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post #1 of 47 Old 01-21-2015, 07:06 PM Thread Starter
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Driver's Seat Leather Cracking

After a little over 2 years, I'm seeing cracks starting to radiate from the holes in the driver's seat leather at the driver's right leg. I took it to the dealer and was told that the seat leather is a wear item but they would replace it as a good-will gesture.

Is this leather cracking unusual?

Art


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post #2 of 47 Old 01-21-2015, 07:16 PM
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Do you have pictures?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtP View Post
After a little over 2 years, I'm seeing cracks starting to radiate from the holes in the driver's seat leather at the driver's right leg. I took it to the dealer and was told that the seat leather is a wear item but they would replace it as a good-will gesture.

Is this leather cracking unusual?

Art
Take pictures if they are replaced yet.

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post #3 of 47 Old 01-21-2015, 07:16 PM
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That leather (if that's what it is) leaves a lot to be desired. I put seat covers on mine, don't know if I should have treated it before installing the covers. My garage is a little tight so when I enter the car I'm putting unnecessary wear on a section of the seat, thus seat covers for me.
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post #4 of 47 Old 01-21-2015, 07:18 PM
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Aren't you suppose to put Oil or some kind of special treatment on them Leather seat every 6 months or so just to keep it in good condition with the Summer and Winter weather changes?
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post #5 of 47 Old 01-21-2015, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtP View Post
After a little over 2 years, I'm seeing cracks starting to radiate from the holes in the driver's seat leather at the driver's right leg. I took it to the dealer and was told that the seat leather is a wear item but they would replace it as a good-will gesture.

Is this leather cracking unusual?

Art
Do you put your keys in the right back pocket ?

It sure seems early for any leather cracking problems.

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post #6 of 47 Old 01-21-2015, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtP View Post
After a little over 2 years, I'm seeing cracks starting to radiate from the holes in the driver's seat leather at the driver's right leg. I took it to the dealer and was told that the seat leather is a wear item but they would replace it as a good-will gesture.

Is this leather cracking unusual?

Art
Lots of questions: Where are you located, do you park outside or have a garage, how many miles, the area you described is real leather so have you put any treatment/cleaner on that area ever if so what, anything spilled on that area (close to the center console)?

i won't be able to help but that is the info someone familiar will need to know. And as a plus you get free seat covers and will then know how to treat them in the future for possible longevity.

Darrell in ABQ
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post #7 of 47 Old 01-21-2015, 08:30 PM
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Well if the dealership is willingly to replace your driver seat leather for free then there is no questions ask... = )
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post #8 of 47 Old 01-21-2015, 08:53 PM
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Like ABQ asked: Have you protected the leather with anything like 303 Aerospace, etc? If you park outside frequently, I'd definitely keep up on that every couple months at the least (just a damp MF wipedown before you apply each time). If it is garaged all the time (including during the day at work or whatever) then every 3-4 months is probably sufficient. Do a cleaning every 3-6 months also, depending on how much use/abuse the seats get.

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post #9 of 47 Old 01-21-2015, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WDMaccord View Post
Like ABQ asked: Have you protected the leather with anything like 303 Aerospace, etc? If you park outside frequently, I'd definitely keep up on that every couple months at the least (just a damp MF wipedown before you apply each time). If it is garaged all the time (including during the day at work or whatever) then every 3-4 months is probably sufficient. Do a cleaning every 3-6 months also, depending on how much use/abuse the seats get.
Agree. You don't need expensive cleaners and conditioners either; a $7 bottle will do the trick as long as you use it often and correctly. Also, if you park outside a windshield sun shade and or window tint will greatly help.
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post #10 of 47 Old 01-21-2015, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by VSix View Post
Agree. You don't need expensive cleaners and conditioners either; a $7 bottle will do the trick as long as you use it often and correctly. Also, if you park outside a windshield sun shade and or window tint will greatly help.
Actually, no need for "conditioners" at all (on coated leather/vinyl). If the conditioner has UV protection, you'll get that benefit, but the leather and vinyl is coated, so the conditioner part is just going to be wiped off. "protectant" is more something that will sit on top of the coating, you use less, and you are using the whole product instead of just half of it. I could use maybe 3-5cc of spray protectant for a whole seat bottom, where I might use an entire ounce of conditioner (1 oz. = ).

