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Need advice on seat reconditioning

 
Old 03-20-19, 08:16 PM
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KLF
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Default Need advice on seat reconditioning

I'm planning to put my '13 IS250C up for sale soon, so I want to get it looking as nice as possible. It's a sharp car, but it's just not for me anymore. Ex-wife (who I bought the car for) was not particularly kind to the driver's seat, so it needs some help. I have contacted 2 companies in the area that are supposed to specialize in interior and leather reconditioning, and they are not calling back, so I guess I'm on my own.

Two issues
Surface is abraded in a couple of spots:





Other problem: we bought this car used (CPO) but it's become obvious now that the seat was dyed just prior to selling, and the dye is rubbing off. The lighter color is the dye, the slightly darker color is the original.


Wondering if there is a procedure or product that I can use to get the seat looking good again?
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Old 03-21-19, 07:32 AM
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IMHO- those tear / rips at the seams would definitely require some sort of stitching or patching to repair. I'd simply tell a prospective buyer you're willing to take a few hundred off sale price for them (Obviously you'd incorporate this into the price you determine too!) As far as a complete leather clean - I just sold a 1/4 used kit of Leatherique to a Member here since I wasn't overly impressed with what it did to my leather. I will say that it seriously strips off everything that's been applied to the interior over the years very well. You would just have to recondition it with some high quality leather care products - there are hundreds of them out there. I prefer to have a little shine / sheen on my seats, which to me gives an attractive appearance. Everyone here has their own choice, but Meguiars is my go to brand for this. Invest in something that you'd like to use on your other vehicles, so you are not dumping money into something you intend to sell. Don't worry too much about the Perforated Seats either - good products don't clog them up unless you're pouring the stuff onto them!
Good Luck With The Sale KLF !
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Old 03-21-19, 09:31 AM
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I should have mentioned that I am a religious user of Leatherique on all my vehicles, and these seats have been treated several times. But without a hot day in the forecast in the future for many weeks, not sure how effective it would be.

I generally use a Chemical Guys leather cleaner and a stiff brush to thoroughly clean leather between Leatherique sessions, and that may be the contributor the dye coming off. I'm pissed that these seats were dyed like this, but we bought the car in MD over the Internet. I had someone check the car out for me before I sent any money, and they didn't pick up on the treatment.

I assume it will be worth my time and energy to prep the car and sell myself (versus trading it in), but we'll see. It's getting close to convertible season, so I need to get moving on this.
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Old 03-26-19, 03:56 AM
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My newest addition, and now all time favorite gear for entire car!
Ammo NYC Interior Regimen


*Don't blame me, I voted for him:
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Old 03-26-19, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by KLF View Post
I'm planning to put my '13 IS250C up for sale soon, so I want to get it looking as nice as possible. It's a sharp car, but it's just not for me anymore. Ex-wife (who I bought the car for) was not particularly kind to the driver's seat, so it needs some help. I have contacted 2 companies in the area that are supposed to specialize in interior and leather reconditioning, and they are not calling back, so I guess I'm on my own.

Two issues
Surface is abraded in a couple of spots:

Other problem: we bought this car used (CPO) but it's become obvious now that the seat was dyed just prior to selling, and the dye is rubbing off. The lighter color is the dye, the slightly darker color is the original.


Wondering if there is a procedure or product that I can use to get the seat looking good again?
I have similar damage on the driver's seat of my previously owned '14 ES: heavy wrinkling and staining from some weird clothing on the seat and side bolsters and seatbelt as well as a hole developing in the seam at the same location as the OP's. I suspect the previous owner of mine was a "large", wide, and short person who never used the auto exit seat feature and who just slid in and out of the seat (no excuse because the car has the easy exit and power tilt/extend steering). It's a shame because the rest of the interior is pristine. I too went to a "detailing" firm to see if they could restore it but they advised it wasn't really "fixable" and recommended a shop that specializes in custom paints, upholstery, bodywork, etc. (Actually they are more of a customizing shop than a body shop). They will remove the seat, cut away the worn and stained leather pieces, match the grain as close as possible on a couple of new pieces of leather, dye to match, reassemble and reinstall. Essentially they will replace the seat pan and side bolsters. One day, $350 Cdn. The upholstery technician pointed out that if a hole is left it will develop further and allow the seat padding to get damaged. That padding can cost upwards of five hundred dollars to replace PLUS the cost of a new seat covering bringing the whole job to over $1,000. Cheaper to fix now.


