How to Repair Splits in Vinyl Seats

Larry Simmons

Vinyl seat covers are difficult to damage through normal wear and tear. Over time, however, some damage can occur, whether it's from thinning of the material or from small punctures. Eventually even small damaged areas grow larger, developing into splits. Repairing these splits as soon as possible can prevent further damage. With a vinyl repair kit, you can make the necessary repairs yourself in a matter of minutes. A kit comes with all you'll need to make a patch that matches the color of your seat, restoring the look and strength of your seat cover.

Restore the appearance of your vinyl seats by repairing splits in the material.
  1. Clean the vinyl seat with mild liquid soap and water with a sponge to remove any dirt deposits on the material. Rinse the vinyl with a damp cloth and allow the vinyl to dry. Go over the area with an alcohol swab to remove residue. Wait about five minutes for the alcohol to evaporate.

  2. Cut the vinyl repair material from your vinyl repair kit with scissors so that it covers the split with ½ inch of the material extending from the split in every direction. Slide the repair material through the slit beneath the seat cover, spreading it flat, and centered beneath the split.

  3. Place graining paper from the repair kit onto the vinyl and heat the vinyl through the paper, using the curing iron. Rub the iron over the paper, using a constant motion to even out the heat for 30 seconds until the paper flattens out over the repair material beneath the vinyl covering. Remove the paper.

  4. Mix the repair compounds from the kit in a small plastic cup until it's a shade lighter than the vinyl. The compound will darken as it dries after application.

  5. Lift the edge of the split and spread the repair compound onto the repair material, using a palette knife. Repeat the process for the other side of the split until you've covered the entire piece of repair material, up to the edge of the material extending beyond the split. Press the pieces of vinyl down onto the repair compound.

  6. Place the graining paper back over the split and apply the curing iron again to bind the repair material, compound and vinyl seat cover. Heat the area between 30 to 90 seconds until all of the layers stick, taking care not to overheat the vinyl, causing the covering to melt. Remove the iron to reveal the repaired seat covering.