DIY Auto Upholstery Repair

If you have a rip or tear in you car's upholstery, you don't have to spend a lot of money to get it fixed. Most small issues can be fixed yourself at a fraction of the cost and can make your car's interior look as good as new. Here are some steps to help you make repairs on your car's upholstery on your own.

Assess the Damage

First, determine how bad the damage is to your car's upholstery. If it is a rip down the center of the seat or the back of the seat, it will not be as difficult to fix as a rip in the seam. It will also largely depend on the type of upholstery you have. For example, if you have cloth upholstery, it may be much more difficult to fix than leather. Most upholstery glues adhere better to plastic, vinyl, and leather than they do to cloth. Do a thorough assessment of the damage before you decide on your plan to repair it. 

Use Glue

Upholstery glue is the easiest way to fix a ripped seat. You will also need to get a patch to apply underneath the ripped area to make it look smooth and consistent. Try to find an upholstery patch that matches as close to the car's original upholstery color and material as possible. Place the glue on half of the patch, and then place it directly under the rip. Pull it taught and then firmly press down on the glued area of the patch. Quick drying glues should only take a minute or two. Once it has dried, add glue to the other half and repeat the process. The patch and glue method should hold up fairly well, unless the seat is used quite often.

Patch Kits

For places where you sit more often, a patch kit should be used. Instead of applying glue, this method uses heat to create a bond between the patch and upholstery. Measure the size of the rip and then cut the patch to the correct size, leaving about two extra inches around each side. Place the patch underneath the rip and apply a hot iron to it. You should apply the heat to the patch for a few seconds and then check to ensure it has fully adhered. Go slowly and only apply heat to one side of the patch at a time to make sure it's being applied smoothly and correctly. With a little patience and the right application, you can easily fix your car's ripped upholstery and make it look as good as new.

If you find that there's simply too much damage to the seat or if you're overwhelmed by the task, consider contacting an upholstery repair specialist, such as Franks Auto Top & Upholstery.