My go-to cleaner is Chemical Guys Leather Cleaner. Cheap and can be diluted 1:6 so it makes almost one gallon from a 16 oz. bottle for $10. Personally, I don't use APC on leather/vinyl, even if the APC says it is safe at some proper dilution.

Protectant: I like 303 Aerospace, or Blackfire Interior Protectant. The Blackfire I dilute 1:1 in a spray bottle because it is a little more creamy...I like a sprayable product.

Honda sells a leather/vinyl cleaner at the dealerships and I believe there is a protectant too. Not expensive either.

Current:
2016 EX-L V6 w/ Navi/Sensing Sedan Black/Ivory
2013 EX-L V6 w/ Navi Sedan Black/Ivory *TRADED*
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2003 EX-L V6 Sedan Black/Tan
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post #11 of 47 Old 01-22-2015, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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I don't see anything in the replies to indicate that anyone else is having trouble with their leather seats. My car is kept in the garage at night and most of the day. I am retired and the car is not parked outside all day while I am at work. I live in Florida, so cold is not a factor although heat could be. Nothing has been applied to the leather and there have been no spills. A picture is attached as requested, but the cracking has just started and is not much to show.

If anything is a factor, I would suspect sweat from my leg since I play tennis regularly. This is occurring under the leg that presses the accelerator. If it is the factor, I guess the message would be to protect your seats from sweat.
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post #12 of 47 Old 01-22-2015, 05:43 PM
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I can not see any 'cracking'

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtP View Post
I don't see anything in the replies to indicate that anyone else is having trouble with their leather seats. My car is kept in the garage at night and most of the day. I am retired and the car is not parked outside all day while I am at work. I live in Florida, so cold is not a factor although heat could be. Nothing has been applied to the leather and there have been no spills. A picture is attached as requested, but the cracking has just started and is not much to show.

If anything is a factor, I would suspect sweat from my leg since I play tennis regularly. This is occurring under the leg that presses the accelerator. If it is the factor, I guess the message would be to protect your seats from sweat.
Did I miss it?
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post #13 of 47 Old 01-22-2015, 06:26 PM
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I don't see cracks either but ArtP can you post a more clear picture in better light (maybe turn the flash to on instead of auto to get a stark view of it?

From the pic I can see shadow and then just possibly a stain area unless that's more shadowing? I bring this up because I do know that suntan lotion (and maybe any lotion?) will cause light colored leather to turn nasty yellowish. Don't know what it does to dark to colors. It's irreversible is all I know. Maybe it leads to cracks as well?

I know that this leather is vinyl covered but just how much so and for how long does that covering last? is the passenger seat cracking as well? If not maybe it does have something to do with sweat deteriorating it quickly. In that case when wearing shorts after tennis I'd put a towel down first (after you get your seat cover replaced of course).

And I fully 100% support a leather/vinyl seat protectant at least applied every few months.

P.S. If you think about it, the center portion that's perforated is known to be real leather...but even being vinyl coated the holes would not be leading sweat/moisture/etc to get into the leather. Leather does not fair well to repeated water exposure.

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Last edited by ABQ14Coupe; 01-22-2015 at 06:32 PM. Reason: Added more info
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post #14 of 47 Old 01-22-2015, 06:49 PM
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I found this online a month ago because this is the first car I've had with leather and I was curious about how often I needed to clean and condition it. According to this guy, it's already treated with a protectant so you don't have to clean it as often as you may think.

I don't know if this is true or not but I just thought I would add to the discussion since I'm confused as to whether to clean, condition, do both, or do neither!

Sorry this is so long but this guy has been detailing cars professionally for more than 20 years and he put a ton of what seems like really knowledgeable info in the article (you might want to go get a drink or fix something to eat before you start reading)...



