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Old 06-07-2017, 09:03 AM   #1
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FYI: Don't Treat Your Leather Dash

I have been researching different detailing products recently, and the one area where I was completely stumped was on how to take care of the leather. My 986 has no-vinyl, everything is leather, even the air vents. While I have not found a definitive answer the seats appear to be coated leather, but my dash has a different texture. I even emailed Porsche to ask about the different types of leathers used, but received a boilerplate response recommending their car care kit. Then I stumbled across this on Rennlist in their 996 forum.

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The leather Porsche uses on the dash contains almost no moisture - it is specifically dried so there will be less "movement" as it goes through the big temperature changes that can occur on the dash. Introducing moisture back into the leather by using a conditioner will cause the leather to "move" with temperature changes and possibly break loose from the surface it is glued to. Here's what Porsche has to say about the leather used on the dash...

"All leather is not the same. We work with classic upholstery leather, but we also work with low-shrinkage leather. The instrument paneling, for example, can get extremely hot in summer. If the material starting tightening, what would that look like after a while? So we're talking about leather whose residual moisture has been largly removed, which means that it won't be able to shrink later." (Christophorus, No. 276 January 1999)
It would appear you shouldn't use anything other than a damp towel to care for any leather you don't regularly touch, like the dash. I wish I had found this out years ago, I have been applying leather conditioner to the dash, which apparently has been doing more harm than good. Luckily, my 986 has been garaged for most of it's life and I always use a windshield reflector. I will no longer be using leather cleaner/conditioner on anything I don't touch, but I may use a light interior cleaner like 1Z Cockpit Premium to give the dash some extra UV protection.

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Old 06-07-2017, 01:32 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick3000 View Post
I have been researching different detailing products recently, and the one area where I was completely stumped was on how to take care of the leather. My 986 has no-vinyl, everything is leather, even the air vents. While I have not found a definitive answer the seats appear to be coated leather, but my dash has a different texture. I even emailed Porsche to ask about the different types of leathers used, but received a boilerplate response recommending their car care kit. Then I stumbled across this on Rennlist in their 996 forum.



It would appear you shouldn't use anything other than a damp towel to care for any leather you don't regularly touch, like the dash. I wish I had found this out years ago, I have been applying leather conditioner to the dash, which apparently has been doing more harm than good. Luckily, my 986 has been garaged for most of it's life and I always use a windshield reflector. I will no longer be using leather cleaner/conditioner on anything I don't touch, but I may use a light interior cleaner like 1Z Cockpit Premium to give the dash some extra UV protection.

also the 303 products mentioned in this thread are very good.
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Old 06-07-2017, 02:22 PM   #3
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Isn't there a fine line between drying and cracking and coming loose from the glue? If you don't treat the leather, over time if will crack and peel from the heat / sun.

I would think treating it with a light coat of leather cleaner/protectant is perfectly fine.
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Old 06-07-2017, 07:47 PM   #4
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I think the implication is that the drying and cracking is caused by the leather becoming detached, which can apparently occur when the leather expands/contracts because leather conditioner was used. I wish I could find more information and better sources on this, but I think I will cut back on heavy applications of leather conditioner just to be safe, or switch to something like 303 or 1Z to just provide some UV protection.
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Old 02-01-2018, 06:57 AM   #5
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I think the implication is that the drying and cracking is caused by the leather becoming detached, which can apparently occur when the leather expands/contracts because leather conditioner was used. I wish I could find more information and better sources on this, but I think I will cut back on heavy applications of leather conditioner just to be safe, or switch to something like 303 or 1Z to just provide some UV protection.
Revival...

I had my windshield tinted. $100. All of my vehicles have had tinted fronts since... a decade.

Definite improvement in the AC efficiency.
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Old 02-01-2018, 10:16 AM   #6
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Revival...

I had my windshield tinted. $100. All of my vehicles have had tinted fronts since... a decade.

