Things to Know About Auto Leather Repair
If you drive a vehicle with a nice leather interior, then you know all too well the effects that years of driving and sunshine can have on the condition of the leather inside your vehicle. While you may think that it takes an expert to repair leather seats, actually just about any average car enthusiast can perform a serviceable seat repair on their own. There are two types of rips and tears that can occur in leather automobile seats; rips that border near the seam and rips that don’t. To avoid costly trips to have your vehicle reupholstered by a professional, just follow these easy to do care tips and help repair your seat as best you can before it sustains any further damage.
First, it’s important to note
Before getting started it’s important to remember that if you do any repair to your seat by yourself, the tear will never quite be completely unnoticeable. The only way to completely erase signs of a tear in the leather is to take it to a professional upholstery shop. Also remember that while vinyl or cloth repairs start between $200-$250, that repairing your leather seats will cost a considerably larger amount due to the cost of materials.
Tips to Avoid Damaging Your Leather Interior
Obviously the best way to avoid the high cost of leather reupholstering is by protecting your seats as best you can from cracks and puncture damages. Here are a few of the best ways to keep your seats in good shape and free of damages.
- Avoid the Sun– Using a sun visor in the windshield if you’re parking in the sun will help protect the seats from the constant intensity of the sun. You can also use window screens and side window shields to protect the backseats of your vehicle as well. If your leather interior is exposed to constant sunlight for long periods of time, the color will most definitely begin to fade and your seats will likely begin to crack.
- Avoid Sharp Objects and Tools– The simplest way you can prevent a tear in your seat is by being more careful about what actually goes on the seat. Don’t put any tools or sharp objects on the seat directly. If you must drive with something bulky try to keep it in the trunk if at all possible or if it must be placed on the seats, put a padded blanket on them to protect the seats first.
- Regularly Clean Your Seats– Maintain clean seats and treating your leather regularly will help them stay free of damages for much longer than subjecting them to normal wear and tear. Vacuum your seats first to get all that loose debris that can accumulate and then use gentle leather cleaner to wipe down the interior. After that, you’ll want to use a leather conditioner as well to help the seats keep their pliability and prevent signs of wear and tear from showing and cracks from forming.
Repairing Cracks and Tears
You can certainly repair a crack or small tear in the leather if you act fast to protect the inner parts of the seat. For small cracks you can use an auto leather repair kit, which is usually pretty inexpensive and a few household items like dish soap, denatured alcohol, mild sandpaper and a few cleaning cloths to wipe down and clean your seats and then the leather repair kit to dye and eliminate the visible cracks.
Repairing a tear on your own will take a little bit more know how and some simple sewing skills. Using a matching leather thread and a leather needle, you can decide to either sew the torn pieces of leather back together or place a new piece of leather over or under them and stitch that to the pieces.
With both procedures you’ll want to be extremely careful towards your vehicle’s interior and remember that you won’t have 100% repairs and no visible signs of a previous damage but if you don’t want to pay the extremely high costs to reupholster the leather, doing it yourself will have your seats looking better and those visible signs of wear looking significantly less prevalent than before.