4 Ways To Stop A Leather Steering Wheel Peeling (Quickly)

Leather Steering wheels can be prone to peeling, and this can be frustrating and annoying for you, especially when this pops up all of a sudden. There are some ways you can fix this up.

Here Are Ways You can Stop A Leather Steering Wheel Peeling:

There are ways you can fix a leather steering wheel, the four ways include:

Replace or purchase a new steering wheel
Dismantle the steering wheel and send for repair
Refurbishment the steering wheel yourself
Have the steering wheel re wrapped

In this article we will go through what causes a leather steering wheel to peel (with the reasons why), and the exact methods you can do to either replace or fix up the problem.

What causes a leather steering wheel to peel?


Your steering wheel will experience a lot of friction when you drive and even a durable material like leather will start to slowly wear away over time. As the leather wears down, it is likely to dry out and develops cracks, which will then start to peel open. The more friction that damaged leather receives, the faster it will continue to peel.

And it isn’t as though you can avoid keeping your hands firmly on the wheel while driving, which is why most of us just accept the damage that friction can cause to leather. Those who drive frequently or those who make lots of long journeys are more likely to notice peeling caused by friction, but it can happen to any driver.

Heat And Sunlight

Heat is unavoidable when you’re driving around a metal vehicle during the summer, as is sunlight coming in through the windows. However, both of these things can cause leather to become dry because they evaporate the natural oils inside the material that keep it supple. When the natural oils in leather evaporate, there is nothing to keep the material from stiffening out and cracking.

Think of leather like skin: too much heat and too much sunlight are bad for it because they can harm skin from the inside. This internal damage will then present itself on the surface in the form of cracked, dry skin that you struggle to get rid of. When leather cracks and dries out, it becomes much harder and rougher, which is when you’ll notice several areas starting to peel.

Natural Oils From Our Hands

You might not be aware of this, but the natural oils in our skin can also compromise the integrity of leather, which is why it’s important to regularly wipe down leather that has come into contact with bare skin.

As your hand will be firmly gripping the wheel, the natural oils in your palms will seep through the pores of the leather, as will any sweat. The salts and enzymes in the oils and sweat can upset the pH of leather, causing internal damage that will eventually present itself as external peeling.

There is no way that you can really prevent the natural oils or sweat from your hands from getting onto your leather steering wheel and sometimes cleaning the wheel down at the end of a journey isn’t enough to stop the salts and enzymes being absorbed. Once leather has been penetrated, there isn’t a lot that you can do to prevent peeling that starts from the inside and then works its way out.

Cold Weather

Though hot weather is one of the worst offenders for causing leather to peel, cold weather is also bad for it because excessive cold will turn the material brittle and contract.

Then, when the leather expands again at a warmer temperature, it is liable to crack. Leather is a hardy material, so you shouldn’t notice your steering wheel cracking and peeling from moderate cold, but when temperatures hit freezing, leather can be very badly affected.

Cold leather is also easier to damage when making contact because you’re more likely to cause it to crack as you grip and squeeze the wheel between your hands.

Any crack can easily widen into a hole with peeling edges, which will only be made worse in freezing conditions because the leather won’t soften up. Even if you use a maintenance product to try to soften the leather wheel, it will have already started to peel, making your job a lot more difficult.

Poor Maintenance

Ultimately, all of the things mentioned above can be rectified if you work to maintain your leather steering wheel and attempt to fix peeling as soon as you notice it.

A lot of cracking and peeling can get worse because people often don’t think to regularly maintain the materials inside their cars like they do the materials inside their homes. As a result, leather interiors, like steering wheels and seats, can start to peel and show other damage much more quickly.

Peeling is a sign that something has compromised the inside of your leather steering wheel and if you don’t attempt to fix the material, the peeling will form bigger holes and completely ruin the look of the wheel.

Even better, you should work to maintain any cracks that you notice because leather has to crack before it can start to peel. Once peeling has begun, there are a few things that you can do to restore your steering wheel.

Ways To Stop A Leather Steering Wheel Peeling

Replace Or Buy A New Or Used Steering Wheel

Sometimes, things become damaged beyond repair, especially things that are made out of materials that need to be consistently cared for like leather.

If your steering wheel has started to peel in multiple places, it will likely take more time and work to fix it than it would to buy a new steering wheel and replace it. If you’re not looking to spend a lot of money, you could even buy a used leather steering wheel that is in good condition and replace your damaged wheel with that.

A lot of people might choose to replace the steering wheels on their cars after buying them anyway due to preference, so it’s easy to find manufacturers in person or online that sell both brand new and second-hand steering wheels.

A peeling leather steering wheel won’t feel very pleasant to drive with, so replacing your damaged wheel is probably one of the best things that you can do for your car. Just remember to take closer care of the new leather wheel to prevent any peeling from happening again!

Dismantle The Steering Wheel And Send For Repair

However, minor peeling can be repaired, so you’ll be able to save money on a new steering wheel by choosing to dismantle the wheel and send it for professional repair instead.

Have a look online and find the best place for you to send your steering wheel to be repaired. The best person for the job will have experience with fixing damaged leather and should be able to send the wheel back to you looking as good as new.

Having your leather steering wheel repaired by a professional will restore the material and give you some time to gather any cleaning and maintenance supplies that you’ll need to use when caring for the wheel in future.

Once the wheel is reattached to your car, it should feel soft and smooth when touched, with no signs that the material had ever started to peel in the first place. Working to maintain your new and improved leather steering wheel will prevent the same damage from occurring in the future.

Refurbish The Steering Wheel Yourself

Another option for fairly minor peeling is to refurbish the steering wheel yourself and save spending any money on professional services. You can buy leather repair kits that give you all the products that you need to completely reverse the effects of peeling on leather. However, you can also purchase the necessary products individually.

You should start by gently scrubbing the areas on the wheel that have started to peel to get rid of the flaky edges, then using either a leather filler or a leather dye to fill in the areas that had previously peeled away.

Finally, apply a leather conditioner to keep the leather supple and moisturised. This will stop it from drying out again, so long as you continue to moisturise the steering wheel regularly.

You could also consider purchasing a steering wheel cover to help protect the leather as you drive. This will also provide some insulation, which will stop the wheel from getting too cold and also keep your hands warm and comfortable.

You can remove the cover whenever you like, but it is a cheap way to refurbish your wheel and stop the leather from peeling by simply preventing any contact or friction.

Have The Steering Wheel Rewrapped

If you’d prefer to keep your original steering wheel but the leather is unsalvageable, you can choose to have it rewrapped instead. It’s also cheaper to have your steering wheel rewrapped than it is to buy a new leather wheel.

This is an easy way to solve the problem of a peeled steering wheel because you’ll have completely new leather to take care of.

A rewrapped steering wheel will also have a better colour and texture than an older wheel, so you’ll be encouraged to treat the leather with different products to keep it in the best condition possible.

It might take a few days for you to get used to driving with a rewrapped wheel, but you’ll notice a huge difference from the old peeled leather wheel. The look of your car’s interior will also be hugely updated just by the addition of new leather.

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