Why won’t the power seat move forward or back?

This blog post will answer the question, ‘Why won’t the power seat move forward or back?’, and cover topics like tools required to manually move a power seat forward or back, a step-by-step guide to manually move a power seat forward or back, and troubleshooting and fixing a power seat unable to move forward or back.

Why won’t the power seat move forward or back?

These are the following reasons why a power seat fails to move forward or back:

  • Unresponsive seat functions
  • Faulty fuse
  • Loose seat connectors
  • Faulty seat motor
  • Faulty control switch

Tools required to manually move a power seat forward or back

These are the following tools that are necessary to move a power seat forward or backward.

  • A pair of gloves
  • Screwdriver
  • Winder
  • Bolt cutter
  • Cutting tools like a pair of scissors or a knife
  • Drill or pliers

A pair of gloves

Gloves are required to protect hands from oil, grease, and dirt accumulated in the seat joints.

Screwdriver

Required to tighten/ loosen screws

Winder

Long and tightly wound cable having squared ends

Bolt cutter

They are constructed from high-grade steel and the jaws are machined accurately to produce smooth cuts.

Cutting tools like a pair of scissors or a knife

Standard everyday cutting tools

Drill or pliers

Used for either drilling holes or twisting cables

A step-by-step guide to manually move a power seat forward or back

These are the following steps to follow to move a power seat forward or backward.

The following steps should be followed to successfully remove an electric seat manually:

  • Removing the seat
  • Slicing open the spring mesh
  • Adjusting the shafts
  • Testing the applied fix

Removing the seat

To ensure maximum safety, we need to make sure the engine is turned off and all the batteries are removed before removing the seat.

It can either be removed by detaching the seat or slicing open the rear using either a pair of scissors or a knife.

Slicing open the spring mesh

The spring meshes are usually located beneath the vehicle seat and can be cut using a bolt cutter. It should be kept in mind to only cut the meshes and not damage surrounding parts or components.

After slicing open the spring mesh, the long shaft governing the position of the chair will be visible.

Adjusting the shafts

After the shaft has been located, we need to use the pliers to adjust the shaft to position the seat according to preference. It should be noted that this is only a temporary remedy and this issue needs to be inspected by a trusted mechanic for a permanent fix.

Testing the applied fix

After applying the fix, the first course of action should be to take the vehicle on a test drive to find out if the seat is comfortable or is it interfering with driving. If so, then it is advisable to repeat the process until complete vehicle stability is acquired.

Troubleshooting and fixing a power seat unable to move forward or back

Troubleshooting and fixing a power seat unable to move forward or backward can be done in the following ways:

  • Testing all seat functions
  • Inspecting the fuse box
  • Inspection of main seat connector
  • Checking seat motors
  • Testing the control switch

Testing all seat functions

It is advisable to check all seat functions like seat height and backrest tilt mechanisms to find out what is working and what is not. If none of these functions work, it indicates a total lack of power. 

The problem is identified as the independent circuit or the motor in case the horizontal adjustment is not working.

Inspecting the fuse box

Inspection should ideally start at the fuse box and circuit breaker. Using a multimeter or a test lamp further accelerates the process, although visual inspection can also be conducted.

After setting the multimeter to Ohm and connecting test probes we should be getting a number such as 0 or 0L, indicating that the breaker is working.

In case it is too hot to pull out or if the new breaker clicks the moment it has been positioned in place, there is a high probability of a centralized electrical problem within the system.

Inspection of main seat connector

Inspection of the main seat connector is important as it has a chance of becoming loose. This might happen in case of the rear passenger hits it with their foot or it comes in contact with a bottle of water that might have rolled into it.

Inspection is easier with a four-doored vehicle as the rear door can be opened and we can kneel and locate the connector and check if it is properly attached.

In case the seat does not receive any power, we must use the test lamp on the ground and the power pins belonging to the connector. The ground pin is either black or brown with a wire at the back. The power pins are of a red or orange wire.

We need to check if the test lamp illuminates as soon as we connect it to the power pin. If this is not the case, then the seat is not receiving any kind of power and a trusted electrician needs to be consulted for further diagnosis.

Checking seat motors

To investigate which motor has gone wrong, we need to detach the electric seat from its mounting position and tilt it to the side. The seat comprises two motors for moving the seat up or down.

Seat motors are a fairly simple arrangement and are only connected by ground and power pins. The motors are responsible for horizontal travel and tilt adjustment.

Firstly we need to locate the wires leading up to the motors and disconnect them. Next up, we need to attach the ground and positive wire of the test lamp to their primary power source.

At the same time, we need to use the motor control switch to check if power is flowing towards it. If no power is detected, either the control switch has become defective or the motor needs to be replaced.

Testing the control switch

To investigate the control switch, we need to check if the power plug on the connector switchboard has become loose. We also need to take a look at the connector pins to identify any signs of corrosion.

Inspecting the switchboard is not a complex process as it only involves checking if the connector plugs in or not. If not, it is advisable to purchase a new switchboard as they are relatively cheaper.

Research provides an in-depth visual representation of the steps to manually move an electric power seat manually.

Other articles about Mercedes Benz you may be interested in

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How to manually move a power seat in a Mercedes?

Conclusion

This blog post addressed the question, ‘Why won’t the power seat move forward or back?’

A visual representation of all the necessary tools has been provided to move a power seat forward or backward followed by a step-by-step guide to do the same. A detailed troubleshooting guide has also been added to help apply quick fixes to the power seat in case of malfunctioning. Please feel free to comment on the content or ask any questions in the comments section below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Why won’t the power seat move forward or back?

How much does it cost to fix an electric seat in a car?

Estimated costs of repair range from 530$ to 560$. Labor costs can range from 110$ to 140$. However, the price of parts can shoot up to 425$.

What is a proper way to adjust a car seat?

We need to first push the seat all the way back followed by lowering it as far as possible. Now, we need to recline the rear end of the seat by 30-40 degrees and adjust the steering wheel all the way up into the dashboard. Seat height should be adjusted to keep the hips as high as the knees.

What is a seat switch?

These safety switches bring a foolproof condition in case the person operating the equipment is no longer in the driver’s seat. The switch can only be actuated when the person is seated. This results in the  compression of the switch and thus helps in obtaining a safe experience.

References

https://carfromjapan.com/article/car-maintenance/how-to-manually-move-a-power-seat/

https://curateview.com/manually-move-power-seat/

https://gomechanic.in/blog/are-powered-seats-useful/

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