Hot Melt Glue Repair by Paul Vargyas

Many of us have had (or will have) interior trim panels which have separated due to many years of sun, heat, and bitter cold temperature variations and just plain old age. Usually, these occur in the radio/vent surround, the shifter surround, the armrest section and the glove box door. We have all seen this before. The soft vinyl begins to come apart from the substrate.

Many of these separations can be repaired using hot melt glue, not just the “regular” sticks that are for hobby use, but using “super strength” sticks. I have found that Ace Hardware carries a “super strength” glue made for rubber, leather, fiberglass, nylon, ABS, acrylic and PVC. The setup time is only 30 seconds.

Merely insert the hot material into the separations and then clamp the piece together for 30-45 minutes. When gluing the shift surround, line up one side (front or rear works best), apply the glue and clamp securely. When dry (and the other sides are lined up properly), glue the other sides, clamping at the front or back. Apply glue liberally on all four sides where the decorative plate meets the plastic surround.

I have tried numerous other types of adhesives that all seem to let go only after a short time due to the weather extremes. This material is the only one that has stood the test of time!

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