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Old 12-23-2011, 10:13 AM   #1
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Leather dashboard care

My 2001 dashboard leather is bubbled all across the front edge and looks like hell. I managed to purchase an entire dashboard of the correct color in great shape and will be replacing mine within a few weeks.
I have no idea what caused the bubbling as the car has almost always been garaged (98% of the time since I've had it for 5 yrs anyway).

What do you guys use to protect your leather that cares for the material and provides UV protection???? I certainly don't want to go through this replacement again.......

Bob

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Old 12-23-2011, 12:35 PM   #2
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Hot, hot, hot!

UV causes fading, bubbling sounds to me like the previous owner parked it in the sun a lot and allowed the interior to become an oven.

I have used various leather products over the years, I would say my two favorites would be the one-step Meguiar's Gold Class stuff, or the two-step Zymol cleaner/conditioner and straight conditioner. I am not a fan of the Lexol products.

The best way to prevent bubbling from happening again is to avoid the high interior temps in the summer, though. Garaging the car is perfect, of course, but at work I park in the shadow of a building when possible, and I use a cockpit cover--one that fits with the top UP, not just down. (You will find plenty of "cockpit covers" that fit with the top down only, but wind will blow lots of dust and grit into your car.) I leave the windows cracked an inch or so underneath the cover. The cover also prevents bird poop from getting on the fabric top.

Searching the web, you can find a couple that work with the top up. I first tried the one made out of Tyvek, but that still allowed the interior to get hot enough to kill my climate control display. I wanted something that blocked even more heat, so last summer I switched to the Reflectionite product, which is metalized on top and has car cover material on the underside. Much better heat blocking, and my only complaint is with the bulk of it folded up and stored in the trunk. No affiliation, etc.

RoadsterSolutions makes a cover which has padded extensions to combat door dings, if you are worried about that, too.
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Old 12-26-2011, 08:42 AM   #3
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Thanks....I'm checking out your suggestions. I'll commit to at least a custom cover inside the windshield and leaving the windows "cracked". I've never treated leather. Maybe it's time to do so.
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Old 12-26-2011, 09:27 AM   #4
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You've never treated leather? Jesus...

Get some Leatherique cleaner and conditioner stat.

Home Page | Leatherique Restoration Products
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Old 12-26-2011, 09:48 AM   #5
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The other reason for bubbling or rippling right where the dash meets the base of the windshield is moisture build up from the defroster vents.

I've always wanted a leather dash but frankly, it seems there's no way to keep a Porsche leather dash in good condition if you actually use the car vs. leaving it in a garage.
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Old 12-26-2011, 11:24 AM   #6
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My wife's 98 has a vinyl dash and looks brand new, my 01 has the leather dash and looks like hell from shrinkage. Leathers dashes are a universally bad idea. I would trade for a base model vinyl dash in a heartbeat.
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Old 12-26-2011, 11:59 AM   #7
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I've kind of wondered whether my dash is leather or vinyl. I know most of the interior is leather but the dash looks too perfect so I assumed it was vinyl. The very top of the seats at the headrests look like vinyl too. I'm happy if it is vinyl because I think it will last longer than leather on a dash.
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Old 12-26-2011, 12:17 PM   #8
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The dash I am talking about looks nothing like leather, it is sort of a small honeycomb pattern of cells and it is not smooth to the touch. It is plastic and obviously so.
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Old 12-26-2011, 03:01 PM   #9
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I always take the time to put up a sun shade for the windscreen so far my red leather is looking good

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