Is your Dodge Ram Dashboard Cracking? Here’s How to Fix It.

Cracked 1998 Ram Dash
Cracked 1998 Ram dash, shared on carcomplaints.com.

The dashboard is about the last thing you’d expect to break on your car. It’s just a big piece of plastic after all. What could go wrong? Well, hundreds of Dodge Ram owners have experienced this problem. Some Ram dashboards develop cracks and can eventually break into pieces.

How Common is it for the dashboard to crack on Dodge Rams?

CarComplaints.com has recorded over 600 complaints for the 2001 model year alone. According to the website, it’s the most common complaint for that year. The problem persisted for several years. Car Complaints points to the 1999-2003 model years, but DodgeProblems.com notes cracking dashboards in models from 1998 all the way up to 2006.

The New York Times found over 200 complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Adminstration about the problem. Keep in mind these numbers just represent the people who took the time to file a complaint.

How Bad Is It?

The problem can start with hairline cracks, but in some cases entire chunks of the dashboard come off. One of the NHTSA complaints the New York Times found noted that a piece of dashboard flew off and hit the owner in the face. Holes in the dashboard can also let moisture and debris into the equipment underneath. In one report, this resulted in shorted wires, horn, and lighting failures.

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What Causes Premature Honda Accord Brake Wear and How to Solve It

2008 Honda Accord
2008 Honda Accord Coupe by Rennet Stowe, used under Creative Commons Attribution License.

 

Premature rear brake wear is a common problem on 2008-2010 Honda Accords.  There are over 1,000 reports of premature brake wear for the 2008 Accord alone on carcomplaints.com. Keep in mind that only includes people who took the time to note their complaint.

What Causes the Accord Brakes to Wear Out So Fast?

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12 Wonderfully Weird Car Ads

Car ads are big business. Automotive News noted that car companies are some of the top spenders on advertising, shelling out billions of bucks on ads. Most car ads are slick and well-produced. Some are funny, some are exciting, and a handful are really weird. Not that that’s a bad thing. Sometimes oddvertising is especially memorable. Here are some of the weirdest and wildest car ads that stand out in my mind.

Dogs Making Out (Subaru)

Everyone loves dogs, but especially Subie owners. Subaru knows from market research that roughly 67% of their drivers have dogs. This notable when comparing to the American average of 44%, according to the ASPCA.  So, the company launched an ad campaign called “Dog Tested. Dog Approved” that showed dogs doing people things in Subarus. Weird, but cute. Then there’s this one with two pooches on a hot date. Gross? Funny? You be the judge.

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Bertha Benz and the First Road Trip

We passed Memorial Day, the kickoff to summer and road trip season. AAA estimated that over 41 million Americans would hit the road over Memorial Day Weekend. Have you ever stopped to wonder who took the first road trip? Well, we have Bertha Benz to thank. She was the first person to drive a car from one place to some place else – the original road trip.

bertha benz 1970
Bertha Benz, 1870 (18 years prior to her legendary roadtrip)

The Car

You may have noticed that Bertha Benz shares a name with one of the biggest car companies in the world. She was the wife of automotive inventor Karl Benz. Karl was working on the world’s first gasoline powered car (with a little bit of financial help from Bertha’s dowry), later dubbed the Benz Patent-Motorwagen.

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Green Car Repair Tips for Earth Day

Sunday April 22 is Earth Day, but it’s always a good time to think about your impact on the world you live in. One of the great things about our cars and trucks is that we can take them out of the city to go enjoy the scenery all around us, whether you’re headed to a national park, the local lake, a camp site, or out on trails. Of course, if you have a favorite spot off the beaten path, you’ll want to preserve it so you can keep using, and maybe your kids and grandkids can too, someday. Offroaders know they have take good care of the trails so everyone can keep using them. That’s why so many offroading groups organize trail clean up events around the country from Michigan to the Pacific Northwest to the Southwest.

If you’re not an offroader, or you’re just looking for another way to take care of the environment, what are some other ways to keep things green with your car? Well, it turns out that maintaining your car and doing it right is the green thing to do.

Scientific American cites a study done by Toyota that found that 28 percent of the carbon emissions in a car’s lifecycle come from the manufacturing process, and the remainder is from driving. Maintaining your old car can be better for the environment than buying a new car, even one with better fuel mileage.

Here’s some repairs you can do keep things clean and some tips for how to make your repairs more environmentally friendly.

Car Maintenance to Reduce Emissions and Save Gas

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It’s Time to Test Your Shocks and Struts; Do You Know How?

How are your roads this time of year? Winter can do a number on the roads, and spring seems to be prime time for potholes. You might be noticing that the roads are a lot rougher, and your car’s ride might be losing its smoothness too. Potholes are hard on your shocks and struts, after all. This might just be the ideal time to get some new shocks or struts, but how do you know if you need them? Our mechanic Andrew can show you what to look for and how to check. Read on for more info about shocks and struts.

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12 Daring Women Who Changed Racing History

When you think of women in racing, you probably think of today’s big names like Danica Patrick or Courtney Force. March was International Women’s month, but it’s always a good time to honor some of the women who paved the way in motorsports, as well as the female drivers out there winning races today.

Helle Nice

You might think that women are only now breaking into the boys’ club of racing, but there have been women on the rack nearly as long as there’s been racing. Case in point: Helle Nice who was dubbed “the Queen of Speed” after winning the Grand Prix Féminin in 1929.

Nice had been a dancer until she injured her knee skiing. She did the natural thing and switched to auto-racing. Nice was the subject of a 2004 biography titled Bugatti Queen.

Helle Nice in Brazil, 1936. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Kay Petre

Kay Petre drove in many races in the 1930s, including finishing the 1934 24 Hours of Le Mans with teammate Dorothy Champney. As ESPN points out, Petre stood 4’10”, but that didn’t stop her from racing a 10.5 Liter V12 (you can see pictures over at Silodrome). She just had to attach wooden blocks to the pedals so she could reach. She briefly held a Ladies Land Speed record with that car at over 134 miles per hour. Petre retired from racing after suffering serious injuries in a crash. That didn’t keep her away from the automotive world, though. She went on to design fabric patterns for the original Mini.

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