How To Keep Leather Car Seats From Cracking and Tearing – THE GUIDE

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damaged leather car seat

While leather car seats are a fantastic choice because of the comfort they provide you, they’re slightly harder to maintain. If you don’t maintain leather car seats, they’ll quickly start to wear and tear and crack. In this post, I’ll show you all the steps you need to take to prevent leather car seats from cracking.

Fixing cracked and torn leather seats is a hard and often expensive task, so you should do everything to prevent that from happening. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Regular maintenance is the most important tip to prevent leather car seats from cracking.
  • Dry leather is vulnerable leather. Apply conditioners on a regular basis.
  • Heat and sun are enemies of leather, so keep your car away from that as much as possible.
  • Sharp objects should never be left on leather car seats because they can scratch and break leather.
  • Window tint films may help with reducing heat inside the car a lot.

8 Tips To Prevent Leather Seats From Cracking

Eight tips might sound too much for a typical car driver, but when you read them, you’ll realize that they’re effortless to follow, and most of them are somehow connected to each other.

1. Park In the Shade or Garage

large garage in a house

First things first, you should park your car in the shade, or even better, in a garage if you have it. That’s important for car leather seats and many other things in the vehicle (paint, plastics, tires, etc.).

Sometimes, finding a free parking spot in the shade may be tricky, especially in large, crowded cities. But by doing that, you’ll move your car away from the biggest destroyer of car leather seats – the sun. Suns’ UV rays harm leather seats, and you should keep that in mind.

2. Open Car Windows During Hot Summer Days

open car window

I recommend that you slightly open car windows during hot days, even if your car is parked in the shade.

Temperatures inside the car can quickly reach +50 C (122 F) during the summer, and by opening car windows slightly, you’ll create an airflow in the vehicle, making it cooler. That’ll save your leather seats in the long run.

3. Use Windshield Sunshade

windshield sun shade american flag

If there’s no way for you to park the car in the shade, you should then install windshield sunshades every time you leave your vehicle in the sun. Most of the heat in the car is generated when sunlight goes inside the car through the windshield since it’s the largest glass surface on the vehicle.

Windshield sunshades are incredibly cheap, and they only take 30 seconds to install. So, installing them won’t do any extra work for you.

4. Close The Panoramic Roof Curtain

opened car panoramic roof

Panoramic roofs are a fancy piece of car equipment, and even though they’re beautiful, they can generate excess heat in your vehicle. Not only does it increase the temperatures in your car, but it’ll allow the sunlight to make direct contact with leather seats, making them even more exposed to harmful UV rays.

Every car with a panoramic roof has a curtain that you can open/close. When not driving your vehicle, make sure the curtain is closed. That’ll reduce the sun’s impact on the interior of the car.

I remember when I had a car with a panoramic roof, and I forgot to close the curtain a few times. It was impossible to get into the car without leaving it with wide-open doors for at least 5 minutes. The heat inside was painful.

5. Tint The Windows On Your Car

guy applying window tint film on a car

Tinted windows aren’t just a fancy-looking addition to your vehicle; they also have the purpose of reducing the amount of sunlight and UV rays that enter the interior of your car. That way, they’ll protect the interior, and especially leather car seats.

So, if you have some extra money to spend on your vehicle, think about installing tint films on windows. They don’t have to be darkened. All high-quality tint films will have protection properties, regardless of their transparency levels.

However, darker tint films seem to do a better job. Also, don’t spend money on extremely cheap tint films – their quality is questionable. Always purchase tint films from reputable companies.

6. Install Seat Covers (if you’re ready to compensate for the car seat appearance)

car seat covers production

Okay, even though installing seat covers doesn’t make sense for most people, it’ll still prevent car leather seats from cracking.

Why doesn’t it make sense? Well, I wouldn’t be paying extra for fancy car leather seats and then covering them with something ugly just to keep them “new” for longer.

So, if you’re ready to compensate for the appearance of leather car seats, and their look isn’t so important to you, you should install car seat covers. They offer excellent protection to leather seats – from the sun, spills, daily usage, sharp objects, etc.

7. Keep The Staff In The Trunk (Especially Sharp Stuff)

red bags inside car trunk

A friend of mine works in construction, and all the time, he drives plenty of tools in his car. The bad thing is that he keeps most of it (especially shovels) on the rear seats. Many tools tend to be sharp, and they tend to scratch the leather.

Scratching the leather breaks down its protection, making it easier to crack in the future.

So, if you also drive plenty of things in your car, try to keep them in the trunk. I know that some things just can’t fit in the trunk, but at least try to fit them there. You’ll save a lot of money in the long run (by keeping leather seats from cracking for longer).

8. Regularly Clean and Maintain Leather Seats (THE MOST IMPORTANT)

guy cleaning leather car seats

Last on the list, but the most important advice I can give is to regularly clean and maintain your vehicle and leather seats. Without following this tip, all other suggestions are worthless.

If you neglect leather car seats, they will crack easily, even if you follow all the abovementioned guidelines.

Whenever cleaning and protecting car leather seats, make sure to do it gently with soft leather cleaning brushes and with the right products that are safe for leather.

When you clean leather seats, you should protect them with a high-quality protectant that is durable and long-lasting. From my experience, one of the best leather conditioners is Meguiar’s Gold Class Leather Conditioner. It’s not expensive and works fantastically.

If you want high-end protection for car leather seats, consider applying a ceramic coating for leather.

Final Words

Keeping car leather seats from cracking isn’t rocket science. You should just keep them away from the sun and heat and clean and protect them regularly. With time, the tips above will become your routine, and that’ll keep leather protected as much as possible.

We can’t wholly influence external factors, but we can take many prevention steps to reduce their impact on our car – and by doing that, we’ll keep our car shiny and beautiful for many years to come.

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