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The sticky dash problem.

A combination of high temperatures and exposure to sunlight can cause the surface of some dashboards to become sticky/melted, have a shiny appearance, emit a noxious chemical smell (similar to burned toffee) and ooze a yellowish adhesive compound that is sticky to the touch. Despite otherwise being pleased with their vehicles, owners recognize that the deterioration of their dashboard may be dangerous and reduce resale value.

Here's the Fix.

The Sticky Dash Fix is an effective, easy and permanent two-step, do-it-yourself dashboard repair solution.

Step 1. A Surface Cleaner, formulated to quickly and easily remove sticky plasticizers, dirt and debris, is applied to prepare the dashboard surface.

Step 2. A Surface Coating is applied which bonds to the dashboard surface to form a thin, yet strong and flexible membrane, which after a number of light coats, effectively seals the surface.

The defect explained.

Exposure to sunlight, heat and perhaps high humidity can cause the adhesive used to bond the layers to liquify and migrate downwards into the foam layer or upwards through the dashboard outer fabric. The outer fabric softens and expands when heated providing a "path of least resistance" for the adhesive to escape. This is most evident in the areas of the dashboard closest to the windscreen glass. Overtime, if not treated, the strong adhesive begins to soften and destroy the outer fabric of the dashboard. Just touching the soft sticky surface can leave indentations and gouges.


I'll just buy a dash-mat. Right?

Putting visual aesthetics to one side - exposure to sunlight and warm weather initiated the defect, but Once the defective adhesive migrates through the top-layer of dashboard material and pools on the surface, there is an aggressive chemical reaction that takes place, over time, between the defective adhesive and the plasticizers in the soft-feel, thin, top material - accelerating the degradation and destruction of the dashboard layers, resulting in softness, gouges and cracking. The defect doesn't rest over the cooler months - if simply covered with a dash-mat and left un-treated, this reaction, regardless of exposure to light or heat, continues to worsen over time. 

A dash-mat may disguise the defect but will not rectify or protect the dashboard and may become stuck to the dashboard surface over time and damage the top material layer when lifted or removed.

A dash-mat may draw attention to the issue for Buyer's/Seller's

How long does the coating last?

The Surface Coating is a permanent product - however, every dashboard will be in different condition. The same applies to the various makes and models affected by the defect. The chemical reaction occurring on some dashboards can be very aggressive and over the long term, may require additional coats or touch-ups. Some areas closest to the windscreen and the instrument hood may require more coats to permanently overcome the adhesive.

We recommend retaining left-over product in case touch-ups are required in the future.

Will the Surface Cleaner remove the adhesive?

No. The Surface Cleaner is formulated to help remove dirt, hairs and debris from the dashboard surface before applying the Surface Coating. The surface may temporarily no longer feel sticky, but won't neutralize the defective adhesive.

Does the Surface Coating contain alcohol?

No. Cleaning the dashboard with alcohol and strong solvents will dry-out the top layer material of the dashboard and may result in cracking over time.

How many coats are needed?

This will depend on the condition of your Dash, more light coats will need to be applied to the areas closest to the windscreen. The areas around the windscreen demister vents are normally the most effected.

What is the product used in the video to fill the small gouges?

Sticky Dash Fix - Filler/Surface Stabilizer which uses the same resin-system as the Surface Coating to ensure compatibility and flexibility.

How will I know when I've applied enough coating?

Apply the coating to the worst effected areas first. Once dry, the area will feel less sticky with each coat and will feel dry and smooth to touch once sufficient coating has been applied. On the next warm day, check that the Dash is dry and apply more coating if you have missed a spot or the surface is still tacky.

Why is the coating colour-matched and not just clear to suite any car?

The coating is colour-matched for each models Dashboard because many effected Dashboard become discoloured and may have a patchy brownish appearance and the colour pigment, greatly reduces light penetrating the Dashboard surface.

Does the coating have a smell or give off fumes?

No. The Surface Coating is a water-based and odorless once dried. The formulation is non-toxic and non-flammable.

Can I apply a dashboard dressing over the Surface Coating?

We don't recommend applying a dressing over the repaired dashboard surface.

My dashboard is not really sticky (yet) - can I use the products as a preventative measure?

Most certainly! Prevention is always better than a cure in delaying or avoiding this defect.

Development & testing

We stumbled across the sticky/melting dashboard problem by chance, in April 2018 and drew on our experience in formulating specialty coatings for the additive manufacturing (3d printing) industry. We already produced a coating which helps preserve delicate multi-material poly-jet additive manufactured objects, which can also become sticky when exposed to U.V. light, heat and moisture and noted the similarities to the sticky dash problem. We did however, underestimate the chemical resistance of the defective adhesive and early on, needed to switch resin system. The final formulation has undergone hundreds of hours of testing in both the United States and Australia,  including extreme heat cycles and exposure to multiple sources of radiant heat, even high pressure steam. 

A simple demonstration

Beautifully over-engineered

Our products were originally developed for the 3d printing (additive manufacturing) industry to restore and protect complex multi-material 3d printed medical models and rapid prototypes which are susceptible to light and moisture (humidity).