Leather Car Seat Repair: How To Fix And Prevent Tears And Cracks

leather car seat repairMany drivers choose vehicles with leather seats for their luxurious look and feel. Taking care of the seats is important for keeping the vehicle’s interior looking nice. This is especially important for drivers who plan to trade in or sell their car later on. If the seats are cared for properly, they will not crack or tear easily.

How To Prevent Tears And Cracks In Leather Seats

Can leather cracks be prevented? Can leather tears be prevented? Both types of damages are mostly preventable. It is much less expensive to maintain the seats than it is to fix the leather damage. These tips cover both cosmetic maintenance and helpful advice for what to avoid.

1. Avoid the sun. Use a sun shield on the windshield if the vehicle must sit in the sun. If the side windows and back windshield are not tinted to minimize the sun’s intensity, use window screens or shields after parking the vehicle on sunny days. If the leather car interior is exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods of time, it can crack and the color will fade.

2. Avoid bulky and sharp objects. The easiest way to prevent tears is to be mindful of what goes on the seats. Do not put tools, pet carriers or sharp objects directly on the seats. That also includes sharp or pointed objects in your pockets such as keys. Always put bulky objects in the trunk if possible. When putting any other objects on the seats, place a padded protective blanket over the seat first.

3. Condition and clean seats regularly. It is important to maintain clean seats and condition the leather regularly. Be sure to vacuum the seats first. Always clean seats with a gentle cleaner that is designed for leather interior. Finish the job with a conditioner that is made for leather. The conditioner will help the clean seats keep their pliability and will prevent cracks and signs of wear.

How To Fix Tears And Cracks In Leather Seats

Can leather cracks be fixed? Can leather tears be repaired? The answer is yes. Guests, pets or children may tear the seats at some point. When a tear or crack happens, it is important to repair it quickly to protect the inner part of the seat. Use these tips for proper leather car seat repair.

Car Leather Repair – What You Will Need:

  • Warm water
  • Mild dish soap
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Mild sandpaper
  • Auto leather repair kit

If the leather is cracked, it can be fixed with a car leather repair or leather patch kit. This type of kit is inexpensive. Make sure it includes a leather dye that matches the color of the leather car interior. Start by cleaning the seat with warm water that is mixed with mild dish soap. Rinse out the cleaning cloth as necessary. After rinsing the rag well, use it to rub denatured alcohol on the cracked areas. Wipe the areas dry with a microfiber cloth.

When the leather is dry, gently sand the cracked areas away with the sandpaper. Use the microfiber cloth to wipe the seats dry again. Next, open the auto leather repair kit. Read the instructions carefully to understand how to use the contents of the package. Open the liquid leather sealant product. Use it to smooth out the cracks according to the instructions. Apply the leather dye carefully to the affected areas until it matches the rest of the seat. Let the seats dry completely before using them again. Unless the vehicle is in a clean and closed garage, it is best to keep the windows rolled up while the seats are drying to avoid debris entering the car.

Fixing Leather Car Interior Tears

Leather car seat repair with a leather patch kitWhat You Will Need

  • Matching leather thread
  • Leather needle
  • Thimble
  • Sharp scissors
  • A strip of matching leather
  • Leather putty
  • Matching leather dye

Aside from replacing the seats, there is no way to repair gashes or tears in the leather that make it look flawless. However, there are two ways to repair tears that will protect the part of the seat beneath the leather and minimize the unattractiveness of a large tear. The torn edges can be stitched together or a piece of leather can be placed over or below them and attached to the torn edges.

To repair the tear by stitching the torn edges together, start by cutting away any threads that are loose with scissors. Thread the needle and put it on the underside of one torn leather edge. Loop it over the other side and pull the needle back through the thread loop to create a strong knot. Push the needle with a thimble. Carefully stitch the leather in even and small stitches to minimize the appearance of the thread. After finishing, tie the knot off on the underside of the leather.

For the leather strip insert option, cut away any loose threads on the torn edges first. Place the leather strip under or over the tear. It is best to place it under the seat’s leather. Use the stitching method above to create and finish knots. Stitch carefully using small stitches for an even look. It is also possible to use liquid leather adhesive instead of a needle and thread. If there are gaps after finishing, fill them in with leather putty. Paint the leather with dye if necessary to make it match the seats.

To use adhesive as an alternative, place the leather pieces underneath the tears and position them properly. Brush the liquid adhesive around the edges of the tears and press them into the leather strip. Smooth out any rough surfaces with sandpaper, wipe the residue away with a wet cloth and dry the seat with a microfiber cloth. If there are gaps, fill them in with leather putty. Apply leather dye to the affected areas if necessary.

Fixing Leather Car Interior Holes

Another important topic of leather car seat repair is fixing holes in the leather. These can happen from punctures or cigarette burns. This type of leather car seat repair is much simpler than fixing cracks or tears. Use either a small piece of leather as a patch for bigger holes or liquid leather for very small holes. For the patch method of leather car seat repair, find a piece of leather that matches the seat. Cut a small piece to fit over the hole. Use leather adhesive to attach it. Let it dry for several hours before sitting on it or placing any items on the seat.

For the liquid auto leather repair method, buy a liquid leather product. Look for matching leather dye to use afterward. Follow the instructions to apply the product. Wait for it to dry before applying the auto leather dye. Clean seats thoroughly and apply conditioner when finished.

Can leather damage be fixed? It absolutely is possible to fix leather but there are some limitations. When the tears and damages are too severe for DIY methods, it is time to look for professional leather car seat repair or for a replacement seat.


Leave a Reply

  • I need Help to know how i can fix scratch and small hole on my leather seat on my car.

    Please, any suggestion.

