It’s hard to relax when your car seat is holding you up in an upright and awkward position. If your power seat won’t move forward or back, you can try a few things to fix this.
First, find the problem. In most cars, the power seats rarely get stuck. If it has gotten stuck, then the problem is most likely electrical and mechanical issues.
The good news is you don’t need expensive gadgets for any of the fixes. You will, however, need to have a good idea of the seat circuitry and the switch terminals. If possible, more than one person should be solving this problem at once.
Without knowing where what goes in the seat circuitry, you will not find your way around to solving the internal issue of why your car seat won’t move.
Precautions Before Attempting a Power Seat Fix
One common knowledge regarding a car’s electric seats is, unlike manually adjusting car seats, electric power seats are fully wired up by the starter motor. Electricity flows through the starter circuit connected to the seats.
So you might get an electric shock when you are attempting a fix the circuitry if the seat moves unexpectedly. To be on the safe side, turn off your car’s engine before you go down to the wiring.
We would also advise you to pull out the batteries of your car as an extra measure of safety.
Basic Knowledge About Power Seat Circuitry
There are a few possible reasons why your car seat won’t move. The power seat in your car is operated by two motors.
First motor controls the tilting of the chair, and the second one controls the forward and backward movement of the seat.
One simple reason for which the power seat may have been stuck is pinching in the wire. If the wires are pinched, electrical signals can not pass, thus causing the seat to be unresponsive to your command.
Look down to check if the wires are damaged or squeezed together. If it has, then that is good news for you, as unhooking or changing the wires will fix the issue.
In case of no wire pinching, the issue goes deeper. The problem is likely caused by a broken switch causing failure of connection with the second motor.
Instructions for Temporary Seat Adjustment
Keep your car’s owner’s manual with you to check the wiring diagram from time to time if you feel lost.
Solution 1 – Removing Faulty Electrical Components
Your electric car seat might have a faulty power seat switch problem. To fix this issue, try the outlined steps below.
Step 1: Disconnect the Fuse Box
Look in the car seat’s wiring for a black wire (wire with black casing) that connects the battery and your vehicle’s chassis. Remove this cable and set it aside to ensure a deliberate connection cut that protects you from getting shocked.
Step 2: Remove Seat Trim Panels
Behind the trim panel is the whole circuitry of the power seat. Use a screwdriver to unscrew this panel, and then pull out the seat covers from the cushioning to reveal the clips underneath.
Step 3: Remove the Power Seat Fuse
You have to remove the blown fuse switch by pushing it down and then sliding it away. To do this, you can manually move the electric car seat in your desired direction once the power seat switch has been removed.
Solution 2 – Fixing Power Seat Track Motor
If the readjusting of the power switch doesn’t help, then it might be a bad motor problem keeping the electric car seat in a locked position. To solve this problem, use the outlined steps below:
Step 1: Unscrew Plastic Shroud
The motors are held in a casing with a lot of screws. Get a screwdriver and get to town with it until all the screws of the power motor are loosened up.
Step 2: Free Up the Cables
Take photos of the wiring at this point, and then free up cables inside the seat.
Step 3: Attach Drill and Motor
Inside the casing, you will find a woven wire propeller that operates the seat motor. Attach the cordless power drill to the side of this propeller and you can use this to move the seat motor.
Step 4: Reattach the Cables
Refer to the photo you took to reconnect the wires as they were and reinstall the car seat.
Step 5: Turn the Ignition on
When you are all connected, turn the ignition on and then hit the seat switch again. Your seat should be working now.
If it doesn’t work, then don’t worry. Recheck the connection to the cables by disassembling the seats. It is pretty common for first-time fixes to not be perfect, so you might have to go in a second time to fix the problem.
Solution 3: Move the Car Power Seat Manually
If neither the control switch nor the motor is the problem, try changing the power car seat placement manually with the steps below. However, as this is a temporary fix, you might need a new power seat.
We suggest you take your car to the mechanic at your earliest convenience for a better and permanent solution.
Step 1: Disassemble the Car Seat
Use screwdrivers and washers to remove the trim of the seat and to manually move a power seat forward.
Step 2: Clear the Area of Operation
When the trim has been pulled out, you will notice there are long shafts attached inside the electric seat to maintain its position. The shafts are held up with spring mesh, which might need slight trimming for easy movement of the seat.
Step 3: Use the Shaft to Control the Car Seat Direction
Use pliers to turn the shaft in your desired position. Turn the shaft to the left if you want the electric seat to move forward, and to move the seat backward, turn the shafts to the right.
Keep making adjustments to the shaft until your seat is positioned comfortably and working properly.
When a power seat won’t move forward or back, try to get an immediate fix with the outlined steps provided. A weak battery might also be the reason for the problem.
If the problem persists, take your car to the mechanic for further assistance without delay. Drive safely, and beware of bad seat protectors, because in the long run they will affect your back and spine.
Last Updated on April 27, 2023 by Danny Reid