My original steering cover already came with leather wrapping when I first bought the car but it was worn out, tired looking and need a replacement fast. Steering wheel cover was not however part of my original makeover project list as there were other items that needed makeover more urgently.
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Description of Steering Cover
The description online stated that the cover is made of genuine leather but getting used to “genuine leather” cheap products all these years have thought me one thing – there is no such thing as genuine leather for something that is sold for less than RM20. Image source: Lazada
Further digging on the internet, revealed that only the top layer may be actual leather but the rest of the layers is not – probably fake leather or PU leather. Of course, these statements on the product description tempted my attention further:-
- Decoration and Protection: Hide existing wear and keep your steering wheel looking new.
- Better Comfort: High-quality genuine cowhide leather, breathable, anti-slip design.
- Durability: Heat resistant, cold resistant and wear-resistant.
- Increased Safety: A better grip on the steering wheel gives you more control on the road.
The best thing is they provided two large needles with thick red threads and a rough guide on how to do the stitching which seemed to look simple.
My DIY Attempt
Initially, I thought I could have complete the whole work within the same day, foolishly thinking that it will take at the most an hour for me to stitch up the wheel cover. The start was rather good with me able to pull both sides of the cover as closely as possible and the stitching was quite easy. Note the original cover with white stitching and the new cover with the red stitching on top of it.
By the time I reached the spokes, I started to have some problem keeping both ends of the covers as close as possible. I started to have larger gaps despite my attempts to pull both sides as hard as possible.
At one point, I must have pulled so hard that the tread on the cover snapped jeopardising the whole DIY work. Then I remembered my stitching basics and used the existing holes at the cover to make new lines and tie them so that it is strong enough to hold both ends even with the torn thread.
The overall stitching works actually took me 3 days to complete mainly because I only worked on it for about 1 hour when I am free in the evening and when it is not so hot inside the car for me to work on. I did not continue into the late evening because it becomes too difficult to see the holes on the black cover.
It was not a perfect stitch especially at the spokes as I could not stitch at the back of the spoke but I tried my best to tighten it up so that it does not feel loose. It however looked easy on the photos online but then they may be doing it on a bare steering wheel unlike me doing it over an existing wheel cover. Image source: Lazada
The steering wheel looks a bit fatter now (actually fatter than what I had expected) but I feel great when holding it – it does not feel flimsy and the grip is better. It may not be genuine leather as advertised but it is soft to touch even when the car has been under the sun for a long time. I can’t wait for the lockdown to end to take the car for a long drive and see how when the stitching hold on.
Workmanship wise, I have to admit that it is not 100% perfect despite it suppose to be easy work. But then again, considering it is my first attempt and it is a DIY job as compared to one professionally done, the outcome is what I had expected.
Besides, it was cheaper too and in a surprising way, this also gives greater satisfaction when I finally completed it.