Car Upholstery Repair Tips


People who spend a great deal of time working on their cars know that there is a great deal of value to be gained by not handing your car over to a mechanic if you can help it. Not only is it a valuable skill to have that makes for a fun and entertaining hobby, it is also a great way to save thousands of dollars or more on maintenance and repairs. One thing that often needs to be repaired, especially in vintage or other older vehicles, is the upholstery. Here are a few tips to take into consideration before repairing the upholstery yourself.

First, make sure that you clean the upholstery before you begin any project involving maintaining or repairing your car’s upholstery. The cleaner that you use should not be an all purpose cleaner. It should be tailor made for the specific type of upholstery that your car has installed. Always be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Out of caution, it is a good idea to test the cleaner on a relatively hidden area of the upholstery to make sure that it doesn’t react unfavorably and change the color of the material. Cleaning the upholstery makes a big difference, and it allows you to spot areas that are beginning to become a problem before they become more obvious.

Tips for Leather Upholstery:

If it is not possible for you to sew or recover the seat, there are leather repair kits that you can use to fix the problem. These can be found at almost any one of your local automotive stores. The kit provides you with a plastic material that gives you everything that you need to color the plastic to match your leather. The plastic must be applied and then given time to dry. This is not a good idea if the area that needs to be repaired is large. For smaller areas it works fine as long as you can get the color to match pretty closely. The easiest colors to match are black and white.

Tips for Vinyl Upholstery:

It might sound like it would work, but do not use glue to fix a crack in your vinyl. The chemicals in the glue can actually react with the vinyl and cause it to break down. This will only make the problem worse. There are adhesives which are specifically designed for vinyl upholstery. Once you have determined which type is safe to use, cut a patch from the bottom of the seat and use the adhesive to attach the patch to the damaged area. Follow all instructions carefully.

If the piping around the edge of the seat is all that needs to be repaired, an easy trick can be used to repair it. Cut the striking end off of a match stick. Add contact cement to one end of the match stick. Use the match stick to work the cement into the area that is in need of repair. Then apply the cement to the other side of the match stick and apply it in the same manner. You might need to fold it in as you move along. Allow the cement to completely dry before you attempt to sit in the seat.

Make sure that you do your research before embarking on any of these projects. The last thing that you want to do is own a car that looks great on the outside while it is falling apart on the inside.

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