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GuardBott 07-21-2002 05:09 PM

Raw Looking Leather
I just bought a used '98 C280 and I'm trying to get some cosmetic stuff back up to par. All the seats look great except the driver's. The "side" support down by your (left) hip looks like the leather (or is it vinyl) is wearing off or raw looking. When you release the seat belt part of it still lays on the side support - I'm guessing this has rubbed the covering down quite a bit. Is there anything I can do to get it looking newish again? I've cleaned and treated the seats with leather conditioner/moisturizer. Any ideas?


400E 07-21-2002 07:34 PM

I have the same problem. Seems to be caused by belt loops abrading the leather when you get in and out.

There are at least 2 companies which market leather dye to the consumer. Check out and I have used both with good success. The advantage of colorplus is they stock MB standard upholstery colors. Their gray was a perfect match for my leather seats. It's pretty straightforward to apply-- comes with good instructions. Like painting your house, preparation is everything.

GuardBott 07-21-2002 07:56 PM

Thanks a lot! I will try one of them out. I bought the car a few months ago and that area of the seat was fine. I guess I just didn't notice the seatbelt rubbing when I got in and out of the car. The previous owner obviously was careful enough... too bad I got it started!


GuardBott 07-21-2002 07:58 PM

PS - Is it the dye itself rubbing off or is the leather wearing down? Sorry for the stupid question - I just thought it would hold up a tad bit better!


400E 07-22-2002 09:36 AM

That's not a stupid question at all. I learned a lot about car leather by reading the free pamphlet that colorplus will send you if you email them. Turns out that leather upholstery has a coating on top of the actual leather and this is the stuff that eventually may wear away at stress points. When you look at it, it looks like the leather is being abraded, but in most cases it's just the superficial coating that's gone south.

On mine, the side bolster (that's the official name of the padded part of the seat that surrounds your flanks and is intended to keep you from sliding laterally when you go around a curve) continues to wear away the coating, and once or twice a year I touch it up with colorplus leather dye. It really looks like new, at least for a few months, and it's really easy to apply.

GuardBott 07-22-2002 05:52 PM

Thanks Steve for the info! I sent an email to colorplus to get some scoop on their stuff. I was puzzled that the coating would wear off in a matter of weeks. I recall having to clean up some greasy stuff around the "side bolster" after my mechanic got in and out of the vehicle and got it filthed up. Great mechanic though :) ...I'm thinking I may have caused the deterioration with the cleaning agent I used. Probably my fault! BTW - do you know of a good upholstery cleaner for fabric trim? Again, grease from shoes/hands etc. has made the fabric grungy.

Thanks again!


David C Klasse 07-22-2002 06:31 PM

I've got the same problem on my C280........

400E 07-22-2002 08:58 PM

I haven't been real successful getting grease, etc. off of auto fabric. I usually try an all purpose cleaner called Red Juice from The Clean Team (they have a web site) because it's gentle, and it usually reduces the stain but doesn't always eliminate it.

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