Things to Consider When Buying a Custom Steering Wheel Cover

Updated by Mike on 2023-08-30.
Reading time 5 minutes.


When buying a new custom steering wheel cover, you have to consider both form and function if you want to be happy with your purchase for years to come. There are quite a few goals you may have in mind when buying a custom steering wheel cover. You're probably looking for:
- Upgrade the visual condition of the steering wheel
- Potentially change the color and style of your wheel to better suit your aesthetic taste and the theme of your vehicle
- Improve your driving comfort by thickening the wheel - changing the steering wheel size to create a better experience
- Protect your factory steering wheel from further damage.

Generic vs Custom Steering Wheel Covers

There are millions of steering wheel cover products on the market. They include all sorts of steering wheel cover size charts and directions on how to measure your steering wheel for a cover., but for right now, deciding on how you want to move forward is more important than any specific car steering wheel cover.


One key distinction to consider is whether you want a quick and dirty fix to your steering wheel condition (most likely, worsened with age and use, otherwise, you wouldn't be shopping for a new cover), or if you want to do it the only right way - reupholster the wheel fully, wrap and spokes. There is a reason why all factory wheel covers are sewn (laced) on the respective steering wheel. That is the only way to make it look really good! Are steering wheel covers universal? Certainly not the ones that look halfway decent or better.


If you want something that can be pulled on the wheel in seconds and you couldn't care less about the way it's going to look, ultimately - you might as well stop reading here. :) You won't find the run-of-the-mill looks-barely-acceptable steering wheel covers at RedlineGoods. Buying a custom steering wheel cover from us means better results.


If you are interested in buying a custom steering wheel cover and are willing to:

- Invest a few hours to do it properly (the way the factory intended it), or pay someone to do it for you (we do offer steering wheel cover installation after all), and

- Have the original skin of your wheel augmented (if the wheel is heated) or replaced with a brand new one...

Then you have definitely come to the right place!


The steering wheel covers we sell online actually reupholster your wheel fully, rather than just cover up the defects. They do, however, have a much more involved installation rated at 2-5 hours of work.


The job can be completed inside the vehicle (here's more information on how to install a steering wheel cover yourself). If you are willing to go that route, the result you will achieve will far surpass any other type of steering wheel cover product.


Leather Vs Alcantara for Steering Wheel Covers

When choosing the material for your steering wheel cover, the choice basically comes down to the above. There are many fabrics to choose from, but if you want a more classy, sporty, and stylish look, your choice is limited to leather and Alcantara(R) - any woven textiles won't last on steering wheels due to friction of your hands.


The picture on the left shows a leather steering wheel cover, and the one on the right shows an Alcantara(R) steering wheel cover. Alcantara(R) is a synthetic specialty fabric created in a patented process that has the appearance of suede.


On one hand, Alcantara is a very durable fabric - it is heat- and color-resistant. It won't bleach or fade even under constant sunlight through the windscreen. On the other hand, its surface is prone to mechanical wear from your hands due to sweat and friction.


As you usually hold the steering wheel in the same place (mostly 3 and 9 o'clock, also quite often at 12 o'clock), friction is therefore applied predominantly to those areas. Coupled with salt and grease (ingredients of human sweat) this can put premature wear on those areas of your steering wheel. It will quickly become shiny and tiny balls of peeling fiber will appear on the surface.


There is a way to prevent this from happening, but it's not easy. Either keep your hands really clean or, better yet, get driving gloves. While not entirely unfeasible, and in fact quite stylish when you drive for the pleasure of driving, putting gloves on each time you drive down the block for groceries is a major hassle.


On top of that, cleaning Alcantara is much more difficult than maintaining leather. There are numerous videos on YouTube that explain the process, so we won't go into details - just know that if it's to be done right, it's very time-consuming (or costly if you're paying others to do it for you)!


Further, installation of an Alcantara steering wheel cover is more difficult than a leather steering wheel cover - keep that in mind if you were planning on installing your steering wheel cover as a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) project!


Alcantara is much less stretchy than leather so it is more difficult to align it properly and make it lay smooth on the curves of steering wheel spokes. To make matters worse, it is much thinner than leather so any imperfections such as wrinkles or bulges are clearly visible and very difficult to remove.


For the same reason, your Alcantara steering wheel will also be thinner than it was while it was covered in original leather, so you may need to consider padding to avoid ending up with a thin steering wheel rim. Steering wheel padding will provide for a nice, thicker grip and will also reduce the risk of wrinkling due to its thickness


However, it further complicates installation and exacerbates issues with the evenness of the final result, which means adding a lot of additional effort to the wrapping process!


Shop Our Collection of Steering Wheel Covers

When buying a custom steering wheel cover, keep your style and comfort in mind, and select a material, color, and vibe that works for you and for your ride. Check out our selection of custom steering wheel covers today or browse for popular vehicles like Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Corvette, Chevrolet Camaro, Mazda Miata, and more! Our steering wheel covers have an average 4.8 out of 5 star rating from our happy customers! :-)

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