Does Your Car Interior Fit Your Lifestyle?
by David Owens
You probably spend more time sitting in your car than on the couch, so shouldn't it be just as comfortable? According to the United States Census Bureau, the average daily commute for American workers is 25.5 miles each way. Car interiors are filled with gadgets meant to make commuters happier, but if you're not comfortable with the basic surface on the seats, you'll never be happy with your car. Here are some basics to look for when choosing an interior for your car.
If you're searching for new cars in a southern state, a fabric interior makes the most sense. Even with great air conditioning, car interiors get hot sitting in parking lots, and leather and vinyl trap the heat. A soft, nubbly fabric can prevent burnt legs for yourself and your children while still being an attractive option in high-end vehicles. Fabric is also a good choice at the other extreme of the country, the farthest northern states. Unless you have a seat warmer installed, the first few minutes on a smooth leather or vinyl seat cover is a chilling experience. Fabric won't stiffen up in the cold and warms to your body quicker. No matter what part of the country you live in, if you like a bold or colorful interior, you'll have many more choices with a fabric interior.
If you've got an active lifestyle, vinyl should be your choice of car interior. Vinyl is the easiest surface to clean when it comes to car seats, so you won't have to spend years living with the evidence of little Jimmy spilling his strawberry shake in the back seat or blood from a football nosebleed dripped onto the surface. Vinyl wipes clean with a simple spray cleaner and terrycloth towel, and stays looking new for a long time. Pet owners do better with vinyl, since shed fur won't stick like it might on fabric covers and claws won't damage the surface as badly as they might do to leather. Rips and tears in the cover can be repaired easier in vinyl than in cloth or leather. For construction workers, football moms, bakers and anyone else who gets into their vehicle with debris falling off their clothing, vinyl is the way to go.
Leather is warm and luxurious, creating a car interior that gives a feeling of comfort on long commutes. It's a natural product made to last a lifetime, so it's tougher and will last longer than similar products in vinyl and fabric. Leather interiors can be more expensive than those in other materials, but its long lifespan will pay for itself by keeping your car's value up over the years. Leather retains heat even more than vinyl, so it's wise to cover the seat with a blanket in the summer wherever you live, but that warmth translates to a much more comfortable ride once the snow falls. Although leather is tough, accidents happen and tears can occur on the seats. Most people can repair a leather car seat, even if you don't have automotive experience. Cars Direct gives some helpful tips to repair a leather tear.
About the Author:
David Owens is a muscle car fanatic originally from Hawaii.