Monthly Archive: January 2016

How to Repair Car Roof Upholstery

If you plan to hold on to your vehicle for several years, you’ll likely need to know how to repair car roof upholstery. Car upholstery in general tends to lose its adhesive properties over several years of use. The result is that the loose outer layer of fabric that makes up the upholstery will come detached from the top of the car, and gravity will pull the fabric down so that it hangs loosely and freely. In extreme cases, this can even cause problems of spacing and visual impairment for the driver of the car. Fortunately, car roof upholstery maintenance is relatively straightforward, provided that you catch it early enough in the process of coming detached. Read on for a brief guide on how to repair car roof upholstery.

Step 1 — Gather the Materials

You’ll need the following materials in order to repair car roof upholstery adequately:

Upholstery glue
Assistant to hold the upholstery in place
Step 2 — Identify the Points of Concern

Carefully examine the upholstery on the roof of your car for signs of damage. Look for critical points at which the glue that previously held it in place may have come undone or may have suffered some sort of wear and tear. These are the points where you’ll need to reapply glue. Consider marking these points with an erasable pencil or piece of wax crayon on the upholstery. You’ll know where to apply the glue primarily when you plan to reglue it in the subsequent steps of this procedure.

Step 3 — Apply Glue in a Limited Area

Depending upon the type of upholstery glue that you’ve purchased, you’ll find that it’s either better to apply the glue gradually and to allow it to dry in pieces or to apply all of the glue together at one time. In either case, it will be helpful to hold the glued upholstery parts in place to the roof of the car. An assistant who can help to hold it in place will be helpful as well.

Using either the aerosol can of glue that you’ve purchased or the other types of adhesive that will work to fasten upholstery, begin by targeting the areas that you’ve designated that are closest to the edges of the upholstery sage. Make sure that they are held firmly in place until they dry.

Step 4 — Repeat with Glue Applications and Test

Continue to apply glue to other parts of the upholstery wherever it sags. Look at the upholstery to see any signs of sagging or other damage as well. Check the quality of the adhesive job by gently pulling on the upholstery after it has dried thoroughly.

Upholstery glue can be found either at hardware stores in your area, at upholstery specialty stores or repair services, or at some specialty auto body repair shops. For more equipment necessary for this project, speak with a car service professional.

4 Tips for Choosing Custom Car Leather Upholstery

Nothing says more about the importance and care you give your car than giving it some custom car leather upholstery. Not only can you brighten up a drab car interior, but you’ll also be doing your guests a favor by soothing their tired eyes with some stylish designs.

With so many custom car leather choices around, here are 4 tips to help you make up your mind.

Don’t get “one-size-fits-all” upholstery. Even if the salesman convinces you otherwise, one-size-fits-all custom car leather looks ghastly on your car. Go and spend the extra bucks and choose a dealer that will tailor-fit the leather to your car seats. Your car will love you for it.
Do choose upholstery that will completely replace your car’s seat covers. There is upholstery that simply slips over your seat covers—don’t choose these! This upholstery will make your car seats look as if they were just a second thought. Good quality car upholstery snugly fits the seat and looks as if the manufacturer intentionally designed the seat covers that way.
Do choose to add suede if you can get away with it. Give your seat covers a sporty look by adding a flash of suede along the trim and edges. This works best if you’re asking for tailored upholstery and not buying ready-to-use seat covers. That way, you can dictate exactly which parts you want to stylize. Be aware that suede is a bit costlier though but that’s the price you pay for a fashionable look.
Don’t forget the other surfaces. If you’re getting custom car leather seat covers, you might as well match your steering wheel, dashboard and stick shift designs. Find a dealer that will offer a package deal for all of these. It’s better to go for a unified look from the onset. That way you can visualize the complete effect from the beginning.

How to Mend an Interior Car Scratch

If you’ve ever had a car scratch on the interior of your vehicle, you probably thought you were stuck with it. The good news is that many scratches can be repaired, and you can do it yourself. Depending on what type of interior you have, plastic, vinyl or leather, you’ll have to get a specific filler to match that medium and that color. Auto parts stores should carry them, but you can probably find them at a hardware store, too. Beyond that, you should be able to use items you probably already have. Those items include cleaner (or dish soap) and a putty knife. For a plastic interior you’ll also need sandpaper.

