Seat Repair | Getting what you pay for
There are many ways to repair or fix a seat, reality is that it comes down to what you want, not what someone wants to sell you. Every seat repair is different; one size process does not fit all.
The process of repair can go from dying the color something to freshen it up the ‘look’, creating a more comfortable seat, to total cover replacement.
- So how do you know what’s the best choice for your vehicle?
The first thing to consider is 'Your' expectations:
- How do you want the seat to perform, in a way that it is not doing right now?
Remember, you are the one sitting in it every time you use your car to get to your destination, we spend a lot of time in that drivers seat.
- Is it a money issue?
- Does the seat just not feel right when you sit in it?
- Does it hurt your back or legs?
- Do you want to get another 3-5 years out of your daily driver?
- What is the age / mileage your vehicle?
- How long do you expect this current vehicle to last?
Every person has their own set of expectations, make sure that the shop you choose takes that into account so that you get what you pay for.
Then there are repairs that will require replacement of either the panel or the seat cover, this is because the seat is beyond the point of a simple repair.
Well if its leather, and the color is worn off, that might be a good candidate for a simple repair. But, on the other hand, the leather is actually cracked and you can see the foam pad underneath, this will require replacement of not only the outside cover, but the material inside as well.
We have seen (over the years) the rush to get it done cheap & fast to get another several years out of a car turn into something that has to be done over.
- Take the time to fix it right, as the saying goes: That person didn’t have the time to get it done right the first time, but they did have to time to have it done twice.
This also can end up costing twice the money.
There are other things to consider - a quick repair will not hold up as long on the driver’s seat as it will in any other seat, simply because the driver seat is always used in the cars driven and gets the most use. Ever take a close look at a used car lot?
Many quick repairs (such as fixing a small tear, or cigarette burn) may look fine for the short term, but they won’t last.
- Other things to consider:
Is this rip or tear caused where it is a flex point, is it dried out, is it stiff or hard. Also items like burn holes in cloth cannot be repaired with any longevity.
- The seat part that gets the most abuse is the left side of the drivers seat where you first sit on when you slide into your car or truck.
When looking at seat issue it makes little or no sense to try and repair the cover if the frame is cutting through the foam pad, it’s only a matter of a time, and it will be ripped again.
In this case, you will have to repair the root cause before repairing the cover, or your money would be poorly spent.
At DickandRicks.com, When we do repairs, we take everything into consideration when suggesting a type of repair. It is up to you, you're the one that uses it everyday.
When the heated seat in your car will not work / has a problem, the first step is....
- Do I have a factory system or aftermarket system?
The basic idea of how works may be the same, however, the components are very different.
Some of the common elements include: the switch, wire harness, relays, and heater elements.
How each component does the job can be extremely different. Many aftermarket seat heater systems work independently, meaning the left side and the right side are not dependent on each other.
With this system your options are little more limited, meaning when you turn the heater on it may turn on the bottom seat heater, and the back and does not give you the option of turning one on independently. This style system also does not integrate with the factory heaters or wiring system.
The upside to this is when there is a problem it’s not as difficult to determine the problem.
With the factory system of seat heaters it may integrate into a module the controls more than just the heaters in the seats. It may also be the memory module for your seat position, power adjustable pedals, and operate both front seats.
- Here is the not so easy part:
When a problem arises in any these areas, it can also affect the heated seats on one side or both. This type of system also takes a little more diagnostic time when it has a problem. The more creature comforts you have, the more complex it becomes to locate (specifically) the root cause of why it is not performing as it is intended.
And like any electrical problem whether it’s the factory heated seat, or the aftermarket system. it’s not always apparent from just opening the door and looking at the seat. It may require a specific scan tool, DVOM meter, removing the seat, taking the cover off, or just having a keen eye to spot troubled areas.
Heated Seat problems | All of which is going to require time with the technicians and the shops part to determine the problem.
- Is one better than the other?
The short answer is; no, not really, they’re both very different. The OEM has had their problems with quality issues, and just like the aftermarket, they both can have failure.
When it comes to understanding the heated seat in your car or truck Dick and Ricks understands not only the electrical portion of the repair, but how to safely remove all the trim, perform quality repair, and put it all back together as if nothing happened.
Why do you think that many dealerships contact us, have us send out our mobile technicians to properly diagnose, repair issues in a very short timeframe?
BMW’s and many other European brands, including the Mini Cooper have experienced struggles,
as the choice to have a remote start system installed involves more than just attaching a few wires.
The reason is based on the architecture of their electronics, in recent years, the connection of remote start and auto of choice has become much easier as well as more user friendly.
