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Discussion Starter #1
Two questions - all of a sudden when I go to fill up my gas, then fuel nozzle does not go all the way into the fuel inlet pipe. I can still put gas in, but it is very strange this has occurred. I am using the same gas station(s) as always and nothing has changed on their end.

Also, the leatherette vinyl on my seat is cracking and starting to go. Any ideas on how to replace the upholstery? Is this something an owner can DIY?

Thanks!!!
 

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It's hard to say what's wrong with the fuel inlet without inspecting it.

There are many threads here on re-upholstery and seat cover options. Just use the "Search This Forum" button near the top right of the forum page.

By the way, I've never heard of vinyl seats in a Z3. Only the back and bottom pieces are vinyl; the rest is leather, although not the best quality.
 

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Any more thoughts on vinyl versus leather seats? I was under the impression that my "leatherette" seats were all vinyl. They are not heated. There are blanks where the heater switches would be. They don't feel like leather either.
 

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BMW CCA 1405
1997 BMW Z3 1.9
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Why do call them leatherette? They are likely the standard pebble-grain embossed "Oregon" leather. It would be unusual to cover or replace that. To find out what seats your car has, enter the 7 of the VIN into this decoder:
http://bimmer.work
Leder is leather in German.
 

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That pebbled surface is stamped into the leather, maybe to make it look like ostrich leather. It can't be found anywhere, but a perforated leather looks better anyway. (Actually the natural-looking wrinkly grain that you see in most upholstery leather is also stamped-in.)

The leather on these seats started out pretty poor and has stiffened with age and sunlight. If you search for the LeatherSeats.com YouTube videos on Z3 seats, you can see how stiff the old leather gets when they try to remove it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Guess what? I filled up my tank the other day and now it has no problem. So strange. Same gas station - all I can think of that was different was that the weather was cooler.

I'm really pretty sure my seats are not leather. They are original. I think that leatherette means vinyl or some sort of synthetic stuff anyway.

It's cracking apart really badly on the seat bottom perimeter where the driver's left leg just up above the back of the knee and back of the upper leg is.

Some one I know who lived in Germany for a while said it would be good to sew together some of my natural shearling hides to make covers BUT - covers tend to slip a bit - and I think the fur would shed like crazy in that extreme heat. Once I had a seat cover on, just to see, and it was not a stable driving experience - I need to be really locked in that seat, not slippin and slidin.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
WOW, thanks for the VIn thing ... it is that Oregon Leather. All this time I thought leatherette meant synthetic leather of some sort. It is SOOO dried out. And, I found out that my car was made exactly 20 years ago (tomorrow) in Spartanburg!!! Happy Birthday Z3.
 

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BMW CCA 1405
1997 BMW Z3 1.9
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... I filled up my tank the other day and now it has no problem... the weather was cooler. I'm really pretty sure my seats are not leather. They are original...
Weather does not affect fueling. There is no other kind of original seats besides leather.
 

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If only one area of seat ruined, it is possible to have that section replaced. I have a deep scratch on one of my seats and I took car to 3 auto upholstery shops for opinion. All 3 said they could replace just that section and they all assured me they could match both the leather and stitching. It is on the top front . Not cheap. $250 to replace the section. If I wanted to replace the whole seat I would have to go with a different style. Like Blacklane said the leather with the dots in it is not available anymore. If it is possible to partially replace your seat you might check into that option.
 

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I just read the tread "Leather vs. Leatherette" suggested at the bottom of this thread. It is under X1 E84 (2011-2015). Various posts make the distinction between leather and non-leather (leatherette). They generally agree that the leatherette is more durable long term than leather. The "Caring for Your Vehicle" booklet which came with the original manuals is not specifically for the Z3, but it does cover "vinyl upholstery".
 

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BMW CCA 1405
1997 BMW Z3 1.9
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I just read the tread "Leather vs. Leatherette"... under X1 E84 (2011-2015)... The "Caring for Your Vehicle" booklet which came with the original manuals is not specifically for the Z3, but it does cover "vinyl upholstery".
Every BMW forum has the discussion of leather vs leatherette, like:
http://f30.bimmerpost.com/forums/showthread.php?t=933412
Sensatec is the base upholstery for modern BMWs like the X1. It is vinyl artificial leather -- aka leatherette or naugahyde. But it was not used in Z3s. Have you used the VIN decoder to look up the name of your leather?
 

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BMW CCA 1405
1997 BMW Z3 1.9
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Rather than tacking this onto Fuel Fill and Seat Upholstery, you should start a new thread called Cup Holder. It will be noticed better, and you will get more and better answers (including mine).
 

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The VIN decoder says LEDER CLASSIC/SANDBEIGE 9R7SN). Is LEDER German for leather? It does say GRAU for grey, but further down the list, it says "M LEATHER STEERING WHEEL.
 
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