Clean the Surface

No matter which material you need for the repair, the first step is always the same. You’ll want to clean the surface area of the scratch. You can use a cleaner specifically for car interiors, but a solution of dish soap and water will work. If your interior is reasonably clean you can just do the areas you need to repair, but if the whole interior needs cleaning you’ll probably want to do all of it (otherwise you’ll have clean spots).

Plastic Interiors

To fix car scratches on a plastic interior you need to apply the plastic filler to the entire area of the scratch. Then smooth it out. You can use a putty knife to do both parts of this process. Remove any excess material from around the edges and let it dry for 24 hours. After it’s dried you can use sandpaper to smooth it out and then put some wax on it to even out the surface.

Vinyl Interiors

For vinyl interiors you will first need to mix the filler and the catalyst. Then you fill the scratch area just like you would do if you had a plastic interior. In fact, you follow all the same procedures (as in a plastic repair) up through allowing it to dry for 24 hours. You should not need to smooth out a vinyl repair. You can do the wax step if you want.

Leather Interiors

Car scratches on leather interiors are done in a similar manner to the vinyl, but with only one real difference. Apply the leather repair compound and smooth it out. Allow it to dry as you did with the others, but you’ll notice as it does that you don’t have a match in terms of coloration. That’s because the final step, after it dries, is to apply a color touch up material. Once that dries, you should be done.

With a little work and a small investment you can definitely repair a car scratch in the interior of your vehicle. It might seem like something that requires professional servicing, but you can do it yourself. It will make the interior of your car look better and that’s a good thing, whether you plan to keep your car, sell it or trade it in.

How to Clean Leather Car Seats

downloadThose of us who are lucky enough to have leather car seats will know how easily they can be stained or become dirty. Removing stain from the leather is a consuming task and requires a lot of time and patience. By following these simple steps, you will soon have your leather car seats soft, supple and looking like new.

You Will Need:

Leather Cleaner
Bowl of Water
Lint Free Cloth
Sunscreen Solution
Step 1- Choose a Leather Cleaner

You can buy leather cleaners from most hardware stores and car shops. Although leather cleaners are not expensive, using a homemade version can be a very effective solution to cleaning leather car seats. The solution is made up of one part of vinegar and two parts of linseed oil. Many people who have used this alternative cleaner say it is less abrasive than some commercial leather cleaners and helps the lather wear better.

Step 2 – Perform a Patch Test

As maintaining the quality of your leather car seats is a priority, it is perhaps sensible to carry out a small patch test on an inconspicuous area of the seat before you smear the cleaner over the whole area. This will serve to highlight if you are happy with the brand you have chosen. If you have opted for a homemade solution, you will be able to see if you have achieved the correct blend. Is your solution strong enough to remove dirt without damaging or discoloring the leather? If the latter applies, it will give you a chance of avoiding damaged and discolored leather on the whole seat.

Step 3 – Wipe down the Seats

Prior to applying the leather cleaner, wipe your leather car seats with a damp cloth. This will remove any dust, grease and remove surface dirt without any leather cleaner required.

Step 4 – Spray on the Solution

Spray the cleaner onto the top of the leather car seats. Only 2 to 3 squirts are usually required. Any more than this and the cleaner will be very hard to remove. Consult the instructions provided with the commercial cleaner for the exact application procedure.

Step 5 – Activate the Foam

Place a small section of cloth into a wash bowl and gently rub the cloth in circular motions into the seat where you have sprayed the leather cleaner. The water on the cloth and the friction of the movement will activate foam. Leave the foam for several minutes to penetrate deep into the leather and break up stubborn grime and dirt. Consult the stain remover manufacturer’s instructions as some may recommend leaving the foam solution on for a lengthier period.

Step 6 – Wipe off Foam

Taking the dry end of your cloth, carefully wipe off the foam. This first section of your leather seats should now be grime free and gleaming. If there are still some stains visible, repeat the process leaving the foam on the seat for longer. Once you are happy with the result, repeat the steps with the remaining sections of your car leather seats.

Step 7 – Apply Sunscreen

Protect your car leather seats and prolong the necessity of having to clean them again by applying sunscreen solution to the leather seats once they are dry. The sunscreen will also help any discoloration of the leather from occurring.