Leather Seat Repair and Maintenance for Posh Car Interiors
For some reason, if it’s not leather, it isn’t cool. However, leather seat repair is quite a business – generally, leather car seats aren’t as resilient as their cheaper cloth counterparts.
Yep, the trend is leather. People like leather interiors in their cars. While most of the stuff mass production car companies are offering isn’t really that great, people still love it. The smell of new leather combined with the smell of a new car is one of the most heavenly scents in the world, yet somehow nobody has really been able to bottle it properly. Leather makes the interior of your car look expensive and sophisticated. Even if it means you’ll be sliding around like butter on toast, it’s a preferable option over cloth.
Unfortunately, with leather interiors come an array of pitfalls that require certain precautions. Following these precautions will extend the life of your posh new leather. But no matter what, time and use take their toll and professional leather car seat repair is eventually needed.
It’s not exclusive to older cars, leather seats in newer cars often need to be fixed. I’ve heard many stories such as:
- “Somehow the cat got into the car! It put a bunch of scratches into the leather headrests! I’m so pissed!”
- “I wear high heels and somehow while climbing in I poked a hole into the front of the seat!”
- “The studs in my jeans put some nasty gashes into my new leather seats!”
The list goes on and on.
The nice thing with new-ish leather car seat repairs is they can usually be done successfully and the results are often so good no one can even tell.
If it’s good enough for the leather in an Infiniti it should be good enough for a Datsun.
What I recommend, which is more or less what I recommended for convertible top repair, is to contact your local car clubs and to check the car forums. There are far more cars with interior leather than there are convertibles, so finding a good forum with information on the topic should be fairly easy. I’d stick with higher-end forums – If it’s good enough for the leather in an Infiniti it should be good enough for a Datsun. Many of these forums have regional sections making the search for leather seat repair shops more effective. Local car clubs are great too for this very same reason – They can recommend people nearby. Oftentimes, leather repair guys will actually come to you, so you can sit in your air-conditioned office making money to pay the leather guy sweating away outside to repair the disaster your overgrown dog did in the BMW it should’ve not been in anyway.
In many cases, leather damage is simply due to normal wear and tear. The sun takes a huge toll on leather seats. Constant use and friction deteriorates leather too.
The best thing you can do is to keep them clean and treated with a good leather cleaner and conditioner. Nice supple leather lasts longer. Dried out leather breaks more easily. Adding UV filtration to your windows helps a lot too. There are new types of window film, like 3M Crystalline, that offer clear, no tint coverage, yet reduce UV light entering your car. So, there’s no excuse since you are not obligated to go with dark tinting in order to protect your leather interiors.
Apart from those tips, there’s the obvious. If you have had leather seats before your are probably aware of some of these. Those new to leather seats in cars might not find these so obvious. But here are some obvious tips to help avoid the need for leather seat repair:
- Watch what your wear – Studs, zipper and metal buttons on jeans are enemies of leather seats.
- Leave your dog at home (or buy a doggy crate, or a pickup truck, or a station-wagon, or seat covers, or switch to cloth seats)
- Watch what you put on the seats – Sharp, heavy objects in particular are a no-no.
- Watch what the people getting into your car are wearing – kick their asses if they have sharp studs or zippers in the back of their jeans.
- Teach your kids how to behave when sitting on your expensive leather – they are expensive enough already (the kids). Also, kids shouldn’t play with knives.