Should Installing Seat Covers Take 70 Steps?

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One complaint we see a lot is that when people receive their seat covers in the mail and actually get ready to cover their seats, they suddenly realize that the process is a little more complicated than they were expecting.

This frustration isn’t completely unfounded – after all, one of the biggest appeals of universal seat covers is that they’re…well, universal. This is a product that was specifically brought into this world with the sole purpose of being able to work with almost any vehicles out there. Think of as many cars, trucks, SUVs, minivans, real vans, all the vans. Think of as many vehicles as you can in 30 seconds. Universal seat covers will fit all of those vehicles, unless you went with something like the pumpkin chariot from Cinderella, which is basically cheating by the way, but we’ll let that go for now.

With universal seat covers being designed to be a foolproof purchase, it’s not so crazy to expect that they come with foolproof installation as well.

And with most universal seat covers, this is a pretty fair expectation to have and is one that’s met without any issues. But there are other seat covers out there that, while still made with a universal design to fit most vehicles, are also engineered with special features to make sure that not only do the covers fit your seats, but they fit well.

Of course, these special features require a bit more effort on the buyer’s part. This is where the complaints start.

But as with most things in life, with installing seat covers you get as much out of it as you put into it. You can choose to work a little bit –buckle this, tighten that, fasten this, to the left, take it back now y’all- and have a result that reflects the effort you put into it, or you can choose to go with the one-piece bucket covers that you slip over your seats in 30 seconds. One of these choices is going to leave you with great looking seats that were well worth the money you spent on them and the hour out of your day you chose to make sure they were installed properly. The other choice is going to look like you slipped them on in 30 seconds.

Look at it this way – the more steps involved in installing your seat covers, the better they’re going to look. There are so many steps involved because these seat covers were designed to fit your seats better than a glorified potato sack you can slide on. There are straps to tighten the cover flush to your upholstery, hooks to refine the material’s fit to really mold to your seats, buckles to fasten and secure everything in place. None of these steps are there just to be there. Every step in installing your seat covers has a purpose, and the result is a great looking pair of seat covers that not only protect your seats, but enhance the interior of your car as well.

Any manufacturer worth their salt will include instructions with their seat covers, regardless of how simple or complex the installation is. It’s just up to the buyer to take the initiative to read those instructions instead of diving in head first without any prep work. And for a lot of us…that isn’t an initiative we’re quick to take. Think about it – we all know someone who went out to buy furniture from Ikea and somehow ended up on the floor in a state of psychosis after six hours of madness.

Do you think Ikea has some secret plot to find the breaking point of every man or woman who dares buy their brand? Of course not! In fact, Ikea is kind enough to include a very well-made instruction manual with every product they sell. But it’s human nature to want to try things out ourselves, so most of us opt for wrestling with inanimate objects instead of just reading the instructions.

There’s definitely someone out there who’s fought with an Ikea chair and lost when they realized only two hours into the struggle that they built the thing backwards. We’re not saying that person works here, or is even writing this article, but that person exists out there somewhere. Trust us.

But once that person finally sets their ego aside and pulls the instructions out of their trash can, suddenly everything falls into place – both figuratively and metaphorically. Somehow, it takes less time to disassemble their failure and reassemble it properly than it took them to finish their blind attempt at construction in the first place.

Much like Swedish furniture manufacturers, seat cover manufacturers don’t have any top-secret conspiracy to purposely make buyers’ lives miserable.  Or, at least we don’t. We can’t really speak for the other guys.

So if you ever find yourself overwhelmed or maybe you’re not even sure which piece of the seat cover you’re holding in your hands, just breathe. If you’re like the person who fought an Ikea chair and lost, go get your installation instructions out of the trash. If you’re squeamish and don’t feel like garbage picking, some manufacturers are thoughtful enough to include installation guides and even videos on their website. You have all the information you need available at your fingertips, and you can do this.

You’ll find that the 70 steps it takes to install these seat covers is more realistically somewhere around 15 steps, and that with the help of the instructions you can manage to breeze through those 15 or so steps with ease. And then, once you step back and look at your handiwork, you’ll be rewarded with your seat covers living up to their fullest potential. They’ll protect your seats, stay in place, and look awesome the whole time.

You can even throw away the instructions after and pretend you figured it out all on your own. No one has to know. Your secret’s safe with us.

And in the meantime, we hear you. FH Group is always listening to our customers’ feedback, and on this particular issue it’s loud and clear – you want easier installation. And we’re working on it.

We can’t promise that you’ll be able to just open the package and have your seat covers climb out and hug your seats for you…not only because the technology just isn’t there yet, but also because it’s a liability issue. No one wants rogue sentient seat covers running around causing chaos.

But what we can do is engineer our seat covers to make them easier to install. In fact, we work on how to simplify instruction without sacrificing quality every time we release a new set of seat covers. There’s a perfect balance out there between ease of installation and an ideal fit and believe us, we will find it.

Until then, though – just read the instructions.