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The Detail Department
Detailing tips, tricks to keep your bimmer in showroom condition.

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Old 12-15-2015, 10:31 AM
jtoppins jtoppins is offline
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Location: Houston, TX
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 7
Mein Auto: BMW F10 550i 2011
Slick, Shiny Steering Wheel Issue

I've read through the forums here and on other websites but still haven't found a good solution to this problem.

I recently purchased a 2011 BMW 550i M Sport and I've noticed the steering wheel is very shiny and slick at the top where your hand likely would be most often. It also feels slightly "harder" than the rest of the steering wheel which feels smooth, matte and soft. I don't have any pics yet, but I'm sure most of you know what I'm talking about.

I've already tried the following with limited success:

-Lexol leather cleaner w/ and w/o the conditioner - maybe 20% better, still super shiny, but a little less slick. I first tried with a microfiber towel, after that didn't work, I used a horse hair brush, still not much better. And trust me, I didn't just go over it once and hope for the best. I spent significant time wiping the steering wheel, probably 15-20 minutes just on the top, so I doubt more elbow grease will help.

-Magic Eraser - after the Lexol didn't work, I tried this even though every review I read was conflicting - either the worst thing in the world, or absolute magic. I went extremely soft with this and although it looked like it might work if I worked it in harder, I was just to afraid to ruin the leather.

-Dish soap (followed by leather conditioner) - this actually seemed to help the most, but the top is still shinier and slicker than the rest of the steering wheel.

Does anybody know of a better way to fix this problem that won't ruin the leather?
-I've even looked into purchasing a new steering wheel (but can't find one, other than some sketchy ones on ebay from different companies.)
-Maybe I can have the leather rewrapped? Has anyone had any experiences with that?
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Old 12-16-2015, 05:01 PM
csmeance's Avatar
csmeance csmeance is offline
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Mein Auto: 760Li
use woolite solution, 6 parts water 1 part woolite.

Spray on a microfiber towel and simply rub and it should get everything off. It won't take all the shine off as your hands have polished the leather over time. Conditioning it will make it shiny and it'll rub off in a matter of minutes of driving.
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Old 12-24-2015, 07:59 AM
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jman103099 jman103099 is offline
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Mein Auto: f25 X3 e90 328i e46 330ci
Originally Posted by csmeance View Post
use woolite solution, 6 parts water 1 part woolite.

Spray on a microfiber towel and simply rub and it should get everything off. It won't take all the shine off as your hands have polished the leather over time. Conditioning it will make it shiny and it'll rub off in a matter of minutes of driving.
I also use woolite... I've read over the years on a few forums that many people like this for cleaning leather and it seems to work well. I've always read 8 to 1 or 10 to 1. 6 to 1 might be a bit strong for your seats, but then again, I'm not measuring perfectly each time either.

Leather Masters makes a great leather cleaner. When I used that on my wheel a few months ago I was amazed how much more dirt it removed than the woolite.
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Old 12-24-2015, 11:08 AM
TOGWT TOGWT is offline
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Mein Auto: Jaguar XKE
Leather covered steering wheel

Steering wheels have an extra coating of protective finish on the already finished or coated leather. Perspiration and dirt are absorbed readily into the dry leather, and combined with the ultra violet (UV) radiation of the sun a chemical reaction occurs that degrades the finished leather. All of us have seen this wear on steering wheels

A finished leather steering wheel is protected with a urethane clear top coat. UV heat will allow any dirt / grease to become embedded and the surface becomes more soiled the abrasive dirt / grit produces a shine.

Using leather oil-based conditioners on finished leather may cause delamination from the leather substrate. As the oils will permeate the leather via the stitching or any micro-cracks in the surface, once oil gets between the urethane and the substrate it causes loss of adhesion (See also Oil and Oil based Products)

Most manufacturer’s advice against using oil-based conditioners on steering wheels as it makes the surface slippery and could be dangerous if you lose control of the vehicles steering

1. Clean the wheel’s leather surface with a leather cleaner (Leather Masters™ Strong Effect Cleaner) or a Limonene (citrus) based degreaser (P21S Total Auto Wash) diluted 5:1 with warm distilled water in a spray bottle; dependent upon type and extent of soil or stain
2. For oil or grease stains use Leather Masters™ Leather Degreaser (as for all cleaners - check for colour fastness) this aerosol product is ideal for cleaning this type of stain as it dissolves the oils and transforms them into a powder that is more absorbent than the leather.
3. This powder is what is wiped off, cleaning and degreasing the leather. Allow the white powder to dry fully. If the powder is drying to a yellow colour, it means that there are still a lot of oils in the leather.
Using a Medium / hard horse hair brush (Swissvax Brush), or a soft sponge, spray and work the cleaner into a foam, lightly scrub surface and immediately wipe with a terry towel to remove excess moisture, especially around stitching (you may need to repeat this process).
4. Then use a compressed air nozzle to dry
5. Once wheel is thoroughly dry apply Leather Masters™ Leather Protection
Do not use an abrasive on the surface as you’ll remove the ultra violet protective topcoat
Maintenance – hydrate the leather surface with a damp 100% cotton towel, occasionally use a diluted 1:10 degreaser (Leather Masters™ Leather Degreaser) solution and distilled water to remove any build-up of body oils from your hands

See also article “Leather Covered Steering Wheel Renovation” –http://togwt1980.blogspot.co.uk/2015...steering-wheel
~ Providing unbiased opinions that Professionals and Enthusiasts Use and Trust ~ Blog-http://togwt1980.blogspot.com
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