Dealer Alternative Leather Seat Covers

Reviewed by: Mike Bolton -

Leather seat cover replacements for driver and passenger seats

Received the seat covers for Chrismas from my loving wife. She had purchased them from "Dealer Alternative". She advises that Bill Cardell and all were very good to deal with. I called Bill before installation and although he had never installed a set before, did look up the seat detail in the shop manual to advise that most of the work looked to be fairly simple. Finish of the material was good and well packed to avoid damage. THIS IS A 2 PERSON JOB IF YOU AREN'T A PROFESSIONAL AT COVERING SEATS!!! Removal of the old seat covers and hardware to get to the foam is time consuming. Take your time and you will be pleased with the results. A note of caution, the inner part of the seat covers (both old and new) attach to the inner foam onto wire bars embedded in the seat foam. Care must be taken not to pull the wire out of the foam material. If this happens (which it did to me) it can be repaired by putting the wire back into the foam and securing it with a hot glue gun. In fact it is probably more solid now than it was to start with. You basically just caulk it back into place. You will need about 150 small hog rings, hog ring pliers, and a lot of grunt. Most of the work is pretty straight forward once you see how the original seat covers are held in place, you just have to repeat the work with the new covers. The only thing that was not present on the new covers that I got was on the receptical for the seat belt bolster hole which was missing. I was able to cut these holes with an X-Acto knife, the bolster and the slide covered the area okay, but care should be taken not to make the holes any bigger than they have to be. After that it's just basic push and pull the covers on and get the foam pushed into the correct position.

How do they look? in a word, GREAT! How do they feel? Even better! This really adds some class to the the interior of the car and gives one a feeling of luxury that can only be had by leather seats. The installation is doable by a normal person if care is taken and the job is not rushed. I had never installed auto seat covers before in my life, and I was able to do a very good job. I feel an outside shop would have charged me at least $200 to do the work so I got some satisfaction out of the work. You can't beat the look or the feel, and the fit of the material was outstanding as well as the service from Dealer Alternative. They aren't cheap to buy, but if you need to replace faded or damaged covers it's a great option to add to your car. I'd do it again.

Back to Product Reviews 11 January, 1998