Sometimes the seats in your car just aren’t quite comfortable. In the winter, the seats can be too cold, causing you to feel a chill right through your winter clothing. In the summer, the seat surface can be too hot, causing you to sweat excessively.
One solution available to combat this is a sheepskin seat cover. It may sound like an unusual solution, but sheepskin seat covers are often just the right thing to keep you comfortable in every situation.
Sheepskin is thick, providing extra padding to make long drives more comfortable and naturally retains warmth, so getting into a cold car is less uncomfortable. Sheepskin deflects extreme heat so getting into a car in the summer won’t burn bare legs and is a natural material so it is breathable, preventing excessive sweating. Sheepskin also has hollow hairs which provide an incredible insulation factor.
Here’s how to install sheepskin seat covers in your car.
- Warning: Sheepskin seat covers should not be used on seats with seat-mounted side airbags. It will obstruct airbag deployment in a collision, resulting in potential injury that would otherwise have been avoided.
Method 1 of 2: Install sheepskin seat covers on seats with permanent headrests
- Sheepskin cover
Step 1: Pull the seat backrest cover down over the top of the seat. The backrest cover is like a sock for the seat, covering the seating surface and wrapping around the back of the seat.
The seat bottom cover is attached and is strapped overtop of the seat bottom.
Step 2: Smooth out the cover’s surface. Smooth out the seat cover’s surface by hand, tugging at the seams to straighten the seat cover over the backrest.
Step 3: Route the straps for the backrest cover through the seat. Run the straps through the gap between the backrest and the seat bottom.
You may need to force the strap through with your hand, or press down on the seat bottom with your knee near the join at the backrest, then feed the strap through the back. Adjusting the seatback forward or backward may open up the gap to get the strap through.
Step 4: Hook the straps to the bottom of the seat. Stretch the elastic strap to a fixed point on the seat and hook it in place with the hook on the end of the elastic.
Do not attach the strap to the seat frame that attaches to the floor as it will change the tension on the elastic as you move the seat back and forth, potentially damaging the seat cover or strap. This step is done most simply by attaching the straps while you are in the backseat of the car.
Step 5: Attach side straps. Route side straps alongside the seat cushion and hook them to the bottom of the seat.
Don’t attach them under the seat track as it will damage the seat cover straps when the seat is adjusted back or forward.
Step 6: Attach the straps on the front of the seat cover. Route the straps under the front of the seat, hooking the seat cover’s elastic straps to the underside of the seat.
Make sure the straps won’t be in the way of the seat adjuster lever or the seat track.
Step 7: Smooth out any wrinkles. Smooth out the seat cover with your hand, ensuring it is tucked tightly against the seat surface without wrinkles.
Wrinkles will be uncomfortable on your back or bottom, even for just a short drive.
Method 2 of 2: Install sheepskin seat covers on seats with removable headrests.
- Sheepskin cover
If your vehicle has removable headrests, they should be removed to install the seat cover, then reinstalled afterward so they retain their ability to keep you safe.
Step 1: Remove the headrest from the seat. On some vehicles, the headrest pulls up and directly off the seat.
On other vehicles, you may have to press a button on one or both of the headrest posts to release the headrest from the seat, then pull up to remove it. Others require a fine instrument like a paperclip be inserted into the headrest post retainer to release the headrest from the seat.
Step 2: Install the sheepskin seat cover over the seat. Smooth out the seat cover well, ensuring there are no wrinkles or twists that will need to be corrected later.
Step 3: Cut holes for the headrest post or posts. Locate the headrest post position by hand, identifying where the headrest post enters into seat.
Using a sharp knife or scissors, cut a tiny slit in the seat cover, just wide enough to fit the headrest post through.
Step 4: Install headrest posts. Place the headrest post through the hole in the seat cover and press down to install it back into the seat.
You may need to press a button on the seat’s post location to allow the headrest post to slide back in.
Step 5: Adjust the headrest to the proper position. The top of the headrest should line up no lower than your eye level to protect you best in the event of a collision.
You can find sheepskin seat covers in many colors, one of which is bound to suit the color of your car’s interior. In this way, you can have a comfortable and sleek seat cover that makes riding in your car much more enjoyable. If you notice that your seat shakes in the process of installing the cover, have one of YourMechanic’s certified technicians perform an inspection.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Put Sheepskin Covers on Your Seats and was authored by Jason Unrau.