Cracked Leather Seats

I remember a discussion here at SU about the contrasting leather in the OG 9-5 seats was not real leather, but vinyl. This is something that got very real to me 2015. I generally take good care of my car, but I have not done much to the seats. I like to think that leather seats get a nice patina over time, if it is real leather, that is.

Summer 2015 the light colored fake leather in my driver seat cracked. I thought it was a shame, since my car is in good condition. I decided to mend it. I looked around the internet and found a solution called “Color Glo”. Color Glo is specialized in fixing damages in both real leather and vinyl. They can also imprint different leather patterns to mimic the original look.

It turned out that cracked fake leather on Saabs was quite common and that the rip could not be too large in order to fix it. Mine was ok to mend. Unfortunately, the leather pattern could not be imprinted because the cushion beneath the rip was too compressed (gap between the cushion and the vinyl). It seems that the cushions gets worn quite fast.

My driver seat before mending the cracked vinyl.

The mending looked ok, but not by any means perfect. Still, the seat was in once piece again. The mending got lightly tainted by my blue jeans quite fast.

Just before this summer, a piece came off the mending and I am back to square one again. It seems that it is not possible to get a permanent solution for this issue. At least not with the method I chose.

The current state of my seat.

I think Tim mentioned that if you chose the all black version of the seat, you got all real leather. That was probably the correct choice to make. I also discussed this matter with my previous boss who used to be employed at Saab. He said that Saab had pure leather all over the seats for a long time. In competition, Saab was the only one to keep leather all over and scaled down to specific parts of the seat to keep price on par with competition.

Has anyone tried any other method? Please write a post and share your experience!

3 thoughts on “Cracked Leather Seats”

  1. joPISe, One thing I noticed is that the leather in these cars is a far cry from that in two SAAB 9000 models I owned. The leather feels somewhat vinyl like, no where near as supple as the leather in those older cars so it appears that SAAB did go with a cheaper leather for cost reasons. However, I bought the 9-5 new and it is now ten years old and the seats still look like new even if the the leather is not very luxurious like that in the 9000. They are a very light mono-tone color, so you may be right about the two color seats substituting vinyl for the accent inserts which is too bad because those seats, especially the ventilated version which yours seems to be look much nicer than the plainer ones in my car.

    Your patch actually lasted for quite a while as those things go, but it doesn’t seem like you want to go that route again. A decent upholsterer or even someone with good sewing skills and a good machine could replace the insert (my wife did a similar repair on a boat cushion). You would probably want to do at least both drivers seat-bottom inserts to get a match there. An advantage would be that leather could be used for the new inserts. My experience is that the last version of the OG 9-5 holds up very well, so if yours is a good one that you plan on keeping, a proper repair might be worthwhile is a better solutions doesn’t arise.

    • I’ve noticed that leather in later Gen 1 9-5s was not even of the same quality as early 9-5s. Save the ventilated portions, the leather in my parents’ 2000 9-5 was the same as the leather in both my 91 9000 and my 2001 9-3. My colleague’s 2007 9-5 was not the same.

  2. It all about costs…

    Splicing the leather skins into two thinner parts.. then treating the under skin with resins, that sort of try to look like the top face of real leather, it may be tough on later models, but still the top coat is added, against full leather when the top skins is the original top part of the skin (ie: earlier cars that used the full skins)….

    My MY 2009, 9-5 estate has plain vented seats, so no highlighted inserts…….

Comments are closed.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.