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Topic # 144091 7-May-2014 11:57
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Hey there,

We've just taken delivery of a car with leather seats; while generally these will be easier to clean up the mess from our two scungy boys, I'm worried about the damage that may be caused by the youngest one's car seat (the older one's booster seat shouldn't be an issue).

I'm worried about permanent indentations, given a well-installed seat needs to be strapped in really tight. I've read that many argue using a car seat protector under a child's car seat isn't advisable as it may impact on how the seat responds in a crash. But I also want to protect the seat for the next year or two before the youngest moves on to a booster seat. 

Can anyone advise of a suitable method - either commerical product or home solution - to protect the seat? Especially would appreciate advice on products that you have had positive experiences with.

Many thanks.
Jonathan

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  Reply # 1038261 7-May-2014 12:17
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I've seen most of the child car seats have protective mat, does it not include one? Otherwise find a bathroom floor mat or old blanket and use it as protective mat. As long as you tighten down the car seat without slack.




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  Reply # 1038278 7-May-2014 12:24
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Does the car have isofix mounting points? And do s the seat have an option for an isofix base?


Our recaro capsule fits into and isofix base which has a near flat bottom, and so would not leave any sharp indentations. Not to mention it is very safe and easy to fit/ remove.

 
 
 
 




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  Reply # 1038331 7-May-2014 13:22
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joff_nz: Does the car have isofix mounting points? And do s the seat have an option for an isofix base?


Our recaro capsule fits into and isofix base which has a near flat bottom, and so would not leave any sharp indentations. Not to mention it is very safe and easy to fit/ remove.


Yep, it's a current model car so comes with isofix mounting points. I don't believe either of our seats have the option for such a base, though (aren't separate bases exclusive to capsules, rather than those for older children?). One of them has a fairly flat base, but it's still got a "lip" around the outside which is bound to leave indents; the other I had in the new car for two days (with a towel between it and the seat) and it left two decently sized indents. Neither of the seats came with a protection mat, and I'd rather avoid buying a new seat given it's only for a year or so more. I hear the Recaro seats are excellent, but I remember the price put me off at the time!

I'm thinking of buying something like this, this or this. I'm just not sure the level of protection they'll provide the seat; I think the first of those links seems to be a product that's fairly hard. so I'd imagine no pressure points would go through (but would also reduce the child seat's grip on the seat underneath). Conversely, soft ones without a significant amount of padding will still put pressure on the same spots, and probably be no better than the towel I've already tried... Then again, I don't think a seat could slip forwards in an accident when using any such mats, presuming it's done up tightly to begin with.

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  Reply # 1038377 7-May-2014 14:46
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Personally I don't bother with this 'protectors'. Oh, I also hate leather seats! I had a hyundai with leather seats. I found the car seats will never sit properly (could be due to the seat angle?). Adding this 'protector' will make the sliding/movement worse. I have sold the car and bought another car without leather seat.

We had car seats set on that seat for 2 years. There was no dent or damage what so ever (we have the car from new). I must say it is easy to clean vomits on leather. Leather seats are meant to be tough - no extra protection is required IMO.







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  Reply # 1038398 7-May-2014 15:06
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nakedmolerat: Personally I don't bother with this 'protectors'. Oh, I also hate leather seats! I had a hyundai with leather seats. I found the car seats will never sit properly (could be due to the seat angle?). Adding this 'protector' will make the sliding/movement worse. I have sold the car and bought another car without leather seat.

We had car seats set on that seat for 2 years. There was no dent or damage what so ever (we have the car from new). I must say it is easy to clean vomits on leather. Leather seats are meant to be tough - no extra protection is required IMO.


Luckily I have found the seat sits ok and doesn't move around at all (though the towel may have helped in this regard?). I agree the seat angle can play a big role in this - given it's an interaction of the angle of both the car seat and the child seat there's much variability. Good to hear that you had no problems with dents, though. However, I'm really not keen on taking the risk that this won't happen to ours.

