How to Manually Move a Power Seat, Step by Step

Manually Move a Power Seat

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At some point, your car's power seat will fail, and you won't be able to adjust the car seat according to your preference.  There are many reasons why an electric seat fails with a faulty power seat switch the most common. But no matter why the seat can't move, you must learn how to manually move an electric seat. I'll show you how in this simple power seat repair guide.

But before learning some nifty MacGyver steps, we still recommend that you take your vehicle to a professional power seat repair center or an electric seat repair service to have your power seats checked and repaired. If your car is under warranty or you have auto insurance that covers electric car seat repair,then you should call your provider at once. But if you still want to know how to adjust you car's power seats manually, then let's begin.


Why do you need to learn how to fix an electric car seat?

The same reason as to why you need to learn how to fix a flat tire. You need to be ready for anything that may happen to you when you ride your car. If your power seat won't move or your power seat won't move forward, then you don't have to wait too long for a professional to fix it.

Also, if you need to adjust the seat to reach the brakes or to quickly adjust the electric seat to accommodate a large passenger, you can!

And with proper tools and the right steps for power seat switch repair, you can even save time and money.

How to do it?

Manually moving an electric seat can be done in two ways. First is the easier way of using a winder tool, which usually comes with your car when you purchased it. This unique tool is factory standard, and thus it can be used for all types of power seats in almost all vehicle brands and models.

If you have a winder, connect this to the motor of the electric seat through a designated port. Locate the electric motor of the seat, which is usually at the back of the seat on the right or the left side.

With the winder on your hand, turn it to the right to move your car seat backward or move the tool to the left for the seat to move forward. When you're contented with the adjustment, remove the winder tool.

The second way to adjust an electric seat is using a tedious method, and that is taking the entire seat out and doing some work on the inner mechanisms of the car seat. Here are the things you need:

Materials you need

  • A screwdriver
  • Hand drill or a pair of pliers
  • Knife or a pair of scissors
  • Bolt cutters (optional)
  • Gloves
  • Safety goggles, aprons, and boots
  • Step by step instructions

    1. Remove the car seat

    Obviously, you need to perform these steps in the safety of your home in your garage. If your power seat got stuck while driving, you might need to deal with it until you get home. Even if you carry with you all the needed materials, it's not safe to tinker with your car seat components on the road.

    Assuming you're at home and ready to repair your stuck power seat, remove the car seat from your car. You may do this by detaching the chair seat or by opening the rear with a pair of scissors or a sharp knife.

    Take note: make sure to turn off your car's engine and remove your car batteries to avoid any accidents. Always wear protective gear when working on your car.

    2. Cutting away the seat mesh

    Once the seat is out, you will need to cut the mesh under the car seat with a bolt cutter or pliers. By removing the mesh, you will now have access to the long shaft that alters the position of the seat. Cut only the wire mesh and never other parts of the seat.

    3. Moving the shafts

    After exposing the shafts, you may now manually adjust these to the desired seat angle. Use a pair of pliers so you can move the long shaft in the correct direction. Turn this to the left to move forward and to the right to move your seatback.

    This is a slow process, and it may even take you up to 15 turns of the pliers for the shaft to run. Continue turning the shaft to get the right angle of the car seat. Place the seat in the most comfortable position.

    4. Test the seat, take your car for a ride

    Now that the seat is in the right position replace the mesh on the car seat mechanism and return the seat in the car properly.

    Sit and drive to check if your car seat is in the correct position. If you need to make some more adjustments, simply take the seat out and adjust some more. 

    Are the steps on how to manually adjust power seats the same for all car models?

    Don't forget that power seat switch repair should be done by professionals. This is just a temporary fix, and you still need to take your vehicle to a professional.

    Are the steps on how to manually move your power seat in Ford cars the same as how to manually move a power car seat for Volvo cars the same?

    Yes, the steps are pretty much the same.  Almost all power car seats are built the same way, but it still helps if you consult your dealership about power seat repair before you proceed.

    If you still can't adjust the car power seat despite the steps we provided, you need to take your vehicle to a repair center. Sometimes, the electronic switches are the problem as the mechanical part of the switch may be dirty or debris may be stuck in the mechanism. A professional power seat switch repair specialist can check these out.


    About the Author JamesL Davis

    James is a certified auto technician specializing in commercial vehicles. With 30 years of experience under his belt, James has encountered almost every type of automotive issue there is! Besides his day job at the repair shop, he is also an amateur race car driver.

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