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How to Repair a Small Hole and Tear in a Tonneau Cover?

Due to exposure to harsh sunlight and heavy rain, and other extreme conditions, tonneau covers tend to have tears and holes in them with repeated use.

It is a frustrating situation as it hampers the purposes as well as destroys the aesthetics of a truck.

So, how to repair a small hole and tear in a tonneau cover? The tonneau cover can be repaired with a few simple tools, that include leather or vinyl patches, and a little bit of handicraft.

If you feel like repairing your tonneau cover is going to cost a significant amount, then it is wise to just purchase a brand new one. Otherwise, a few leather patches are going to be enough supplies required for the repair work.

How to Repair Small Tears and Holes in a Tonneau Cover?

Regardless of whether you are a man of craftsmanship, you can get it done simply without having to handle too many gadgets and technicalities.

There are easy ways we can fix these issues without having to throw away the entire cover. Here’s how you do it:

Step 1: Required Tools

Leather patches, scissors, glue, proper thread. You can also get a patch repair kit for around 5 dollars.

Step 2: Uninstall the Tonneau Cover

You will need to take the tonneau cover off to make the entire process easy.

While doing so, make sure that the tonneau cover is dry, working on a wet surface will make the patches shrink as it dries.

Step 3: Measure the Tear

Now measure the tear, I know that a tear is of no geometric shape, and we can’t possibly calculate an accurate one.

What you can do is approximate the extension of each arm of the tear over the tonneau cover.

Step 4: Cut Two Patches

Leather patches are often used, but there are other materials you can freely use, including vinyl.

Unfortunately, this repair process is not applicable for fiberglass or plexiglass tonneau covers.

Cut two patches of your preferred material; instead of trying to copy the shape of the damage, just cut off squares.

Step 5: Thread Away

You can use Sinew thread for threading over leather. Feel free to use metallic thread or any other kind of synthetic thread that fits your material.

Now take the two patches you cut earlier and put one of them on the front of the patch and the other one on the back.

Having made sure that they are secured, stitch up their hems. Any style of stitching is alright, but ensure that each round is as close to the previous one as possible. 

Step 6: Glue Them into Place

With the hems in place, glue them to your predesignated position. This should cover the entirety of the tears or holes, and it is smart to leave 1 or 2 extra inches on each side.

After gluing them shut, stitch them once again. But this time, the patches should be stitched with the tonneau and with each other. This provides a strong contact.

Step 7: Finishing Up

The tonneau cover is meant to be waterproof. You can spray waterproof solutions over the repaired patches to make sure water doesn’t sip through the newly formed edges.

Besides, you can also spray a paint that protects against UV rays. The original tonneau cover often comes with sun protection, but the newly attached leather doesn’t.

Step 8: Reinstall the Cover

Last but not the least, reinstall the tonneau cover back onto the truck where it belongs.

Caution: Some of us put our tonneau covers in the drier before the repair, believing it will expand and make maintenance easier.

What it does, in reality, is just mess up the entire thing. Giving a nice wipe to our tonneau cover is enough preparation before we start.

How to Repair a Small Hole in a Vinyl Tonneau Cover?

Vinyl covers look amazing, but they tend to wear out faster. If the hole is really small, we can just fix it by using a glue gun.

Definitely, we paint it afterward because vinyl doesn’t get holes without losing its color first.

How to Repair Tear in a Tonneau Cover?

We can’t just stitch the approaching margins of a tear and call it a day when it comes to repairing tonneau covers.

So, we have to follow the patch and glue method as mentioned above.

Should I Paint the Repaired Patches?

Yes, painting is a part of tonneau cover maintenance. Repaired patches need to be painted unless they are the exact same shade as the original cover.

Moreover, most paintings offer an additional layer of protection.

Photo of author

Kevin Shaw

Pickup Truck Expert

Kevin Shaw is an automotive enthusiast and expert specializing in Ford F150 pickup trucks. With over ten years of experience in the automotive industry, he has the knowledge and expertise to help you maintain and troubleshoot your F150.

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