I'm not the biggest fan of leather, either - we certainly didn't buy it for this but given we wanted the features of the Limited model (blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control etc), we didn't have a choice. That said, given my kids are pretty rough on our current cars with fabric seats (the amount of food I found "stored" under the youngest's car seat would feed someone for a day!), the harder-wearing nature of leather may be an advantage.


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  Reply # 1038422 7-May-2014 15:30
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You should ask the dealer - surely you are not the first person with that model car to want to put a car seat in it?
Tell them you want something that wont ruin the leather - I would have though something like a hardish flat bit of plastic to spread the load - if it is secured well, it shouldn't move.



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  Reply # 1038426 7-May-2014 15:38
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trig42: You should ask the dealer - surely you are not the first person with that model car to want to put a car seat in it?
Tell them you want something that wont ruin the leather - I would have though something like a hardish flat bit of plastic to spread the load - if it is secured well, it shouldn't move.


We bought privately (10 months old but in as-new cond., hence to desire to keep it that way!) so didn't feel I had the right to hassle the local dealership.

Do you think this one would do the trick? It's hard to tell how hard the material is (though I did think it looked fairly solid); or whether it's ok to use with other brands of child seats.


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  Reply # 1038479 7-May-2014 16:56
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Over-thinking it a tad IMO.  By all means get a protector mat, thick blanket or towel.  Provided the seat is fitted correctly it wont make a dicky-birds difference in the hopefully unlikely event of a crash.  

Accept that try as you may, with kids the inside of your car will never be the same again.

+1 on the dislike for leather seats.  




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  Reply # 1038480 7-May-2014 17:00
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Friend had this problem. Went to the wrecker and brought the cloth version of the rear seat to use until the kids were old enough to not need car seats. 

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  Reply # 1038488 7-May-2014 17:34
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The leather is generally easier to clean when the kids drops whatever mess in the seat, so quite good from that point of view.

In one car, to protect against permanent indentations in the leather from the moulded ridges in the seat base and tension over the seat back from the tether strap, did a couple of things:

Used a piece of hard but mouldable plastic over the seat back top so when the tether strap was tightened it didn't create a ridge in the seat. Underneath the seat base, used a square of MDF the size of the seat base with chamfered edges and put it in an old fabric cushion cover to more evenly distribute the load when the belt was securely tightened to hold the seat in.

Another trick, when using those locking clips on a retractable seat belt for a non ISOFIX car is to put the locking clip close to the end of the belt where the bottom end is bolted in, rather than right next to the buckle tongue - far easier to adjust it to get enough tension on the belt and easier if you need to take the seat in an out.

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  Reply # 1038498 7-May-2014 18:02
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Our ford territory has leather seats -- used a towel with extra folds at the contact points. Not ideal but seats seem OK after 5 years. 

The older the car gets , the less you worry :)

More worrying is when you check - in at the airport and as you tip over the car seat onto the scales all manner of lollies, crumbs, and raisins scatter across the floor and the young-un takes this as an opportunity to scoop up and eat as many lollies as possible . 



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  Reply # 1038618 7-May-2014 21:15
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Thanks all for your advice. I've decided to go with a protector, now I've been convinced the safety of the seat won't be negatively affected (the key reason for my original post) - indeed I managed to find one for the same brand of car-seat we have. Also found some covers for the backs of the front seats - I've had enough of the brats kicking their feet against them (they're causing a decent amount of damage on the fabric seats...). I'll admit such preciousness towards the car won't last forever!


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  Reply # 1038621 7-May-2014 21:24
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we have leather seats and child seats - we use a blanket underneath them and just make sure we fix the seat well tight. 19 months on no issues so far.


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  Reply # 1039235 8-May-2014 16:40
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All the 4 Volvo's I've ever owned had either leather or vinyl seats.  Quality leather and well designed seats.  So easy to clean especially when the kids throw up, and never had any marks left on the seats.  We neevr used any protectors and never had issues with indentations.  Dirt does collect, but just clean regularly (or like me when you eventually take the baby seat out).  There were some minor dents left, but they go away soon after you remove the seats.  But we are talking about Volvo leather, others might be different.




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