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Mr. Man
05-19-2013, 11:55 PM
So I'm at around 14,500 miles, I've had my Abarth since last September, and my leather seats are aging..... Quickly. I knew this was bound to happen but not as quickly as its happening, or as badly. I have a really big bubble on the seat bottom, weight can't be an issue as I only weigh 130lbs. Also the right part of the seat back is has really bad stretch marks, yet I lean to my left when I drive (back isn't even touching that part.) also, the back area around the insert for harnesses is aging, like it's being pulled too tightly and losing elasticity. Should I just have someone like 500Madness re-upholster my seats? I'd like a more durable material in the areas I described to keep my seats looking nice.

Tweak
05-20-2013, 12:02 AM
I'm around half way to your mileage but this is not good to read. I've owned a car with leather that looked REALLY good that is 10+ years old so this is worrisome. I'd say go with reupholster or some fitted covers that are either from or like the Katzkin offering which look much like an OEM solution and not a Pep Boys slip on cover. I know Madness just released some covers for the Abarth because VTECMini posted about them, might check into that option.

Mr. Man
05-20-2013, 12:12 AM
Exactly, for comparison my moms Porsche (god I love that thing, it's why I always bring it up) has perforated leather seats that have not aged a bit. Her car has a few thousands more miles and is an '08. I'll look into the katzkin covers.

Edit: just looked at katzkin's offering and for that price I could just buy some really nice aftermarket seats :boink:

500ways
05-20-2013, 08:04 AM
Exactly, for comparison my moms Porsche (god I love that thing, it's why I always bring it up) has perforated leather seats that have not aged a bit. Her car has a few thousands more miles and is an '08. I'll look into the katzkin covers.

Edit: just looked at katzkin's offering and for that price I could just buy some really nice aftermarket seats :boink:

The Porsche has real leather seats. The leather in the Abarth and other 500s, does not contain just leather. A certain percentage of the material is leather. The rest of the material is faux and other stuff. This is how most manufacturers are able to offer a leather seating option in moderately priced cars. Only the very high end cars today feature leather that really comes off the back of another living creature.

Mr. Man
05-20-2013, 09:13 AM
63196320So would it be more durable if I had them reupholstered in real leather, assuming I don't get swindled and the shop does a good job? I really love the premium feel of leather, maybe have alcantara inserts on the areas that are more susceptible to wear?

hartmn
05-20-2013, 10:07 AM
Mr.Man,

Did I miss something here? Why don't you take it back to the Fiat dealer for review of the problem with the saggy leather seats? I have the same car (leather) and weight more than 130lbs. We only have 2000 miles on our 05/2012 Abarth. I sure would be having a very serious conversation with Fiat about these seats! Why don't you try this first? Is the warranty gone on that car already? I would let the Fiat dealer look at the seat issue before I would be purchasing after market seat covers! Just from the resale value aspect alone. Seat covers on a used Abarth would not be my first choice if i were in the market. I'd walk away from that car wondering what happened to the original factory seats I would prefer the factory OEM seat covers even if they were saggy leather to after market seat covers any day when looking for used cars.

Go to the Fiat dealer and show them your Abarth's seats. At 130lbs they sure won't give you the same argument that they would through at me at Fiat dealer:) Let is know what happens....


Hartmn

cmj912
05-20-2013, 10:17 AM
Unfortunately, since leather is a natural or semi-natural product its application can vary in performance. Heat and cold cause shrinkage and expansion. It is unlikely that any two batches of leather could ever be considered identical.

If you feel like this is 'inexcusable' there were quite a few owners of the Volvo S60R ($40k plus in 2007) whose metallic blue 'Nordkapp' leather seating began to peel, flake and wrinkle after less than 30,000 miles. Owners of the of red-orange 'Atacama' and off-white 'Gobi' interior did not experience this. Volvo did replace quite a few seats, and if you check out a blue S60R on Ebay, take a good look at the seats.

I feel like your bolsters and seat trim are performing normally. However, I do see some undesirable behavior in the center and bottom panels. I don't think there'd be any great loss to check with the Studio to see if they can address the issue.

