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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
my steering wheel has started to peel in a small spot. almost like it got scuffed with something and bits are started to peel off. any have this issue before and how to fix?
 

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Is it leather wrapped or urethane (plastic)?

The urethane (plastic) wheels will disintegrate over time with contact with the oils from your hands. :eek: Unfortunately all manufactures use them, and I've personally seen it happen on multiple vehicles.

There are only really two things that you can do to avoid this. If you are buying, get a leather wrapped steering wheel. I ALWAYS do for this reason, and actually upgraded to leather upholstery just to get it in my Crosstrek. If you already own a vehicle that has this then you'll probably have to get a steering wheel cover.
 

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Put a Wheelskins leather wrap on it. Excellent quality and fit. Plus ... it provides some extra thickness and grip over the standard urethane steering wheel. Here's a pic of mine ( from my July post )

 

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I've paid detailers to apply protectant on my interior, though if the wheel really does peel on my Premium, that'll be a disappointment... It doesn't make sense for manufacturers to make a steering wheel they know will deteriorate with contact with human oils...
 

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That's not leather. And, only the limited models came with leather seats and leather wrapped steering wheel. I'd be annoyed too. Might check with the dealer and see if they will replace it .... but I kind of doubt it. Who knows.
 

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sorry for the delay. here's the pic. yes, this is the premium. leather and all. little annoyed.
Yep that's definitely the urethane wheel and it is disintegrating. Seen the same exact thing happen in the fleet vehicles I drive at work, that get run 24/7. It will likely get worst over time.

If I were you, I'd get a leather cover like d.r.h. did. The one he posted in this thread looks like good quality. That's what we did at work, although his cover looks to be of a much better quality. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That's not leather. And, only the limited models came with leather seats and leather wrapped steering wheel. I'd be annoyed too. Might check with the dealer and see if they will replace it .... but I kind of doubt it. Who knows.
i'm sorry. this is the limited model. leather seats, all weather package, etc.... but this does look like the urethane wheel though. :confused:

Yep that's definitely the urethane wheel and it is disintegrating. Seen the same exact thing happen in the fleet vehicles I drive at work, that get run 24/7. It will likely get worst over time.

If I were you, I'd get a leather cover like d.r.h. did. The one he posted in this thread looks like good quality. That's what we did at work, although his cover looks to be of a much better quality. :cool:
if I have to, I will! but being a limited model....why the urethane wheel?
 

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c-lo,

Where are you located? This is strange, because US spec'd 2013 XVs came in only two variants ... premium and limited. Leather seats/leather steering wheel/leather shift handle were available only on the limited and not available (at all) on the premium. So, if you have a limited, it would have all three trimmed in leather, including the steering wheel and shift handle. Limited also had a few other things not available on the premium (like auto on headlights and rear view camera ... unless you got a premium with the nav package, then it included a rear view camera). For the life of me, if you have a US XV with leather seats, then is should have had a leather steering wheel and shift handle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
c-lo,

Where are you located? This is strange, because US spec'd 2013 XVs came in only two variants ... premium and limited. Leather seats/leather steering wheel/leather shift handle were available only on the limited and not available (at all) on the premium. So, if you have a limited, it would have all three trimmed in leather, including the steering wheel and shift handle. Limited also had a few other things not available on the premium (like auto on headlights and rear view camera ... unless you got a premium with the nav package, then it included a rear view camera). For the life of me, if you have a US XV with leather seats, then is should have had a leather steering wheel and shift handle.
Md. it's a limited. sorry for the confusion. and I talked to a subie sales guy today at a race i was at. bringing it in next week to get looked at.
 

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Md. it's a limited. sorry for the confusion. and I talked to a subie sales guy today at a race i was at. bringing it in next week to get looked at.
I just took a closer look at your steering wheel and compared it to my wife's 2013 limited. Looks like it is, in fact, a leather wrapped wheel, not the vinyl wrapped/urethane wheel. For some reason, I thought my the leather wheel on the Crosstrek was smooth (like on my old 2007 Forester). My wife's has a grain on it just like yours. Strange that leather would peel like that. Hopefully they will replace it!
 

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i'm sorry. this is the limited model. leather seats, all weather package, etc.... but this does look like the urethane wheel though. :confused:



if I have to, I will! but being a limited model....why the urethane wheel?
Check the wheel, if it has stitching on the inside then it's leather. The urethane steering wheels won't have any stitching.

If it's leather, and still under warranty, then you should take it to the dealer. I've never seen a leather wrapped steering wheel do that, just the urethane ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Check the wheel, if it has stitching on the inside then it's leather. The urethane steering wheels won't have any stitching.

If it's leather, and still under warranty, then you should take it to the dealer. I've never seen a leather wrapped steering wheel do that, just the urethane ones.
stitching. this is my 3rd subaru. all limited. my LGT (which I still have for the moment) with 270k on it doesn't have a peeling steering wheel. def worn in spots. but not peeling.
 

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Same thing with my limited "leather" steering wheel. Had Subaru replace it, reluctantly; as they claimed I must have gotten some chemical on it, like sunscreen. While possible haven't had this happen with other cars. My 34 yr old 911's leather wheel is fine.
 

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update

new steering wheel ordered. should be in next week!
I brought my ltd back to dealer because my leather was peeling on the steering wheel also. Actually seemed like the leather was bubbling and popping. This was about a year ago, 4 years after purchase. They said it was out of warranty and something i must of done wrong. I was super frustrated. I am in food industry and wash my hands like crazy, and don't use lotions, perfumes, etc. @c-lo and @orpip, did they (Subaru or Dealer?) replace for you at no cost?
 

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I brought my ltd back to dealer because my leather was peeling on the steering wheel also. Actually seemed like the leather was bubbling and popping. This was about a year ago, 4 years after purchase. They said it was out of warranty and something i must of done wrong. I was super frustrated. I am in food industry and wash my hands like crazy, and don't use lotions, perfumes, etc. @c-lo and @orpip, did they (Subaru or Dealer?) replace for you at no cost?
I just got back from the dealer, 5 days before warranty expires on our 2018 Crosstrek Limited for an oil change. I pointed out that the steering wheel wrap was very worn; more than expected for just 10,000 miles. They agreed and were gracious enough to replace it under warranty as "defective - premature wear". I was impressed & didn't expect this! It's a wear item.

Our teen daughter uses a lot of hand creams and hand sanitizer, although it looks more like a 80,000 mile / 6 year wear pattern. Pretty ugly really. There were large patches where the outer skin was completely worn off, showing the lighter inner color. This material really isn't suitable for a steering wheel cover, or possibly needs a thicker outer layer.

Important note: They replaced the entire wheel, transferring the electronics to the new one. It took them an hour, so if I were paying it probably would have been $175 labor + maybe $350 for the new pre-wrapped steering wheel. Since they wrote it up as "abnormal wear for 10K miles", it implies they may not have done it if more miles were on the car.

It makes the interior look brand new! Looks great, but if we weren't re-selling it in 4 months I'd absolutely spend $70 for a leather wheel wrap, since we know it'll only look this good for a year!

I have to say too; the urethan wrap is sort of cheap feeling. A leather wrap would be worth the $70 just for the luxury aspect - plus it's much cheaper & easier to swap out every few years. It's an hour with a needle & thread & pliers to pull it snug; I've done it several times. Our Lexus & Toyota cars are real leather and the difference in look and feel is very noticeable!
 
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