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From digest.v5.n562 Fri Nov 15 03:12:06 1996
From: (Mark Johnson)
Date: Thu, 14 Nov 1996 22:02:19 -0600
Subject: Leather Seat Maintenance

Eric said -

>My opinion: you can't blame it ALL on user error. The flexible 'paint' on the
>surface of BMW leather just doesn't allow lexol, etc to penetrate through
>to the leather, therefore, all BMW leather will dry out and crack eventually.
>Only long term solution is to renew the oils in the leather by treating
>from the backside (or stripping the color and treating from the front).

Respectfully, I disagree.

The finish on most leather upholstery I have come across will be penetrated by either Lexol or, my preference, Connolly's Hide Food. The waxy finish must be cleaned first (which is usually where the dirt is, anyway). Lexol's cleaner is good for this.

Remember that leather is a natural skin, and when it drys out it cracks, just like your lips in the first part of winter. The moisturizers work for lips and leather. I like Connolly's, spreading it on and letting it soak in overnight. The next day, I wipe off the excess. Some leathers soak it up quickly, and others need time to soak or be rubbed in (go ahead, it's lanolin based -- might make your hands nicer).

The "paint" is a finish, and will wear just like anything else. I am careful to sit up and step out gingerly, rather than sliding across the side bolster like I did on my late great 535i. The piping along the side eventually wore through, this being a common wear area. You can help by letting the seat back all the way when you get out.

You can't stop all wear on leather, but common sense and knowing what you are working with will help it last a long time.

Mark Johnson
'97 Z3
'75 2002

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