Leather is a key feature in most luxury car interiors, from seating and door panels to steering wheels and dashboards.With their large, smooth surfaces and varied contours, interior panels are a challenge to repair. If not done correctly, the repair work will be highly visible.

 

Car Leather Dashboard

 

The hide used to wrap dashboards needs to be chosen carefully to ensure there is no skin damage. Ideally the leather should be dark-coloured to avoid the light reflecting onto the windscreen. Drivers who have opted for brighter-coloured leather dashboards have soon found that the reflected light affects visibility. With this in mind, it is a good idea to test the colour before re-trimming your dashboard in leather. For this same reason, car dashboards mostly come in a matt finish to avoid reflections in the windshield. At Colourlock, we use a top coat to achieve the required matt finish.

Airbags pose another challenge to leather car interiors. They have predetermined breaking points that are reached through the seams, as well as the thickness of the leather used. The leather needs to be much thinner, about 0.45mm (normally it is 0.9-1.2mm), where the airbag ‘explodes’ so that it can easily tear through the leather when activated.  

Dashboards can be subjected to extreme heat so it is essential that strong adhesive is used to attach them to the plastic mould. Sometimes the leather is also pre-shrunk to avoid shrinkage once it is attached to the dashboard.

Damaged Leather Dashboard

In rare cases the adhesive under the leather cover detaches from the moulding, creating bubbles under the leather. It may be possible to reapply the glue but, in most cases, this won’t work – even with the aid of a syringe.

Old dashboards can break, particularly in warmer climates. Normally dashboards are made from plastic or leatherette. Accessing certain areas on the dashboard is not easy and removing it from the vehicles is not straightforward. Large cracks will need to be stabilised to ensure the same does not occur in other areas. Every area of damage will have to be assessed independently. Please email us some photos if you have a similar damage and we will be happy to assist you. Alternatively, the whole piece will have to be replaced.

 

Cracked Leather Dashboard