By the way, that damage you are seeing on your seat is not "restoreable", the protective coating over the leather is worn through and the leather is starting to go as well.
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Old 03-26-19, 06:40 PM
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So I found a good shop that specializes in fixing/restoring leather auto interiors, and had the guy look at it. He was very knowledgeable, very experienced. He said he wasn't surprised at the wear, it was very common. He showed me where he had to do the same repair in his Mercedes. First of all, the panels you see in those photos are not leather, they are vinyl. Only the "seating surfaces" are real leather. He said they put a very thin coating on that vinyl to make it soft and supple, for a more luxurious feel. All higher end cars brands do this. But this sacrifices durability. This explains why the seats in my previous 2011 Land Cruiser still looked virtually new after 130K miles, but the leather was not buttery soft.

He also said that the only way to fix it was to replace the panels or the entire seat cover. Anything else will look terrible and probably worse than it is now. He could pull the covers and replace just the panels from raw material, then dye to match, he found a Bentley color that was very close, but that would cost around $600. He really recommended I get new covers from Lexus. Well, the bottom is around $700, and the upper part is around $900. So, neither is gonna happen. I'll never get my money back on the sale, I'll just clean them as best I can, then I'll have to take the hit on the sale price.
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Old 03-26-19, 09:56 PM
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Might want to check around how much a new seat from a salvage yard is, you might get lucky and find one for a good price. Only other option I could think of is taking the old leather off and putting a new piece of leather on which would involve sowing, etc, probably very expensive.
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Old 04-13-19, 04:39 AM
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Originally Posted by KLF View Post
So I found a good shop that specializes in fixing/restoring leather auto interiors, and had the guy look at it. He was very knowledgeable, very experienced. He said he wasn't surprised at the wear, it was very common. He showed me where he had to do the same repair in his Mercedes. First of all, the panels you see in those photos are not leather, they are vinyl. Only the "seating surfaces" are real leather. He said they put a very thin coating on that vinyl to make it soft and supple, for a more luxurious feel. All higher end cars brands do this. But this sacrifices durability. This explains why the seats in my previous 2011 Land Cruiser still looked virtually new after 130K miles, but the leather was not buttery soft.

He also said that the only way to fix it was to replace the panels or the entire seat cover. Anything else will look terrible and probably worse than it is now. He could pull the covers and replace just the panels from raw material, then dye to match, he found a Bentley color that was very close, but that would cost around $600. He really recommended I get new covers from Lexus. Well, the bottom is around $700, and the upper part is around $900. So, neither is gonna happen. I'll never get my money back on the sale, I'll just clean them as best I can, then I'll have to take the hit on the sale price.
Hes full of $%^^ your leather is in decent shape and is fully repaireable.

That damaged area can be repaired and you can get the seats re-dyed again
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Old 04-13-19, 06:08 AM
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I have to agree with 1Willy1. As mentioned above in this thread I have (had) the same problem. Took them a day and a bit (to allow the dye to more fully dry), and cost me $350 Can ($255 US). They also provided me with a sample of some lanolin/beeswax protective liquid (enough they claim to do the entire interior 4-5 times). If I were selling the car on (I'm not), I figure it added an easy $1,000 to the value; good investment. Before and After:




There is also a discussion currently running in the LS 4th Gen on this same subject.

Last edited by Tootsall; 04-13-19 at 06:17 AM.
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