Beware of DIY leather repair

failed DIY leather seat repair

You might think we’re bound to try and warn customers off attempting repairs themselves rather than paying us to do it. You might think it’s not surprising that we say that paying a professional for a car interior leather repair is often the best way forward. You’d be right, it would be in our interest to tell you that, but it doesn’t mean we’re wrong!

There are some interior repairs that are often successful when done yourself but we’re here to explain that when it comes to car interior leather repairs, it’s tricky. They can go wrong for beginners, very wrong and very easily. We get a call or an email from someone who has had a DIY repair disaster quite frequently, the most common outcome is that there is no practical way to undo the damage and repair correctly and replacement becomes the next best option. This is always a huge disappointment to the customer as their time and money spent on DIY is wasted and the cost to repair the damage has gone right up. Often if we’d got to the initial problem before the DIY attempt, we’d have been able to repair it properly. In this article we’d like to show you how wrong it can go and how our professional leather repairs look in comparison. If you’d like to see us in action, check us out repairing a cracked leather car seat here.

Example of DIY car seat leather repair

failed car seat repair
Now we’re not shaming the poor folks who attempted these repairs but we are using them as an example of what can happen. In this first image a severely cracked vinyl seat has been given a repair involving putting a fabric patch behind the hole and sealing a resin over the top to make the surface. We could fill several pages with why this was a bad idea but the results speak for themselves. This is an example of a problem that you just can’t patch up. The damage is in a very high-wear spot, covers a huge area and is complex in its shape. If he came to us with this damage, we’d have recommended replacing the seat or full reupholstery depending on the model of car.

Another DIY example

disaster leather seat repair
In this example we’ve got a slice in car seat in a less worn area. This is something that a talented professional could repair on your driveway. We could make the area look over 95%+ as good as new with a repair that will likely last for years. This problem could have been taken care of, done and dusted. The vehicle owner got a kit online that was supposed to match the colour of the seat and create a smooth seamless seal. Whether their application or the kit itself was responsible, the result was far from good. The hole is slightly filled but the colour match was off enough to look like a stain. This vehicle owner wasted time and money on a DIY repair that swapped on problem for another.

Example of an Auto Interior Medic leather repair

disaster leather seat repair

Here is an example of a very worn and damaged leather seat. You might say it’s on the border-line of what is sensible to repair. The car owner was happy to proceed with our repair despite the challenges and was aware the result would not be perfect. Despite having a large hole, several small holes and lots of worn down leather, we were able to use a mixture of repair techniques in the right order to achieve a great all round result. For the vehicle owner the cost of this repair was a small fraction of the cost of replacing this leather racing seat designed for their German sports car.

Get an opinion from an expert

One of the best things about sending us photos of your problem first is that we know what can and cannot be repaired properly. We never quote to repair something that we know won’t turn out well or won’t last. We will honestly explain that our repair is not worth their investment. Being trustworthy and taking pride in the final quality of our work is more important to us than doing risky jobs where our customer is likely to end up unhappy and out of pocket. So don’t hesitate to take some good photos of your car interior issue and get them to us via our contact form for a honest expert opinion on your options.

Posted in:

Car Interior Repair, Leather Repair