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Discussion Starter #1
I am in the market for an EX-L in Sandstone Metallic. My local dealer in Santa Rosa has two regular EX's coming in (no EX-L's in this color for at least 6 weeks), and says that they can have leather seats and arm rests installed by a Bay Area business that they have been using to do this for many years, that the installation is as good, if not better than original factory installation, and that the new leather would be covered by the factory warranty. Has anyone had this done (whether on a Pilot or other Honda vehicle) and what has been your experience? Thanks.
 

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I've never had it done myself, but I've seen several aftermarket leather installations...Most looked really nice and of high quality (you get color choices too that can look nice, even two tone's). But, you'd best look at and get references for this particular installer before having it done (they all vary).

Also, I can't see how this would be covered by the "factory warranty"...It neither comes with the vehicle nor is it a dealer installed option that is sanctioned by honda. Maybe the installer provides a warranty, but I doubt it will be backed by Honda Corp.


Another option (assuming you don't want to wait for an EX-L) is to try out the cloth (it supposed to be nice, and saves $$$) you can always go to an aftermarket leather place later (w/o the dealer marking it up)
 

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I have no experience with this type of installation, so I cannot comment on quality issues. However, you should ask the dealer to show you the section of the Honda warranty that covers non-Honda, aftermarket parts and accessories. I think you'll find that an EX plus aftermarket leather is still an EX, not an EX-L. Perhaps the dealer has a written warranty for the leather that they can show you, but I rather suspect the only warranty you'll get is from the shop that does the work. How stable is the company - will it be around when you need service? And even if their warranty is transferrable to a new owner when you sell the vehicle, it's still a local shop - if you move or the new owner is not local, the warranty might be useless.

If what you really want is an EX-L, get an EX-L. There are other dealers that can get you one.
 

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I haven't had this done on a Honda vehicle, but I had it done on 2 Nissans - a 240SX and a Maxima. There were more color choices and you could pick your style - the smooth sporty look or the gathered luxurious look. I was very happy with the results.
 

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My wife and I purchased 2002 CRV and had aftermarket leather put in by the dealer. They used an upholstery shop right down the street from where I work. I took the time to go by and look at the shop - nice operation!! Been in business for over 10 years and had plenty of references. Most of the aftermarket leather comes in "kits" that upholstery shops buy from leather wholesalers.

My only problem - I had to take it back several times because the way the leather was cut around the drivers side air bag. First, the hole around the air bag was cut to big. Second, they tried to glue it in place. Finally, I told them to replace the entire seat – which they did with no problem. Today, my wife still gets compliments on how great the leather looks…. to how did you get leather, when the 2002 CRV doesn’t have leather as an option.

She enjoys the aftermarket leather very much!!!:4:
 

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Several of my cars...

have had aftermarket leather. In each case it was as good or better than OEM. I think though that the suggestion you try the cloth first is a good one. I don't believe Honda will warrenty the leather so it probably doesn't make any difference when you get it. The dealer would probably like you to order it now because they may get some referral fee or "kick back" for having you do it through them.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all for your advice and past experiences.
I was told by the dealer that the aftermarket leather installer uses Honda supplied leather that identically matches the factory interior, but I also wonder (and have asked) how it is that Honda will warranty something that they did not originally install. I also asked for references, which the dealer has promised to provide. I'll put up a new post if I hear anything further.
 

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ya now...I'm not trusting much your dealer is saying...besides the warranty issue, I'm not sure I believe they are getting their leather direct from Honda. Maybe they can, but I'd bounce these questions off of [email protected] in this forum since he manages the parts dept at a honda dealership (and will give you the honest to goodness truth on this)
 

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Ody leather

I saw some after-market installs on some Ody Minivans before they offered Leather from the factory. The seats themselves looked very nice. However the trim on the doors was not so nice. You could tell where they had pry'ed off the plastic trim. It had stress marks in the plastic and just did not seemed Tucked quite right.
 

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Leather

First of all is it worth the extra cost? The leather option as you know is around $980.00. The dealers I worked for usually charged around $1,300 for small vehicles and a few hundred more for larger ones. It won't look factory installed, but it will look good. I've also observed that some of the companies don't use leather that is as beathable as the leather that's in the Pilot EXL. The EXL is the most prevalent
model in this part of CA, but I don't know about your area. I would imagine that someone within an hour or two would have your Pilot EXL though. Best wishes
Chet:cool:
 
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