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Pelican Technical Article:

BMW Power Seat
Repair

Difficulty Level: 4
Difficulty scale: Adding air to your tires is level one
Rebuilding a BMW Motor is level ten

  This article is one in a series that have been released in conjunction with Wayne's new book, 101 Performance Projects for Your BMW 3 Series. The book contains 272 pages of full color projects detailing everything from performance mods to timing the camshafts. With more than 650+ full-color glossy photos accompanying extensive step-by-step procedures, this book is required reading in any 3 Series owner's collection. The book was released in August 2006, and is available for ordering now. See The Official Book Website for more details.
 
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[click to enlarge]

     Surprisingly, seats present some of the most complicated components on any car. When you start adding bells and whistles to them (like heaters, occupancy sensors, power motors, and air bag sensors), you end up with a complicated device that gets a lot of use and often needs some attention. This project covers three basic repair procedures involving the E36 power seats: seatbelt receptacle replacement, seat occupancy sensor replacement, and power seat switch replacement.

     The first step is to remove the front seat, which is a pretty easy task. Unbolt the seat from the chassis floor according to Photo 1. Then disconnect any electrical connections that may be located underneath the seat (Photo 2). Because each seat weighs between 60 and 80 pounds, I suggest that you have a helper assist you in lifting and carrying the seat from your car. You’d hate to lose your balance while lifting and bang your seat against the side of your car.

     With the seat removed, you will have relatively easy access to the remainder of the seat components. The belt buckle receptacle can easily be replaced once the seat is removed from the car (see Photo 1). The electrical switch inside this receptacle often fails, resulting in air bag warning lamp error messages (see Project 83). Replacement is as simple as unbolting the old unit, attaching the new unit, and running the wire harness through the seat.

     The passenger seat occupancy sensor is used to tell the air bag computer whether or not there is a person sitting in the passenger seat. This avoids a potentially costly deployment of the passenger-side air bag if there isn’t anyone sitting there. This sensor gets lots of use and is responsible for a significant portion of air bag lamp faults. Once you have determined that this sensor is the cause of the problem, replacement is fairly straightforward and costs about $85.

     To access the sensor, you need to remove the lower seat pad. This pad is attached at four points, sometimes with screws and sometimes with plastic clips (see Photo 2 for removal instructions). With the pad removed, the sensor becomes visible. It is simply tacked down to the lower seat cup by double-sided tape that comes pre-attached to the sensor. To replace the sensor, simply pull off the old one and stick on the new one. Reroute the wire harness for the sensor underneath the seat. Before buttoning up the seat completely, I would carefully carry it over to your car and plug it into the wire harness to see if the air bag computer still gives an error message (for this, you will need an air bag reset/code reading tool like the one described in Project 83). It’s better to find out now if there is a problem with the assembly than after you have reinstalled the seat.

     A note of caution: Do not put the key into the ignition with the seat removed if you are not having trouble with your air bag. If you put the key into the ignition and turn it on with the seat disconnected, the air bag computer will register a fault, and the light will go on. Then you will not be able to reset the light without a code reset tool.

     The power seat switch assembly is a complicated electrical piece that often fails after many years of use. To replace the switch, simply remove the bolts that attach the lower seat cup to the assembly (Photo 3). Then flip the seat around and remove the switch retainer from the seat assembly (Photo 4). Finally, the switch should pop out of its connector, once the retaining ring is released (Photo 5).

     You may want to check the seat springs before you reinstall. Coating them with some light oil will prevent them from squeaking in the future. Reassembly of the seat is indeed the opposite of assembly. The seats weigh roughly 70 pounds, so you might want to have a helper assist you with the final installation process.

     If you would like to see more technical articles like this one, please continue to support Pelican Parts with all your parts needs.  If you like what you see here, then please visit our online BMW catalog and help support the collection and creating of new and informative technical articles like this one.  Your continued support directly affects the expansion and existence of this site and technical articles like this one.  As always, if you have any questions or comments about this helpful article, please drop us a line.

