Steering Wheel Cover Buyer’s Guide
The steering wheel cover keeps the steering wheel in good shape to ensure the safety of the passengers.
Apart from safety, other reasons one should consider using it are for added comfort, personalization, and affordability.
They come in several types: padded, heated, leather, vinyl, and velour and sheepskin. The best steering wheel cover is the one that works best for you.
Putting it on can be tricky but with the right technique, one can do it seamlessly.
Steering wheel covers for luxury brands such as a BMW goes for around $81 at CarParts.com.
Keeping your steering wheel in tip-top shape is crucial in maneuvering your vehicle properly. Using a steering wheel cover not only prolongs its life but also keeps you and your passengers safe from harm. Although it may seem like an unnecessary accessory, the steering wheel cover actually does more than you think.
The steering wheel cover gives you a better grip on the steering wheel. This is helpful when driving with sweaty palms or during cold weather when getting a good grip on the steering wheel can be difficult. It could also be a lifesaver during minor road accidents where you could lose grip of the steering wheel due to shock.
Reasons to Use a Steering Wheel Cover
There are a lot of benefits to using this accessory. Apart from protecting the vehicle and its passengers from harm, it also serves as an affordable way to keepusing a damaged steering wheel without having it reupholstered.
Here are more reasons to use one, in case you need more convincing:
It brings added comfort
It makes the steering wheel comfortable to touch, no matter the temperature. Ergonomically-designed ones also lessen tiredness when driving.
It helps you add a personal touch
There’s no limit to the colors and designs they can come in. In case there’s nothing in the market that tickles your fancy, you can even opt to get a cover made according to your liking.
This allows you to experiment with as many styles and brands as you want without spending too much. It’s also a cost-effective way to change up the look of your car’s interior.
How to Put on a Steering Wheel Cover
Installing this add-on is pretty straightforward. All you have to do is take the measurements of your vehicle and get a cover that matches. However, actually getting it to latch on your steering wheel can be quite tricky. Here are some tips on how to install a steering wheel cover:
1. Prep the surface
Make sure the surface of your steering wheel is clean and free from dust and other contaminants. You can use either a vinyl cleaner or good old isopropyl alcohol.
2. Begin at the top
Hold the cover parallel to the steering wheel and install starting from the inner curve of the top.
3. Take your time
Don’t try to get the cover to latch onto your steering wheel all in one go. Do it bit by bit, side by side until you have almost the entire cover around the steering wheel.
4. Give it a good stretch
Give the remaining bit that’s still hanging a good pull while holding the part that has already been mounted into place. This will help ensure that the entire cover will go on securely.
5. Check if everything is even
Give the perimeter of the steering wheel cover a final pass to ensure that the cover has been installed snugly.
Types of Steering Wheel Covers
Steering wheel covers are mostly made of four materials: leather, vinyl, velour, and sheepskin. There are also padded and heated steering wheel covers that provide added comfort to the driver. All serve decorative and protective functions, so finding the right one boils down to personal choice.
This comes with a layer of foam underneath to absorb vibration and give a better grip.
Heated. This plugs right into your car’s cigarette lighter to give off heat that is needed during cold weather.
Leather provides a premium appeal and feel. Depending on the style, a leather steering wheel cover can either lend a classy or sporty touch to your vehicle.
Some vinyl covers are able to mimic the appearance of a leather cover. They also serve as a good alternative to those who want a leather cover minus the expensive cost.
Velour and sheepskin
Due to its texture, this type of cover provides more comfort and grip to the driver. However, it has a distinct appearance that may not be suitable to everyone’s taste.
How much does a steering wheel cover cost?
On average, steering wheel covers cost a minimum of $12. This can vary depending on the style and material. Vehicle fitment matters too, as OE replacements for luxury brands often come at a premium price. At CarParts.com, the replacement steering wheel cover meant for 2006 BMW 325i, 325xi, 330i, and 330xi go for about $81.
How do I know if my steering wheel cover needs replacement?
Once your cover starts becoming too sleek and difficult to hold onto, then it might be time for a replacement. Watch out for signs of damage such as rips and material fallout. You can also replace a cover that does not fit as snugly as you wish or if you think that your car’s interior is due for an update. Switching up your steering wheel cover gets the job done and allows you to enjoy driving your car longer. There’s no specific timeframe to follow when it comes to replacing this accessory. Feel free to change it up whenever you feel like it.
