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I repaired the heated seats on a New Beetle before; you CAN remove the covers and reinstall them, successfully! You have to take your time and be patient; the covers are held on with "hog rings", that must be cut off, to remove the seat cover. The plastic covers are screwed on and also, there is a plastic split revit; that can be removed, damage free by pushing the pin out of the center. The center upholstery "folds"; are also held on with hog rings, you need to be gentle and take your time, to not destroy the plastics and seat cover materials, as you are figuring out how to remove things. You might want to take pictures; before you remove the hog rings and that way, you will know how thing go back together and where to replace the hogs rings to correctly secure the seat cover upholstery.

The Bentley manual; will show you step by step, how to take things apart. Unfortunately, these manuals are not free online.

Here are the basics; for getting the seat removed from the car.

http://newbeetle.org/forums/new-beetle-detailing-cleaning/44118-valdez-upholstery-cleaning-seat-removal-diy.html#post1063434

Question: why are you removing the seat covers? If you just need to clean things; I would say, you do not need to remove it. VW has tech bulletins; on cleaning the upholstery and recommended cleaners, that you might check out. For really nasty dirty cloth; degreaser and a pressure washer, can do incredible things! You do need to be careful; as you can damage things if you are not careful. Check out these service bulletins for cleaning advice;

http://workshop-manuals.com/volkswagen/beetle/l4-1.9l_dsl_turbo_(alh)/body_and_frame/seats/seat_cover/component_information/technical_service_bulletins/interior_cleaning_tips_for_fabrics_vinyls__plastics/

Here are the hog rings and pliers; you will need, to reinstall the covers to the seat frame. You should be able to find these pliers/rings; at your local hardware store or places, like harbor freight. Again, to remove them; use cable cutters or diagonal cutting pliers.

Hog rings and pliers:

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=hog rings and pliers

To remove the upholstery and plastic covers; you REALLY need a set of plastic pry tools. Otherwise, if you use metal tools to try to pry with you will DESTROY the plastics and your upholstery. These can be found at most auto parts stores and places like harbor freight.

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=plastic upholstery removal tools
 

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Discussion Starter #3
billymade,
my upholstery is in miserable shape. I've been trying for the past 2 months to get it clean, and I'm running out of ideas. I'm not planning on taking the covers off, I just wanted to be sure it could be done. it's that terrible (I mean, lovely) tan color and EVERYTHING shows on it-- even water marks leave huge unsightly stains. it's driving me nuts and it's really embarrassing. I found a set of black cloth seats, in better shape than mine. All of them for $150. should I just switch them out? there is also a worn in tear on the drivers seat, that this black set doesn't have. I think the black would be easier to maintain, and since the car is 2-toned black/tan interior anyway, I think it would look alright.


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Swapping the seats out; for some that are in better condition, is probably the most cost effective solution. $150, is probably cheaper; than having them redone at a upholstery shop. I think; the optional leather seats; are the most durable, easy to clean, compared to cloth. There were some different style seats; that came in the special edition and turbo s new beetles, that are really nice but might be harder to find, cost more than cloth ones. Some seats; had different; airbag electrical connections, which might require some work, to figure out.

With so many wrecked new beetles; in junk yards these days, I would think it shouldn't be too hard to find a pair that you like.

If you didn't want to go through all that hassle; there are some pretty nice leatherette style seat covers as well.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=vw+new+beetle+leather+seats&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.Xvw+new+beetle+leather+seat+covers.TRS1&_nkw=vw+new+beetle+leather+seat+covers&_sacat=0

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=1998 vw new beetle seat covers
 
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