A vehicle owner’s options for customization are endless. Nowadays, there are a wide variety of car accessories, ranging from bonnet protectors to novelty window covers. Steering wheel covers are one of the accessories that fall under fun and functional.
Many people look at having steering wheel covers as unnecessary and outdated, but these accessories actually serve many purposes. The benefits of this aftermarket upgrade are not apparent for non-drivers, but those who spend a large chunk of their day behind the wheel will appreciate its plus points.
Benefits of Getting a Steering Wheel Cover
- Steering wheel covers add grip
Over time, a steering wheel can get slick and slippery. Steering wheel covers prevent wear and tear on the wheel’s original upholstery, improve the grip over the wheel, and ensure that the driver will have better control of the vehicle at all times. These covers can even be an easy way to hide blemishes that have accumulated on an older steering wheel.
- Steering wheel covers improve driving comfort
Another good reason for installing a wheel cover is comfort. On extremely hot summer days, a steering wheel can take a while to cool down and be comfortable to the touch again. Many steering wheel covers are designed to fix this inconvenience. In the winter months, similar concerns can arise as the wheels will feel like ice, especially when it is parked outside.
- Steering wheel covers reduce driver fatigue
These covers come in a variety of fabric that can help reduce driver fatigue. Molded designs with ergonomic thumb pads and finger grips act as a shock absorber as a car goes over bumps in the road, preventing the vibrations from going straight to the driver’s hands.
- Steering wheel covers are customizable
Another advantage of getting a cover is just a purely personal preference. These covers come in just about any style and colors imaginable. Perhaps you are a big fan of dogs and would like to see images of these animals on your wheel while driving. Or you just cannot tolerate the feel of synthetics and would prefer the touch of leather.
With the many different advantages of getting a cover, choosing the right one isn’t nearly as hard as fitting one on the steering wheel. There are two ways to put on a cover, and both styles require a bit of know-how.
How to Stretch a Steering Wheel Cover to Fit
Some covers need to be stitched over the wheel, while others require a bit of stretching over to fit. In this article, we will outline the steps in stretching a steering wheel cover to ensure it fits snugly to a steering wheel and allow the driver to enjoy its full benefits.
Step 1: Measure the steering wheel. Before going shopping for a new steering wheel cover, take some measurements of your steering wheel. First, measure the diameter by stretching a measuring tape across the wheel horizontally. Second, measure the grip thickness of the wheel by wrapping a measuring tape around it. Then it is time to go choose your preferred color, style, and design.
Step 2: Prepare the steering wheel cover. Once you’ve found your steering wheel cover, clean it by using a rag or any piece of cloth and alcohol. Wipe the cover to prevent excess dirt and dust from getting caught under it.
Step 3: Use a blow dryer to soften the stretch style cover. This step is crucial as it allows you to extend the pliability of the cover enough to allow a straightforward installation. Turn the blow dryer on the highest setting, keep it approximately one inch away from the interior of the cover and keep the heat on a section for at least five to ten seconds.
Step 4: Install the cover. Start fitting the cover immediately after heating it to keep its flexibility. Pull the cover over the top part of the wheel with the seam of the cover facing down and slide it down as much as you can.
Step 5: Stretch out both sides of the cover. Work your way down the wheel by grabbing the interior of the cover and stretching it away from the wheel. Alternate between the right and left sides to ensure a snug fit.
Step 6: Pull the bottom of the cover over the wheel. You’ll probably find the most resistance near the bottom of the wheel, and you would need to use as much force as you can to get the final part of the cover to fit perfectly. Once you’ve fit it over the bottom, then you’re finally done.
Steering wheel covers come in so many interesting types with various designs and materials that make buying one a hard choice. However, once you have one, you’ll finally be able to enjoy and understand its many benefits. But first, you need to install it on your steering wheel. Use the guide above to help you put a stretch style cover over your steering wheel.