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Discussion Starter #1
I recently found out from others that a lot of our steering wheels are actually meant to be matte finish, not bright and shiny. So I got into my head that I should clean my wheel off which I did with a damp warm cloth and some Meguiars Leather Conditioner but I'm wondering if I've done more harm than good. Is there a point where cleaning will just destroy the leather? The bottom of my wheel really doesn't look great since I attempted a clean.

Is it too far gone now and needing replacement/covering or is there a DIY I can use to restore some of the black on the bottom? I recall someone talking about kiwi shoe dye or something with a similar name like that. I'd really appreciate some help with how to make the wheel look a little nicer at least for the time being, the bottom is now a grey eye sore :cry:
 

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There was a similar thread here just a few weeks ago (IIRC). The discussion was about the proper dye to use to bring the color back. I suggested that I'd had really good luck using plain old black paste shoe polish (I love cheap, easy, fast fixes). ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
There was a similar thread here just a few weeks ago (IIRC). The discussion was about the proper dye to use to bring the color back. I suggested that I'd had really good luck using plain old black paste shoe polish (I love cheap, easy, fast fixes). ;-)
Doesn't the shoe polish rub off on your hands?

Not as far as I am aware - but look at eBay there are literally hundreds to pick from.
I've had a look and found quite a few wheels. Are LCI wheels and controls compatible with pre-LCI models? I wouldn't mind a newer looking wheel maybe.
 

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Putting a bandaid fix on the leather wheel shouldn't last long.

I've been impressed with the high quality leather covers specifically designed for BMW's that get manually sewed on to the wheel (and under the wheel control buttons).

However, that process is labor intensive and its not a quick fix.

You also have to sew it on with the precision of a plastic surgeon.

If you do it right, it looks awesome and brand new with colored stitching.

Its worth the investment.
 

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Nuclear engineer
02/2012 X5 35d M57Y CPO 98K miles NOKIAN WR G3 12K miles
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+1

And after that much work one is unlikely to allow unclean hands.
 

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Nuclear engineer
02/2012 X5 35d M57Y CPO 98K miles NOKIAN WR G3 12K miles
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To clean something, you have to make something else dirty.
NOpe. To clean dirty water one pours it on dirt. Unless you think that makes dirt dirtier.

I flush to a 2000 gallon holding tank that gets pumped and transported to a field where the ‘dirty water’ is poured onto the rich loamy dirt making it richer.
 

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Nuclear engineer
02/2012 X5 35d M57Y CPO 98K miles NOKIAN WR G3 12K miles
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Discussion Starter #12
I'm thinking I'll go with getting a new wheel since I can find a few in decent condition around me. But I have two questions, can LCI wheels work on a pre LCI and can I go from my regular wheel to one of the M sport wheels while keeping my button functions? (I heavily rely on track skip and volume).
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I've done a little searching and found that post 09/2005 wheels should fit (since my car is a 2006 build) but I haven't seen much talk about the buttons on an LCI wheel working with a pre-LCI.
 

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Here is a restoration with the product I mentioned. I just put it in my hands and rub it into the steering wheel. The close then doors on the car and let it bake in the Texas sun. Same with rest of leather in the interior.

 

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Have you ever watched the Discovery Channel episode where they take you to the Ferrari factory and they video the ladies making the Ferrari steering wheels by hand?

This is quite an art form. They sew the leather on the wheel with the precision of a plastic surgeon.

Now the question is who is sewing the BMW leather on our wheels?

If we find this out, maybe we can send our wheels back and they can restore them to the factory condition.
 

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Have you ever watched the Discovery Channel episode where they take you to the Ferrari factory and they video the ladies making the Ferrari steering wheels by hand?

This is quite an art form. They sew the leather on the wheel with the precision of a plastic surgeon.

Now the question is who is sewing the BMW leather on our wheels?

If we find this out, maybe we can send our wheels back and they can restore them to the factory condition.
I would imagine, that a good upholsterer could get the job done.
 

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Doesn't the shoe polish rub off on your hands?
Nope - I've used the same stuff on the seats (in my Acura MDX) and never had any transfer issues. You do need to thoroughly buff it out after application, but it seems like a low-cost, no-risk option (compared to buying a new steering wheel).
 

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I might buy a mewant steering wheel cover to dampen the road vibrations on long trips. I'm running coilovers and upgraded everything up front. The road feel is amazing, but sometimes impractical.

They didn't have my wheel on their website and the email i sent to the listed email address bounced back. But it looks like they're on amazon.

 
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