models which are eligible for this reimbursement are 2007-2008 ES 350, 2003-2008 GX 470, 2004-2006 RX 330, 2007-2009 RX 350, and 2005-2008 RX 400h.
Preventing Dashboard Cracks
There are some simple maintenance techniques and driver habits which you can use to extend the longevity of your dashboard and reduce the risk of cracks. First, get into the habit of choosing a shady spot to park your car to protect the dashboard from the worst of the UV rays and help reduce internal temperatures as much as possible. If you’re only intending to park for an hour or so and can’t find a spot with adequate shade, park your car so that the front is facing away from the direct sunlight.
If you park your car outside when not in use, then you should use a car cover or a windscreen cover all year round, as UV rays can be strong even when it is not overly sunny outside. A car cover also has the great added bonus of protecting your windows and paintwork too.
Last, think of your dashboard like your skin. Without moisturizer, it becomes dry. Every few months, treat your dashboard with a suitable moisturizer. There are a variety of different types on the market. Where possible, you should always opt for ones that offer sun protection, as this will help stave off the adverse effects of UV light exposure.
Master Mechanics Auto Repair
If you are a car owning in Battle Creek, Portage, Kalamazoo, MI and you start to notice cracks on the dash of your Lexus, stop by Master Mechanics Auto Repair. We’ll assess the damage and advise you on your best course of action.