Auto Leather Conditioner:
Fact and Fiction

When it comes to the subject of auto leather conditioner, it is a subject full of bad information repeated by many misinformed people. Just like the area of automotive paint itself, we as consumers have been kept in the dark regarding advances in leather tanning processes and manufacturing. Largely driven by an industry wanting to sell more and more product, it is no wonder these manufacturers have not done their part to inform. With advances in chemical engineering and manufacturing, we now have car leather that is highly resistant to wear and tear of day to day use.

As consumers, we remain in ignorance and many people cling to an outdated fantasy surrounding their car leather. Thoughts of massaging and breaking in car leather as though it were a new baseball glove still dominate many minds. These antiquated ideas being propped up with visions of hand rubbing the car leather with exotic oils to produce a soft and supple leather need to be abandoned. The good news is that the car leathers of today require far less effort of days gone by.
___________________________________
Starting With the Basics
As society, we are on information overload; the Internet has only complicated this fact. You could spend hours consuming and trying to digest all the information regarding car leather from the various sites on the Internet, only to walk away more confused than ever. This is why I am going to tell you that my opinion is based on actual real life experience straight from the world of 20+ years of professional auto detailing, plus my own personal research. So become an informed consumer and car owner first by learning the basics regarding the leather in your car at car leather care.

________________________________________
Opinion Based in Experience

My research has only confirmed what I have experienced first hand in the auto detailing industry; leathers of today are not the leathers of yesterday. And hopefully you are coming to the same conclusion that I have professionally, and that is that car leather of today is much more user friendly than ever. With modern day dyes, pigments, and finishing processes, we now have car leather that is very resistant to the wear and tear that car leather must endure within our cars, trucks, vans, etc. It also means that the days of searching for the best auto leather conditioner are mostly a thing of the past; I say mostly as I know that old rules die a slow death. Many of you will dismiss this updated idea and continue your quest for the best auto leather conditioner regardless of what my years of experience has taught me.

Conclusion to Auto Leather Conditioner

Let me summarize my opinions and experience into this bullet-point list in order to simplify it for you:

• Virtually all car leathers used today are finished with a clear protective coating that is applied for protection and durability of the leather.
• This means you will actually be cleaning, treating, or conditioning a clear protective layer that is made up of different types of resins, polymers, synthetic this and synthetic that, call it whatever works for you....point is that you are not dealing with the actual leather, but the clear protective layer; just like the clear coat on your car paint.
• Keeping your car leather clean is the most important and critical part to the health and beauty of your car leather. I have customer's cars (as well as my own) that I have never used any form of conditioner on the leather. What I have done is kept the leather clean consistently over the life of the car, and the leather looks virtually new after over 10 years of daily use.
• With all that said, I still believe that auto leather conditioners can still play a role in the health and beauty of your car's leather interiors.

________________________________________
Cleaning Your Car leather
As I have stated, my professional opinion is that cleaning car leather is the most important task and requirement of keeping your car leather looking healthy and beautiful. So if cleaning your car leather is really the subject to be discussing with you, then go to my clean leather car seating where I show you first hand what and how I perform this most important task of car leather care.

Car leather Conditioners: Getting down to the essentials
As far as car leather conditioner goes, I use (2) types on the cars I take care of professionally. Either one will be suitable for use on any car leather, regardless of year it was produced. If you have an older car, you just may have car leather that is un-coated with these modern day clear top coats used in virtually every car manufactured today; and yes, this includes the high-end, $150K+ luxury and exotics.

Key Points You Need to Know:

• Don't think you can apply auto leather conditioner without cleaning your leather first. The only exception is if your car is literally brand new. There will always be some form of dirt regardless of how clean your leather looks...so make sure you clean it first. You can get the Lexol leather kit below that includes a very mild cleaner if you have a brand new car. For anything past a few months old, go to my clean leather car seating page to find out the tips I suggest that I use professionally.

• Cleaning your car leather only will leave it with a satin, or un-shiny appearance. If you like a little shine then a dressing or conditioner below is your ticket.

