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Stabilizer for decaying dashboard

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Hello All,

My question is not directly Cadillac related, as the need is arising with my 1996 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon, but it could certainly crop up on various Cadillac models too.

The upper dashboard surface in this car is vast and after 19 years it's beginning to "disintegrate" for lack of a better word. The slightly glossy (and I do mean slightly) finish it had is gone and the surface is now turning to dust which is clearly of the material the dash is made of. It is not cracking at all, just getting "dull and dusty."

I'm really not looking to achieve a "like new" result but the car has sentimental value and I'd like to arrest the decay and keep any more from happening if possible. Has anyone tried anything that they like which will halt the disintegration of this sort of plastic material and keep further damage from occurring (or at least slowing it down signifcantly)?

I'm trying to avoid anything that would result in a very glossy finish once applied. The surface area of the dash in this car is vast and in the past (long past) when things like ArmorAll were applied you simply couldn't stand the resulting glare while driving.

Any assistance is most appreciated.




Bri the Tech Guy   http://britechguy.com
britechguy@gmail.com   (540) 324-5032
"If it's got you screaming, I'll help you stop!!"
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I'm not sure that I've seen this in a Cadillac but what you are seeing is a result of many years of direct sunlight deteriorating the surface of the plastic. One thing in your favor is that dashboard covers are usually part of an airbag deployment system, at least for the passenger side, and thus you should be able to get a new dashboard cover without a problem, and the work involved in changing it should be doable on a Saturday afternoon.

But you seem to be looking for something to spray or paint on the dashboard cover to re-seal it and extend its life. I don't know of an answer to that question myself; others may have some suggestions, but my only suggestion is to stop by a Pep Boys or similar outlet and chat with the staff. With a little patience you should be able to identify something specifically made to solve your problem.

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I use a windshield deflector when my cars are parked outside (when I'm at work) and that has kept the dash like new on my cars.

Armor all does have a low gloss formula so it won't give the glare on the windshield. You might try talking to an automotive trim shop - one they may have some idea on what to apply to halt the degradation of the vinyl.

'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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  • 3 years later...
  • 2 years later...

After living in So. Fla. for 10 years and now back in NY I can recommend the windsheild shade/sun blockers

and use them in all my cars!  I remember 80s GM cars plastic panels crumbling to dust at the slightest

touch!  My 93 Deville came up from life in Fla. but was garage kept so the interior was perfect.

The filler panels not so much but I repainted them and she looks fine!


93 DeVille-13 Chevy Impala

72 GTO - 77 Triumph Bonneville

84 Z-28

Syracuse NY

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  • 4 months later...

Hell all........

I am heading to Fla Mon. to scope out some 89-95 Chevy s-10 4x4s.  Not many out there that aint

all butchered up.  I got my eye on a 93 Deville grampas ride family wans to dump for $900! 

Needs a little TLC but has 77k miles!

Anyhoo......I note in all the truck ads there are covers on the steering wheels!

I wonder why they crumble like that down south and how to fix!

But having lived own there and GMs crummy plastics I know why!

Prob. best bet to get a new steering wheel at a NY pic a part yard but the yards I have been

in lately wont sell a steering wheel with a air bag?

Maybe be back with a truck and another Caddy!



93 DeVille-13 Chevy Impala

72 GTO - 77 Triumph Bonneville

84 Z-28

Syracuse NY

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Dont have solution for you....maybe find a used dash pad up north?

There are companies that do testing for UV degration of automotive parts for GM etc. That said...the parts dont last forever.

On a cruise in the Caribbean...saw a parked Nissan that every fricking plastic part on that car had UV damage.....inside and out...... Unfortunally I did not have a camera in hand. 


Lots of yards will not sell air bags....unbelievable liability issues. 



Anyway.....Arizona parts testing.





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Pre-1995 - DTC codes OBD1  >>

1996 and newer - DTC codes OBD2 >> https://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/gm/obd_codes.htm

How to check for codes Caddyinfo How To Technical Archive >> http://www.caddyinfo.com/wordpress/cadillac-how-to-faq/

Cadillac History & Specifications Year by Year  http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/index.htm

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