Figure
Figure 1
Removing the seat is easy. Simply slide the seat all the way back, and remove the nut that attaches the seat to the floor (under the black plastic cap). Next, slide the seat all the way forward, and remove the bolts at the rear. The seat should then be able to be tipped upward so you can disconnect any of the electrical connections that attach to it from underneath.
Figure
Figure 2
With the seat unbolted from the car, simply disconnect the wire harnesses from underneath. Your particular seat may have a few more or a few less harnesses than the one shown here. The green arrow shows the power connector; the yellow arrow shows the seatbelt receptacle sensor plug; the orange arrow shows the air bag occupancy sensor plug.
Figure
Figure 3
The first thing to do when you get your seat onto your workbench is disable the seatbelt pyrotechnic receptacle. This seatbelt device activates in conjunction with the air bags in an accident, and it can accidentally go off while you’re working on it. Using a small screwdriver, turn the small green lever (yellow arrow) until the indicator on the side of the unit turns to red (blue arrow). In this photo, you can also see the bolts that attach this seatbelt assembly to the seat (use a Torx driver). If your assembly has activated accidentally, you can easily replace it now. Remember to turn the seatbelt mechanism back on when you install the seat back into the car.
Figure
Figure 4
On the bottom of the seat, you will see the complicated mess that controls all of the seat functions. In order to gain access to the electric seat switches or the passenger seat occupancy sensor, you need to first remove the top cushion. The cushion is held on at four points—on some cars, using four plastic clips; on others, a combination of screws and clips. This particular seat has both. The plastic clips need to be clipped off (blue arrows), and the screws that hold the front of the pad to the seat need to be removed using a Torx driver (yellow arrows).
Figure
Figure 5
With the top cushion removed, you can now see the seat occupancy sensor in place. This sensor is a thin, complicated-looking film attached to the top of the seat cup using double-sided tape. A brand-new replacement sensor is shown in the inset photo. Replacement is as easy as peeling back the old sensor and attaching the new one. Also shown here are the Torx bolts that attach the seat cup to the rest of the seat assembly (green arrows). Removal of these bolts is necessary in order to gain access to replace the electrical seat switches.
Figure
Figure 6
Shown here are the electrical seat switches. With the lower seat cup removed from the rest of the frame, you can remove the three or four small Torx screws that attach the seat switch retainer to the seat frame. Once this retainer is free, you can easily remove the switch. Begin by prying off the switch knobs with a small screwdriver. Then remove the one Phillips-head screw that attaches the switch to the retainer (red arrow). The switch should then be able to be snapped out of the plastic retainer.
Figure
Figure 7
This photo shows the electric seat switch assembly. Remove it from the seat wire harness by pulling back on both ends of the connector retainer (yellow arrows). Pull away from the connector in the direction of the blue arrow, and you should be able to pull the switch assembly from the connector. The front face of a brand-new electrical switch assembly is shown in the photo inset.
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Comments and Suggestions:
thomas Comments: I have a 2002 330ci coupe, the passenger seat stoped working completely, all movement stoped suddenly, forward.back. tilt. Up and down, and lumbar support, all dead, however the heated seat still works well, when I push the switches I hear no clicking of the relays in the controls board on the side of seat, I checked fuse and even put a new one in for the heck of it and no change, so what other things can I look at? And is the heated seat and the power seat 2 separate circuts when it comes to grounding? like if it was a grounding problem would the heated seat still work?
November 7, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There isn't much going with these seats. You have two fuses, which it sounds like you checked, then the switch and motors. Check if the switch is getting power, if it is and the seats won't move, it is likely bad. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
boomer Comments: i am attempting to remove the passenger seat on a 1998z3 to replace the rail bushings to cure the dread seat slop. the electrical connectors are extremely difficult to remove, especially the small ones. any advice?
August 25, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: See this tech article:

http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/techarticles/BMW-Z3/45-BODY-Front_Seat_Removing_and_Buckle_Replacement/45-BODY-Front_Seat_Removing_and_Buckle_Replacement.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
tonny Comments: I have a 328i 1998. The driver's seat doesn't move backward or forward. All other seat functions work fine. What could be the cause?
August 19, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Could be a faulty switch or seat motor. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
CharlieFoxtrot Comments: followup regarding my question below, 2002 330CiC:

The wire that feels like a twisted pair is in fact a twisted pair, so no problem there. No visible damaged wires anywhere. I tried applying power to the fore/aft motor, which didn't cause the seat to move, but I don't really know if I was doing it right anyway.

I've got the switch trim off and I have my Bentley manual out. Is it OK to use a test light on the switches? Or are they a "computer circuit" that my light says not to use it on?