Many remote starts can be incorporated right into the OEM electronics, allowing you to use your factory key fob to start, stop, as well as the other locking, unlocking, open/close factory features.
We encourage you to connect with us to get the latest information on your model of vehicle, we do keep up as our data base is updated weekly.
By all outward appearances it looks and functions like you have a factory remote start.
Using the factory key fob to do additional features is pretty cool, with the limiting factor being the range of that particular unit. Now having this connect directly into your automobiles electronics add another feature, that is keeping all OEM wiring OEM, that is a good thing.
How about adding the smartphone in your possession to the mix? This adds the convenience, plus if you decide that you want to take the module with you, it unplugs from the main automotive wiring harness leaving no trace.
- Can the system be installed by anybody?
Yes, some people.
But you would have to be comfortable taking your instrument panel apart, working around automotive electronics and training to program the unit. For most people I would recommend you have a professional install it, and program it.
The last thing you’d like to do would be disable your car electronically or not be able to reinstall parts the instrument panel correctly.
The beauty of this kit is that it works seamlessly with what was already built into your car and using that technology to create new options for you as a consumer.
Add to that, the installer provides the product best suited to your needs, and automobile, plus the installation, you get a full circle warranty. This is a big plus as we have had people contact us after they buy a kit, can’t install it properly and ask us to.
We want you to get the best value and performance for your money, don’t you?
Minneapolis Seat Repair | Knowing what’s inside the seat,
is just as important as knowing what’s on the outside of the seat.
By outward appearances all you may see is cloth, leather or vinyl.
But what’s really inside can really drastically change how the seat is repaired. It can be like everything else it’s what you can’t see the can make the difference. Remember, the goal is to have your seat repaired and still be able to keep you safe in the event of a crash, right?
For instance the seat has cut, tear or a burnt hole,
- Does it really matter where the damage is at?
Yes, and it has nothing to do with the cover,
but has everything to do with the safety system built into the interior of your car, this includes the seat and all other components connected to it.
Seats with occupant classification sensors or otherwise known as OCS can be drastically affected any upon the damage to the cover. If the style of the OCS chosen by the manufacture is a sensor that is placed upon the pad, it also can be damaged when the cover got damaged.
With the style of OCS sensor that is in the picture shown here, this is placed right underneath the cover, but on top of the pad.
Another factor that can drastically affect how the sensor works is a heated seat element. If a heated seat element is placed on top of this sensor the magnetic field and, or the heat from the pad will distort / alter the way the sensor reads the occupant. Why should this be of concern?
This may cause the SRS light to come on intermittently and not accurately judge the type of person occupying the seat. And if this happens during deployment of the airbag(s) it will not properly protect the person sitting in that seat.
Other factors that may lead to the OCS sensor incorrectly working are the sensor being out of calibration.
This can happen if the seat is taken apart or taken out of the car and not properly reinstalled and re-calibrated.
The only correct way to have the seat be correctly calibrated is with the proper scan tool. In many cases, we have utilized weights to make sure they function correctly, plus the need to actually drive the car to see it go through the full function on start up to driving, then shut down.
It is imperative the person working on your car fully understand the technology that is incorporated into the safety systems to correctly return the vehicle to you in its designated form and function to keep you safe in the event of an impending crash.
With convertibles still poplar, the Mustang still has a classic and classy look.
It is one of the few cars that have a canvas top on it versus a retractable hard top.
Well, that depends on what you want a convertible to look like.
The answer is they both have their problems, there is no perfect top. So let's start with the canvas top. Yes, every convertible top can and does have mechanical problems, but if it does they are allot less to fix than a hard top.
Some of the problems may include, the frame bending in the rear and maybe a hydraulic cylinder that may go bad. If the frame bends on a retractable hard top, watch out you are in for a expensive ride.
Please note: If you think that the frame is bent or bending, and want more information / understanding, please ask us. We've been working with Mustang convertible tops for a long time. There are some new options on getting repaired, so please ask.
Not only will you need to fix the frame, but chances are you need to paint some body panels as well.
- What about the soft convertible top?
Well the Mustang came in 2 different types, vinyl and a cloth canvas.
With either material, the Mustang Convertible also has a headliner that covers the metal frame and adds sound deadening qualities to the car. This is where the hardtop has the one up on the canvas, it is by far more quiet then the soft top will ever be.
The big difference is the canvas top looks like a convertible whether the top is up or down. And when they made the tops for the newer Mustangs if you break the window you need to replace the whole convertible top to fix it correctly.
