How often you change your car seat covers is ultimately a matter of personal preference and needs, but there are several specific factors to consider.
Vehicle Use Case
If you’re a busy parent with small children, your minivan’s back seats will inevitably gather grime faster than you can clean it. Spilled sippy cups, snack crumbs, sand, and potty accidents are regular events in the backseat of every family car. These seat covers need replacing once every 6 months to a year to avoid breeding uncontrollable colonies of bacteria in your vehicle.
But if you’re wondering when to change your car seat covers on your classic convertible that you only drive for solo weekend pleasure cruises, your factors differ. For instance, if your 1967 Ferrari stays in the garage for months at time, you run the risk of rodent infestation, even if you’ve responsibly closed and covered the vehicle— for mice, upholstery and seat stuffing is premium bedding material.
Keeping a fresh high-quality set of leather car seat covers on those expensive seats is a form of insurance you’ll regret neglecting if those whiskered little monsters find your car cozy. In this use case, you may not need to change your car seat covers as often as the busy parent, but you would benefit from investing in higher quality, thicker seat covers that last longer.
Most auto-repair shops recommend that you replace your car seat covers every 1.5 years on average, but as illustrated, different use cases and vehicle types require different approaches to solving this car seat cover conundrum. If your use case falls somewhere between the busy parent and the Ferrari owner, loosely following the standard 1.5-year rule is probably your best bet.
Material—Fabric vs. Leather
The final factor to consider in determining how often to change your car seat covers is material.
Fabric car seat covers generally cost less than leather but don’t last as long. Leather is easy to wipe clean of spills and crumbs and better protects the seats underneath. Fabric is impossible to clean spills out of without running it through the wash, but it won’t stick to your legs in the summer heat like leather might.
Ultimately, how often you change your seat covers is a matter of assessing your vehicle’s use case, considering standard recommendations, and deciding whether fabric or leather car seat covers suit your needs and preferences best.