One of the nicest things about having power seats is that you can adjust them in a number of ways to get the comfort you are looking for while driving. Some luxury vehicles even have memory settings built into the system in order for several drivers to set the seat where they like it without disturbing the other drivers.
When the seats work, they are wonderful. If they fail to work, they can become an obstacle to driving.
When you have a situation where your seat is not working, you should take a moment to determine what part of the seat is not working by focusing on the mechanical and electrical areas of the seat. There may be a couple motors in your seats, so you need to know if the problem is moving up and down or back and forth. Once you decide where the problem is, you can address the issue and repair it.
- Jumper wires between one and two feet long
- Test light
Before you start, if there is a problem with the seat moving forward and backwards, look for obstructions on the rails or under the seat. If the rail area is clear, you can move on to other diagnostic tests.
- Check the fuses and circuit breakers to be sure that there is no loss of power to the seats. If you have two power seats, and they both are not working, it may be a fuse or circuit breaker. If one seat works and the other does not, it is probably not the fuse.
- Turn your ignition to ON, but leave the engine turned off. Try to move the power seat that is not working and listen for the seat’s motor. If the motor is quiet, lift the switch. It will be on either the door handle or the seat’s side.
- Use your test light to see if there is any voltage at the switch. If no voltage is indicated, then check the wiring to determine whether or not there is a short somewhere between the fuse panel and the switch.
- Check for continuity by unplugging the switch and using the multimeter. Should you find there is no continuity, then replace the switch.
- If there is a relay between the switch and the motor, test it. Test the switch by operating it to make sure that the voltage is reaching the relay. Use a test light to determine whether there is voltage going from the relay to the motor. In order to do this, first ensure that the relay is grounded, and then move or remove the seat for the test. If you are missing one of the voltages, check the wire for a short. If you have no voltage outgoing, then test the relay to ensure that it is operating properly. If it is not, then replace the relay.
- Use a test light to check for incoming voltage at the motor. Should you find that there is no incoming voltage, determine whether there is continuity between the motor and switch. Test the wires for a short or open.
- Take the failed motor and conduct a test on it using the car battery and two jumper wires. If the motor does not respond, then replace it.
- Lastly, do an inspection of the drive assembly-transmission, the tracks and the gears to ensure that the mechanism is in proper working condition. Repair any parts that are not.
This should help you make the diagnosis on a power seat that is not operating properly. If you need further assistance, do not hesitate to contact your local dealership for help.