Ferrari Sticky Buttons and Shrinking Leather
Adam Merlin, September 24, 2018
Ferraris are synonymous with words such as beauty, speed and power. Unfortunately, they are also synonymous with sticky buttons and leather shrinkage on the dash. Anyone who has ever owned a used Ferrari knows that at some point the buttons will start to develop a tacky feel and the leather on the dash will start shrinking. We are often asked about these issues and the good news is that we have had many years of experience dealing with these problems and have solutions whether you are having your Ferrari serviced, or doing the work yourself.
First, shrinking leather is not a problem that is unique to Ferrari. Many luxury and exotic cars that have fine leather covering a lot of surfaces can end up with damage that is mainly caused by being out in the sun. The harmful rays of the sun cause the leather to shrink and shrivel up leaving damage that is prevalent when looking at the car. Tinting your windows can help prevent some of this, but the best thing to do is buy a $20 windscreen deflector to use when your car is parked outside. Many are not a fan of the deflector, but they will prevent much of the sun damage and literally save you thousands next time you have your Ferrari serviced.
Ferrari sticky buttons…the ever infamous sticky button problem. We have spent years and countless hours trying to find a perfect solution to resolve this issue. Removal of the stickiness is an extremely time consuming process that literally take hours. In addition to your time and patience, there is also a level of skill required to ensure that you remove only the tackiness and not the words on the buttons, or something else.
Where exactly does this stickiness come from? Ferrari uses a rubberized product that, when heated or continuously charged, can cause the rubber to melt and become tacky to the touch. There is much speculation as to what actually causes the buttons to melt and become sticky, but at the end of the day it happens to all of them. How do we fix this? There are many products on the market that claim to fix this problem, but there are a few things to consider when selecting a product. First is effectiveness of the product, many products will only do a decent job and you will spend hours trying to remove the stickiness. For example, many people spend hours using lemon juice. The other issue experienced with many of these products, that you must be extremely careful of, is the possibility of the product being too strong and damaging other items. We have seen cars that have had strong acidic products used, leaving no graphics on the button, or worse, damaged leather. One product that we recommend and use on every single car that comes in for a Ferrari service is Jax Super Soap.
To sum everything up, our overall recommendation is to make sure you service your Ferrari in a facility that has factory certified Ferrari technicians because we advise removing the parts and then repairing the damage on the dash and sticky buttons. This will completely avoid further issues of chemicals spilling on other parts of the vehicle and causing damage. If you are doing the work yourself, then we highly recommend using Jack’s Super Soap because the acid free product will not damage any other part.