Electric Car Seat Won’t Move Forward? Here’s What To Do

Electric Car Seat Won’t Move Forward? Here’s What To Do

One of the best features of any vehicle is an electric car seat because it adjusts your seating position into what’s most comfortable. But have you ever been in a situation where your powered seats seem to be stuck? 

An electric car seat rarely gets stuck, and there are a few reasons why it can’t move. Two of the leading causes are electrical and mechanical issues within the power seat. Fortunately, most of these problems can be fixed with just a few manual adjustments that don’t require expensive tools. 

However, it would help if you had a wiring diagram of the electric seat to ensure that the repairs will be safer. Getting an idea of the whole circuitry will also help you identify particular switch terminals that need to be connected and those that do not. 

Before you do this quick repair, make sure that the engine of your vehicle is turned off. To ensure that no electricity would flow into your power seat, you can also pull out the car’s batteries.  

Take note that this is just a “temporary fix” only. If you want a better and permanent solution, we recommend you bring the car to a local car repair shop. 

RELATED: 10 Reasons an Electric Car Won’t Start

How to Fix a Power Seat That Stopped Working?

Most unmoving power seats have broken switches. If this part is damaged, you can’t send power to the car seat’s electrical motor. Without a working motor, you can’t adjust the position and move it. 

Tools You Will Need to Fix an Electric Car Seat

Here are some of the tools you will need when repairing your electric car seat:

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NoCry Safety Glasses Over Eyeglasses with Anti Scratch Wraparound Lenses, UV400 Protective Eyewear, ANSI Z87 & OSHA Approved Safety Goggles Over Glasses in the Lab or Shooting Glasses Over Eyeglasses
amoolo Clear Safety Glasses Bulk of 24, Protective Eyewear for Men Women, ANSI Z87.1 Impact Resistant Eye Protection for Work, Lab, Construction
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Depending on the type of damage and design of your power seat, you may omit some of the items listed above. Here is how you can remove a faulty power seat switch:

  1. Remove the electric car seat’s negative battery cable. After this, set it aside.
  1. Remove the car seat’s trim panel. Using the screwdriver, unfasten all screws that hold the trim. Pull out the seat cover from its cushion to release the remaining clips.
  1. Pull out the power seat switch connector by pushing it down and then sliding it off. Once you are done, the next step is to move the power seat manually. 

How to Manually Move an Electric Car Seat?

  1. Remove the screws and washers that are holding the trim of your car. Another way to do it is by slicing open the rear end of the seat using a knife or scissors. 
  1. Once the trim is out of the way, the next step is to expose the lengthy shafts that manage the position of the seat. Cut any mesh along the axis while ensuring only the fabric is being sliced or ripped.
  1. Take the pliers and move these poles to the desired direction you need them to be. For example, if you want to move the seat forward, turn the shaft left. Alternatively, if you want the seat to move backward, turn the shaft right. 
  1. If you still don’t get the desired position you want, keep on turning the shaft slowly. You can also try seating on your preferred setting, to ensure that it’s very comfortable. Make sure it’s the best position for you before you stitch or screw the trim. 
  1. Consequently, you can also test drive your car to ensure you are getting the position you want. If the seat placement seems a bit awkward, you can calibrate it again until you get it right. 

RELATED: What You Need To Know About Towing An Electric Car

Repairing the Seat Motor

  1. Move out the seat casing by unscrewing the housing of your motor and free the cable inside. Make sure that you don’t lose any of the screws as you will need them later. 
  1. Search for the plastic conduit or tube inside. Search for the woven wire propeller, which drives the monitor. Refer to the wiring diagram to ensure that it’s the right one. 
  1. Next, attach the drill and motor to one of the sides. Make sure also that it’s securely mounted to ensure that the motor will perform correctly. Because you can only attach each side individually, it allows you to move the seat motor one at a time. 
  1. Go back to the wiring diagram and find the right pairs to connect. From here, arrange the wire based on the instructions and pairings. Reconnect the motor to the power, and this should retain the functions of your power seats. 

Taking Your Electric Car Seat to a Mechanic

When the damage to your power seat is beyond your comprehension or skill sets, then it’s better to have a mechanic fix it for you. Aside from the assurance that it will be fixed faster, you also get to enjoy the automatic function afterward, instead of manually adjusting the seat. 