Thanks!
August 16, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Locating the fore / aft motor using a diagram is your best bet. Once you locate it, check the power and ground feed from the switch when attempting to move the seat. If power and ground are present, replace the motor. Be sure to reverse your test equipment to check for the signal in both sat directions.

A DVOM is best, but a test light will work also, as long as you are only testing at the motor input. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
CharlieFoxtrot Comments: Thanks for all these great articles! Pelican is now the first place I look for parts for my E39 & E46!

My 2002 330CiC driver seat doesn't move fore/aft. Other functions are OK. The seat is all the way to the rear and it's a convertible; I can get my hand under the seat but no way can I see anything. I felt the wiring bundle and didn't feel a cut ground wire. I did feel a wire that was very lumpy for the whole length, almost like a twisted pair, but it's not a pair. Is there supposed to be a weird-feeling wire or do I have an overheated wire? How can I gain access to the problem if the seat won't move and the rear bolts are blocked? Which wires do I need to apply power to? Thanks!!
August 16, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Locating the fore / aft motor using a diagram is your best bet. Once you locate it, check the power and ground feed from the switch when attempting to move the seat. If power and ground are present, replace the motor. Be sure to reverse your test equipment to check for the signal in both sat directions.

A DVOM is best, but a test light will work also, as long as you are only testing at the motor input. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
JamesW Comments: For the BMW 325i, 2002, is there a relay to the power seat switches other than the 30amp fuse? I've checked the fuse and it's good. I can hear a clicking sound for all the passenger adjustment switches when I turn them, but I do not hear the motor start at all.
August 13, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If the fuse is good and you confirmed there is power at the switch, the next step is to check the switch output to the motor. There are no other components in the circuit. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
JenniLynn Comments: I have a BMW325i and my passenger seat adjustment stopped working suddenly without any glitches beforehand. Now, the seat is stuck in the reclined back position and none of the adjustment controls are working. When we move the controls I cannot hear the motor at all or anything. I checked the fuses and they are good and I do not see anything disconnected. Any idea what the issue may be?
August 13, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Could be a fuse, the switch or the seat module. I can't be more specific because you didn't note the year of your vehicle. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
John Comments: Hi Nick,
I hope you can help...

I have an odd problem with my drivers seat. When moving front to back, it will only move about 7cm at a time....

If you keep your hand on the switch, the seat will stop moving. If you then release the switch and press it again twice, the seat will move another 7cm and then stop.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rsbMHtnn-YA

Any ideas why?

