Leather car seats are a classic, sleek look that are easy to maintain and help retain a vehicle’s value. Through daily use (plus kids and animals), wear, tear and damage can occur to leather car seats. I will discuss leather car seat repair and some necessary products to help you decide whether to do it yourself or contact a professional.
Leather car seat repair is fixing your vehicle’s old, ripped, and worn leather seats rather than replacing them. Depending on the nature of the damage and whether you use a professional or DIY method, it costs about $75–$300 to repair a leather car seat.
Do you have a car with a leather car seat in need of repair? Are you unsure whether you want to call in the professionals or try and repair it yourself?
What is Leather Car and Auto Seat Repair?
Leather car and auto seat repair is the process of fixing old, ripped, and worn leather upholstery on car seats. Leather car seats should be maintained well and repaired as soon as damage is found. Experts consider fixing a leather car seat tear easy with the proper prep, application of repair compound, color spray to match, and about three hours of your time.
Characteristics of Leather Car and Auto Seat Repair
Before performing leather car and auto seat repair, there are a few things to consider. There’s the manufacturing process of the leather and materials used like functional polyurethane, as it is often used in the leather industry, according to Saiqi Tian of Wenzhou University. But most importantly, the product’s cost, the repair size, and whether the leather is natural or faux must also be considered.
The cost to repair leather car seats can vary widely depending upon several factors. Simple rips can be $75–$300 for a professional to repair. Complicated rips or damage could cost as high as $100–$200 per hour. For comparison, replacing leather car seats can range from around $350–$2,000, while a leather package for a brand new vehicle costs around $5,000.
Size of Repair
The size of the repair is the second most important thing to consider with leather car seats. A small hole or tear, a cigarette burn, or a pet nail puncture are small and usually pretty quick and easy to repair.
Older leather that is worn or with large rips or multiple tears and punctures can require a bit more time and material to repair. It’s important to weigh the cost with the repair or replacement benefit to make the best choice.
Professionals are experienced in repairing leather, fabric, and vinyl to make your car seats look as good as new.
Type of Leather
Considering the leather type, natural or faux, is also very important. Complex processes go into making these different types, and some repair products may not work well with any chemicals or substances in the leather. There are also textures, patterns, material consistency, and colors to match. Once the material is identified, it’s easier to figure out which products to use for the best outcome.
Authors Vashist, Akhilesh, Kumar, and Dangwal of the Manav Rachna International Institute of Research and Studies state that leather car seats are expensive, but are best for comfort, feel, aesthetics, and elegance.
Leather Car Seat Repair Options
There are several options for leather car seat repair: mobile techs, professional repair shops, and (of course) DIY. We’re going to review each of them as well as the benefits.
Mobile Leather Car Seat Repair
For the ultimate convenience, there are mobile leather car seat repair professionals. They come to you and bring everything necessary for your leather repair needs. These mobile professionals are usually certified in leather repair and can also work on other upholstery and vehicle types. You won’t have to drive anywhere, they’ll fix it on-site, and you’ll save money by repairing rather than replacing.
Professional Leather Car Seat Repair Shops
There are many professional leather car seat repair shops in various major cities. Professionals are experienced in repairing leather, fabric, and vinyl to make your car seats look as good as new. Many are certified in their work and can get the job done while you run errands nearby. From burns and cuts to stain removal and color change, the professionals will get the job done right the first time.
DIY Leather Car Seat Repair
There are many leather car seat repair products you can purchase in stores and online. You can sometimes purchase these repair products when you purchase your vehicle from the dealer for a perfect match.
Some leather car seat repairs are easier than others, and all products have instructions on how to do the repairs correctly. If you use the right products and follow the manufacturer’s instructions, DIY leather car seat repair can save you money.
DIY Leather Car Seat Repair Supplies
There are multiple leather car seat repair products if you choose to do it yourself. We’re going to review some of the options available here.
Leather car seat repair tape is faux leather in most cases, but it’s very durable and will work on vinyl and leather car seats.
Leather Car Seat Repair Kit
Leather car seat repair kits are available in-store and online. The kits will vary in what they include but will generally have leather refinishing, repairing, and restoring products and for recoloring the repairs as needed. These products can fix worn spots, cuts, burns, and tears on leather and vinyl car seats.
Liquid Leather Car Seat Repair
Liquid leather car seat repair is done with a kit that can be purchased online or in some stores. This repair kit includes filler, colors, finish, applicator and mixing tools, and swatches for leather grain. This product can be used to repair holes, cracks, scratches, and more on natural and faux leather. All it takes is three simple steps, and instructions with videos are included.
Leather Seat Repair Tape
Leather car seat repair tape is found in auto and furniture stores but can also be purchased online. This tape comes in long rolls made to be trimmed for fitting rips, scratches, and holes. Leather car seat repair tape is faux leather in most cases, but it’s very durable and will work on vinyl and leather car seats.
Check out this helpful video to learn more about how to repair a tear in a leather car seat using a kit.
How much does it cost to repair a leather car seat?
Depending on the nature of the damage and the extent of repair needed, it costs about $75–$300 to repair a leather car seat. Considering that it costs around $2,000 to add leather seats to a new car, it’s a far better deal to repair than replace.
Can leather car seats be repaired?
Yes, in most cases, leather car seats can be repaired. The extent and type of damage will determine how much is required. But scratches, wear and tear, and even basic rips can be easily repaired rather than replacing the seat.
How do you repair a rip in a leather seat?
The easiest way to repair a rip in a leather seat is with a repair kit. Clean the ripped site and allow it to dry. Trim the rip for smooth, flat edges. Glue some canvas cloth on the inside of the rip and allow it to dry. Apply leather filler in layers to overlap the rip. Sand with fine-grit sandpaper, clean, and apply colorant.
How do you fix a big tear in a leather seat?
Use a repair kit to fix a big tear in a leather seat. Clean and trim the rip and allow it to dry. Glue canvas backing into the rip. Apply leather filler by layers to cover the rip. Use fine-grit sandpaper to sand the filler to the rip level, clean, and rub on the matching colorant.
Leather Car Seat Repair Preferences
I asked friends and family if they own a car with a leather interior and if they felt comfortable performing repairs or if they would utilize a professional. Here is a table representing the percentages of their responses and what I learned from the poll about leather car seat repair.
|Method of Repair||Times Selected|
|People who don’t own a car with leather seats and wouldn’t prefer either the DIY or professional method for leather car seat repair.||20%|
|People who don’t own a car with leather seats and would prefer the DIY method for leather car seat repair.||7%|
|People who don’t own a car with leather seats and would prefer the professional method for leather car seat repair.||27%|
|People who own a car with leather car seats and prefer the professional method for leather car seat repair.||13%|
|People who own a car with leather car seats and prefer the DIY method for leather car seat repair.||20%|
|People who own leather car seats and prefer the DIY method for small leather car seat repairs and the professional method for large leather car seat repairs.||13%|
Leather car seats are luxurious and comfortable, which can be worrisome when damage occurs. Many small and large damages can be repaired and, in many cases, can easily be done with a leather repair kit. But when it’s not something you’re comfortable considering, there are plenty of resources for professional repair of leather car seats. Which method will you use?
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