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One of the many attractions of the Florida lifestyle is the year-round sunshine, but unfortunately all this sunshine isn't as good for your car as it is for you. It's almost impossible not to park your car in the sun when you're out and about, and when your car sits in the sun the inside temperature can reach over 140 Fahrenheit.
Together with the strong sunshine, this high temperature literally bakes the vinyl of your dashboard. Vinyl naturally tends to peel and crack as it ages and heat and solar radiation accelerate this process exponentially. This can happen to any car, no matter its age or value. So what can you do to prevent this from happening to your car, and keep your car looking its best despite the Florida sun?
One of the best ways to prevent dashboard cracking is to use a simple sunshade in your windshield. This will prevent the sun's rays from reaching your dash and will also keep your car cooler inside. Another benefit is that valuables are less visible to thieves, reducing the likelihood you will be the victim of auto crime. A sunshade is a great low-cost solution that no Florida car should be without.
Taking the idea of a sunshade one step further, car window tinting is another step you can take in order to help protect your car's interior from the sun and its heat. Window tints reduce the amount of sunshine entering your car and reflect it away, therefore keeping your car's interior cooler. Just like a sunshade, window tints also reduce the chance that a thief may see any valuables you have left in your car. In the state of Florida, window tints on the front passenger's and driver's doors can block up to 72% of sunlight, while back window tints can block up to 85% of sunlight. However, before you choose your tint, be aware of its effects on your vision when driving. The darkest tints can make it difficult to see, especially when driving at night, so be sure to test different levels of tint and make sure you are completely comfortable with your choice.
Another line of defense against dashboard cracking is to use a high quality vinyl conditioner-protector, which is specifically designed to be used on vinyl and other plastics used in car interiors. These products help protect the vinyl from solar radiation and decrease the likelihood that it will dry out, warp and crack. It is important to remember however to only use a product that is specifically designed for this purpose; products such as tire shine can actually damage your dash and are not intended for this application.
So, there are various ways you can prevent dashboard cracks. But what if your car has already developed a crack(s)? Minor cracks may be able to be repaired, but if cracks are severe or you would like to return your car to showroom-worthy condition, the entire dash may need to be replaced. If your car is of high value or you would like to enter car shows, dash replacement may be the best option. Treadwell Auto Trim will be able to advise you of your options and complete your dashboard repair to the highest standards. For any dashboard issue, don't hesitate to give us a call on 321-254-5336 and our experienced staff will be delighted to assist you.