The Dogs

RTT: In which I go to war with the seat covers from hell

Another Random ass Tuesday. I'd love talk about all kinds of funny stuff, but the only thing I can think about is how much the seat covers that we bought on Amazon SUCK. The big one.

Living in the sticks means that we are mostly relegated to shopping at the Walmart in Shelton or online. Usually Amazon has great service and decent products. (If you do your homework) But this time? Epic seat-cover fail.

The Evil Bastard Car Seat Cover Manufacturers (Hereafter referred to as EBCSCM) really got me. Concerned that I might assume these were generic seat covers, roughly sized to accomodate anything from a Prius to a Howitzer Tank, they made extra special mention that these were CUSTOM fitted covers for the Toyota Matrix.

 In case I might assume they meant a year I did not own they even specified a "Made in" bracket. Our car was comfortably positioned right in the middle of the age range, being neither a shiny new penny nor a worn out old trollop. I researched, I shopped Ebay, overstock and various other interweb purveyors. I compared prices, features, textures, color options, seat descriptions. It took a while. Mostly because we have a weird ass back seat. A lot of cars these days come with what is known as a 60/40 split bench seat. That means the bench seat folds down one seat on one side and two seats on the other.  Therefore any seat cover you get has to facilitate the off-center split.

Three weeks later I made a decision and clicked.           
The wife released 12 white doves. A small but tasteful parade was thrown in honor of my prowess as both a hunter and gatherer of seat covers. All was right in the world. We awaited the Fed-Ex truck with bated breath.

Finally the package arrived. All rejoiced.

A few weeks later I got around to putting the seat covers on, because the arrival of products is always more exciting than the reading of instructions. This turned out to be only slightly less complicated than putting a man on Mars. (See also: Smashing face against wall)

Like the rest of my seat cover experience this started out rather encouraging. The front passenger seat went on without much drama in just under 3 hours, the driver side followed without too much complaint. Except from me, regarding my knuckles which had been sliced off by the razors Toyota uses to build the undercarriage of their seats. I found comfort by reminding myself that every scar is just one step closer to looking hardcore like Mickey Rourke. (Hopefully I'll stop before I go full Sin City)

Then it was time for the fated 60/40 split. I got out the three amorphously shaped nylon pieces. I read the directions. Then I read them again. I stood slack jawed...

But.... My seats... My Toyota... Matrix... seats. They don't "Lift up" or "remove"... Why is that crucial? I thought these were CUSTOM made for my car. Don't you know that my 60/40 split bench seat is welded directly into the very frame of the car? No lift. No remove.

Note: This girl is either a "Little Person" or these seats are out of a Semi-truck.

The EBCSCM mocked me from their ivory tower. The girl in the EBCSCM manual looked so happy as she placed the covers on these fictitious removable seats, even if she was a vertically challenged Goth. My seats would never be on a beautiful white seamless studio back ground. I would never smile as I effortlessly slipped the covers on. I would never smile again.

Maybe I could squeeze my hand under the seats and connect the loops the EBCSCM manual suggests. Fail. My Mickey Rourke syndrome advances.

These Toyota Matrix seats are not only so permanently attached that the bolts broke my wrench and stripped the nuts, but the clearance between seat and floor-pan is only wide enough to accommodate the hands of E.T. or a 12 year old suffering from advanced anorexia. There are no 12 year olds nor anorexics in Triton Cove. Shit Creek. No paddle. EBCSCM- "Muaahahaaaaa."

Successful installation of these CUSTOM seat covers relies solely on the ability to remove the bench seat in order to connect 123 elastic straps that hold the cover on to the seat. Seat no remove. Seat no lift up. Epic fail.

I tried hopelessly for what seemed like a few days to find a solution. Usually I'm a total McGuyver. And I today I had my tool kit and like tons of duct tape. Then I stretched the seat cover out over the bench seat.

The EBCSCM had failed to mention that these custom seat covers were also a full 12 inches longer than my bench! The excess flap hung limply off the end of the seat like a pathetic flaccid nylon emo kid. Not only would I never connect the elastic straps, but the cover would never achieve it's full, tightly stretched, rigid glory. I gave up and went inside to take my aggression out on lunch and slam some inanimate objects around to display my dissatisfaction to dogs and wife. Further parades were called on account of rain.

As of now, the struggle continues. I must decide whether to keep the front seats installed or attempt a return and go to email war with the EBCSCM. I think I might send them a link to this post once there are several comments proving I have a vast and faithful following in order to demonstrate my dramatic impact on the WWW's consumer base. Or you can go and tell them how pissed you are that they ruined your favorite blogger's day.

In other (and more awesome) news I've started working on a rebranding campaign for The Didactic Pirate. Updates coming soon. Here's a sneak peak you scurvy dogs.


  1. seems like in mexico they all have set covers, and i really dont know why i know this or think it may actually be a fact, but all they have is a tucked mexican blanket on the back seat and that appears to work for mexicans... i like where you're going with the didactic pirate look and love the beta dad thing (btw, i know it's irrelevant but not really)

    hi. miss me?

  2. Oh my dear friend. I feel your pain all too well. I was once completely at the mercy of online shopping at one point in my life. Even the closest Wal-Mart was 200 miles away. Promises and lies! "Extra Large, memory foam dog bed - fits even the largest breeds" LIES I tell you!!

  3. What is it about car seat covers?

    CAR SEAT: (Not too difficult, right?) Something you sit your bum upon to facilitate easier maneuvers in your automobile. OK.

    COVER: (Easy.) Usually fabric of a durable nature, used to shield an object from additional wear & tear. OK.

    But put these two concepts together: CAR SEAT COVERS and try to install them…

    And you come up with a torture device that can take a perfectly sane person and turn him (or her) into a raging lunatic spewing curses like a veritable fountain.

    Good times.

  4. PS: Great post! My favorite line, "Further parades were called on account of rain." :)

  5. Ummm...all I can say is you make me laugh! Just a little out of pity but mostly out of the visual I was able to achieve given the level of detail you provided over said debacle!

  6. Quite focused for a random post. All that RAGE.

    ("Prepare to meet your teacher" is the best tag line I've heard all day.)

  7. Hey keeley, at least I didn't kick my dog. ahem. Well maybe I nudged her.

  8. It's been over a month and I'm wondering how this turned out. Did the dreaded EBCSCM come through for you? Or is that one of those dog-chasing-tail things? I don't know why we buyers actually believe that someone at seat cover place would attempt to put these on a real car of said make and model and year. Thanks for some laughs at least. About one can do I suppose. Hope it worked out.

  9. JFCost: We did actually hear back from the seat cover folks, who eventually said we could return the covers. I'll update it this coming RTT


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