How to Install a Steering Wheel Cover

You can install your steering wheel cover using the stretching method or stitching method.
Written by Talullah Blanco
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Steering wheel covers are not only stylish, but they protect your wheel and add grip. You can install your steering wheel cover using the stretching method or stitching method.  
There is no shortage of steering wheel cover styles and designs available to you on the market making it that much easier to add a hint of personal style to your car. But finding the right steering wheel cover is much easier than installing it. 
That’s why
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Why would you want a steering wheel cover?

Steering wheel covers are both cosmetic and utilitarian in purpose. 
They allow you to customize your car with your personal style, add grip while driving, and protect your steering wheel from the usual wear and tear of everyday driving. 

Why are they difficult to fit?

Steering wheel covers are difficult to fit because of the way they are designed. In order to ensure your steering wheel cover fits snugly around your wheel, they have to be either stretched over or sewed onto the steering wheel.
Both of these installation methods are tedious and frustrating in their own ways. From stretching inch by inch to threading and sewing, it’s a matter of picking your poison. 

Measure your steering wheel

You’ll need to measure the diameter and grip thickness of your steering wheel to find the right size steering wheel cover for your car. Most steering wheels will measure between 14 and 18 inches in diameter and are between 2 and 5 inches thick
Stretch a tape measure across the front of your steering wheel to get the diameter then wrap the tape measure around the steering wheel grip to get the thickness. Make note of your measurements and compare them to the diameter and grip thickness listed in the product details when you are shopping for a steering wheel cover.

Start shopping

You can shop for steering wheel covers online or in person at your local auto parts store or car dealership. However, you may find more materials and styles online. No matter where you’re shopping, be sure to purchase a steering wheel cover that matches the measurements of your steering wheel. 
As for the style? That’s entirely up to you and your personal taste! From pink and furry to neutral and leather, steering wheel covers come in all types of materials and colors. 
Key Takeaway Steering wheel covers come in many styles, materials, and designs, but they can be difficult to fit because they need to fit tightly around your steering wheel.


The installation process will vary depending on the steering wheel cover design you purchased but before you get started, clean your steering wheel with isopropyl alcohol wipes to remove any grit or grime. 
Here’s how to install a steering wheel cover using the stretching method and the stitching method:

The stretching method

You’ll need to have a blow dryer on hand to install if you purchased a steering wheel cover that is designed to fit using the stretching method. 
  • Step One: Heat and soften the cover with a blow dryer. Set the blow dryer to the highest heat setting and aim it at the steering wheel cover interior. Warm up the cover for ten seconds on each side. Move around the cover until it warms up and stretches and move quickly before it cools and sets.
  • Step Two: Slide the cover over the top of the steering wheel. Be sure to center the wheel before you slide the cover over the top of the wheel. 
  • Step Three: Stretch both sides of the cover. Using your fingers stretch one side of the cover over the steering wheel then alternate to the other side. Continue this step until everything but the bottom of your steering wheel cover is set in place. 
  • Step Four: Pull the cover over the bottom of the steering wheel. Use strength to stretch the bottom of the cover over the steering wheel 

The stitching method

Your steering wheel cover will come with all the materials you need to stitch your cover onto your steering wheel. 
  • Step One: Stretch the cover over the steering wheel. Center the wheel and place the cover over it. If your cover comes with adhesive glue or tape, use it on the interior of the cover to set it on the steering wheel. 
  • Step Two: Thread the needle with the lacing string. Push the lacing string through the eye of the needle and tie a knot around the needle. 
  • Step Three: Thread the needle through either side of the cover. Slide the needle through the pre-punched holes starting from the interior side closest to you. Push the needle through the other side and pull until both sides are cinched together. 
  • Step Four: Run the needle under the cover threads. The steering wheel cover will have pre-sewn threads for you to slide the needle under beginning with the side furthest from you. Repeat this until the entire cover is stitched onto your steering wheel.
  • Step Five: Tie a knot. Once you’ve finished stitching the steering wheel cover, tie a knot to secure your work.

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If you choose a steering wheel cover that is designed to be stitched on it will come with lacing string and a needle. If it doesn’t you can head to your local craft store to purchase a lacing string of your choice.
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