Custom jobs are a tricky but rewarding business. The Internet is rife with immortalizations of some of the worst trim jobs in history. The key, however, lies in knowing what you need to work around and what you have to work with even before you begin. We've prepared this simple and easy-to-follow guide to help you with your choices.
Make sure it fits
The differences between make and model across the years are great enough to mean that you have to be extremely careful when choosing a dash trim. It's not enough to start matching things, however. You also have to be aware of the dimensions of the specific area that you want to apply trim to.
Whether it's the entire length of the dashboard, the area around the a/c vents, the central panel or anywhere else, it pays to double check these dimensions-available in the vehicle's manual against the specifications of the dash trim you are getting. It will certainly save you a lot of heartache!
When it comes to selecting the material from which your dash trim will be made from, the real thing that matters here is personal taste. For once, looks take precedence over durability-all are designed to last long anyway.
- Carbon Fiber: Almost always in black, this material is the only one that imparts a different feel on top of a different look. The raised ridges give you an ordered, non-glossy look as well. Carbon fiber is eye-catching, despite not being so shiny!
- Wood Panel: Considered a classic look and almost always emulating the look of rich Oaks and deep Mahogany, this is the custom of choice for those harkening back to the days before plastics became common.
- Aluminum: This is the most common of all the materials and looks and is actually a standard on most mid-range automobiles. It's simple (or dull-depending on where you stand) and not too obtrusive.
- Chrome: A material that is most clearly seen, this is perfect for those who truly want to shine and show off their custom jobs. It, of course, is very elegant-looking, if somewhat glaring when under sunlight.
The right price
We hate to say "it depends", but it really does depend on a number of factors. Prices for a trim kit can range from as low as $100 to as high as a couple of thousand. It helps though to do the customization yourself-more importantly, it helps to have a clear vision of what you want to do. Many people overspend by buying a whole kit when all they wanted was to change the trim on the a/c vents, for instance.