Easy Way To Install A Steering Wheel Cover (Leather)
How to Fit a Steering Wheel Cover
Steering wheel covers are a quick and easy way to customize your steering wheel. Some covers can be stretched over the wheel and don’t require anything else, while others need to be stitched together in order to fit snugly. To fit a steering wheel cover for your vehicle, you’ll have to measure your wheel first, then purchase the right sized cover. Once you get the right cover for your vehicle, you will either have to stretch the cover over the wheel or use a needle and thread to sew it together.
Measuring and Preparing Your Steering Wheel Cover
Clean the cover of your steering wheel with isopropyl alcohol.Use a rag and some isopropyl alcohol to wipe down the steering wheel before you apply the cover. This will remove any dirt or dust that would otherwise get caught under the steering wheel cover.
Measure the diameter of the steering wheel.To get the diameter of your steering wheel, stretch a tape measure across the front of the wheel, from one side to the other. Most steering wheels are anywhere from 14–17.5 inches (36–44 cm) in diameter.
- Most covers will list the diameter and grip thickness in the product details.
Measure the thickness of your steering wheel's grip.Wrap the tape measure around the steering wheel grip to determine its thickness. Purchase a steering wheel cover that matches the dimensions for your steering wheel.
- Most grips are 2–4.5 inches (5.1–11.4 cm) thick.
Purchase a cover from an automotive store or online.Find a steering wheel cover that matches the measurements you took for your steering wheel. Stretch style covers will fit over your wheel like a glove, while stitch style covers require you to sew them together. There are a variety of colors, styles, and designs that you can choose from when choosing your cover.
- Find a steering wheel cover that matches the aesthetic of your car. For example, if you have a black leather interior, consider getting a black leather steering wheel cover.
Remove the cardboard packaging if there is any.Many steering wheel covers will come with cardboard in the center of the cover. Remove this cardboard and any other tags on the cover before installing it.
- The instructions for most steering wheel covers will be on the back of the cardboard packaging.
Use a blow dryer to soften stretch style covers.Plug in a blow dryer and turn it on high. Hold the blow dryer 1 inch (2.5 cm) away from the interior of the steering wheel cover. Keep the heat on each section of the cover for 5-10 seconds. This should make it more pliable and easier to install.
- Do not let the cover cool off. Start the installation process immediately after you heat it.
- Most stitch-required steering wheel covers are made to fit loosely, so you can skip this step if you are using one.
- If you want to keep the cover as pliable as possible, plug the hair dryer into an outdoor outlet.
Installing a Stretch Style Steering Wheel Cover
Fit the top of the cover over the top of the wheel.Center the wheel before you start to install the cover. Slide the top of the steering wheel cover over the top of the wheel and slide it over the wheel as much as you can.
- Position the cover so that the seam is centered over the bottom of the wheel.
Stretch out both sides so that the cover fits over the wheel.Use your fingers and stretch the cover over one side. Then, alternate to the other side and stretch that side over. Work your way incrementally down the wheel until the entire cover is attached.
- You may have to pull hard on the cover to get it to stretch over the wheel.
Pull the bottom of the cover over the wheel.Once you’re done sliding the cover over as much as you can, you’ll probably find resistance near the bottom of the wheel. Use as much force as you can to get the final part of the cover fitting snugly over the wheel. Once you’ve fit it over the bottom, you’ve successfully fit your steering wheel cover.
- You can get a friend to hold the wheel straight if you are having trouble getting the cover on.
- To reposition the cover, take it off your wheel and repeat the process.
Sewing a Steering Wheel Cover
Stretch the steering wheel cover over the wheel.Center the wheel first. Then, place the cover over the wheel and make sure that the side flaps line up with the spokes in the wheel. Some covers will come with adhesive tape that you can apply to the wheel to better secure the cover.
- Most stitch-required steering wheel covers will fit loosely around the wheel.
- If the steering wheel cover does not fit over the wheel, you’ve purchased the wrong size.
Thread the needle with lacing string.Most stitch-required steering wheel covers will come with lacing string. Cut 3–5 feet (0.91–1.52 m) of string and lace 1 end of the string through the eye of the needle. Tie a knot into the end of the string to finish threading the needle.
- If your cover didn’t come with lacing string, you can purchase it from an arts and crafts store or online.
- Lacing string is durable and will hold up for a long time.
Push the needle through the inside of the cover.Start sewing near the top of one of the spokes on your steering wheel. Push the needle through an existing sewing hole on the inside of the cover on the side furthest from you. Pull the needle so that the thread is pulled all the way through and stops at the knot.
- Many covers will have existing sewing holes that you should use instead of creating new holes.
Run the needle through the side of the cover closest to you.Take the needle and thread and pull the string taut, stretching it over the wheel. Take the needle and run it through the outside of the cover, on the side closest to you. Pull the needle taut to bring both sides of the cover closer together.
- The string should be stretched over the wheel, not the steering wheel cover.
- The closer you can get both sides of the cover together, the more secure and clean your cover will look.
Twist the inside thread around the needle and pull the thread tight.Take the string connecting both sides of the cover and wrap it around the needle 3-4 times before pulling it tight. Pull on the string after you twist it around the needle and bring the 2 sides of the cover as close together as you can.
- Doing this will knot the thread and keep it in place as you thread the rest of the cover.
Thread the needle under the threads on the cover.Slide the needle under the pre-sewn thread in the seam of the cover. Start with the side furthest from you, then slide the needle under the thread on the side closest to you and pull it taut. You will repeat this process back and forth to sew the steering wheel cover together.
- The needle doesn’t have to penetrate the cover, it just needs to connect the existing stitching on both sides of the cover.
- If you do this correctly, it should create a criss-cross pattern.
Tie a knot at the end of the thread when you reach another spoke.Pull the string taut, then make a knot and cut the excess string when you reach a spoke. If you did everything correctly, your stitching should look neat and uniform.
Finish stitching the rest of the cover together.Continue to stitch the cover using the same process until the entire cover has been stitched. Attaching a sewn-on steering wheel cover can be time-consuming and detail oriented and may take several hours to complete.
Video: Easy Steering Wheel Cover Install
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