You decided to go with vinyl seats for your new car for their durability, easy cleaning, affordability, and the wide gamut of colors and textures. It’s been five years since you got the vinyl seats, and you spot the early onset of abrasions in the seating.
While you may be tempted to leave the rip as is, listen up.
Once a rip begins, it will continue to tear unless you stop it. The foam padding underneath the seat will deteriorate slowly when sunlight exposes.
But not to worry.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
How To Repair Your Vinyl Seats
If you’re looking to fix your vinyl seats to perfection, you’re unlikely to be satisfied with DIY options. You’d better go to a professional upholstery shop to get the job done.
However, for the more adventurous (and stubborn) type, a few DIY options are available.
You can use strong fabric such as heavy-duty duck cloth or suede to glue on top of your rip. Another solution is using glue to seal the cracks or rips in your vinyl seats. Be sure to use something heavy on top of the affected area to ensure the seat doesn’t rip open again.
A leather filling is still another option for sealing the damaged area.
Finally, if these options don’t suit the job, you can always purchase a commercial leather or vinyl seat repair kit.
Here are seven different basic repair kits you can use to patch up your vinyl seats.
Tear-Aid vinyl repair kits are among the most reliable and high-quality kits on the commercial market. It is an adhesive tape with paper covering the tape.
To use, measure the tear size and cut a longer piece of adhesive tape for the job. Then peel and stick the adhesive on the affected area.
This repair kit is ideal for small to medium-sized tears. For larger rips, you should consider a liquid vinyl seats repair kit.
The Tear-Aid company specializes in developing repair patches for various uses and fabrics. It is the only manufacturer of an elastic repair patch. The company even recently developed an underwater patch that can also be applied underwater.
In addition to your vinyl seats, you can use the company’s Tear-Aid Type A products to patch tears of plastic, aluminum, and polyester materials, among others.
You’ll find these products at Wal-Mart, Bass Pro, or online via Amazon.
Like the Tear-Aid vinyl repair kit, the Pelle Patch repair kit uses strong adhesive patches to prevent further damage.
The patch is resistant to extreme cold and heat. Whether marine-craft or your 2015 Toyota Prius, these patches can seal the deal on any vinyl seats.
The company is based in Kirkland, Quebec, Canada, and their patches are available for purchase in six different countries including the U.S., Canada, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy.
Patches are available in 25 different colors ranging from dark grey to beige yellow. These patches are available for purchase via the company’s website link to Amazon.
Using this vinyl seats repair kit is more of a challenge than the tapes.
The 3M vinyl seats repair kit includes seven heat cure repair compounds of different color, two vinyl adhesives, one piece of backing fabric, three grain papers, one practice vinyl piece, one mixing spatula, one empty mixing cup, and one heat transfer tool.
Based in Minnesota, 3M is a manufacturing company known for its adhesive, abrasive, laminate, passive fire protection, and medical equipment products.
You can purchase this repair kit at your local hardware store or online via Amazon.
The repair kit requires more steps than a simple adhesive patch.
First, you must clean the damaged area using a non-soapy cleaner.
Next, for repairs greater than ¼ inch, use the backing fabric in the kit. You’ll need to cut the fabric larger than the damaged area. Then use a spatula to insert fabric into and under the damaged area. Use vinyl adhesive to seal the backing fabric in place.
Then select grain paper that is closest in color to your damaged vinyl seats. Be sure to draw an outline of the damaged area to position your heat transfer tool accurately over the repair compound.
Next, fill the damage by applying small amounts of the vinyl adhesive using a spatula.
You’ll then match the color of your vinyl seats using the color guide in your repair kit. Apply the color compound using the spatula.
Place the grain paper that you used to draw the outline of the damaged area and prepare for the heat transfer. Use a hot iron to heat the transfer tool at approximately 300°F.
Visbella offers a similar DIY vinyl seats repair kit as does 3M.
The repair kit comes with a variety of colors and grain papers designed to blend the damaged area with the material and color of the larger vinyl seats. It comes with a unique color guide that allows you to determine the correct color to match your damaged surface.
The kit comes with a complete step-by-step set of instructions to help repair burn holes, rips and tears on leather and vinyl material surfaces such as automotive upholstery, furniture, and leather jackets.
The largest tear or cut that you can repair with this kit is 3 inches by 3 inches. Most heating appliances such as a hair dryer will be enough to finish the heat transfer.
You can find this repair kit at your local hardware store or online via Amazon.
Like the Visbella and 3M vinyl seats repair kit, Permatex offers a similar vinyl and leather repair kit.
Permatex’s version is great for DIY repair projects for home, automotive, and marine vinyl and leather upholstery.
It contains a heat transfer tool, repair compound of seven colors, clear vinyl adhesive and filler, grain pattern paper, plastic spatula, and instruction sheet with a color matching chart.
In business since 1909, Permatex is a leading manufacturer, distributor, and marketer of chemical products involved in automotive maintenance and repair as well as home and hardware markets.
This repair kit is available for purchase on Permatex’s website, Amazon, or most hardware stores.
A product of Gear Aid, Tenacious Repair Tape works similarly to the Tear-Aid and Pelle Patch repair kits.
The tape measures 3 inches by 20 inches. It comes in a variety of shades such as black and transparent as well as popular colors to match your fabric for nearly invisible repairs.
This tape is ideal for your outdoor gear kit as it repairs most rips, holes, and gashes. While it would work for your vinyl seats, this tape repairs outdoor gear best such as camping gear, sleeping bags and pads, tents, clothing, vinyl rafts, and down jackets.
Providing outdoor gear since 1981, Gear Aid is a company which focuses exclusively on making it easier for its customers to enjoy the great outdoors with the proper gear.
You may also purchase this repair kit on Amazon.
MendKit’s leather and vinyl repair kit is a liquid kit that allows you to target those larger repair projects.
The kit includes a quality adhesive putty glue, a compound set of seven different colors, instructions to guide you along, and other tools to aid you in completing your DIY repair project.
If you are unsatisfied with your repair kit, you may return it back to MendKit within 30 days. You’ll also have a 1-year free replacement warranty.
MendKit is a small family business, established in 1992 and headquartered in Europe. It focuses on creating high-quality products for your DIY projects and repairs.
You may purchase the repair kit on Amazon via the company’s official website.
Choosing The Best Repair Kit For Your Vinyl Seats
Keep in mind, there are several things to consider when choosing the best repair kit for your vinyl seats.
First and foremost, how big is the damaged area that you need to repair? If it’s quite small, a repair tape or patch should do the trick. However, if it’s a larger tear, you’ll need to work with the liquid repair kits.
Next, you’ll need to think about color. If you want to make your damaged area nearly invisible to the naked eye, you’re better off using liquid repair kits and some tape kits. However, keep in mind that not all tapes include such precise color varieties that would suit your vinyl seats.
Although a minor factor, keep in mind how much time you have on your hands. If you need a quick fix, you’re golden with the repair tapes and patches. If you don’t mind spending more time on your repair, then definitely go for the liquid repair kits.
Whatever you decide, keep in mind the parameters of your damaged area, the color choices, and the amount of time on your hands. Happy repairing!