How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Dashboard? (Updated Prices)

Replacing a car dashboard is an essential but often overlooked aspect of vehicle maintenance. While attention is typically focused on major internal components like the engine and transmission, the dashboard plays a crucial role in the structure and functioning of a car. 

In this article, we will explore the average cost of dashboard replacement, the importance of understanding the price for a fair deal, and various aspects related to the instrument panel.

Car Dashboard Replacement Cost

The cost of replacing a car dashboard can vary depending on various factors. On average, the cost range for dashboard replacement can be estimated as follows:

Car ModelEstimated Cost Range (USD)
Honda Civic$1,500 – $2,000
Toyota Camry$1,700 – $2,200
Chevrolet Silverado$2,200 – $2,700

These figures are approximate and can vary based on factors such as the vehicle’s make and model, location, labor costs, and the availability of replacement parts. Taxes, fees, and specific market conditions may also impact the final price.

It is essential to consult with local mechanics or dealerships to obtain accurate estimates based on your specific vehicle and location.

What is the Instrument Panel/Dashboard?

The dashboard, also known as the instrument panel, serves as the vehicle’s main control center and structural housing. It is where drivers and passengers interact with various features and controls. 

From operating the radio and adjusting climate controls to using the steering wheel, the dashboard is the central hub for managing the car’s functionalities. A broken instrument panel can pose safety concerns if lights, safety signals, or crucial display components fail to function correctly.

The dashboard provides access to essential controls and houses vital instruments and gauges that provide information about the vehicle’s performance. 

These instruments can include the speedometer, fuel gauge, temperature gauge, and tachometer. By displaying this information clearly and easily readable, the instrument panel enables the driver to monitor the vehicle’s status while driving.

What is the Instrument Panel’s Function?

Beyond its aesthetic appeal, the instrument panel serves several important functions. It houses additional features and controls not accessible on the steering wheel or column, such as HVAC controls. 

Additionally, the dashboard protects electrical components and wiring harnesses, ensuring proper communication between different car parts. The wiring harnesses, bundles of wires that carry electrical signals and power to various components, are secured and protected within the dashboard. 

Faulty Instrument Panel Symptoms

Several symptoms indicate a broken instrument panel. These include warping the panel cover, cracking the instrument panel pad, and motor mount breakage. 

Warping of the panel cover can occur due to prolonged exposure to sunlight or extreme temperatures, causing it to become distorted and lose shape. The instrument panel pad cracking can result from age, heat, or improper handling. 

Motor mount breakage can lead to excessive movement of the instrument panel, compromising its stability and functionality.

Each of these issues can compromise the functionality and safety of the instrument panel and may require immediate attention from a mechanic. Ignoring these symptoms can lead to further damage and potential safety hazards.

Can You Drive with a Faulty Instrument Panel?

Driving with a faulty instrument panel, particularly due to motor mount breakage, can pose significant safety risks. If the instrument panel moves while the vehicle is in motion, it can cause wear and tear on the wiring harness and steering column. 

It can lead to steering instability and unpredictable movement, jeopardizing the driver’s and passengers’ safety. 

Additionally, a malfunctioning instrument panel can prevent the driver from receiving important information about the vehicle’s speed, fuel level, and engine temperature, making it difficult to operate safely.

It is crucial to address any issues with the instrument panel promptly and seek professional help to ensure the vehicle’s safe operation.

When Do You Need to Replace the Dashboard?

Dashboard replacement is typically necessary when structural damage to the instrument panel cannot be repaired effectively. 

While other car parts may need replacement more frequently, such as tires or brake pads, the dashboard is designed to last the vehicle’s lifetime under normal circumstances. However, accidents, extreme weather conditions, or improper handling can lead to significant damage that requires complete replacement.

Structural damage may include severe warping, cracking, or compromised dashboard integrity. If any of these issues are present, consulting with a professional to determine the best course of action, which may involve replacing the dashboard, is essential.

How Do I Diagnose Instrument Panel Concerns?

To diagnose instrument panel concerns, you can perform a few initial checks. Start by assessing the movement and laxity of the instrument panel. 

Push and pull on different dashboard areas to check for excessive exercise or looseness. If you notice significant play or movement, it indicates there may be underlying issues.

If the initial checks raise concerns, it may be necessary to remove the dashboard for further inspection and repairs. Removing the dashboard can provide access to the internal components, allowing a mechanic to identify and address any underlying problems.

The Four Steps to Replacing the Dashboard

Replacing a dashboard is a complex process that requires careful attention to detail. Here are the general steps involved:

  1. Removing trim panels and control units: Start by removing any small panels or control units that obstruct access to the dashboard. It may include eliminating screws, clips, or fasteners.
  1. Disconnecting the battery and wiring harness: Before working on the electrical components, disconnect the battery to prevent any electrical shocks or short circuits[1]. Then, carefully disconnect the wiring harness connected to the dashboard.
  1. Accessing motor mount fasteners and removing the dashboard: Locate the motor mount fasteners that secure the dashboard. Remove these fasteners to release the dashboard from its position.
  1. Installation of the new instrument panel and reassembling components: Install the new dashboard by reversing the steps to remove the old one. Ensure all parts, trim panels, and control units are properly reassembled. Reconnect the battery and test the functionality of the instrument panel.


Understanding dashboard warning signs, the factors influencing the overall price, and the steps involved in replacing and repairing dashboard components can be crucial for every car owner. 

By staying informed and proactive, you can ensure the proper functioning of your vehicle’s instrument panel and maintain a safe and enjoyable driving experience.


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