Repairing Auto and Bike UpholsteryA few simple do-it-yourself auto interior repairs

         I’d like to share some simple solutions to a few of the common damages to your auto interior.  Most people should be able to perform these repairs, keep your car looking great and save some money in the process.  Best of all, you won’t need any special tools or materials. All the techniques require only simple tools and materials you can get at the hardware store. 

A Hairline Vinyl Crack Repair

          The firs repair is for a hairline crack in the side of your vinyl seat.  It is a very common damage to leather and vinyl auto seating. Even if you have leather seats the side of the seat is most often vinyl.  And that vinyl stresses every time you sit down on the seat.  Over time the vinyl will crack either across the surface or down the edge of the surface at a stitch hole.   If there is a vertical or horizontal crack in the side of the seat and the crack is only 2-3 inches long then you can seal the damage and make it nearly invisible.  Keep an eye out for such cracking so you can stop it before it gets to long to stop.  The solution is simple. 

1. Buy a tube of control gel super glue (preferably with rubberized additive for strength) at the hardware store for about 4 dollars. 

2. Next, place a bit of the gel onto a straight pin. 

3. Now open the crack with your fingertips.

4. Apply the gel into the crack in small dots along the crack.  Use as little gel as possible to hold the crack shut so it will not become stiff and brittle.

5. Use some force to press the crack shut and hold for20 seconds to let the superglue dry.  The tighter you hold the crack, the less noticeable it will be.

6.  This solution will mask the cracked area and seal the edges of the crack so it will not grow.


A Cig Burn in your Car’s Carpet

The second simple repair is for a cigarette burn in the carpet of your car.   When ash from a cigarette falls to the carpet of your car it will burn or melt them flat.  That flat area is a hole or divot in the carpet.  You can easily hide that hole with only a razor blade and a tube of clear drying craft glue.  Please be careful when using a razor blade.

1. Cut away the hard melted part of the carpet burn.

2. Find a place you can reach under one of the seats.  

3. Use the razorblade to shave a small pile of the carpet felt from under the seat.

4. Place a few drops of glue into the carpet burn hole filling the hole.

5. Stuff the carpet fuzz into the hole, holding in place with your thumb to let the glue take hold.

6. Allow the glue to dry and you will have carpet fuzz in the spot that was only a hole before.


Surface Scratches on your Car’s Plastic Panels

The third simple repair is for surface scratches in the side or rear hard plastic area of your car.  If they are superficial, these scratches can be easily removed.  If you own a heat gun to remove paint heat up metal parts already in your home then you can perform this simple repair procedure.  If you don’t have one then an inexpensive heat gun can be purchased from your local hardware store for around $30.  Don’t try this on metallic or patterned plastic panels.  And please use care with a heat gun so you don’t burn yourself.

1. Turn on the heat gun and hold it about 4-6 inches from the scratch.  

2. Wave the heat gun back and forth over the scratched area. 

3. The heating of the plastic may melt the scratched area back into the original finish.

4. Be careful not to overheat the area.  You might want to find a little noticed area in the back of the car with similar plastic and practice the technique to get the feel for how much heat to apply.  If the area looks shiny, melted, or smokes, you have overheated the area.

5. If you do heat the plastic and the scratch comes out but gets shiny then you can go over the shiny area with some fine 600 grit sandpaper to cut down the shine.


Hope these repair solutions are helpful to you.  Let us know how they work out for you.  Even show us pictures of your work and we will share them with others.



If you need any more extensive auto interior repairs in the Baltimore/Washington area contact me here.