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Leather steering wheel maintenance?

 
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Old 30 Nov 2003, 01:45 pm
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Eastern Ontario, ON, Canada.
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Default Leather steering wheel maintenance?

I picked up a factory leather wrapped wheel used with a minor flaw and need some suggestions on how to clean it up before I get it installed.

I think I read somewhere that automotive leather is typically painted (or similar treatment) to create consistant high volume colours. This looks to be the case on the wheel I bought. There are two spots where the previous driver obviously favoured on the wheel. At these locations the top layer which looks like paint has worn through and seems to have balled up along the edge where it is worn. The grain in the leather hasn't been damaged and it isn't just dirt build up.

Any suggestions how to clean it up without damaging the leather or ending up with a wheel that is dangerous to use (too slippery from treatment). I don't mind stripping all of the paint off even if it is tedious as long as I don't ruin the wheel.

Steve
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Old 01 Dec 2003, 02:54 am
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Location: Scarborough, Ontario, Canada.
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Plenty of leather treatment application and some kind of leather paint may bring the wheel back to half decent condition... but IMHO, it is not worth it. This maybe your other option which I think is the better way to go:http://store.yahoo.com/afterthoughts...eleur2col.html

I've had wheelskins on my other car for 3 years now and it still looks and feels great with nothing more than light coat of leather conditioner couple of times a year.
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Old 02 Dec 2003, 11:40 am
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I see someone is listening to me, that was my post on dyed leather. Here is a test to see if your leather can be saved. Use a PH safe cleaner and a small nylon brush (like a toothbrush is fine) try someting like simple green or fantastic (spray a little on the brush) the gently rub the area. if it improves, then you are home free, finish up with some conditioner. If not, then it is likely that the dye has been removed and the color has to be redyed again, that in the job of an interior shop. I think you might get it done with the first option. let us know, gary
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Old 02 Dec 2003, 03:07 pm
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Gary,
How oftem should I clean the steering wheel? If I do it too often (once a month?) will it eventually harm the leahter on my wheel? I know it probably gets dirtier than the seats which I do about every 4-5 months.
Thanks
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Old 03 Dec 2003, 12:59 pm
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Cal, you shouldn't need to clean it that often. once it is cleaned and treated, a couple times a year should be fine. I had a customer once tell me they could not understand why their wheel was always dirty. as it turns out his teenage son was using the car (after football practice he was a mess) and he got the dirt imbedded into the leather. Moral of the story> don't let your kids use your car.
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Old 03 Dec 2003, 10:12 pm
Young Cruiser
 
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Location: Eastern Ontario, ON, Canada.
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Thanks for the help Gary. I haven't had the chance to get to it yet but the top layer of paint is definitely gone. Maybe your instuctions will improve it enough not to require more.

I did an initial cleaning a week ago with just a damp cloth and I think I discovered why the finish has lifted. It has been sitting in my office waiting for me to get back to it and my office has developed a scent of cologne which under closer inspection is coming from the leather in the section wear the finish is stripped. The prior owner must have either spilled it on the wheel, still had it on his hands or just missed and got the wheel when he was bathing in it.
I'm hoping it will just evaporate from the surface.

Congratulations on your own detail section in forum. Hopefully you'll still get a chance to read the rest.

Steve
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Old 12 Dec 2003, 12:21 am
Young Cruiser
 
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Location: Eastern Ontario, ON, Canada.
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Thanks Gary,

As I suspected it was actually the paint that was gone. The good part is that once I followed your instructions the transition is so faint that it doesn't bother me at all. There is almost no variance in colour between the painted and no painted. The only way you can there is a difference is where the edge of the paint is. The cleaning with Fantastic reduced to just the paint depth now rather than before when it had balled up along the edge. I'll get the wheel installed tomorrow while its in for service.
Again thanks for your help.

Steve
Quote:
quote:Originally posted by turbomangt

I see someone is listening to me, that was my post on dyed leather. Here is a test to see if your leather can be saved. Use a PH safe cleaner and a small nylon brush (like a toothbrush is fine) try someting like simple green or fantastic (spray a little on the brush) the gently rub the area. if it improves, then you are home free, finish up with some conditioner. If not, then it is likely that the dye has been removed and the color has to be redyed again, that in the job of an interior shop. I think you might get it done with the first option. let us know, gary
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