The seats of a car should be some of the most durable parts of a car, being that they come into contact with the driver and passengers more than any other part of the car. However, each time that a person comes in contact with the leather or cloth that covers a car seat, friction causes minute amounts of damage that add up over time. Eventually, this can result in cracks in leather, as well as tears and visible worn spots in cloth. When this is compounded by the addition of children or pets to a vehicle, it is not uncommon for a car to eventually need new seats.
When buying new car seats, it is important to keep a few things in mind, namely the materials that new seats are made from, and whether or not entirely new seats for a car cover might be the best fit for an individual vehicle. Understanding these factors should make it possible for anyone with a car to make a wise and informed purchase, whether they are buying seats in a specialty auto store or online via eBay.
Types of Car Seat Materials
Car seats are designed for comfort, and for this reason, a number of comfortable materials have been used over the years to cover and protect them. The most popular types of seat covers are leather and cloth, although the latter is a term that can be used for a number of materials, both natural and synthetic. All of these materials are usually designed for heavy use and should last for quite a long time, although there are significant differences between them.
Leather is perhaps the most popular and thus most expensive kind of material made for car seats. For many people, leather simply oozes luxury. For this reason, the most expensive cars almost universally have leather seating. Leather seats are quite soft and very comfortable for those seated upon them, and are ideal for long car rides. For some people, the most appealing part of having leather seats is that they create a pleasant smell, especially when new.
Drawbacks of Leather
For the most part, leather is fairly easy to clean and resistant to stains. This is helpful when one has children or pets who might carry mud or other liquids into a vehicle. However, if these liquids are not cleaned promptly, they can soak into the tiny pores that make up a leather surface and eventually cause cracks. The same is true of body sweat and other materials.
Water, in particular, can cause stains, and even allow a smelly mould to grow that diminishes the appeal of leather seats. This requires fairly constant upkeep and maintenance with saddle soap and other leather cleaners. Leather is also a problem when one is living in an area where there are extreme temperatures.
Extremely cold temperatures can cause the leather to become very chilly, so much so that it can be felt even through warm clothing. Even worse, however, is the effect that sunlight and heat has on leather. In hot summer weather, it is not uncommon for those wearing skimpy clothing to actually feel burned when sitting on a leather car seat. Even after the car has cooled sufficiently to allow one to sit in the seats, humidity and sunlight can make one sweat, which makes skin stick to leather.
Cloth car seats are as old as cars themselves. Cloth seats are affordable, and perhaps more importantly, comfortable to sit on. With cloth car seats, there are not any issues of being too hot or too cold. A cloth seat on a hot day should not cause any burns. Potentially sweaty drivers or passengers need not have to worry about damaging the seats, or having to bring a towel along to sit on just to endure the ride.
Cloth car seats do not require excessive maintenance, and should not crack or otherwise visibly decay. However, cloth seats do stain much more easily than leather seats, and those with messy children and pets may find that liquids are easily absorbed, and cannot be easily cleaned without a special steam cleaner. It should be noted that, for the most part, cloth seats do not convey the same feelings of luxury that leather seats do, which means that the resale value of a car with cloth seats is lower than that of one with leather seats.
While almost all car seats are made from leather or cloth, there are other options available, namely synthetic materials. These synthetic materials are usually designed to be easy to clean and can be quite comfortable, although they do have some significant problems, and are not as attractive as leather. For the most part, synthetic materials are less expensive than leather and easier to maintain, especially when it comes to spilled liquids.
Neoprene may strike some as being an odd choice for car seats, and while it is rare, it is popular for certain cars. Neoprene is the material that is most commonly used for making scuba suits. Neoprene is perhaps the most waterproof material that can be used for car seats. This makes it a popular choice for those who drive convertibles, or other open-top vehicles such as off road jeeps, where mud and rain may cause damage. The impermeability of neoprene does have one significant disadvantage, in that it does not allow the skin to breathe well, potentially leading to excessive sweating.
Synthetic leather looks very much like leather, but it is actually comprised of vinyl. Synthetic leather is usually easier to maintain than actual leather, but costs much less. Of course, synthetic leather does not have the same luxury factor as real leather, but it is a popular option for many people as it is also easy to match with the rest of a car's interior.
One option that may save money for those wanting to replace their car seats is to invest in seat covers. Car seat covers are usually less expensive than a full seat, and can be used to improve a car's appearance while protecting the surface of the seats beneath them. Seat covers can also offer alternatives in terms of materials and colours that cannot usually be found outside of custom car seats. For example, some car seat covers feature multiple bright and bold colours that can match a custom paint job for a truly unique look. One popular material design for car seat covers features both leather and cloth. The leather portion is contained in the centre of the seat, in what is known as the 'insert'. This allows for some of the luxurious feel and look of leather with some of the advantages of cloth, along with a much lower price than full leather seats.
Car Seat Features
For the most part, material is the aspect of car seats that is most important for drivers and passengers. There are, however other features found in car seats. Some of these features, like seat heaters, are electronic and can raise the cost of a car seat significantly. Other features, like pockets on the back of a seat, can be important to look at as well. For those who drive with children in the rear seats, good pockets can be used to store materials to keep them entertained during a long drive. At the same time, these pockets, or other built-in features, may make it easier to attach a screen to allow rear passengers to watch a movie while in the vehicle.
Buying New Car Seats on eBay
There are a number of car parts, including car seats, that are readily available on eBay. There, sellers from many different locations offer new car seats made from a variety of materials that are designed for a number of different vehicles. When you have read about the various materials used for car seats and you have decided what you want, it is possible to find it on eBay using a simple search. This involves the search bar that is found on the eBay home page, or any eBay page for that matter.
Simply entering a general term into this search bar, like 'new car seats' should provide you with a number of items to choose from. You can, of course, alter this search term in order to include details of material, or by the car's make and model. As is the case with all items on eBay, it is important and helpful to read the full product description for any item in order to learn more about its history. By doing so customers can learn if there are any special considerations, such as blemishes or damage, that may affect both price and compatibility of the product being sold.
The car seats that a car comes equipped with are not necessarily destined to remain in a car for as long as it is on the road. Many car owners choose to replace their car seats, either because the originals were damaged, overworn, or not the right look for a custom car. New car seats are also used by those who are building, or restoring a custom car from the ground up. Regardless of the reasoning one might have for purchasing new car seats, it is helpful to understand the materials that these seats are usually made from.
The most popular choices for car seats are usually cloth and leather, each of which has different strengths and weaknesses. Leather seats are considered quite luxurious, but typically cost more money, while cloth seats are inexpensive, but may lower a car's resale value. There are also car seats made from synthetic materials that offer different options for shoppers. In some cases, people choose to use car seat covers rather than buy new car seats, because seat covers are cheaper and offer protection to a car seat. Understanding all of these factors can make is possible for anyone to find the right car seats for their vehicle.