Auto leather repair can be expensive with professional repairers charging up to $100 per hour to fix scratches, holes, and general wear and tear. It is much better to prevent the problems from occurring in the first place, but if you have a seat or other leather part that is damaged, there are a few things to keep in mind. All leather repair kits and products come with instructions. It is best to follow them as precisely as possible for a good repair job. Most repairs are not hard to do, but it is much easier to prevent the damage in the first place.
Depending on the damage, you will have to purchase a few different products to repair the seat. For cracks, you can purchase crack filler paste for around $9.95. This is a tinted acrylic filler which has the ability to stretch with the leather. It usually comes in a 1.5oz tube. Even though it is tinted, it will not usually match the seat leather exactly, so you may also have to purchase a coloring agent to color the whole seat so the cracked part doesn’t stand out.
If your leather looks natural with natural creases in it, it will probably be what is known as ‘Aniline leather’. This leather is porous and will stain easily, so it should be protected before it is used with a leather protector. This will cost around $12.99.
A leather cream conditioner should be used on all leather seats to keep them supple and make them less likely to crack. Your seats should be conditioned 2 or 3 times a year. A conditioner spray or tube should cost around $9.99.
When you are fixing holes, you will need a leather adhesive which will set you back around $12.99.
You will also need a few odds and ends like mixing cups, lint-free cloths, a couple of sponges, and gloves.
All in, you will spend around $30 if you fix a hole yourself, versus around $100 for a professional repair.
A basic repair kit cost ranges from $60 to more than $300. These kits contain adhesive, filler, colorant, protective solution, gloves, and everything else you need to fix most small damages.
A seat ripped at the seam will need an industrial sewing machine to repair it, so you should take it to a professional.
Preventing Auto Leather Damage
There are many ways to damage leather. Some of the most common sources of damage are pet claws, drink spills, cigarette burns, and ink stains. There are a few ways of protecting your auto leather seats so you don’t have to go through the expense of repairing them.
First, don’t allow animals on the seats unless you have seat protectors. Animal claws and teeth can greatly damage leather seats. Also make sure to condition your seats regularly with a leather cream, this can also act as a barrier to liquid stains. When there is a stain, wipe it immediately. Not eating in the car can also prevent these stains.
When you are cleaning the seats, don't use a water soaked sponge. Instead, squeeze out the water well fist so the sponge is only damp. Don’t use soap or chemicals on the leather, use products designed for cleaning leather instead.