Q. Can I replace my seat upholstery myself?
A. Yes and Maybe. Replacement of seat upholstery requires removal of seats from car, disassembly of seat mechanism and removal of old upholstery. Components serviceability can and should then be determined, padding may have to be repaired or replaced, springs may need repair. Different seats require different methods of installation, gluing, hog rings or integral clips or combination of several methods may be involved. Usually installation of complex seat upholstery is best left to professionals. Most seat kits are fairly simple to install with no special tools, except hog rings & pliers, needed. If you have doubts about your capabilities consult a professional trimmer.
Q. How can I tell if I have leather or vinyl seat upholstery?
A. It can be very difficult to tell the difference between leather and vinyl by looking at the face of the material. Manufacturers intentionally make vinyls to look like leather. By turning the material over however the difference is obvious. Vinyl will have a knitted back with a regular pattern, while leather will appear to be suede.
Q. My seats sag, feel lumpy or the springs are sticking through. What can I do?
A. Most automobile seats are comprised of 3 major components. 1. Steel frame or spring assembly. 2. Shaped pad. either foam or rubberized horsehair. 3. Upholstery, either vinyl, cloth or leather. The shaped pad is usually the culprit. If the upholstery is still serviceable, it is possible to remove it and change the pad. Usually however both the pad and the upholstery have deteriorated and must be replaced. Skilled do-it yourselfers should have no problem with this job, most people however will find that it is best left to the professional. Be aware that reproduction or site built pads may not give the same feel as factory pads.
Q. The insert/pleated area in the center of my seats has torn. Can it be repaired?
A. It is possible to replace the embossed or perforated center section of almost any seat. You will however need to have a sewing machine. Cost of installation as well as the condition of the surrounding materials must be taken into consideration. Re-sewing of old vinyl and leather materials may weaken them. If in doubt get a professional opinion.
Q. Should I replace the upholstery with the same material?
A. Usually yes. Material replacement is a personal choice. Most automobiles retain more of their value when original materials are used in restoration or repair. We can supply most vinyl's, leathers and cloths to match door panels or rear seats.
Q. Can I change the color of my upholstery?
A. It is possible to change color of vinyl or leather upholstery. It is usually not advisable to make drastic color changes because of the possibility of scratches or wear through. Best results are obtained when colors are freshened. Great care in cleaning is essential for good adhesion.
Q. Can I replace just one part of my car's upholstery?
A. Definitely. Because we use original materials and have most factory colors, it is possible to replace for example just the drivers cushion cover or even one section of a cover. It should be noted that colors tend to fade over time and textures change as well. A perfect match can not always be achieved. Consideration should be given to the cost of installation as well as the condition of the rest of the components. Labor cost may be duplicated if and when additional components fail.
Q. I have only 1 small hole or the color is worn off. Can it be repaired?
A. Yes and maybe. Mobile detailers are available in most major city areas. They can usually repair small tears in vinyl, or cloth and can refinish the color of leather or vinyl. Vinyl repair kits are available at most auto parts stores, colors may be limited however. Used car dealers are usually a good source for the name of of a detailer near you.
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