A Mercedes CLK is a luxury vehicle that often has leather seats and a leather steering wheel. With extended use, the leather steering wheel can become dirty, cracked and damaged. When the damage is extensive, it is necessary to remove the leather from the steering wheel and replace it with new leather. You can do this job yourself for much less than it costs to pay a mechanic, but expect to spend at least 10 hours on this project.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Utility knife
- Flathead screwdriver
- Solvent cleaner
- Work rags
- Steering wheel leather
- Leather thread
- Leather needle
- 1/8 -inch thick foam
- Small clamps
- Rubber mallet
Remove the steering wheel from the car. Use a flathead screwdriver to remove the centre piece of plastic from the centre of the steering wheel. Unscrew any screws and nuts holding the steering wheel into place. Firmly pull the steering wheel away from the dashboard.
Use a utility knife to remove the old leather from around the steering wheel. Wipe the surface of the steering wheel with a solvent cleaner to eliminate any residue from glue or foam used to cushion the leather.
Punch holes into the piece of leather if it does not come with holes already punched in the surface. Punch two rows of holes on both sides of the leather 1/4 inch apart with an awl. Punch one row 1/8 inch away from the edge of the leather, and the other row 1/2 inch away from the edge. Repeat for both sides of the leather. Make sure you have the same number of holes on both sides of the leather.
Sew the two rows of holes together on each side of the leather. You are basically making a hem in the leather to hide the rough edge.
Cut a piece of foam large enough to wrap around the steering wheel and glue into place.
Spread some glue over the foam and lay the leather on top of the steering wheel. Hold the leather in place with small clamps.
Thread the leather needle with leather thread. Sew the sides of the leather together, using a lacing stitch just like you are lacing tennis shoes. After about six stitches, pull the leather as tight as possible. Pull it slowly and carefully so that you do not damage the leather.
Hammer the threads inside the leather with a rubber mallet. This will push the threads inside the steering wheel leather and produce a professional-looking steering wheel cover.
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