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Leather Seat Covers: Installation & Maintenance | ShearComfort

2023 Nov 8th

Leather Seat Covers: Installation & Maintenance | ShearComfort

Posted by David Jones

Installing and Maintaining Your Leather Seats Like a Pro

Covering car seats with leather does more than protect your factory seats; they give the interior of your vehicle a sophisticated look that can only come by adding luxury seat covers like leather.

Benefits of Leather Seat Covers

In addition to an upscale look, there are many other benefits of covering car seats with leather.

Upgrade your cloth interior to leather without the price tag. Many trim packages will not include leather seats unless you purchase or lease a top of the line trim level. Genuine Leather Seat Covers are a custom slip-on solution at a fraction of the price. A great option for avoiding spending thousands on leather upholstery kits.

Comfort – These seat covers tend to be soft and supple and conform to your body the more you use them.

Durable – Leather is a tough material that withstands wear and tear, and with proper care, can last for years.

Easy to Clean – Leather seat covers are easy to clean by wiping away spills with a damp cloth.

Covering your car seats with leather can add resale value if you leave them in the car when you're ready to trade it in. If you're ready to learn how to install leather seat covers, we've compiled this guide on how to install a seat cover. Once you know how to install a seat cover, the installation process goes quickly.

Tools and Materials Needed for Installation

Our Seat covers go over your existing seats and upholstery, so you don’t have to remove your old seats. We suggest you have a pair of leather gloves handy as some edges under the seats and the tracks may have sharp edges. Otherwise, here are all the tools and materials you need for your leather seat installation:

  • ShearComfort Leather Seat Covers – set for the front and the back
  • How to install leather seat covers instructions

Pre-Installation Steps (include the steps for pre-installation)

Before you begin covering your car seats with leather, thoroughly inspect your new seat covers to ensure that all the pieces are there and you're happy with the quality of the materials. If something isn't right or you're missing a piece, contact us immediately.

Begin the leather seat installation by removing your headrest and unhooking any seat bibs.

As long as your headrests are non-electric and adjustable, remove them from the seats. If you have built-in or active headrests, leave them on.

Your headrest may have a button or pinhole release. You can use a paperclip to release the pinhole release. Some older models have a rotating cap you turn to remove the headrests.

Contact us if you don't know whether you can remove your headrests; we're happy to help.

The seat bib is the carpet flap below the backrest cover and may be held in place with hook and straps, Velcro or elastics. During your seat cover installation, you can remove this so you can pass the front straps and Velcro between the seat backrest and bottom to secure them in the back if needed.

Step-by-Step Guide to Installing Leather Seat Covers

Before you start your installation, if you have side-impact airbags, ensure you have the correct backrests with airbag alterations facing the door side of the seat. They should be marked DRIVER and PASSENGER.

If your seats have armrests, put them in the "up" position. Follow these instructions on how to install a seat cover:

Front Seat Installation

  1. The installation instructions are similar regardless of the configuration of your front seats, but you'll need to do extra steps if you have a center console.
  2. Turn the seat cover almost inside out and place the cover over the top of your backrest.
  3. Pull the cover down over the seat and pass the bottom flap through the opening in the seat back and seat bottom.
  4. Tug it tight and attach the Velcro. Folding the seat forward can make it easier to pass the flap through.
  5. Check your instructions for more information if you have integrated seatbelts.
  6. Install the bottom cushion covers by placing the cover over the seat bottom and passing the flap between the seat bottom and the seat back like you did for the top cover.
  7. Join and tighten the buckles under the seat.
  8. Attach the side hooks to the buckle straps.

If you have a 40/20/40 without under seat storage:

  1. Start by pulling the cover over the bottom cushion and align it with the seat.
  2. Pass the straps through the seat.
  3. Secure the s hooks under the seat.
  4. Pass the clips through the bottom side of the console.
  5. Secure the Velcro underneath the console.
  6. Lift the bottom cushion and pull the fabric through.
  7. Use the Velcro on the flap to secure the underside of the console.
  8. Attach the straps under the console. 