Why is steering wheel cover replacement important?
Over time, your steering wheel cover can get worn out from regular use. Replacing it is important to ensure good performance and prevent untoward incidents brought about by slippery or uncomfortable steering wheel surfaces. Keeping your cover in tip-top shape goes hand in hand with keeping the steering wheel in good shape, allowing you to get more use out of it.
Tips in Choosing the Right Steering Wheel Cover
A steering wheel cover is a great addition to your vehicle's interior. Not only does this functional accessory cover up an unsightly and worn-out steering wheel, but it also spices up the appearance of a dull-looking dashboard. In addition to aesthetic value, a snug-fitting steering wheel cover also improves your grip and gives your hands extra protection when driving. With the various styles and designs available, choosing the right steering wheel cover for your vehicle can be pretty tricky. We've come up with a few tips to help you get started.
What are the things to consider in choosing a steering wheel cover?
Cloth, sheepskin, wool, leather, vinyl, and terrycloth-these are just some of the materials used for steering wheel covers. Leather is popular among car owners, as it can be easily cleaned and looks really elegant against the dashboard. A steering wheel cover made of genuine leather is pricey, but you can go for cheaper alternatives, such as top-grain leather, suede, and lower-grain leather. Other less expensive covers are mesh, rubber, and wood grip. We recommend choosing a material that won't easily tear or become worn out but is still pocket-friendly, such as top-grain leather. This type is smooth, subtle, and provides a firm grip on the steering wheel.
Size matters. A great-looking steering wheel cover is basically useless if it doesn't have the right diameter and circumference. Consult your owner's manual to know the proper dimensions of your vehicle's wheel. If it doesn't have the specifications, you can determine the measurements yourself. Measure in inches the total outside diameter and the grip circumference of your steering wheel using a standard measuring tape. Diameters usually range from 14 ? inches to 17 ? inches, while grip circumference typically range from 2 ? inches to 4 1/4 inches. Choosing a snug-fitting cover ensures solid control and minimizes slips during sudden turns.
Colorful textures, animal prints, and even tribal designs are just some of the styles you can choose from. These designs may add a playful touch to your interior, but they may also clash with your dashboard and seat covers. To be on the safe side, pick neutral tones, such as beige, black, and brown. We recommend choosing black leather, marble, and wood-grain designs for a hint of elegant European style. If you want to unleash your wild side, go for outrageous styles, such as fuzzy covers, car logos, cartoon characters, and retro 70s prints. In addition to these designs, we also recommend cushion-grip steering wheel covers for added comfort.
How much does a steering wheel cover cost?
Steering wheel covers are generally cheap, and you can actually get one for as low as $2. Price depends on the quality of the material, so the cost can go up to $35 for leather covers. If you want the same leather look for less, go for a lower-grain design. It only costs around $12 to $14. If leather doesn't suit your taste, then go for a textured vinyl steering wheel cover. This is priced at around $20 and above.
How to Install a Leather Steering Wheel Cover
A leather steering wheel cover adds a touch of European-style elegance to your interior. Putting one on your steering wheel can be tricky though, but you can do it yourself with the help of a lacing thread and needle. Having trouble lacing it up? We're here to help you out.
Below are the tools you need and the steps to follow in installing a leather steering wheel cover:
Difficulty level: Easy
Tools that you'll need:
- Lacing string
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Measuring tape
Step 1: Pour isopropyl alcohol on the rag and rub it on the steering wheel. Keep rubbing until the wheel is thoroughly clean. Let the surface dry. Make sure the steering wheel is completely free of moisture before you begin the installation process. Trapped moisture will damage the wheel and the cover.
Step 2: Center your steering wheel and position the leather cover over it. Next, fold back the front of the cover and fit it around the steering wheel. Make sure it is molded into place before removing the adhesive backings.
Step 3: Locate the holes you need for threading. Using a needle with lacing thread, begin to lace at a specific point. Make sure to start at the point indicated on the instructions manual. Lace the cover around the steering wheel's diameter and pull the thread firmly with each stitch. Continue lacing until the entire steering wheel is covered.
Step 4: Once you've finished lacing the leather cover, tie a couple of knots at the end of the thread and trim off the excess. Hide the thread's knots inside the steering wheel cover to prevent unsightly strings from poking out.
Measure the diameter of your steering wheel first before purchasing a leather cover. Simply use a measuring tape to get the proper dimension and circumference.