Mazda MX-5 - Worn seat dilemma - johnnyrev

I’m stuck about what to do with the drivers seat on my 1999 MX5. When I bought it three years ago it had cloth seats which were quite worn. So I bought a pair of 2nd hand leather ones from eBay for £150 and they were a nice replacement (even though I prefer cloth!).

The replacements weren’t immaculate when I got them, but now the drivers bolster is getting very worn and the back is beginning to crack and degrade. The passenger side is fine.

So I’m pondering what to do. I could try to find another replacement for the drivers side. I could find someone to fix it. I could buy some covers, or even get both re-upholstered.

I don’t think my skills would stretch to fitting new covers (beyond the cheap kind that just slide over the existing seats), but fitting a new seat is easy enough (just 4 bolts).

Any advice? Any other options or ideas?

Mazda MX-5 - Worn seat dilemma - badbusdriver

Find out how much it would cost to have someone else either repair the current ones, or replace the covers on the current ones. Compare that to the price of 2nd hand cloth ones (which you prefer) in good condition, go with whichever option is cheaper.

Mazda MX-5 - Worn seat dilemma - joegrundy

I had a problem with the driver's seat on my x-type towards the end of our relationship. The seat bolster split along the stitching on the door side. i took it to my local cobbler - he stitched it and then used a creamy dubbin type stuff which worked a treat.

It made me think - for 30 ish years when it was important I polished my shoes/boots every day, using fair amounts of polish/conditioners. I had never once thought about the car seats.

After that I used various stuff, from cheapo leather furniture polish to special car seat polish but mostly Kiwi black shoe polish and it made a lot of difference to halt cracking, feed the leather, etc. I'd try that first.

If you check youtube you'll see that there are specialist detailers who can deal with leather, filling cracks, restoring colour, etc. They seem to get good results but i've no idea what they cost.

I think it may be worth getting the stuff they use nowadays on walking boots (the modern equivalent of dubbin) and having a go. Feeding the leather to regain the suppleness id the first aim, then dyes etc. are available to restore colour.

Mazda MX-5 - Worn seat dilemma - S40 Man

By 150 k miles the leather seats on my old S40 were getting tired. I just used regular bit polish and by m brush on them. It really perked then up.

I spent ages afterwards to make sure no strain would come off on my trousers by rubbing with a cloth. Lots of people thought it was odd but I looked the outcome.

Mazda MX-5 - Worn seat dilemma - Andrew-T

I have only once had a part-leather seat 'refurbished' - which involved replacing a couple of bolsters with new matching leather. It cost about £200 and the results were not as good as I hoped, but serviceable. I think trimming can be an expensive skill, and you probably get what you pay for.

Mazda MX-5 - Worn seat dilemma - Will deBeast

Is it possible to swap the driver and passenger seats? I guess there will be some hardware to swap across from one seat to the other.

Mazda MX-5 - Worn seat dilemma - johnnyrev

Thanks everyone. I’ve investigated swapping the seats over and because the seatbelt mounts are part of the seats, I don’t think it is. I got to know how the seats go together very well when I fitted the current ones as I had to swap the rails over.
Also, after much hunting online over the weekend (when I was feeling rotten after having my first COVID jab-but luckily was okay for my Sunday service in church!) I’ve found a pair of cloth seats for £100 on eBay. They were wrongly listed as leather, and my offer of £100 was accepted (listed at £130). I might even sell the old pair and get something back!


Value my car