    • Hi Daniel, we would recommend contacting the manufacturer for the best way to fix your scratch/hole in your leather.

  • Can you suggest anywhere we can a professionla leather car seat?

    • Hi Frank, can you please let us know for your leather seat at producttechsupport@goldeagle.com ? We do not sell car seats. We do have products that you can use to clean your leather car seats.

  • I put my knee on the seat to reach something in the back seat and I heard a “pop”.
    I had pictured the leather. There is now a round, outlined circular crack. How can I fix this?

    • Hi David, unfortunately, since we are no able to assess you car in-person we would suggest taking it to a professional upholsterer or repair shop.

  • Hi my leather seats are peeling I launch a complaint after my car was just a year old and it was replaced but this new fit of leather seat is also peeling and Im not sure what’s causing this. I was told it is friction caused by the clothes I’m wearing. is this true?

    • Thank you for your question. It is our understanding that high quality leather should be able to resist wear and tear within a reasonable amount of time. Perhaps contacting the dealer or manufacturer for warranty and care information would be beneficial. However, we do offer 303® Automotive Leather 3-in-1 Complete Care which could help in maintaining and protecting leather before peeling or damage has occurred. Hope this helps. If you need further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us at producttechsupport@goldeagle.com

  • Hi, I bought a car and the driver’s seat is worn (the back is ok). could you give me a ballpark on how much it would cost to fix that part?

    • Hi Leonel. Since we do not do interior repair work we would be unable to give you an estimate.

      • I am surprised that all of you “professionals” do not just explain what to do!
        First, clean the leather with a leather cleaner, follow instructions. When it is dry, GENTLY sand with the sanding paper that comes in your Leather Repair Kit. Now, wipe it down with the microfiber cloth.
        Lastly, apply the leather cream, allowing it to “fill in” the cracks, do this until the color matches the rest of your seat—again, read the directions.
        Most Important: Moving forward, regularly clean your leather seats with a leather cleaner—not just any cleaner will do because it will dry it out. Then apply a leather conditioner, which will help keep it soft and not dried out.
        Sounds like a lot of work, but it is not, just make it a habit and your seats will look great!

    • hi Leonel, I have rip in my Acura TL and got a quote of approximately $400 to repair. It will be repaired in vinyl not leather…..local upholstery place won’t replace it with leather. Vinyl was way to go.

      • Hi Lisa, you can pay $400 for a professional company or do it yourself for less than $10. You can get a leather repair kit that fixes rips and tears, you get the same results and save lots of $$$. Malviani leather repair kit works wonders and they use the same stuff as the professionals. The kits come in colors so all you do is choose the color that matches your leather and then follow the instructions in the kit, super easy!!

        • Rayna, where do I find this product on this site? Never heard of the Malviani product. Anything would be better than the rip than putting tape on seat! Lol!

  • Such a great article about vehicle, this is very informative and helpful

  • This article answered all my question about my vehicle! thanks that i found this article

  • Dear Sir,
    We will take part in the American Las Vegas Auto spare and accessory parts and after-sales service exhibition in 30th, October and 1st, January
    Can we meet you on this exhibition?
    We can do all kinds of car seat heating pads, waist heating pads, neck heating pads , knee heating pads and gloves heating pads and so on
    our advantage is :  we can produce 16000 pieces each day for garments heating pads ,gloves heating and knee heating pads and so on (we have two huge sewing automatic produce line , and zero after -service,we use enameled heating wire and our huge  machines sewing  it on the anti-flaming non-woven fabrics)
    for heating wire, we have nylon, FEP, PVC etc insulation enameled  car seat heating wire. So we are glad to know your target price, expect the quantities per year and it is better if you want to send some samples for us to confirm the detail materials of goods you want.
    some other factory use the common PVC heating wire(no enameled ) and they always have problems on the heating wire and thermostats.
    but we don’t have these problems, because  we control the temperature by wires(for example, low temperature use 10m enameled heating wire and high temperature use 8m heating wire,and our heating wire can bend 10000 times, when we finish it on the pad, the heating pad can bend 10 0000 times, we test each enameled heating wire for bending time before it send.

  • How can I buy leather putty and dye.

  • This article helps all the car owner, they will have a great idea for their car

  • hi , assuming that a repair on a leather upholstery has been carried out by a professional and assuming that the repair is treated thereafter , how long would I expect this to last ?

  • Well written and to the point. I appreciate the detail in this article!

  • That is really interesting that there are multiple different ways to fix small holes in the leather from cigarette burns. That is something that I would want to have done for the car that I just bought. There are a lot of small holes from the previous owner that I want to have repaired. http://6avenuetailor.com/leather-suede-fur-and-sherling-alteration/

  • Have you seen this product? http://www.fixmytear.com. I bought this a few yrs ago and am finding it really helpful in a lot of different surface repairs.

  • “If the leather is cracked, it can be fixed with a car leather repair or leather patch kit.”
    Actually, if the leather is cracked all you need is a leather repair colorant to cover it up.

    “Aside from replacing the seats, there is no way to repair gashes or tears in the leather that make it look flawless.”
    You recommended sewing the leather but that doesn’t work. A leather repair kit will work best for this and with great results. Try Prestige Leather Repair Kit for tears, holes and cuts; use Colorvita Leather Repair Color for the cracks. They can be found on amazon.com and malviani.com

  • I snagged my leather seat along the side. It’s a 3 corner tear with the leather still present but crumpled. What is the best method to smooth the leather and glue it back in place.

  • Hi, thanks for this. This means a lot for car owners who have leather car seats! I want to know how it can be fixed some scratches and small holes on the leather seats? Any suggestion. Thanks!