Restoring leather seats

Reply

  #1  
Old 05-13-19, 08:17 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: USA
Posts: 21
Restoring leather seats

This is a picture of the driver seat in my wife's 2013 Lexus RX350. She is the primary driver and sole occupant 95% of the time (so all the other seats look much better than this one).

Any recommendation to help make this look less weathered / get rid of the lines??

We've used ArmorAll leather protectant and weiman leather cleaner once in a while.

I feel a dye is needed? but what do I know : )
 
Attached Images  
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 05-13-19, 08:18 PM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 19,119
Likes Received: 15
Leather is so easy to screw up that our recommendation is generally to take it to a pro.
 
  #3  
Old 05-14-19, 04:39 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 19,555
Likes Received: 28
I generally don't like silicone/synthetic leather conditioners. Since you've used them I don't know what would be a good course of action. Normally I use natural lanolin or mink oil to restore the leather's natural oil which can maintain the soft suppleness. As for the color layer on top I don't think there is anything you can do since it's a dye/paint applied to the top of the leather.
 
  #4  
Old 05-14-19, 06:14 AM
Member
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 403
Likes Received: 4
A lot of modern automotive leather is bonded leather, which doesn't behave or repair like real leather. Many of them also have what amounts to a clear coat on top to increase durability. So standard leather care products, dyes, etc. won't necessarily penetrate. If they do, they may penetrate inconsistently. And with a dye, the last thing I would want is inconsistent penetration.

There are products out there that are designed to fill in those cracks, which are marketed as "leather and vinyl repair" or "fillers." But it's basically like using a color-matched body filler, just for your leather. And just like a bad Bondo job, it can make the "after" look a lot worse than the "before." I agree with sending it to a pro, if you want it repaired. There are some professional-grade repair kits that can yield good results when done by an experienced craftsman. Or you could just have the seat cover removed and the damaged panels removed and replaced.
 
  #5  
Old 05-14-19, 06:27 AM
Shadeladie's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: PA - USA
Posts: 4,143
Likes Received: 7
Just have to say, I doubt a Lexus used bonded leather on their seats.
 
  #6  
Old 05-14-19, 06:38 AM
Member
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 403
Likes Received: 4
They may or may not be bonded leather, but they will almost surely be urethane-coated.
 
  #7  
Old 05-14-19, 08:35 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 19,555
Likes Received: 28
Yes, almost all automotive leather is coated. It's how they are able to get a entire car's worth of leather, plastic and carpet to all be the same color.
 
  #8  
Old 05-16-19, 03:02 PM
ukrbyk's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA/ Pacific NW
Posts: 3,425
  #9  
Old 05-16-19, 07:16 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: USA
Posts: 21
Stickshift - when you say pro, where would you look / what type of pro? body shop / dealer? furniture store?

it's certainly not needed at this point, but can / could a dealer just skin the seat and put on new leather? Or get a seat from a junkyard / place with a car that was totalled but seats are in good condition?

All the motors / electrionics in the seats would likely make that cost prohibitive!? and a replacement leather skin from Lexus? Hundreds if not thousand+ ?

We have the 8 year extended warranty. the car's holding up well. Just the seat is worn : (
 
  #10  
Old 05-16-19, 08:14 PM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 19,119
Likes Received: 15
I meant a leather pro. Happens to be one in my neighborhood, not sure how common they are generally.
 
  #11  
Old 05-17-19, 06:00 AM
Member
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 403
Likes Received: 4
Search for "automotive upholstery" near you.

The leather is a cover that goes over the metal and foam framework of the seat. The dealer could sell you a new one, but looking online, yes, they want $1,000+, just for the part. Or a good upholsterer can take the cover off, replace individual panels, and reattach it to the seat. Getting a perfect color match might be hard.

I don't know how expensive a whole seat is from a you-pick-it yard, but the seats are typically a self-contained unit. Disconnect the electrical connections, unbolt, remove.

Considering it's a 6 year old car, I don't think that's unreasonable wear for leather, and it almost surely wouldn't be covered under warranty. Unless they wanted to do some serious good-will work.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes