Dashboard separating

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  #1  
Old 07-19-10, 05:43 AM
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Dashboard separating

Hello, I have a 2001 Buick LeSabre Limited and a little problem with the dashboard. Have a look at the pictures below...







This "crack" has been getting bigger and bigger over the past year or so, at first it was just slightly separated and you couldn't even see into the dash between the two panels...now, well, you see it. I haven't done anything to try to fix this yet. I have done some googling and found that there is a dash issue with some buicks that will lead to the air bags being deployed if the separation gets too bad, but that sounds like the dash is separating from further back where the window meets the dash...I don't know for sure.

The only thing I can think of that could have caused this problem is that a couple years ago, I had Best Buy install a satellite radio, so they would have had to mess with the dash. They eventually pulled the radio back out, since it didn't work very well. I also noticed that some of the dash lights didn't work after they were done, they claimed it was just a coincidence.

I was planning on taking the dash apart and just putting it back together to see if things just weren't lined up properly when they did the work. Is this a good way to start? Are there any gotchas that I should be concerned about when removing the different pieces from the dash? Does the airbag come into play at all? Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
 
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  #2  
Old 07-19-10, 08:23 PM
ukrbyk's Avatar
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looks like temperature warp to me. dashboards can get very very hot. it budged in the center, and pulled edges, tearing underlying base.
donno about airbags, but i am not sure it's fixable. whatever are your intentions, it needs to be taken out, and that's a lot of labor. having it out, maybe just swap it for one from junkyard? color looks pretty standard. or look into store called Certifit, they have very cheap pricing.
after replaced, make small investment and cover it with dash cover.
of course, part of it might be heatducts inside. but absolutely looks like heat warpage.
 
  #3  
Old 07-27-10, 02:48 PM
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I took it to a local dealer just to see what they would say...long story short, they won't/can't fix it, but they can get a new dash panel and put it in. New dash panel = $862 just for the panel, then a few hours of labor to get it put in. Won't be doing that. I found some high temp adhesive and will try that route. Have also read online that some people have had good luck using some small screws and putting them through the dash and then just buy an aftermarket dash cover...might do that if the adhesive doesn't work well.
 
  #4  
Old 11-29-10, 03:36 AM
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Just a quick update to this issue...I was driving down the highway on the Nov 24th, and my air bag light came on. I haven't done anything yet with the separation (adhesive + screws) so I am pretty sure that the dash has just separated enough to become a bigger problem. But now with the air bag light on, the manual says that either 1) the air bags won't deploy in a crash or 2) they could deploy at any time. Not good. Is pulling the air bar fuse from the fuse box enough to disable the air bag system, or is there more to do besides that? I think it may be time to suck it up and spend some money I have put in a formal complaint with NHTSA hoping that enough of us lesabre owners have made complaints, since this seems to be a fairly widespread issue.
 
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