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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone know which product offers the best vinyl protection from the sun? My girlfriend has a 2006 G6 GTP & her dash is just a mess. The sun really did a lot of damage to it: It's all wavy & the rubber seal at the base of the windshield is "shrinking" and becoming exposed. Before this happens to my Sol I was hoping that someone could point me in the right direction. Thanks!
 

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Do we even have any vinyl on the dash? I thought it was all hard plastics (unlike my '00 Grand Am where it is Vinyl).

Not saying you shouldn't protect it, but I'm not sure it will get wavy like her G6. The door panels and the arm rest though probably should be protected (I use a car cover though and when not covered a windshield screen in addition to the normal Armor All treatment when I detail).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Not sure about the vinyl part. I guess it just sounded right! :) A windshield screen is probably a worthy investment.
 

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No protectant in the world is going to prevent what happened to that dash. That's not UV damage, that's heat related - both the dash and the seal.

Introduction to Residual Stress in plastics. If you think of a steel molecule as the size of a house, a plastics molecule is as long as 3 city blocks. They are basically a repeating chain of a chemical structure hence the name polymer. Poly=many mer=units.

When you melt these polymers with heat and force them to flow into a mold, the long chains align in the direction of flow (think of dragging wet spaghetti noodles on your counter top - some will stay tangle, many will string out in the direction they are pulled). Along with this alignment, the molecules will "stretch" in this direction like rubber bands. If the rubber bands are allowed to relax they won't move again. If the rubber bands are kept in a stretched state, they will try to relax.

If you freeze the plastic molecules in a stretched state, in a cold mold for example, you have an internal stress - what I call residual stress - locked into the part. These stresses will always want to relax and will eventually do so. High stress in a dashboard that sees repeated heat cycles like, oh say, the SUN, will eventually start to "creep" if the material's stress is greater than it's strength. Obviously, the ability to resist this creep is lessened at higher temperatures.

This could all be exacerbated by fit issues during assembly. Stresses can be introduced if mounting locations don't line up well, differences in heights of mounting points, etc. That also can cause things to buckle under high heat.
 

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Cracking, discoloration, fading, and such would be caused by UV damage and that can indeed be offset or slowed down with a protectant.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ah chickenwire! I should've gone right to the our resident plastics expert from the get go! Thank you!!
 

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I just looked it up and I think I got wood. This is exactly what I've been looking for to put on my "Made in China" pergola on my patio. The canvas turns to dog **** in just a few years. I was going to have a local canvas/awning shop make a custom version for me. Might be able to stretch a few more years out of the existing one with this stuff.

Thanks Josh!
 

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CW, With your expertise in plastics, is using the windshield screen going to help prevent some of what you're saying? I use mine all the time, but the car still does get hot inside (Though considerably less than without). Being in FL I've dealth with sun related damage even when using those cloth covers to cover up the vinyl on other cars. Just curious is this will help keep the plastic in good condition longer.
 

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CW, With your expertise in plastics, is using the windshield screen going to help prevent some of what you're saying? I use mine all the time, but the car still does get hot inside (Though considerably less than without). Being in FL I've dealth with sun related damage even when using those cloth covers to cover up the vinyl on other cars. Just curious is this will help keep the plastic in good condition longer.
:agree: A sun screen would do wonders to block the sun rays on the main wind shield, I see that a lot in Florida, especially those "silver" ones to repel the sun rays, however, the car will STILL get hot inside IMHO..:yesnod:
 

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Yeah, that's what I use, but like you said, here in FL it still gets hot..VERY HOT. I'm thinking of also getting a toneau cover for when I take it out during the summer with the top down (to help keep the interior cool when it's parked without having to put the top up)
 

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I just looked it up and I think I got wood. This is exactly what I've been looking for to put on my "Made in China" pergola on my patio. The canvas turns to dog **** in just a few years. I was going to have a local canvas/awning shop make a custom version for me. Might be able to stretch a few more years out of the existing one with this stuff.

Thanks Josh!
Always glad to help! :cool: I love the stuff and it has worked great for me.
 

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I use the RaggTop products and the water just beads up on it and it seems to be doing fine (granted the car is covered most the time). I've also hear that 303 is great. I was drawn between the two, and even heard that 303 might be better. I got the RaggTop because it is what was recommended by the maker of our tops.
 

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CW, With your expertise in plastics, is using the windshield screen going to help prevent some of what you're saying? I use mine all the time, but the car still does get hot inside (Though considerably less than without). Being in FL I've dealth with sun related damage even when using those cloth covers to cover up the vinyl on other cars. Just curious is this will help keep the plastic in good condition longer.
The best UV protectant is shade, so yes, a sunscreen will help preserve the dash immensely. As for the heat, well interior trim is heat cycled and heat soaked I believe to 140 F (it's been a while since I've been in the production of interior trim) but there are different tests for different locations in the vehicle. (Below belt line, above beltline, and ceiling.)

The warp issues can arise when the molder is trying to make money (or is being squeezed to reduce his pricing by the carmaker.) Running a colder mold results in a faster process with is more $ per hour. However, it results in higher stresses as discussed above.

Sunscreen and crack the windows for a little airflow. That's about the best you can do.
 
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