However, the main downside to having your car seat fixed in an auto body shop is it’s expensive. Depending on the type of damage and the hourly rate of the mechanic, repair costs can be anywhere between $400 to $700. 

To give you a better idea, the average cost of replacing its motor alone is tagged at $650 to $675. Additionally, you also need to pay for labor cost, which is around $80 to $120 an hour. Furthermore, some of the crucial car seat parts are sold at $350 to $550. 

Because of the high cost of repairs, we recommend that going to the auto body shop should be your last resort. If you know a car technician, we recommend letting him inspect your car seat first and ask their recommendations first before considering all your options. 

RELATED: TroubleShooting A Nissan Leaf That Won’t Charge

Installing a New Power Seat 

If car seat repairs don’t fit your budget, you can instead buy a new power seat and have them installed by a professional. A typical power seat costs between $375 and $450, depending on the design and minus the trim. 

Meanwhile, the labor costs for the installation are tagged at $45 to $70. Car seat installation usually lasts around one to two hours, on average. If multiple components of your electric car seat were damaged, then this is the more logical option. 

Oh and while you’re at it, why not add some new leather to your old seats? Here are some premium leather seat covers that you can get from the FH Group.

FH Group Car Seat Cover Cushion - 2 Pack Seat Covers for Cars Trucks SUV,) Faux Leather Car Seat Cushions, Waterproof Car Seat Cover Cushion, Universal Fit Car Seat protector Front Set Black Red Trim
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FH Group Car Seat Covers Front Set Faux Leather Car Seat Cushions - Car Seat Covers for Low Back Seat, Universal Fit, Automotive Seat Covers, Airbag Compatible Car Seat Cover for SUV, Sedan Gray Black
FH Group Car Seat Cover Cushion - 2 Pack Seat Covers for Cars Trucks SUV,) Faux Leather Car Seat Cushions, Waterproof Car Seat Cover Cushion, Universal Fit Car Seat protector Front Set Black Red Trim
FH Group Car Seat Cover Cushion - 2 Pack Seat Covers for Cars Trucks SUV,) Faux Leather Car Seat Cushions, Waterproof Car Seat Cover Cushion, Universal Fit Car Seat protector Front Set Black Red Trim
AUTO HIGH 11-Pieces Car Seat Covers Full Set - Premium Faux Leather Automotive Front and Back Seat Protectors - Fits Most Car Truck Van SUV, Black #1
AUTO HIGH 11-Pieces Car Seat Covers Full Set - Premium Faux Leather Automotive Front and Back Seat Protectors - Fits Most Car Truck Van SUV, Black #1
FH Group Car Seat Covers Front Set Faux Leather Car Seat Cushions - Car Seat Covers for Low Back Seat, Universal Fit, Automotive Seat Covers, Airbag Compatible Car Seat Cover for SUV, Sedan Gray Black
FH Group Car Seat Covers Front Set Faux Leather Car Seat Cushions - Car Seat Covers for Low Back Seat, Universal Fit, Automotive Seat Covers, Airbag Compatible Car Seat Cover for SUV, Sedan Gray Black

Conclusion

Electric car seats make a lot of difference, especially if you are driving for long hours. Aside from providing a comfortable seating position, it also makes it easier for you to cope up with the stress from traffic. Some power seats even have memory function which saves multiple seating positions, if more than one person drives the vehicle. 

Related Questions

Why did my electric seat stop working? 

There are several reasons why a power seat has malfunctioned. One of the most common causes is water or moisture has gotten into your seat controls and has short-circuited the electrical system. Consequently, it can also have an object lodged underneath the seat that hinders its movement.  

Can you add a power seat to a vehicle?

Yes, you can add a power seat to your vehicle as an aftermarket option. You can buy one in an automotive shop and have it installed in their workshop. However, the factory-installed electric car seats are often better because they are calibrated to match the cabin design of that particular car model.

How do you check if an electric car seat switch is working?

Press the electric car seat switch and try to listen for any sound that indicates the motor started running, before activating it. If the power seat doesn’t adjust itself, try using a test light to find out if there is incoming voltage to the switch. You can also use a voltage tester for a more accurate result. 


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