The dashboard of a vehicle is subject to a great deal of sunlight, solar heat and radiation. As a result, the vinyl tends to deteriorate or break down causing cracks and peeling. Since most vehicles are parked for at least part of the day in the sun, the interior literally bakes due to the heat. It can be over 150 degrees inside the typical auto.
When the dashboard is cracked, it may be repaired if caught early enough. However, once the cracks begin to spread, the only option may be to replace it. The task can be labor intensive and fairly expensive. A better option is to prevent the cracks in the first place.
A sunshade placed in the window can prevent much of the damage. In addition to providing protection for the vinyl dash, the screen keeps the entire vehicle cooler. In addition, the shade can also keep metal buckles from seat belts from becoming hot enough to cause immediate burns when they touch bare skin.
A second way to protect the dash is to keep the vinyl protected using a vinyl conditioner. The heat from the sun bakes the moisture out and oils that keep the vinyl supple from the material. A good conditioner replaces these oils and allows it to stretch and flex with temperature changes. Avoid use of tire shine products for this purpose. They include cleaning agents that will dissolve the color coat from the material.
Adding a window tint can also help the interior of the vehicle looking good for many years. In some locations, there are laws that regulate the amount of tinting that can be added to the windows. In addition, it is important to consider driving in all types of conditions. If the tint gets too dark, it can make night driving difficult, even though the vehicle will remain nice and cool on the hottest of days. An added benefit of the window tint is that the vehicle will stay cooler when driving on those 100 degree days when the air conditioning is being pressed to the max.
Car covers can provide the same function as the window shade, but for the entire vehicle. The cover not only protects the dashboard and the interior of the vehicle but the exterior as well. Since it is portable, it can be placed over the vehicle in the parking lot at work as well as at home.