If you were reupholstering, doing it again in leather would potentially result in the same issue. The toughest material for seat upholstery is not leather; although well-taken care of leather can last a long time. The toughest material to go with would be a reasonable facsimile of the MB-Tex 'Leatherette' vinyl material that came standard on Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and BMW cars for so many years. It is not unusual to see that material in great shape after 20+ years.

Mr. Man
05-20-2013, 10:38 AM
What I May end up doing is just purchasing madness' new seat covers as a cover up until I can afford different seats since I want something lower and with more aggressive bolstering. And ill definitely talk to the dealer about it.

Robert Nixon
05-20-2013, 02:11 PM
Just curious if you are using anything to clean or treat your seats and if you think it makes a difference?

I've been trying to keep mine clean with some off the shelf leather cleaner stuff, no problems so far at 12,000 miles.

Mr. Man
05-20-2013, 03:53 PM
With college, full time job and being the oldest of 5 children I rarely have time to clean anything in my car. The stretch marks on the side showed up within the first thousand miles.

Robert Nixon
05-20-2013, 04:01 PM
Well dang, then at least talk to the dealer about doing something under warranty.

Dr. FIAT
05-20-2013, 11:08 PM
I have 3000 miles on my red leather so far. Some dimpling in the butt seat is caused by my wallet, which I now remove before entering. I also use Mother's Leather Cleaner/Conditioner once a month. The stretching doesn't bother me in the least, gives it character if anything. But this is subjective, I know!

Mr. Man
05-20-2013, 11:36 PM
The stretch marks really don't bother me as much personally since I can't see it when I'm driving but i plan on selling the seats eventually but who would wanna buy seats that look like they've been to the moon and back? And if I didn't sell them, I'd hate to see what they look like at 100k miles

Abarth619
05-22-2013, 10:36 AM
I'm around half way to your mileage but this is not good to read. I've owned a car with leather that looked REALLY good that is 10+ years old so this is worrisome. I'd say go with reupholster or some fitted covers that are either from or like the Katzkin offering which look much like an OEM solution and not a Pep Boys slip on cover. I know Madness just released some covers for the Abarth because VTECMini posted about them, might check into that option.

Just thought I'd chime in on the Katzkin solution. My brother was able to score some Katzkins from ebay for his 2012 Wrangler for only $350 shipped. If you decide to do it yourself though, be prepared for a frustrating knuckle busting experience. I've done many difficult automotive projects in the past, but for some reason the Katzkin installation drove us nuts. I have 2 bits of advice. Do it on a warm day so the leather softens and you will definitely need to buy a kit like this. http://www.amazon.com/Pro-Upholstery-Kit-300-Rings/dp/B003AXG4N6/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top Don't cheap out on the kit. Here's a few pics of the install. They look even better now that formed to the shape of the seat better.

http://i488.photobucket.com/albums/rr246/corn619/308923C6-F312-4966-9283-4940DB3BF61B-10654-00000869D2FE0661_zps3786f994.jpg (http://s488.photobucket.com/user/corn619/media/308923C6-F312-4966-9283-4940DB3BF61B-10654-00000869D2FE0661_zps3786f994.jpg.html)

http://i488.photobucket.com/albums/rr246/corn619/B4B62A41-5C90-4A6D-949F-F844FCF82B46-10654-00000869DABA5D84_zps30785873.jpg (http://s488.photobucket.com/user/corn619/media/B4B62A41-5C90-4A6D-949F-F844FCF82B46-10654-00000869DABA5D84_zps30785873.jpg.html)

http://i488.photobucket.com/albums/rr246/corn619/84E76088-18F3-4F28-B888-4C99FC889628-10654-00000869DF7809ED_zpsa41e0283.jpg (http://s488.photobucket.com/user/corn619/media/84E76088-18F3-4F28-B888-4C99FC889628-10654-00000869DF7809ED_zpsa41e0283.jpg.html)

http://i488.photobucket.com/albums/rr246/corn619/4177A683-AC7E-4D44-9858-678688331F13-10654-00000869E5483FC6_zps43b15ea8.jpg (http://s488.photobucket.com/user/corn619/media/4177A683-AC7E-4D44-9858-678688331F13-10654-00000869E5483FC6_zps43b15ea8.jpg.html)