DIY Installation of Dash And Rear Deck Covers!
Dash and rear deck covers protect new car dashes and hide cracks and fades cheaply on old cars. We show you the easy steps of installation.
We have pointed out that dashboards and rear deck areas are usually among the most neglected areas of your vehicle in other areas of our website. They are constantly exposed to the damaging ultraviolet rays of the sun, but they still need zero maintenance.
This effect is worse than ever on today’s vehicles. The front and rear window angles are much more horizontal in order to maximize aerodynamic efficiency – exposing larger quantities of surface area below them for longer time as the sun passes through the sky.
Dash covers and rear deck covers provide protection for new cars with unblemished dashes and offer a cost-effective way to hide unsightly cracks and fade on surfaces that have been around for several seasons.
We will cover the quick and easy steps involved in the installation of a dash or deck cover in this installation. When you read this article, you’ll see that when it comes to fitting a front or rear cover, there’s nothing to fear. For more details on specific products we offer, we encourage you to read our related articles regarding front dashboard covers as well as covers for the rear window deck of your vehicle.
Molded Vs. Non-Molded Covers
It should be noted that there are two different types of dash covers: molded and non-molded. Methods of installation for each type differ, and we will therefore cover both methods further. We offer rear deck covers that fall into the non-molded category.
The dash covers “molded” are more rigid than flexible and have a hard or semi-hard surface that resembles the original dashboard of your vehicle. They are shaped permanently to suit every contour of your dash – no matter how small or nuanced. Therefore, few (if any) adjustments during installation are necessary. Molded dash covers cannot be rolled up and sent in a long, narrow box.
“Un molded” covers are made of softer materials (often carpeting), which makes them much more flexible. While your individual car or truck is also sized and shaped in a vehicle-specific way, the fit is looser and not as tight against your original dash. After attaching a non-molded cover to your dash, it is likely that some final “conforming” must be done by hand. Un molded covers can be rolled up without damage and should be packaged more compactly.
Rear Deck Cover Installation
The rear deck covers that we sell are installed in a simple, straightforward way. These deck covers come with a set of stick pads for sticking and adhering to the existing surface of your vehicle under the window. Also included will be adhesive strips for the underside of the rear deck covers -these mates with the bits that adhere to your OEM panel. Once you have installed several on both edges and one in the center, simply lay down the rear deck and press the adhesive strip sections together to ensure that things remain in place.
Step 1: Clean and Prepare Your Dashboard Surface
The dashboard surface must be properly cleaned to ensure adhesive sticks to it, no matter what method you use to attach your cover. It is important to use an ammonia-based cleaner such as Windex and to avoid other solvents such as paint thinner, acetone or petroleum-based products. Spray the area thoroughly and use clean clothes and rags.
Ideally, the surface of the dashboard should still have its original textured grain. If yours has spots that have worn smooth, use some fine-grain sandpaper on those areas in order to scuff things up a little while the surface is still damp. When you’re satisfied with all results, wipe everything until the surface is completely clean. All vinyl protective agents and polishes such as Armor All have to be removed thoroughly. Sandpaper is also effective in removing any caked-on grime baked into a hard resin by sunlight.
Step 2: Prepare Your Dash Cover for Installation
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If you have a molded dashboard overlay, clean the underside of your dashboard in the same way you did. When you clean, look for any excess coloring dye spray that may have been accidentally deposited when the top surface is colored. If you find any, sandpaper will remove it quickly and easily.
After the cleaning stage, adhesive is applied from a tube supplied with the kit to the underside of the cover. Apply a small adhesive bead to all edges of the cover and edges of any cutouts. Make sure that the adhesive you use is about 1/2 to 1 inch away from the edges -nothing squeezes out when the cover is mounted on the dash. No matter how tempting it may seem, do not apply any adhesive to the center areas, because when the sunlight hits it, the dash cover cannot expand and contract freely.
Since un molded covers are soft and flexible, adhesive is usually not used on them. Instead, thanks to an adhesive back, you’ll use adhesive strips that stick to the dash. If your kit has a long roll of adhesive strips, cut it into 2″ long sections. Peel the protective paper from each tab and press the pieces for about 10 seconds on the dashboard. Instructions that come with your kit can tell you where to place them – no matter how important it is to evenly space them out. Anywhere on the dashboard surface there is a sharp bend or crease, put a piece of adhesive tape to ensure go
Step 3: Position the Cover On Your Dashboard
Place your molded cover on top of the dash and rub all the edges on which the adhesive was applied to press things. Wedge some folded-up cardboard pieces between your cover and the windshield base while the adhesive is drying. This ensures that there is steady, even pressure at critical points.
For things like automatic headlight sensors and vents that can be placed along your dash, it is important to first check that cutout holes exist with non-molded covers. Your un molded dash cover will most likely arrive and you will need holes already cut out. If not, check the underside of the cover for markings or perforated holes. If they are not present either, marking and cutting new holes with scissors is relatively easy.
Place the cover on the dash and pre-form it. This is done by bending, folding and creating the material to match your dashboard shape. To line up your dash cover, use your defroster vents as a guide. A putty knife can help to tuck your cover further back between the windshield and the dashboard front during this process. If the front edge of your non-molded dash cover is wavy between the windshield and the defroster vents, create tension on both sides of the ripples by pulling the dash cover on the hook and loop fasteners.
Your non-molded cover piece will generally be easier to comply with the dashboard at warmer temperatures. Give it a couple of days after initial installation to fully conform, and then adjust as necessary.
Once you’ve installed either style of dashboard cover, you’ll reflect back at how affordable and easy to install they were, then find yourself wishing you had put one in sooner. Just remember, effortless interior protection isn’t limited to just dash covers -we’ve also got seat covers and floor mats you’ll also appreciate.