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Discussion Starter #1
So, I have a 2012 Passat SE. I was wondering how you clean the fake leather? I just found out the it wasn't real leather because I just recently had a problem. I got deodorant on it and the sun baked it into the leather. I tried to clean it with a bunch of things, but no luck. It it kinda getting back to normal, but I just have a few questions.

1. How do you take care of fake leather? Can I still use Leather Cleaner, or do I need something completely different?

2. How could I attempt to get the stain off my leather? I called the dealer, and they said I can bring it in so the can try, but I dont have time to drive an hour away to the closest dealer. I would just like to try by myself right now.

3. Are seat covers worth it? I heard this type of leather flakes and wears down after awhile? Would seat covers help, and if so what kinds a seat covers are "Good Quality?"


If I could get a few responses, that would be awesome!

Thank you! :banghead:
 

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I break for old people
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Try using Maguire's vinyl cleaner. We have a 2013 B7 TDI at my school's garage that VWOA donated and thats what we use to clean the seats with.

Haven't had any problems yet.
 

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i hate that they are using fake leather now.
that stuff wears out so fast. i predict alot of threads in the future of people needing new seats.
its polyurethane. stuff is cheap chinese knock off leather.
 

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That's funny because I was always under the impression that the synthetic stuff was much more durable and wears a ton better, especially Mercedes' MBTex and BMW's version of their simulated leather. Is the material VW uses that inferior?
 
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It just seems like it'd be less durable because it's not real leather. If felt is if the real leather would be much stronger than the plastic like material.
 

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from what i know from experience, polyurethane sucks.
my friend ordered a "gucci" belt from ebay, it turned out to be a fake replica from china.
we took it to the gucci store to have it looked at and they said it wasnt even real leather, that it was polyurethane.
it looked real and felt real, but smelled funny. he wore it anyway because there was no refunds. the thing fell apart in a month or two of daily use.
i did some research and found out that the fake leather stuff is pretty low end quality and im guessing car companies are being forced to use it now. because they are killing too many cows? lol.
im guessing peta had something to do with it.
but yes, years down the road you will reflect back on this thread and be like "ahh bee5 was right"
 

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Haha, I don't think it's so much PETA as it is cost effective. Leather takes skill and craftsmanship to make quality seats, fake leather can be shaped and stitched by any robot machine. It's probably just way cheap to produce for a manufacturing standpoint.

If PETA wanted car makers to stop using leather, they'd go after high end companies like Rolls-Royce. It takes something like 25 sheep to get the headliner, seats and carpet for the phantom. Plus furniture makers use way more leather as well.
 

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the fake leather does not last nearly as long. its not as durable as real leather. it also takes 500 years to decompose. its a little disappointing that luxury car brands are cutting corners on interiors.
 

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I politely digress from the two above opinions. I think the leatherette interior is great in terms of durability and being able to take abuse. We have a 2005.5 MKV Jetta equipped with VW's VTex Leatherette interior and it looks the way it did when we bought the car 3-4 years ago. It hasn't shown it's age in the slightest with a crack in the material, a rip in the seams, or stretching in any fashion. My only personal gripe with the material is that it is a little stiff for my taste, however, it does provide more support than the aging leather interior in my Passat. I think its more appropriate to call a leatherette material a synthetic material rather than polyurethane which is only one specific kind of plastic. The leatherette material is made up of several different synthetic materials in order to achieve its look, feel, and durability. If you're thinking its the thin pleather material they used in early B5 Audi A4's and such, they've come a long way from that.

Leather is certainly a nicer material in terms of comfort and appearance, but I can't sit here and say that it trumps leatherette by being durable. The top coating in my leather has cracks deep enough in the top coating to expose the leather beneath it. Also, because the leather has softened with age and has stretched to a degree, the foam beneath it has ripped and flexes more. It's more of a chore to clean too because there exists all sorts of fuss over what to use to clean it. Because there is a top coating on the leather, there is a lot of misconception that you have to use these leather cleaners that boast having exotic oils to enrich the leather and keep it soft. As I said before, there is a coating on most automotive leather applications that only require a wipe down with water or a very diluted cleaner mix. What's nice about those leather cleaners though is that they generally have protectants mixed in, so at least its worthwhile to use.

To clean the leatherette, you can use any light citrus based cleaners well diluted by water. You can even use water by itself. I prefer to use LA's Totally Awesome Citrus cleaner diluted about 5:1 (5 parts water to 1 part LA's) to clean interior soft touch trim panels, hard plastic ones, vinyl wrapped door cards, rubber pieces, and the leatherette seats in my mom's car (the MKV Jetta.) Basically, anything that works well on plastic and doesn't affect the soft touch interior is safe to use on your leatherette interior.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
UPDATE!

Nothing has helped in cleaning it. I have tried at least 6 different methods. Brought it to the dealer today to get it looked at, and they said the could'nt do anything. They said they have to replace the whole seat and that it would be over $800 to fix because of Labor. I think they are fibbing to me but who knows. I just think it is sad that I got a call from a guy there saying that it was going to be covered on my warranty and everything. Now, they are saying they don't know who I was speaking to and they don't know what they were saying to me. They told me that is wasn't going to be covered on the warranty and that I would have to pay full.

I will take pictures soon and post, I mean it doesnt look that bad.:icon_eek:
 

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A very gentle use of a Magic Eraser might help. I've used one before to clean the vinyl on the door cards with great success.

That $800 price is probably more the price of the seat than the price of labor. Seats in most cars take only 10-30 minutes to replace. At least I could have every seat, including the rears, out of my B5 Passat in about 30 minutes.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Pfhh, he said that the seat is $580, but he will give it to me for $400. Then labor is like $520, because he said it is very difficult to remove it. He said id get 30% off that price too. Im just frustrated at myself for letting this happen. Im so careful with my car and something like this happens. I will try the magic eraser though!
 
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