In past models this was a separate part that can be replaced without the top.
A good suggestion is to have glass coverage from your insurance company on your convertible top as this also covers the cost of replacing the top if needed.
Headliner Repair | My headliner is falling.
You just noticed that the ceiling in your car seems to be getting closer to your head.
- Is this a problem that just Jaguar has in their car? No,
It happens to every make and model of cars. So the challenge becomes:
- What to do about making the headliner, (AKA as the ceiling in your car) whole again.
Now in a Jaguar, replacing the headliner material isn’t for amateurs, there are many things that will influence the outcome.
The first step might be removing it from the car; this step will set the tone for the whole job. If improperly removed (or installed for that matter) you might achieve success, heavy on the ‘might’.
Done wrong, this will cause your liner to have creases, dimples and dents that may not come out. Please note that the material in the headliner is formed and lightweight, that does not mean it is willing to be twisted, folded, and handled improperly.
The second step is cleaning the old materials off the backing board; once again this can cause serious problems if done incorrectly. Installing the new headliner requires that the new fabric is glued together to the backing board and formed into all the curves and contours.
Let’s not forget the sunshade if you have a sunroof. This something that is good idea to cover as well, this is surrounded by new material and if not covered can mismatch the new covering.
- Another point is this material on the sunshade is just as old as the liner material itself. If it isn’t falling off now it will soon.
It is also important that your sunroof is in excellent working order, through time; dirt, old grease and broken plastic parts can drastically change the way it will work. Having a shop understand the whole vehicle (and the specific parts associated with it) is not an option, especially when you want lasting value.
So with all this work why can’t I just buy a new headliner from Jaguar? Sometimes you can, just remember that liner is just as old as the one in your car and many of times it may not be available. When it comes to repair in a vehicle like your Jaguar, remember that the headliner is one of many highly engineered parts of the car.
Remote Car Starters | First you must ask yourself:
- What are your expectations from a Remote starter?
- Are looking for something cheap?
- Do you want a remote with great distance or to know if it is running even though you can’t see your car?
- Or maybe you had remotes in the past and would like something reliable.
All of these questions (except cheap) relates to a quality product and proper installation.
If you are missing one of these two factors you probity will not be happy with the result.
A great product is doomed to fail, if the installer doesn’t take the time to properly tie wires up and make proper automotive grade connections. On the other hand, if the product is of poor quality, it doesn’t matter how the installer will install it, it will be doomed to fail.
Briefly summed up, this is your car. and value isn’t always found by paying the cheapest price. And just like many other product you can buy, there is a standard version and a professional version.
The professional version usually is a better quality and can have more features.
- When does this make a difference?
If the features are the same, the quality will make the product last longer.
- So, what about the install of either product?
The install in some cases prolongs the integrity of any product, there is no substitute for quality in this area.
A great install can make a marginal product better and a quality product priceless. A poor install done by a tech that just reads the instructions in the box leads to potential bad performance down the road.
- Do all cars require the same level of knowledge? Definitely not.
There are many makes and models that require an extensive amount of knowledge to correctly install a remote start. For all of them, it does require a good understanding of the vehicles security system, door lock system and be able to find the correct wire(s) in the sea of today’s complex harnesses.
Just because a product is advertised as ‘fits all models’, is not a validation of the fact that it may not be the best choice (in terms of install compatibility, performance, longevity, and value).
Ask questions, get information before the install on your specific vehicle, our goal is not to sell the most, but to provide owners the best value and lasting quality.
The Porsche Convertible Boxster | This car has been extremely popular, you have a car that has great handling, plenty of Porsche style and it’s a convertible.
Cheap parts? That is not going to happen.
As this car ages the price of the car goes down but the price of the parts stays the same or goes up. That doesn’t sound right does it? It may not, but that’s how it works.
We have worked on many of these convertible tops and not just the canvas, other top materials as well.
- So what are your options if your top will not go down straight or not at all?
You can get new replacement parts, and since this top is driven by an electric motor, it has cables, and lift jacks for each side.
Plan on spending about $3000.00 or more. If you go used, that’s ‘If’ you can find them, they may have the same problem as the parts you are replacing.
Remember when parts fail, most of the time it’s because of the way they were made. This can be bad design, under spec materials, or they just wore out.
Now, with a Porsche Convertible Boxster, the biggest problem area is the cables, and lift jacks. The cables shorten themselves by winding up like a string twisted to the point that it is shorter in length. The other problem is with the jacks, because of the way they were made, any little mechanical change will cause them to malfunction.
