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Old 06-07-2017, 10:03 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.

Quote:
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, 02:32 PM   #2
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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, 03:22 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, 08:47 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, 07:57 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by rick3000 View Post
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, 11:16 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, 10:37 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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