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Old 06-13-2003, 12:59 AM
Registered User
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Scotts Valley, CA.
Posts: 145
What's leather, what's not???

Hi folks,
I have a question about my 1993 300CE-Convertible. It has the black "leather interior" but I'm fairly certain that EVERYTHING (other than carpet and wood of course) isn't leather.
Can somebody help me to understand what is and what isn't?

I presume that the top (seating) surfaces as well as the sides of the seats are leather. I'm presuming that the back of the seat (below the top 6 inches or so...) is vinyl. What about the head rests? What about the arm rest mounted to the driver's seat?
Door panels - the majority of it is vinyl (right?) with the "loosely pleated (for lack of a better description) insert is leather?
Dash is vinyl I presume.
What about the black portion on the hatch that is below the rear window (when the top is up) and covers the top (when the top is down) - is it leather or is it vinyl?

Thanks in advance for your help. I am rather picky about my car(s) and I don't want to put the wrong stuff (Lexol on vinyl or Vinylex on leather) on the wrong material.

Cruisin' on into a sunny weekend (I hope...) with the top down.

Jay Yambrovich
Scotts Valley, CA.

1993 300 CE Cabriolet (A124) 131K miles
1997 C-280 133K miles

2000 BMW R1100RT 69K miles
1989 300 E 216K miles (sold)
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Old 06-13-2003, 05:36 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Epsom Downs, England
Posts: 152

All this detective work would make my brain hurt.......

Surely it's easier to pick a cleaner that's ok for both?
Paul Gibbons
'93 320CE
'73 Jensen Interceptor (Resting)
Giant Full Sus Mountain Bike
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Old 06-13-2003, 09:33 AM
The Safety Geek
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Sudbury, Massachusetts
Posts: 254
You may not want to read this...I use pledge on everything. You may be more particular then I, but believe me that I do fuss over the interiors of all my vehicles. I love pledge because it's not too shiny, and cleans up well with a soft cloth between applications. I have the tex interior in my '95, I apply it everywhere but the wheel rim, and the seating surfaces. Just my thoughts, good luck.
1992 500SEL 25K
1995 E320 40K
1995 SL600 120K
2002 JX8 Sport 43K
2005 Volvo S40 95K
2006 Isuzu NPR 304K (Frankencamper)
2007 Crown Victoria 150K
2014 Smart Electric 20K
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Old 06-13-2003, 12:25 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: South Eastern, MA
Posts: 1,743
What's Leather & What's Not.......

Your seats are definitely leather as is the seatbacks, armrest, all headrests, steering wheel wrap and the pleated inserts in the doors.

The whole dash (upper and lower), the surfaces surrounding the leather insert on the door, the door pulls, steering wheel (center only) and A-Pillars are all vinyl.

I would use Meguiars Vinyl/Rubber or 303 on Vinyl and I love the Griots Leather Conditioner for leather. Best part about the Griots is it smells like leather. If you don't want to mail order try Lexol, works as good but doesn't smell good. The two Vinyl conditioners have UV protection to keep the surfaces from shrinking and cracking.

02 C32 AMG

92 500E
84 190E 2.3 5 Spd

Last edited by placo1; 06-13-2003 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 06-13-2003, 10:48 PM
Registered User
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Scotts Valley, CA.
Posts: 145
Thanks for the help

That's what I suspected. After I bought the car, I used my nose to find the leather. I figured that the other surfaces were vinyl. I've been using Vinylex on the vinyl and Lexol cleaner and Lexol conditioner on the leather.

I also found an Australian leather conditioner (I'm too lazy to walk to the garage to find the name right now...) and I will try it on the seats.

I appreciate the help on this board. Thanks again.
Jay Yambrovich
Scotts Valley, CA.

1993 300 CE Cabriolet (A124) 131K miles
1997 C-280 133K miles

2000 BMW R1100RT 69K miles
1989 300 E 216K miles (sold)
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Old 06-14-2003, 09:42 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 280
Talking leather or MBtex?

Just use your nose my friend! Real leather has a kind of cow/bull smell to put it nicely. MBtex has obviously no smell at all or a slightly chemical smell. If you looked at any material in the car. look for the almost consistent patterns on the material's surface and thats MBtex. Real leather does not have a consistent pattern, more like the grooves or crease marks on any skin where there are stretch marks and pore marks. They have made minute holes in MBtex and others to make it look like real leather and for air circulation also. Soon they would be adding the cow/bull odour to fake it. LOL. Now its leather inserts, no more full leather. If you are not seating on it or resting on it, its a type of vinyl just for show, is also cheaper for a mix.

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