This can cause the top to stop incorrectly, or prematurely when being raised or lowed. If you look on the picture you can see the warn spots, and the 2 switches.
- So is there a fix for this?
Yes we have a proven method that involves machining these parts to make them work correctly.
This will also fix the problems associated with the switches, and skipping. We have found this to be a reasonable alternative to buying new Porsche Convertible top parts.
- Is this less expensive than new or used (if available)? Absolutely.
If have a newer Convertible Mustang, they have got some pretty nice styling.
Ford has done a great job mixing the old and the new. But the 2005 and newer convertible top has few issues that were engineered into the new version that wasn’t a problem with the old.
It has to do with the frame of the top having a weak point in the rear of the car on both sides.
- So what happens or how can I tell if this happing to mine?
It will start with the windows not fitting correctly above the drivers and passenger’s door windows (the red arrows in the picture).
- So what is the cause of it?
The short answer is the frame in the rear is bending (check out the yellow arrows in the picture).
- So what happens to the metal when it bends?
When metal is flexed enough it can and will crystalize the metal enough that it will eventually break.
- What is the fix for this problem?
If you are going to try to get used be very careful, and inspect the parts very thoroughly, this is a known problem and you may have to weed through a few frames to get a good one.
If you want to go new with a new Ford Convertible top frame, the part from Ford can top $3000.00.
If you are in the market for this car and haven’t bought one yet this information could save you a lot of money. Now this is the price for the frame and labor is extra. As you can see in the picture the top needs to be removed to make the necessary repairs.
The frame will need to unbolted from the body, and the other bows, depending on what type of part you’re installing, new or used. Once the frame is reassembled putting the top back on can begin, along with the pads and headliner will all need to be put back on.
Having extensive experience with this convertible top over the years, when you believe it is starting to show signs of fatigue, get it checked out / looked at before it leaves you out in the pouring rain (or snow). If you have any doubt, please ask us.
This is one car that has style, performance, handling and comes in a convertible.
Convertible Top Repair | We have worked on many of these tops replacing the fabric and fixing the mechanisms offering lasting value to the owner.
But with age, much like everything else, things wear and malfunction, and some convertible top components can cause the top to stop working altogether. Here are some helpful bits to better understand the Mitsubishi Convertible top:
Let's start with the top it's self, They came from the factory with a cloth canvas top, a very good choice by Mitsubishi. The cloth is an extremely durable fabric that lasts many years beyond the vinyl.
Not to mention it gives it a style that upgrades the look of the car. So what can go wrong?
Usually the fabric will outlast the rest of the parts of the top, meaning the stitching will break down first.
Another to watch is the rear window, just because it is glass doesn't mean it will not have a problem. When the top is manufactured, it is all sewn together with the seams sealed. Then, in the final steps the window is added, and that done by a process called dielectric sealing.
Now is this process fool proof? No, is it the only way to do this? No,
So what happens? Through time the window may actually fall out of the top. Can it be glued back in? Yes it can, just not permanently.
The correct way to fix this problem is to replace the top. We’ve seen projects where people are trying to save money, and do not recommend, get it right so you can enjoy the benefits of the Mitsubishi convertible.
- One quick note on owning a convertible top with a glass back window, it is a good idea to always have glass coverage insurance on your car. If you have the misfortune of breaking the back window, you will need to replace the whole top.
Breaking the back window can happen many ways, something as simple as forgetting to remove everything out of your well area prior to putting it down, to having the top frame malfunction.
That leads us to another topic, your frame. This top was designed with electric motors that lift and lower it, one on each side.
How do I know if they are working correctly?
Well sometimes you may not, you may hear both of them running but that doesn't mean they are both working.
What happens to the motors is not that the motor itself quits, and yes sometimes they do. But there are gears in the motor housing that break and give the appearance of a good working unit.
So how can I tell if I have a convertible top problem?
- Signs to look for; the top struggling to raise up, the top moves out of sync from left to right side.
If this is ignored, this can lead to frame stress / damage and breakage. Just remember the motors when working correctly are lifting the top on both sides with equal pressure.
Are there and other common issues that happen my top?
Yes, the second bow from the front can jabbed or bend the linkage arms. What can be done to fix this? Well hopefully the arms aren't destroyed beyond the point of repair and can be straightened, they aren't very strong to begin with, but only serve to guide the bow.
Next, we will update the tension straps, these act to pull the bow in place when the top is moving up or down, without this, convertible top performance will not last.
Are there other things that happen?
Yes, but these seem to be the main problems to watch out for if own one or thinking of buying the Eclipse Convertible.