Monday, May 10, 2010

The Basic Car Interior Upgrade

Surprising as it may seem, even some of the most respectful cars with price tags well above the $40.000, despite being advertised as furnished by their creators with leather interiors, do not have all of the interior pieces made with real leather. In as much as the seats themselves usually are leather indeed, the second most important piece of car interior upholstery is very often made with vinyl, rather then real leather. It is an element that is actually moved around several or hundreds of times a day (depending on your transmission type) and, although the forces used to handle it are nothing compared to the strain exerted on your leather seats by the sheer weight of your body, this means a significant amount of abuse. It does not take long for the abuse to show, so even if you couldn't guess what is the object of reference of this description, just take a look in your car, unless it's a new one or an automatic. Why? Automatics rarely come equipped with a shift boot.
How can you tell what is the stock piece made of? Please keep in mind that car interiors are a very demanding environment for upholstery with temperatures changing from way-below-freezing to a boiling heat, a challenge irrelevant to home upholstery for example, therefore the materials used need to fulfill more rigorous standards. Vinyl, sometimes referred to as pleather as well, is a synthetic material, which comprises a thin rubbery external layer attached to a textured backing. The external layer is not very durable and under normal operating conditions of the interior of a car will become stiff and brittle, which eventually leads to it peeling away from the backing.

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