The ergonomics of your car play an important role in enabling you to drive comfortably and keeping you safe behind the wheel. In particular, the electric seats featured in every modern car allow you to personalize the placement of your chair so that you can optimize your hand and feet coordination.
But what if these electrically controlled seats fail? At some point, your car’s power seat may fail, and when that happens, knowing how to manually recline a power seat will come in more handy than you’d think. Otherwise, you won’t be able to customize the car seat according to your preferences.
There are various reasons why a power seat fails, with faulty power seat switches being the most common. But irrespective of what’s causing the seat not to move, it’s important to learn how to manually recline a power seat. We will show you how on this power seat guide.
The Power Seat
Power seats have become a staple in today’s vehicles. They are developed with a set of electric motors that control the movement or the placement of the seat. Another crucial element is a power switch. This one looks similar to a slam joystick.
The role of the switch is to send power to operate the motor of the car’s chair. It is usually attached to the seat’s lower portion allowing the driver to move or customize the seat in any position they wish.
In most cars, however, the electric seat motors are built-in for the driver’s seat only. Passengers’ seats can be adjusted through this switch.
So, How Do You Manually Recline a Power Seat?
Before you consider getting professional help, the following steps might help learn how to manually move power seats.
Remove the Seat
Since you’ll be working with electrical parts, always check that the engine is off and the batteries are all taken out. Safety first.
To remove the seat from the car, you can either detach the entire chair or simply slice open the rear with the use of a knife or pair of scissors.
Slice the Spring Mesh
The next step is to cut the spring meshes below the car using the bolt cutter. Do this to the meshes only, and be careful not to damage or rip any other neighboring components. You don’t want to create further problems. Once you’re done with this step, you should be able to see the long and lengthy shaft that controls the position of the chair.
Maneuver the Shafts
Now that you’ve got the shafts exposed, use pliers to move them in order to recline the seat the way you want. Turn the shaft left if you want to move the seat forward or turn it to the right if you want to move the seat backward.
At this point, you should be done. But this is only a temporary fix. You still need to bring your vehicle to your mechanic later for a comprehensive inspection and necessary repairs and replacement of any damaged parts of the electric seat system.
Lastly, test your car to see if you have done the right thing. If the seat placement feels awkward or uncomfortable, you’ll have to repeat the process until you’re satisfied that you can control the vehicle freely and easily.
How to Replace Power Seat Switch
We’ve already mentioned that a broken seat switch is a common culprit when a power seat won’t function. Replacing the faulty seat switch can resolve an immobile seat. When working on a defective switch, the following tools are necessary:
- Protective gloves
- Safety glasses
- Flathead and Phillips screwdrivers
Follow the following steps and take note of how each component is assembled for easy installation.
- Remove/disconnect the power seat’s negative battery cable and keep it aside
- Remove the trim of the seat. Loosen the screws using screwdrivers, and then pull the trim panel away from its cushion to release the remaining clips.
- Use a screwdriver to remove the screw from the switch and remove the panel.
- To remove the power seat, switch electrical connectors by pushing down the tab and then slide it off.
- After removing the faulty switch, install the new switch by repeating the same process in reverse order.
Below is a more detailed guide on how to resolve the issue
Before you jump into how to manually recline a power seat, there are several quick fixes you might want to learn to be able to deal with the issue properly. Sometimes it can be easy to resolve the problem in your own garage. If the power seat fails to work, you can possibly move it manually until you can have a professional look at it.
Start by Pushing the Seat Down While Moving it. As long as there’s nothing that is keeping the seat from moving and the motors are still functional, try this tip first when your power seat is acting up.
Push the seat downwards with reasonable pressure while at the same time moving the seat forward or backward. Try the same for side movements. Another simple fix is to try holding on to the switch and trying to maneuver the seat in the desired direction.
Bad contacts can cause electrical transmission failure, as the seat will not be receiving the much-needed power to move. Inspect the contacts of the seat switch system to see if they are clean. Also, check all the connection points to make sure the seat is adequately powered.
Re-Align Transmission Cables
Below the seat, check for the three cables that connect to the power seat transmission. Ensure they are all connected. The problem for an unresponsive power seat could be that one cable may be disconnected. All you need to do is to push the cable back to its position. You should hear a distinct click for correct positioning.
Loosen the Seat Bolts
One of the common reasons for a stuck power seat is accumulated tension between the bolts and the seat connecting it to the rails. Therefore, loosening them may give the seat a maneuvering space and restore it back into action.