• Black or very dark leather interiors will be more difficult as far as visual appearance goes as an inconsistent appearance will usually be created during the cleaning process. For this reason I will use a conditioner/dressing in most cases to create a perfectly even appearance after the cleaning process. (see Stoner aerosol below)

• As a species (commonly called mankind) we are naturally lazy. The tendency will be for you to skip the cleaning part next time around and simply be seduced into applying a fresh coat of dressing. Be warned as this will create a worse problem over time as you will be rubbing a fresh coat of dressing along with any dirt deeper and deeper into ever crevice or texture of your cars leather upholstery. Over time you will create a nice build-up of dirt and conditioners which will actually begin to deteriorate your cars protective top coat.

• If you decide on another auto leather conditioner other than the ones I recommend here, beware of the brands labeled as "long-lasting" or "water-resistent" as these silicone based dressings/conditioners will be difficult to clean completely off each time you do clean your car leather. Yes, as society we have all been ever-so obediently trained to accept the "more is always better" mentality that marketing and advertising has been so effective at producing. But when it comes to dressings/conditioners, you actually want a product that will clean off easily each time and therefore allow for complete cleaning of your leather each time prior to a new application of conditioners.

Lexol Leather Care Kit 16 oz.

• Trusted and well known car leather care kit.
• For anyone who wants a all-in-one car leather care kit.
• Not recommended for car leather that has become excessively dirty; this will be any car older than a year or two. For that, see my link on cleaning car leather seating.
• Suitable for any new car owner willing to maintain the car leather from the beginning.
Lexol Spray Leather Conditioner

• For anyone looking for a quality leather conditioner only.
• I use Lexol professionally when needed as stated above.

Darren's Trick for Black Car Leather Cleaning and Conditioning

As I stated above, cleaning black car leather is actually easier in a sense as the dirt is harder to see. The problem arises as the cleaning process will usually produce an uneven appearance to the newly cleaned area's of your car; this includes all black leather and vinyl pieces of your car's interior. For this reason I strongly recommend this amazing aerosol product from Stoner. A light spray to the area will not only produce a nice sheen and luster, but will allow you to create a very uniformed appearance. Simply shoot and spray; if you want less shine, a simple quick wipe of a micro fiber will knock down the shine.

Stoner More Shine Less Time Spray

• Use as a superficial car leather enhancer or auto leather conditioner.
• Easy to use aerosol.
• One of my all-time favorite products.
• Ideal for use on black car leather after cleaning to restore sheen and to create a consistent appearance to the car leather.
• Can be sprayed and left alone, or wiped down to reduce shine.

Darren's Professional Tips of Auto Leather Conditioners

Now that you know the insider tips based on real world experience, use these recommendations to find what works for you and your situation. I use the following schedule professionally with my customers cars, as well as my own cars that have leather upholstery.

• Clean car leather once a month. This can take literally minutes to do if done regularly. A micro-fiber dampened with cleaner and aggressive rubbing is all your particular car leather may require if done so regularly.

• Use Lexol leather conditioner if it makes you and your car leather feel better.

• Use the Stoner aerosol dressing after cleaning any color car leather to create a subtle sheen and consistent appearance after cleaning your car leather. This auto leather conditioner/dressing is especially useful for the black/dark colored leather/vinyl interiors.

Current: 2013 EX-L CVT Accord Sedan
Alabaster Silver Metallic with Gray Leather

Previous: 2003 LX Accord Sedan 5-Speed AT, 1996 DX Accord Sedan 5-Speed MT
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post #15 of 47 Old 01-22-2015, 07:18 PM
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Take that all in with a grain of salt. At first I was buying into it...but then the dreaded product recommendation. Um...no. Obviously either just loyal or sponsored by?

In fact to point out in the 4th bullet point under "Opinion based experience" they 100% contradict themselves. First is they have never used it just keep it clean then "you must use conditioners, etc" and the article then goes on and on to support using Lexol cleaner and conditioner.

That's the problem when trying to figure out how to take care of our interiors. There's so much info and so much based on opinion and no facts. I have chosen my idea of trying to keep it clean and conditioned and protected and will live it until I'm convinced otherwise. That's why I don't post on how I'm keeping my leather like new because I don't know if I am...time will tell I guess.


Darrell in ABQ
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Last edited by ABQ14Coupe; 01-22-2015 at 07:25 PM. Reason: what was I thinking?
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