If you have a 40/20/40 with under seat storage:

  1. Slide the cover onto the bottom cushion with the Velcro exposed.
  2. Next, install your armrest covers by sliding the covers over the armrests. You may need to adjust the cover to fit around cup holders and levers. Your covers are made to fit snug, so tug them tight before using the Velcro to secure them.
  3. Once your seat covers are in place, put your headrest back in the vehicle making sure they are facing the proper direction. Slide the headrest cover over the top and pull it down tight. Align your seams.

Back/Rear Seat Installation

The installation of the back seat covers is similar to the front seat covers for certain seat types . If your vehicle has car seat anchors on the back seats, make sure the anchors don’t get tucked under your new seat cover by pulling them out and laying them over the new seat cover.

60/40 Installation

Before beginning, follow the headrest removal instructions from the front seat installation, if applicable.

Backrest: Cover

  1. Raise the seat bottom and release the backrest latch to lower the backseat.
  2. Slide the backrest cover behind the middle seat belt and slide over the backrest.
  3. Push the fabric over the headrest trim and tuck the material under the trim.
  4. Tuck the fabric through the back seat and bottom behind the seat.
  5. Fold down the seat back and pull the fabric tightly.
  6. Secure the fabric with Velcro – the latches should be accessible
  7. Put the seat back in its original position

Cushion Cover

  1. Undo the Velcro or straps on the seat covers.
    Pull the release strap to raise the seat bottom
  2. Slide cover over the seat bottom and align
  3. Tuck the material between the seat back and bottom
  4. Raise the seat bottom and pull the fabric tightly before reattaching the Velcro
  5. If you have an armrest console, see the instructions below

Bench Seat Installation

Before beginning, follow the headrest removal instructions from the front seat installation, if applicable.

Backrest Cover

  1. Place the backrest covers over your backrest. If you have a folding armrest, place it in the up position.
  2. Tuck the flap through the opening between seatback and seat bottom. Fold the seat forward for easier access.

Cushion Cover

  1. Place the cover over the bottom seat and pass the flap between the seat back and bottom seat. It may be easier if you fold the seat forward.
  2. Join and tighten the buckles under the seat.
  3. Attach the side hooks to the buckle straps.

Additionally, if you have a center console or pass-through/armrest, you'll need to follow these instructions:

Console Cover

  1. Slide on the top console cover and then the bottom cover
  2. Pass the console bottom flap through the opening and attach the Velcro
  3. Put the base cover over the bottom and slide the flap through
  4. Attach the buckles and hooks

Pass-Through/Armrest Cover –

  1. Pull the cover over the console
  2. Adjust the cover around cup holders if necessary and feed it between the seats
  3. Pull the fabric tight
  4. Secure it with Velcro

Post-Installation Care and Tips

For a tight, finished look, ensure the seat cover material is tucked under the levers and the headrest.

After you've had your new covers on for a few weeks, retighten them now that they're broken in.

Mistakes to Avoid During Installation

In addition to reading the instructions, you'll want to follow these tips when covering car seats with leather:

  • Make sure that you secure the straps properly and snuggly
  • Smooth out the covers to get rid of wrinkles
  • Ensure backrests are installed on the correct side to ensure air bag alterations are in correct place.
  • Ensure your seatbelt slots are properly aligned.
  • Do not overstretch the seat cover

Why Choose ShearComfort's Leather Seat Covers

ShearComfort's Leather Seat Covers are American-made from high-quality leather in partnership with Coverking. The premium leather used in the seating area is water, fade, and abrasion-resistant and has high quality leatherette on the sides and backs of the seat covers. Seats have been UV-treated to ensure long-lasting color.

Your leather seat cover is a custom fit for your vehicle, so it has been modified for your side airbags, has the proper armrest covers, and the center console cover is a perfect fit.

In addition to a quality, luxurious, and custom fit cover, you get the ShearComfort's 2 Year Risk-Free Warranty for workmanship and materials, excluding accidents, misuse, abuse, or excessive wear and tear.


Your seat covers should last a long time with proper care, so regularly clean your seat covers, and they'll last you for years.