The ABCs of Finding the Right Seat Hinge Cover
A car seat hinge refers to the part of the car seat that allows you to recline. It has a hinge that connects your backrest with the seat, allowing you to move it back at a limited angle or fixed axis of rotation. Depending on your car, it's either made of flexible material or moving components. With that said, certain car seat hinges also have covers that lengthen their lifespan and protect them from everyday usage or abuse. They can come in pin cap form or as a bucket seat hinge cover. These covers might come along with the car or something you add as a protective accessory as well.
What are some tips to consider?
When searching for seat hinge covers, here are some tips to help you get started.
- Know the make, model, and year of your vehicle. You should definitely know the model, year, and type of your vehicle, which is often located on the driver's side door jamb or you can find in the user's manual, because it makes it easier for retailers, shop owners, and you to narrow down which seat hinge cover you should go with. Should it be a stainless steel reproduction for certain models of muscle cars and sports cars? How about black bucket hinge covers painted to match your SUV that is sold per seat?
- Visit car Forums and interact with car owners. To make sure you get only the right cover for your vehicle, you may visit forums specific to your car make and ask from suggestions from fellow car enthusiasts. They're the ones you can depend on when searching for, say, a stainless steel reproduction seat hinge pin cover for every seat covering 1962-1974 Novas, 1962-1965 Chevelles, and so forth. You can also talk to your mechanic or fellow car owners for help.
- Choose between OEM and aftermarket. Original equipment manufacturer seat hinge covers do exist if such a part comes with the hinge and isn't just an extra accessory for seat hinge protection. Again, your dealership should have one of these products in stock or for order if required. But if you wish to get an aftermarket part, it helps to be familiar with vehicle compatibility to really narrow down your search, like when looking for bucket seat hinge covers for a 1971-1981 Camaro and Nova.
Do you really need a cover or not?
But before you even decide to make such purchase, first ask yourself, “Should I really buy a hinge cover for my car seat? Is it a necessary purchase?” Now, the answer is totally up to you. Just remember that these reproduction covers range from as cheap as $20 to as expensive as $60 depending on what vehicle they will be used for (take note though that muscle car seat hinge covers are more expensive) or if it's a specialized part or not (the $20 car seat cover products are "universal fit" ones that service about 99 vehicles in its compatibility chart).