2007-2014 Chevrolet and GMC Dash cracking. What do I do?
In my years of doing vehicle interior repair and parts replacement I have frequently been approached and asked advise on what the available options are on the 2007-2014 Chevrolet/GMC Truck/SUV dash cracking above the instrument cluster on the driver side of the vehicle or around the dash airbag on the passenger side of the vehicle. The following blog is my response and recommendation to this inquiry.
Nothing ($0) - yes, this is the cheapest and easiest option. The Dash cover is a cosmetic item with the purpose of housing all of the interior dash parts, wires, and accessories. It gives the dash a finished look while shielding items from exposure and preventing possible damage to the various components. While a few cracks in this item are an eye sore, they do not prevent the dash cover from serving it's purpose of acting as a component shield so there is no hazard involved in doing nothing about the defect.
Cover It Up With A Mat ($50-100) - The next most affordable option is to simply cover it up. Since the defect is a cosmetic issues, then like other cosmetics, the damage can simply be covered up by a dash mat. Dash mats are offered in a variety of materials such as carpet, velour, suede, or specialty dashtex material. They come with bound edges and have custom embroidery options (if some one wanted a name or special message embroidered on the mat). The installation is relatively easy and would take about 30 minutes for install.
Install A Plastic Skin Coverlay ($300-400) - The Dash Coverlay option is very similar to that if the Dash Mat except instead of a mat, it is a molded plastic skin that is glues ontop of the current dash, giving it a new, smooth plastic layer over the damaged one. This is a great and practical option, but the dash coverlays that are available do not have the same grain as the original OEM dash. The original GM dash has what is known as a longitude grain. This is a medium pebble grain found in many GM and Nissan vehicles. The dash coverlays have what is known as an Elk grain. This grain has more of a brushed look (like that of an elk hide). It is difficult to explain the difference in grains without visual aid, but I have had customers who decided they did not want to go with the coverlay because the grain did not match OEM. Another factor is the seams at the edges of the coverlay. The OEM dash cover goes from the top of the dash, around the radio, and to the bottom near the knees. The Dash coverlay is a cap that only covers the top of the dash so it ends above the glove box and radio. Because of this, there are a few strategically places seams where the coverlay ends and the OEM dash is visible. This puts the two different grains right next to each other.
Replace the Dash with the OEM Part ($1500-1800) - Sometimes the best way to fix something is the right way. Typically a replacement dash at the dealership costs $500 with $1000 labor for installation. This option is the only way one can ensure that it looks OEM as it is a complete match and seamless installation. Since this has been a lasting issue that GM has had to deal with, one can only assume that they have fixed the defect so the replacement dashes will not have the same problem. After all, if you do something the right way the first time, then you never have to deal with it again.
I hope those who have read this post have found it informative and helpful. Feel free to ask any questions regarding my posts by clicking on the "Chat With Us!" tab on the bottom right of the screen or by email at my email address listed on the bottom of the homepage.