Because our hands are on the steering wheel 90 percent of the time, it stands to reason that it is one of the most frequently used areas of our car, but one few people perform restoration upon. If not maintained, the leather will deteriorate, and beyond just aesthetic purposes, a worn down steering wheel can make for unsafe driving conditions when pertaining to a user’s grip. Luckily there are ways to circumvent these issues, and they can be solved from a routine detailing of your interior. This can be done by yourself, but it is highly recommended to let someone with extensive knowledge in the shelf life of car interiors and leather to solve the problem for you. There are three basic factors to address in this protection process:
“The fastest way for you to stop your leather steering wheel from incurring damage is to block the sun’s rays from it as frequently as possible…. warm weather will make leather crack, and because of where the wheel rests in your vehicle, it is in direct view of the sun”
Shield From The Elements
The fastest way for you to stop your leather steering wheel from incurring damage is to block the sun’s rays from it as frequently as possible. Warm weather will make leather crack, and because of where the wheel rests in your vehicle, it is in direct view of the sun. Your car can be covered in numerous ways, the first of which is to consistently park it in a garage or under an awning. Because we do not all have that luxury, utilizing a windshield visor is recommended. They are very inexpensive and block harmful elements from adversely affecting the leather. The last thing a car owner can do is put their vehicle under a polyester or weather-resistant cover. For people that drive often this is not very practical, so typically this is a worst case scenario choice.
Pre-Wash Your Wheel
Using a microfiber towel, clean your steering wheel with interior vehicle grade detergent. Remember, there are different types for steering wheels as opposed to ones that are just for the center cabin itself, so read the instructions to make sure its effects are what you desire. Commonly found in sprays, a foam substitute is also worthwhile and can be spread liberally using an applicator pad. A ‘pre-wash’ for your wheel will remove the oils and grease marks that we each leave every time we grip it. The amino acids in our blood negatively react to leather, which is why it fades over time.
Restore The Leather
To recapture its soft feeling and reinvigorate its shine, apply a leather cleaner to the wheel itself. This can be done by hand, towel, or best of all, a soft bristled toothbrush. The reason a toothbrush works most efficiently in this application is because it will get to the root of the leather and make its texture smooth and durable again. Leather detergents are found at any autobody shop, and occasionally they are referred to as ‘conditioners.’
The best way to restore your car’s steering wheel leather (amongst the myriad of other benefits) is to have it serviced regularly by professional auto detailers. Experts can save faded wheels so effectively that a replacement is not necessary. This is particularly fruitful for car owners looking to maintain the original leather as it was bought, and professionals can upgrade its components on the wheel to produce showroom-quality results.