I wanted to share my experience with the Coverlay dash cover that I used to address my sticky dash situation. I really didn’t know that the M35 had a sticky dash problem or I may not have considered buying it. I had such great luck with my first Q45 and love the whole philosophy behind the Infiniti brand and the original Q45 design idea.
Anyway, I purchased my 2007 M35x a year ago and only drive it now and then. The guy I purchased it from was even more obsessive about cars than I am and kept it garaged. The windows have dark tint on them as well. Later I read about other members experiencing problems with sticky dashes, but didn’t think too much about it since mine seemed fine. Well the other day I took it to have a TPMS sensor replaced at Discount Tire. On the way back home, I thought, “Wow the dash looks shinier than I remembered.” I reached over and touched the dash and sure enough it was STICKY! Upon close inspection when I got home, I noticed several spots that were cracking here and there (very fine). I just couldn’t understand it. A year ago, the dash was fine and my cars NEVER sit outside without a cover or sunshades in the windshield. I work from home and am forever going outside and cracking the windows in our cars so they don’t heat up inside. I check the weather forecasts to make sure it’s not going to storm while the windows are cracked. I’ve done this for years for the headliners, to air them out, keep the dashes from cracking, eliminate off-gassing, etc. I even cleaned out our whole garage to make room for the M35 when we first got it. Our Lexus doesn’t even go in the garage. I knew Lexus and Toyota had problems with several of their vehicles which is why I shied away from the LS460 and RX330/350. As I stated earlier, I just didn’t realize this was an issue on Infiniti/Nissan vehicles.
Enough of my rant. In the back of my mind I remembered that another member posted about using a Coverlay dash cover and I thought, “What the heck?” I ordered it through Rockauto for $205; which saves about $35 versus the Coverlay website. It came within days – good ole Rockauto! I immediately took it out of the box and pre-installed it. I quickly realized that it did not quite fit correctly. I took my time and studied it over and over and realized that it needed to be trimmed – especially where it meets the wood trim, there were actually several places that needed trimmed i.e. around the vents (both center and sides). I also trimmed the right side where it meets the A pillar (to give it a little room for easier installation). *Note – You have to use a sharp razor knife and take your time when trimming. I changed the blade many times during this process. I sanded some areas as well using fine grit sandpaper. I trimmed a little at a time, reinstalled it, eyeballed it, removed it again, etc. I did this over and over until I felt it was correctly trimmed and would fit properly. This also gave me practice for the final installation, which is when wet adhesive is on the underside of the cover and you’re passing it through the door, over the steering wheel, etc. It comes with clear RTV adhesive to secure it to the original dash. I used several small bricks (in plastic bags), cardboard wedges, and wooden dowel rods to secure/hold it in place. Also, the main dash cover has a cut-out for the airbag area, and Coverlay provides a little panel to glue in place after the initial dash cover is installed. The original (sticky/cracked) dash has to be cleaned as best as possible before installing the cover. I used Windex (per Coverlay’s instructions) and a microfiber cloth.
I had to reglue a couple of areas that didn’t take the first time, but it did turn out quite well all things considered. In view of what I was facing, I’m really pleased with the end result. I’m pretty picky about things though and was disappointed with how it was trimmed when I received it. Even though the company’s website states that the cover is, “Vacuum Molded for a Perfect Fit”, there were several places that were just plain poorly cut and/or trimmed from the factory, which required a lot of careful, painstaking trimming on my part to make it look right and fit correctly. This takes time or you could end up damaging and/or ruining the cover. I wonder if Rockauto gets seconds? I thought about sending it back and getting one directly from Coverlay to see if it was better quality, but I did not want to go through the hassle of returns, refunds, etc., plus I only had so much time for this project and I wanted it done! The one place that really needed attention was the area around the center speaker. If Coverlay had turned the edge downwards around this area it would have looked original; Instead it looks unfinished. There was also a spot about one inch long that doesn’t match up in the curve. I addressed this by installing black upholstery piping (Hobby Lobby) around this opening. The first type of piping was too small and the second is almost too large. I have a third type coming from Amazon, hopefully it will be the exact right size (the second, bigger piping I used touches the open and close dials for the vents).
When I first installed the cover and realized it needed work, I made the decision that no matter what, it would look better than a cheap, cloth cover that uses Velcro fasteners.
After it sat for a few days, I took my time and used black RTV adhesive (Walmart) to fill in areas that had gaps. There is an art to this and it requires using the tip that is provide in the package, many, many dampened Q-tips, paper towels, and a lot of time and patience.
My dash cover is black and if I had to do it over, I would use black RTV adhesive to glue it in place.
Not making excuses for Coverlay, but the M35 dash design is not straight forward and adds to the difficulty of matching it and/or making a mold of it—especially the two wings on each end.
It is made of hard plastic/vinyl.
The company instructs to only use Windex or soapy water to clean it, and to NEVER use Armor All type products on it.
Our M35 has the graphite interior and the black version of the Coverlay cover is an exact match.
I took the front speaker cover out before gluing the dash cover in place so as to not get adhesive on it. What a feat that was! It is secured with clips and takes some effort! I don’t know how you would remove it without leaving marks on the dash. I put a piece of cardboard down, wedged an old credit card under the cover, put a screwdriver between the card and cover, then pried upwards until I could get my fingernails under it and eventually my fingers. What a pain!