How to Repair a Car Cover

by Louise Harding
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tarp on car image by Dank Van Rank from

Car covers are constructed of vinyl, fabric or leather. Because covers are exposed to the elements, wear and tear from wind, sun and rain can cause holes and rips to develop. Automotive and fabric stores offer materials intended for repairing vinyl and leather; and iron-on patches can be applied beneath fabric covers without external visibility. If your cover has extensive damage, it may be time to purchase a new cover to ensure your vehicle is properly protected.

Repairing Vinyl Car Covers

Step 1

Measure the rip to be repaired. Cut the vinyl patch 1 inch longer and wider than the damage being repaired.

Step 2

Turn the cover inside-out so you're looking at the cover's interior. Spread the section to be repaired flat. Pour alcohol onto a cotton ball until damp. Clean the area around the rip. Allow to dry.

Step 3

Remove the backing from the adhesive vinyl patch. Center the patch over the damage. Press the patch onto the cover. Firmly rub the patch to bond the adhesive and the vinyl. There are many brands of adhesive repair patches. According to Car Covers 4 Less, adhesive vinyl patches repair damage easily and are water-resistant. Purchase patches at automotive, pool and discount stores.

Repairing Leather Car Covers

Step 1

Use fine grit sand paper to lightly rub the edges of the rip in the leather cover.

Step 2

Pour alcohol onto a cotton ball until the cotton is damp. Clean the area to be repaired. According to Leather Magic, always test the alcohol on an inconspicuous place on the cover before cleaning. Some dyes come off when exposed to alcohol.

Step 3

Measure your damage. If the hole or rip is wider than 1/4 inches, patch it from the underside and then fill in the missing leather. If the rip or hole is less than 1/4 inches wide, proceed to Step 5. To patch from beneath, turn the leather cover inside-out. Spread the damaged portion flat. Apply a vinyl repair patch following the steps in Section 1. Turn the car cover right-side out.

Step 4

Cut a leather scrap to the same proportions as the interior of the hole. Insert the scrap into the gap.

Step 5

Spread the leather repair solution, same color as the cover, over the rip/hole or inserted leather scrap by squeezing the solution tube or container. Remove the patch beneath once the leather solution dries if desired.

Step 6

Allow repair solution to dry for about 6 to 12 hours or according to the manufacturer's instructions. Leather repair solutions can be purchased at automotive, fabric, leather, craft and discount stores.

Repairing Fabric Car Covers

Step 1

Turn the fabric cover inside-out. Place the damaged area flat on top of an ironing board.

Step 2

Measure the damage. Cut an iron-on fabric repair patch 1 inch longer and wider than the rip or hole to be patched.

Step 3

Place the repair patch, adhesive side down, onto the damaged area. Set the iron according to the repair patch manufacturer's recommendations, and iron the fabric patch to the car cover. Press harder on the edges to encourage a good bond with no curling. Turn the car cover right-side out.

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