Ownership experiences from life with an R56 MINI Cooper.

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DIY Leather Repair at 16,700 miles

11 June 2009 - Filed under: Repairs

I noticed not long after I purchased the MINI that the drivers seat side bolster had two very small patches where the dye had separated from the leather. I did mention this to MINI but they weren’t especially interested, claiming exemption from the warranty due to ‘fair wear and tear’. It does seem odd that a seat should suffer from wear and tear issues after only 11,000 miles, but the patches hadn’t enlarged during my ownership so maybe it was just a bad batch of leather, or maybe the previous owner owned a particularly rough jacket. Who knows, thankfully after a bit of research I was able to repair the seat quickly and cheaply.

Side Bolster - Before

Side Bolster - Before

The first step was to purchase something to clean and condition the leather, this was advised but not strictly necessary to repair the side bolster, but I wanted to treat the rest of the seats whilst I was at it so it made sense. Apparently combined cleaners and conditioners aren’t as good as two step solutions, Gliptone products seem to get a lot of good reviews so I purchased a bottle of Gliptone Liquid Leather Cleaner and a bottle of Gliptone Liquid Leather Conditioner. I got both products and a couple of cloths to apply them with for around £10 off eBay. Next I needed something to dye the leather, I found a company called Dynamix Dyes who appear to resell Gliptone products in smaller quantities. I bought a small bottle of ‘BMW Schwarz’ for £7 through their eBay store.

Side Bolster - After

Side Bolster - After

Application of the products was easy, I applied the cleaner to the affected area, then the dye using the sponge provided. I let the dye cure overnight and then treated the area with the leather conditioner. The results are great, the damaged areas have disappeared and the whole car has a lovely new leather smell thanks to the conditioner.

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