You’re in the shop, looking at the rack and asking yourself how to choose a steering wheel cover.
It may seem easy, but once you’re there you may encounter a couple of issues.
Besides aesthetics, which is the most important for most people, there are other important factors you should consider.
This article should help resolve those issues and try to help you pick the right steering wheel cover for your car.
HOW TO CHOOSE A STEERING WHEEL COVER?
Now, here are the most important factors, at least from my own experience :
Diameter of the steering wheel cover
This is the most important characteristic.
If you buy a smaller one, you won’t be able to pull it over the steering wheel. You can try but you’ll probably end up either damaging the cover or with very sore fingers.
A wider one may slide over the steering wheel while driving. This means the cover moves while the steering wheel doesn’t. No need to say how dangerous this is.
The best way to avoid a mistake is to take some measuring tape and see what the diameter of your steering wheel is.
Covers have standard sizes so just write down the measure and look for the cover that matches.
Also know that they are made for a tight fit, mainly because of the mentioned slipping issue while turning the steering wheel.
Material from which the cover is made from
Maybe this isn’t that relevant, but just think how much time your hands spend on the steering wheel. It can be hours at a time so choosing the proper material can mean the difference between comfort and a feeling of unease.
Avoid materials like plastic and rubber. Yes, they are durable and, in most cases, cheap to buy, but as you’ll see, the hands easily sweat on it, it has a very artificial feel to it not to mention the fact that it heats up easily when the steering wheel is exposed to stronger sunlight.
Best choose as natural materials as possible. This is why lots of drivers decide to buy leather steering wheel covers, even the more complicated ones that need to be stitched.
Simply, the feel and comfort are much better
Another good option is a cover made from better quality artificial leather. Perhaps even better if it has a suede-like touch to it. Good quality textile is also a nice choice.
These two tend to be less expensive but are almost as good as natural leather.
Steering wheel covers are generally not expensive.
The price mostly depends on the materials used and the manufacturer.
If there are more natural materials used (like leather) it will naturally cost more.
Second, in line is the fine textile and artificial leather. These are perhaps the most popular ones as they offer good quality to price ratio.
The third and cheapest option is a combination of plastic, synthetic textile, rubber, or else. Despite the shabby feeling and low quality, it’s also popular among drivers because of the low price.
Perhaps the second option is the best because you get decent quality for a reasonable amount of money.
Other important features
Colors are a matter of taste so that topic shouldn’t be debated. Just a small recommendation: if possible avoid, fluorescent and very bright colors. It can be distracting and to some extent annoying while driving.
More important factors are various designs for the handgrips. Molded ridges, rubber or plastic patches, inserts of different materials are just some of the features steering wheel covers have.
This is also mostly a matter of taste but also of practicality. Some of these features may not be comfortable or may even cause unease while driving.
Best check the steering wheel cover under your hands while you’re still at the store. Take it off the rack, hold it like when it’s on the steering wheel and see if it feels OK.
All of this may seem too picky, but as mentioned, it’s not only a matter of aesthetics but of safety and comfort.
In the end, I hope this article will help you better understand how to choose a steering wheel cover.
Once more, the most important factor is the right size. As it’s a matter of safety, make sure it fits properly onto the steering wheel so it doesn’t accidentally slip while driving.
Try to buy a cover that has as many natural materials as possible, for the sake of your hands.
Regarding the aesthetic part: by what you like. If you can’t decide, it’s always a win-win to blend the steering wheel cover with the rest of the interior.
But whatever you choose, know that buying a steering wheel cover is a good investment. Besides enhancing the aesthetics, it keeps the steering wheel from future deterioration.
A good-looking and preserved steering wheel is an important thing when you want, for instance, to sell your car.
Written by: Sibin Spasojevic
Former car technician, life-long car and DIY enthusiast, author for Despairrepair.com