Even though I keep it in its own shed, the 2004 Ranger’s seat has gradually developed a crack in the front corner, driver’s side, just where a similar crack had formed on all of my golf carts. It’s age and wear, pure and simple.

A year ago my son sealed up the wound with an expensive concoction he bought for repairs to leather seats, but the vinyl cracked in another place this spring. It was time for a new approach.

A replacement seat bottom is available from Polaris online for prices ranging from a low of $308 to $382 plus taxes and shipping. Not outrageous, but expensive. No aftermarket parts are available.

On a whim I took the seat off and showed it to an automotive upholsterer in Brockville.

“I’d have to put a seam in here (indicating the side of the driver’s left hip) because they make these with heat and my vinyl won’t bend that much. The other step for the third passenger should mould in when we stretch the fabric front-to-back. It’s nearly impossible to get an exact colour match on these unless the seat is black. The company puts out a contract and the seats get made with whatever material they have at the time.”

I picked up the seat twenty-four hours later, and Ian had done a very nice job for $120. Now I understand why there aren’t any aftermarket seats around: upholsterers just re-cover the old ones.

The shades of gray are not identical, but they’re close. If I wanted a perfect match, Ian assured me he would be happy to do the seat back for the same price.

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