Leather seats? Who wouldn’t want the comfort which comes with the luxurious feel that is found in leather? Cars with leather seats are the preferred choice of upholstery for many car owners. If you are one such person with a high affinity to car leather seats, you should be more prepared to take good care of your vehicle’s interior to preserve the seats. If you are caught in a scenario where you want to sell or trade in your car, and you are worried about the cracks or dents on the leather seats, this article will give simple steps on how to restore them. If you consider yourself a DIY car owner, getting to know how to repair leather car seats should be a valuable skill to have. Read on!
What You Will Need For This Task?
- Methylated Spirit
- Sand paper ( A mild one )
- Soft cotton cloth or Scrubbing pad
- Leather glue
- Small basin
- Needle, thimble, and thread ( The thread should be matching)
- Matching leather dye and a matching leather strip ( You can use a color spray in place of the dye)
- Leather Putty
Fixing Car Leather Tears and Cracks
Step #1: Inspect The Seat
The inspection gives you an insight into what tools you may need to address the problem. You need to be certain that apart from the expected wear out there are visible cracks and holes that need to be repaired. Verify that the stitches are well intact and hold on to the seams as expected. If you happen to have several cracks in non-visible areas, you can use a temporary marker so that you don’t leave it out.
Step #2: Cleaning The Seat
Cleaning is done to rid the seat of any recent treatments that may still linger on the seats. This is also the best time to get rid of stains. You will need a foaming solution of lukewarm water to start the cleaning process; you will use a soft scrub or cotton cloth to clean the entire seat. When you are done with the cleaning, wipe the seat with methylated spirit especially on the cracks. Leave the seat for a few minutes to dry.
Step #3: Sanding The Seat
Use the soft sandpaper to sand the cracked areas. Use the soft cloth to wipe off any leather fragments. Sanding is to make sure you create an even surface.
At this stage, if the crack is not so big you can use a matching color spray to cover the crack and leave it to dry. However, if the crack needs to be sewn or patched, move on to the next step.
Step #4: Patching and Stitching
Use a pair of scissors to cut any loose thread around the tear. This is a delicate process that requires the need of a thimble to protect your finger from the sharp needle. Thread small knotted stitches around the torn area by creating loops on both sides. To ensure that no thread is visible, make sure you tighten the stitches by pulling the thread firmly before the next knot.
To patch using a matching leather strip, you will also need to remove all loose thread around the crack. You can choose to place the leather strip under or above the cracked area. Personally, I would recommend putting it under the crack to avoid unnecessary bumps on the seat. You can use the sewing method as explained above or create a strong bond using leather glue. To fill any gaps that may be present, use the leather putty. Once again to get a perfect material match use color spray over the patched area.
Step #5: Sanding One More Time
This is done after the stitching and patching to create an even surface. If you used a colour spray in step 3 above, make sure that sanding is done before applying the dye.
Step #6: Clean Up
If you are satisfied with the outcome of the repair, take the cotton cloth and wipe off any residue that may be left behind, cut off any loose or hanging threads around the repair area and leave the car windows and door open for the seat to dry. Free flow of air is good if you used leather bonding instead of stitching.
Congratulations, you are done with the cracks!
Fixing Holes In Leather Car Seats
How about the holes. Those of us who keep pets will most likely be faced with a bigger dilemma of repairing holes in leather car upholstery. Sometimes we may not blame the pets and point the damage directly to you, remember that cigarette burn you ignored the other time? Fixing holes is much easier compared to tears and cracks.
Step #1: Identify Matching Leather Strip or Fillers
If you can get hold of matching fillers, the better. Fillers are used to fill up the space created by the hole and at the same time maintain an even surface once the repair is done. Make sure the choice of filler does not shrink or fade with time.
Step #2: Insert the Strip or Fillers
Gently push in the leather strips into the hole without forcing and apply gentle pressure to avoid going deeper than the hole. Tuck the fillers with the adhesive to create a permanent bond.
Step #3: Applying Pressure
Apply pressure on the filled by pressing and hold for a few minutes for the adhesive to hold. Alternatively, you can place a heavy object on the surface as you work on other areas on the seat. To maintain a clean finish, use a color spray to match the filled areas and the rest of the seat. If need be, apply conditioner, and that’s all.
How to Prevent Cracks and Holes In Car Seats
Most of the damages to car leather seats maybe unavoidable but preventable. You will be surprised at how much money you can save by following the below simple tips to preserve the quality of your seats.
Make use of a sun shield every time you park under direct sunlight. Direct sunlight causes cracks on leather upholstery.
Sharp Object and Pets
Take care of your aggressive pets by not allowing them into the car. If you must carry sharp objects into the car, keep them away from children who may use them to poke the seats.
Cleaning your leather seats regularly is the cheapest way to take care of your seats. Use mild cleaners that are specifically designed for leather seats.
It may seem so easy to repair your leather car seats if you follow the article. My goal was to help you take care of the small cracks and holes that may not need a visit to the auto garage. But if the damage seems to be too big for you to handle it is better to take the car to a professional who may recommend a replacement or handle the repair effectively. The biggest challenge you are likely to face when working on your vehicle's seats is picking the right colour or filler material; you may need to consult your car dealer on how to go about this.
If the alternative is an expensive choice for you, then the least you can do is to learn how to repair leather car seats and possibly save hundreds of dollars. Do you have any torn car seat experience? Did the article help you out? Well, I hope it did. Please share your experiences with other car owners in the comment section or share this feed on your social profiles.