Leather seats are a hallmark of any luxury vehicle. Unfortunately, over time leather can start to dry out and crack. It’s also prone to tears, rips, punctures and other damage. While a professional car detailing service can help to repair and maintain leather car seats, there’s plenty you can do to ensure your seats stand the test of time.
Keep away from the sun
When exposed to prolonged UV light, leather car seats can start to fade and crack.
To prevent this, try to park your car out of the direct sunlight as much as possible. Always look to park undercover in a garage, carport or shed. If you have to park on the street, see if you can find a space that’s under a tree or some other form of shade. Alternatively, you can use a sunshade and place it across your windshield if you can’t find a covered parking spot.
These methods will prevent large amounts of UV rays entering the interior of your car and, in turn, help to preserve your leather seats.
Avoid extreme changes in temperature
Quick changes between hot and cold temperatures will cause your leather to expand and contract. These constant stresses will eventually cause cracks, tears and holes on the surface of your seats.
To avoid this, make sure you park your car in an area where the temperature is consistent. An apartment complex’s parking lot or your home garage are the ideal spots. If you choose to park in a lot, make sure your car isn’t near any heating vents or other things that might emit heat or cool air.
When parking outside, be mindful that there can be hot temperatures during the day and extremely cold temperatures during the night. So, if you’re leaving your car on the street overnight, make sure to park in a spot that can maintain relatively consistent temperatures. This might be under a tree or near a building.
Clean the leather
The debris and dirt on your upholstery can make little tears and cracks worse over time. Because of this, it’s important to give your leather seats a clean every six months or so.
When cleaning, make sure you use products that won’t damage your leather seats further. To be safe, use a mild solution of soap and warm water. Afterwards, make sure to use a leather conditioner to protect your seats from further damage. Finally, dry the leather with a towel. If you leave it wet, it might make the material lose essential oils and become brittle.
Of course, you can always get a full car detailing service if you want to make sure your seats are as clean as possible. Car detailers will use the high-quality products and cleaning methods that won’t affect the leather. They’ll also be able to get to the little nooks and crannies that are hard to reach.
Avoid contact with sharp objects
Friction caused by the sharp tools in your pocket can cause your leather to rip and tear overtime. To prevent this, make sure to leave items like knives and keys in your glovebox or in other storage compartments in your car. Otherwise, you can use a blanket or a towel to cover up the leather when you sit down.
Additionally, if you often go on road trips and use your car for storage, make sure the items that you carry won’t damage your seats. Equipment like tents with sharp parts, foldable seats and gazebos should be placed in the boot or anywhere that won’t make contact with leather surfaces.
Repair minor damages as soon as possible
Small holes can easily become a larger problem. So, as soon as you see a small crack or tear, make sure you repair your leather seats immediately.
You can use a DIY method to mitigate the damage or go straight to a professional at an upholstery shop to fix it for you. It’s important to note that DIY fixes are temporary and are only meant to prevent further damage while you wait for a professional to properly repair it. We recommend visiting an upholstery service shop as soon as you can, regardless of whether or not you implemented a temporary repair.
Fixing minor damages as quickly as possible can potentially save you from spending more money on bigger repair jobs in the future.
Keep your interior looking fresh and sleek. Consider the points we’ve discussed above and make you’re taking good care of your car seats. Regular maintenance will ensure your interior looks as good as possible for a long time.