Instrument Panel Cover
The instrument panel cover or dashboard cover is probably one of the most ignored parts of your car. After all, you'll only notice it when it starts to show signs of wear and tear such as yellow stains, scratches, and cracks. And once this cover starts to deteriorate, sensitive dashboard instruments become more prone to damage caused by vibration and exposure to harsh elements. So to keep the panel cover in top shape for many years, here are some maintenance tips:
Prevent dust and grime buildup.
Over time, dust and grime can accumulate on the surface of the instrument panel cover. To prevent this, regularly give the dashboard cover a good wipe with a microfiber cloth dipped in plastic cleaner. Another good tip is to clean the panel cover with a duster you use to clean your laptop screen. This fabric is designed to not scratch sensitive surfaces while effectively getting rid of dirt and grime. For those hard-to-reach nooks and crannies, apply some compressed air.
Apply a bit of polish.
To prevent scratches, protect the plastic surface of the instrument panel cover by applying a bit of plastic polish. Make sure that the product you use is compatible with the material of your dashboard cover.
Fix scratches as soon as possible.
Scratches on the cover may seem like a trivial thing. But once the dashboard cover is full of marks and scratches, your car's interior won't look so good. Plus, if these scratches extend to the plastic gauge covers, you'll have a hard time seeing oil and fuel levels. Fortunately, scratches are easy to fix. Small and shallow scratches can be removed by buffing them out with a plastic-safe cleaner or buffing compound. For big and deep scratches that can't be removed even after buffing them out, your only option is to just replace the instrument panel cover.
Use manufacturer's instructions when using cleaning products and tools.
This is to avoid swirl marks, which are usually the result of poor cleaning habits. Before wiping the panel cover with a cleaner, make sure to get rid of loose dirt first. These loose particles can easily cause swirl marks and scratches if you accidentally wipe them across the surface with a moistened cloth. After cleaning, let the cover air dry completely.
Invest in the right cleaning tools.
Simple tools such as microfiber cloths, dusters or brushes, and the right cleaning products can all make a big difference in cleaning and maintenance. With these nifty tools, getting rid of stains, dirt, and grime becomes an easier task.
Replace a severely damaged instrument panel cover ASAP.
If your car's panel cover has deep cracks or holes, it's time to replace it. Keep in mind that once this part deteriorates, the different accessories and gauges attached to it become more prone to damage. When looking for a replacement cover, make sure you get one that's made from materials that won't easily fade or get scratched. An aftermarket cover from a reliable manufacturer is always a good investment because it's usually covered by a warranty.