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Old 11-03-2015, 10:47 AM   #1
XDCX
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Default How common are Cracked Dashes on Dodge Ram Pickups in your market?

I spend the majority of my time in the sunny southwest part of the U.S. and one of the trade-offs of the nice weather and warm temperatures is a lot of sun damage to vehicles.

While clear coat delamination is something I notice tends to happen to cars from all OEMs the one trouble spot that seems to be unique to the Dodge Ram pickups is cracked dash covers and cracker instrument cluster bezels.

Here's an example:


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Do you typically see this damage in your market? And if so, does it primarily just affect the Dodge/Ram trucks or do you see it across all OEMs?
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Old 11-06-2015, 10:06 AM   #2
tnpartsguy
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GM has had a problem for years. At this point, they will usually offer customer assistance on trucks under 100K and 7 yrs old.

I just can't recall a time that GM has had a decent truck dash that didn't crack after 7~10 years.... the Buick Lesabre's were awful too.
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Old 11-06-2015, 12:57 PM   #3
DealerEx
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The problem with the Dodge dashes is almost universal on the 95 thru 2001 models (if the trucks are parked outside in the sun). When the aftermarket companies start producing replacement "caps" to cover them up you know there is a widespread issue or they wouldn't see enough volume to produce it.
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Old 11-06-2015, 04:39 PM   #4
possum
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It is rampant in Texas. Virtually every truck made in the mid 90s thru early 2000s has a broken out dash.
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Old 11-09-2015, 07:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnpartsguy View Post
GM has had a problem for years. At this point, they will usually offer customer assistance on trucks under 100K and 7 yrs old.

I just can't recall a time that GM has had a decent truck dash that didn't crack after 7~10 years.... the Buick Lesabre's were awful too.
Thanks for the information. It's interesting to learn that Chrysler isn't the only OEM that's suffering a poor quality image because their dashes start to deteriorate in the sun.

Also interesting to hear that the Buick LaSabre also had the same problem. In the Chrysler line I see a lot of dash failures on the old Neons so Chrysler's problem extends beyond their truck line too.
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Old 11-09-2015, 07:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DealerEx View Post
The problem with the Dodge dashes is almost universal on the 95 thru 2001 models (if the trucks are parked outside in the sun). When the aftermarket companies start producing replacement "caps" to cover them up you know there is a widespread issue or they wouldn't see enough volume to produce it.
I thought the same thing when I recently saw a program on SPIKE TV that included a in-episode advertisement for a "dash cap" for the Ram trucks. Some of the Dodge trucks that I see in the Phoenix area are so bad I doubt there's anything left for the "cap" to adhere to.

The problem definitely must be heat or UV related because I rarely saw a dash failure on a Dodge truck when I was living in the cloudy/cold Seattle area.
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Old 11-09-2015, 07:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by possum View Post
It is rampant in Texas. Virtually every truck made in the mid 90s thru early 2000s has a broken out dash.
If I can ask, how much is the typical repair cost?

If you take a truck in on trade and it has a broken out dash will you typically replace the dash and retail the truck or is it just easier to wholesale the vehicle?
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Old 11-09-2015, 07:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnpartsguy View Post
I just can't recall a time that GM has had a decent truck dash that didn't crack after 7~10 years.... the Buick Lesabre's were awful too.
What I think in so ironic is the Dodge trucks had the cheapest/crudest looking dashes from 1981 - 1993. The looked cheap, they felt cheap and the glove box door fitment looked like something you would see from a vehicle built in a third world country.

That said, as ugly as they were they seem to hold up just fine in the heat and UV of the desert Southwest.

Clearly the OEMs and suppliers had the materials that they knew would stand up to the elements they just decided to use something else and now all of their customers are paying the price.
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Old 11-14-2015, 05:40 PM   #9
mryan55
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Here in the Lower Midwest it is common to see the 1994-2002 generation total destroyed. The dash pads are pretty common around here... one of my friends with a low mile 1999 3500 actually replaced the dash, which if memory serves correctly, was not a particularly cheap fix.
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Old 11-15-2015, 01:24 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by mryan55 View Post
Here in the Lower Midwest it is common to see the 1994-2002 generation total destroyed. The dash pads are pretty common around here... one of my friends with a low mile 1999 3500 actually replaced the dash, which if memory serves correctly, was not a particularly cheap fix.
I'm familiar with exactly what you describe.

I've seen some of the 1994 - 2002 Rams where the dash has so many cracks that it mostly collapses. There's not enough structure to attach a "cap" to so the entire dash needs to be replaced.

Based on what I've read on the Internet, Chrysler never made any material improvements to the parts they sell via Mopar so if you replace your dash with a new Mopar part it's just a matter of time before it fails again.
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Old 11-18-2015, 06:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
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I've seen some of the 1994 - 2002 Rams where the dash has so many cracks that it mostly collapses. There's not enough structure to attach a "cap" to so the entire dash needs to be replaced.
As they say, a picture is worth 1,000 words...


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