Some vehicles are susceptible to broken power seat switches. My neighbor has a late 90s Ford pickup that has had the control switch for the power seats replaced several times. Although he would like to blame his wife I think it is actually a poor design.
The power control master switch sticks way out from the base of the seat. It’s positioned in such a way that when you swing your feet in (depending on the length of your legs and the size of your feet) the Master control is kind of in the way.
Add to this the fact that the automotive parts themselves are made from cheap plastic and they will not survive a collision with a person’s foot. Just below I have included some popular power seat switches. Replacing this part on most models is relatively easy and often only requires a screw driver. Keep in mind Luxury German cars have complex systems that make it much harder to diagnose and repair. In some cases you might want to have the step by step instructions from a factory service manual.
In my neighbor’s situation its just a matter of removing the trim panel that snaps into place and then removing the two Phillips head screws that secure the master power seat switch to the bottom part of the seat frame. This operation makes for a great Diy auto repair and that’s why I decided to provide an article for encouragement.
Vehicle manufacturers are installing powered seat options even on economy cars these days. It’s a nifty little option that can help sell vehicles without increasing manufacturing costs by much. Just a decade ago only the most luxurious vehicles came with this option. For experienced car buyers this option adds value. It can help push the prospect over the edge and make them purchase the automobile.
Memory Power Seats are Better
Although economy cars may be coming with the power seat option more often it is still unusual for them to include a memory function. To me this is a big deal and adds a lot of value to this option. I’m sure we’re all familiar with having our driver’s seat in the perfect position.
Then we take it in for a car wash or oil change and when we get back into the vehicle the seat just doesn’t feel right. Often getting the seat back to the exact position it was in before the repairs can be difficult and take a little while. The feeling we get when we’re driving in this situation is slightly uncomfortable which can get annoying over time.
I have finally purchased a vehicle with a memory power seat option and a simple push of a button returns the seat to the exact position it was in before the car wash took place. The memory seat option allows for automatic positioning of the seats. Sometimes even the passenger side will have memory but most often it’s just the driver’s side. This feature allows different drivers to have different seat positions automatically.
It can also allow one driver to set the seat for several different driving situations. When you’re on a long trip and using the cruise control the tendency is to move the seat further back for increased comfort in the leg area. Often pushing the gas pedal to the floor from this position can be difficult. This is where the multiple memory seat position can be priceless. You can basically have a cruising and a performance driving position.
The latest luxury cars don’t require you to even hit the power seat switches. Some key-less entry systems use the remote key fob that is programmed to move the seat to its memory position every time the unlock button is triggered to open the driver side door. Some of these memory power seat functions even adjust the rear view and side view mirrors at the same time. This provides the ultimate push button setup.
As power seat options evolve it looks like the next wave in luxury seating will be adaptive or active power seat systems. This is where the seat moves automatically with no driver input. Active seating can stimulate the back and surrounding muscles with continuous yet virtually in detectable motion. This type of power seating is designed to prevent driver fatigue. On these type of systems power seat switches are included for a built-in massage function that can also help with fatigue on long trips.
Automotive technology is an amazing ever evolving science. The good thing is, as it continues to evolve the older systems find their way on the least expensive automobiles. For more of the latest articles posted here this next link will take you back to the homepage for the auto repair information blog.