Definite improvement in the AC efficiency.
Wish I could but tinting the front window is illegal where I live. You'd think here in Phoenix that would not be the case.

303 is a great product for providing UV protection and I've been using it for decades.
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Old 12-19-2018, 09:37 AM   #7
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Wish I could but tinting the front window is illegal where I live. You'd think here in Phoenix that would not be the case.

303 is a great product for providing UV protection and I've been using it for decades.
A little late, but...

The tint is the clearest they offer. I can't tell that there's tint... virtually indistinguishable from a clear windshield. However, on a sunny SoCal day I definitely can tell the difference. Far less heat. Further, the tint protects the dash and interior fro UV rays. And, again, the AC runs very efficient.
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Old 04-22-2019, 10:05 PM   #8
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A bit late to this thread, but I have been using Meguiar's Ultimate Fast Finish on my car's interior. It actually works wonderful, plus it has UV protection in it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJoqaqjzSNY
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Last edited by KRAM36; 04-22-2019 at 10:08 PM.
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Old 04-23-2019, 03:47 AM   #9
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A bit late to this thread, but I have been using Meguiar's Ultimate Fast Finish on my car's interior. It actually works wonderful, plus it has UV protection in it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJoqaqjzSNY
Are you using that on your leather dash... door panels? Tell me all about it...
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Old 04-23-2019, 07:05 AM   #10
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Are you using that on your leather dash... door panels? Tell me all about it...
Yep. Best way to use it is get your surfaces clean of any junk you have applied in the past and come back with this. It goes on very easily and doesn't shine too much. Next cleaning just wipe down the surfaces to remove the dirt/lent with a damp cloth. If you don't feel like the damp cloth is moving smoothly, time to hit again with the Meguiar's Ultimate Fast Finish again. This stuff last a long time and makes cleaning the interior much easier and looks great.
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Old 04-23-2019, 03:17 PM   #11
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Yep. Best way to use it is get your surfaces clean of any junk you have applied in the past and come back with this. It goes on very easily and doesn't shine too much. Next cleaning just wipe down the surfaces to remove the dirt/lent with a damp cloth. If you don't feel like the damp cloth is moving smoothly, time to hit again with the Meguiar's Ultimate Fast Finish again. This stuff last a long time and makes cleaning the interior much easier and looks great.
Yeah... the interior. Specifically I'm thinking the leather dash... door panels... you know... the dried leather. Are you applying that product to the leather? Tel me all about it.

Also... what are you doing about little "dots" here and there where a pinhead size area is absent the leather die? For instance... there's a couple of very small white pinhead spots on my console lid. If there were a matching color Sharpie... a touch here... a touch there... white gone. I'm not interested in purchasing an overpriced kit that requires a science degree to apply... just a little dab, ya know?

Thanks, Kram.
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Old 04-23-2019, 03:40 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Starter986 View Post
Yeah... the interior. Specifically I'm thinking the leather dash... door panels... you know... the dried leather. Are you applying that product to the leather? Tel me all about it.

Also... what are you doing about little "dots" here and there where a pinhead size area is absent the leather die? For instance... there's a couple of very small white pinhead spots on my console lid. If there were a matching color Sharpie... a touch here... a touch there... white gone. I'm not interested in purchasing an overpriced kit that requires a science degree to apply... just a little dab, ya know?

Thanks, Kram.
Yes I use it on the dash leather. Meguiar's Ultimate Fast Finish is a sealant and protects against UV. Best way to use it is get your surfaces clean of any junk you have applied in the past and come back with this. It goes on very easily and doesn't shine too much. Next cleaning just wipe down the surfaces to remove the dirt/lent with a damp cloth. If you don't feel like the damp cloth is moving smoothly, time to hit again with the Meguiar's Ultimate Fast Finish again. This stuff last a long time and makes cleaning the interior much easier and looks great.

I don't have any little "dots" on my leather, so I have not had to address that issue.

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