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Interior - Upholstery

Fig 31. Cigarette burn holes can be repaired by various methods.


We recommend that you avoid smoking in your lease car, apart from the smell which is unacceptable to many people, there is also the danger of cigarette burns. If you must smoke, then use your ashtray and don't flick the ash out of the window, this is how many burns on back seats occur as there is a tendency for it to blow back in. Use your ashtray and when you return your car make sure it is washed properly - scrub it out with soapy water.

Cigarette burns can be repaired in a variety of ways depending on where they are and on what material. Sometimes they can be stitched up with needle and thread which is the cheapest option, this type of repair is not invisible but it is hardwearing which is important if you are going to keep sitting on the area!
On areas which receive less wear the area can be filled in and covered in fibers which match the original, this can be done on areas such as the headlining and the backs of seats.

A third option is to have a car trimmer replace the damaged seat panel, or to move it slightly to hide the burn in a seam. This is often the best option on seats with unusual fabrics which are hard to match or do not take well to being stitched. If in doubt, send us a photo or drop in to Clean Image and we will advise you of the best course of action.

Fig 32. Your 'Fair Wear and Tear guide' will tell you that dirty seats and carpet are not acceptable.

Your car should be kept reasonably clean at all times. Dirt, grit and grease increases wear on your upholstery and can cause damage. It's best not to eat take-aways and fast food in the car and when transporting them you should make sure they are properly secured. Be especially careful of Indian take-aways as these can be very greasy - the grease can easily soak right through paper bags and onto your carpet, turmeric will permanently stain carpets and seats yellow. This is just one of the reasons it is wise to keep some bin liners in the boot of your car - putting a plastic bag under your take-away could save you from a lot of hassle.

In the past, such things were not much of a problem because we could just shampoo the cars clean again. But many modern cars are far too delicate for this. Some makes and models contain fabrics which are very prone to staining and very difficult to clean without leaving water marks. Yet other makes of cars have delicate electrical systems under the floors or inside the seats which are not waterproof (keep this in mind next time you are drinking soft drinks in your car). This adds up to make them very difficult to clean.

Fig 33. Stained seats, these seats may be susceptible to water marks making them very difficult to clean.

Treating you car's interior with a fabric protector (like Scotchgard which is used on household carpets) is a very good solution. Treated fabric will often wipe clean with a damp cloth and is very difficult to stain.

If you have upholstery problems and you are wondering if anything can be done about it, upload a photo to Ask the Experts and we'll advise you - no obligation.

Ask the Experts about Upholstery.
De-Fleet Services

Our End-of-Lease Services provide quality repair for excessive wear and tear, and is acceptable and appropriate for Contract Hire, Personal Contract Purchase (PCP), Private Lease, Contract Purchase and Lease Purchase. Fleet managers wishing to efficiently prepare off-lease vehicles can contact us or send their drivers directly to our Q&A. Our advisors are trianed by Manheim to work to the BVRLA guidelines.


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This page was last updated on Wed, 12 October, 2011
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