Thanks in advance.
August 7, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This is usually due to a faulty motor or voltage drop in circuit to to motor. Gain access to the motor, then check for battery positive and ground when commanding it to move. Once you confirm the signal is present, voltage drop test it. If voltage is good, replace the motor.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
Lee Comments: Hey, for all you folks who have a power seat that twists as you raise it up, meaning only one side comes up, I know of a relatively cheap and easy fix for you. It happened to my 90 535, and I found http://bmwtwistedseatrepair.com/. Videos were spot on. I loaded them on my laptop, put the laptop on a table next to the car, and two hours later I was done.
June 16, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Seb Comments: I have a bmw 740i 1993 and I the driver seat twists when I try to recline it. I took the seat off and saw there was a turning mechanism that was working but not reclining the seat.
June 16, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This is an issue with one of the motor cable housings pulling apart. You can disasemble the seat, then replace or repair the cable. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Doug Comments: I have a 95 525iT touring and am trying to remove the rear split seat. The base is no problem. The back however is another story. I removed the side bolsters and exposed the swivel point and 18mm bolt; and that has been removed on one side, and with some modest prying I was able to dislodge the the outside edge of the passenger side split seat from the bracket. But it appears that it is also fastened to another bracket in the middle under the arm rest. That bracket wedged in between the two parts of the split seat with what appears to be a removable cover on it, and it looks like the swivel point for the inside edge of each of the split seat parts is attached there. But I cannot get to it and am afraid to force it. Any instructions to be had?
June 15, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You may have to remove the seat cushion. It's been a while, but there may be a hidden fastener there. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
toccara Comments: Trying to get the motor out under the passenger seat.trying to figure out why the passenger recliner seat won't come back up. 2005 bmw x5 3.0L
June 8, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The motor, switch, module or fuse may be bad. You'll have to do some testing to start. CHeck if the motor is receiving power and ground when commanded on. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Fred Parmenter Comments: I am trying to remove the driver seat in my BMW 2002 330Cii convertible. The seat goes back far enough to easily remove the front hex nuts. Getting access to the rear hex nuts is the problem. The seat goes forward, quite a way. It doesn't make any unusual sounds. And it is forward almost enough to get access to the left rear hex nut, but not quite enough. About 1/2 of the hex nut remains covered by the seat glide. So obviously you can't put a socket on top of the hex nut. And the seat's railings on either side of the hex nut are so close to the hex nut that you can't fit in a combination wrench. Any suggestions as to what I can try now so as to get that hex nut off so I can remove the seat?
June 5, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The seat should move forward enough to access the fastener. I would check that something isn't jammed in the seat rail. There has to be something preventing it from going too far forward. If there is nothing, the motor drive may be worn in that area, can you hear any grinding or does the seat just stop? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
ziggy123 Comments: I have a 1997 328i Conv the seats on pax side will not move front ands back and its stuck all the way to the back I can't remove the 2 bolt. How do you move the seats manually to remove the 2 bolt .
May 29, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You will have to locate the fore-aft motor, then manually add power and ground to move the seat forward. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
shockabush Comments: I have a 1989 BMW 735I. my passenger seat is similar to the 89 535 I in an earlier post it is working in a twisted sort of way the left side raises but the right side will not is there any way to manually adjust it to the correct position until I can replace the cable and if so how do I do itthe right side raised up before with force but no longer.
May 24, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The only way to even it out, is to disconnect one motor drive, then operate seat until it is even. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Alex Comments: 2000 Z3 2.3 Roadster. Driver's seat raised/lowered just fine until this morning. I can hear a click when I hit the switch, but the motor doesn't try. Bad relay? The seat moves forward and backwards just fine. Thanks in advance guys - really appreciate the great customer service.
May 21, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Could be e bad motor. I would gain access to the motor, activate the switch and see if it is getting power and ground. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Thong Comments: Thanks Nick,
I will try this weekend. BTW, how can I activate the motor manually ?
thanks again
/Thong
May 8, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Used fused jumper wires to battery positive and negative. Unplug the motor, run the motor using the fused jumper wires. If motor goes in wrong direction, reverse fused jumper polarity. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Thong Comments: Hi,
My 2006 325i having problem to remove driver power seat: After remove 2 front bolts, then I got stuck with the other 2 bolts at the rear, because the power seat is dead, so I can not move seat all the way forward to reach those bolts at the rear.
Can someone give me an idea ?
thanks in advance
/Thong
May 7, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You will have to locate the fore-aft motor. The manually activate it to move the sat forward enough to access the fasteners. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Renato Fernandes Comments: Hi, my M3e46 power seat has stopped working the memory buttons #1 and 3. The red M button flashes, but these buttons just do nothing... The button #2 still works with my wifes setting. The problems began after I reseted button1 and it went dead. Then I tried to memorize new position in button3: dead again!!! The power seat itself is working fine. What could i do?
April 10, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If seat two memory is working, the switch itself may be faulty. You can remove it, then check if the signal on switch one matches switch 2. Since we know switch 2 is working, it provides a good example of what the signal should be. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mzenje Comments: The driver's seat is not moving! I checked the fuse, fuse number 13, and found it blown off. I replaced it and it blew off as soon as I put in. What must I do now...this is on an E39 BMW...1998 model
April 1, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I had to guess at a specific model E39, the one I checked did not have a fuse 13. So I cannot offer insight on the circuit.

You will have to get a wiring diagram to see what is on the circuit. Then locate the shorted item. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Deltsig78 Comments: Hey Pelican! Hoping you can help me out. I want to make sure I get this done right, so hopefully I am not repeating a post above. I have a 2006 BMW 330i. The driver side power seat has stopped working right along with the seat heater at the same time. I'm pretty sure that this is not an issue with the side control as I have seen on some posts for my seat positioner. Any advise? Part that would be used and if I would follow the above directions. I am half way handy, but don't want to get duped by my local BMW shop! Please help. Best!
March 30, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You may have to program the module when replacing, i would suggest a new unit, not a used one. I would start by running a function test with a BMW scan tool. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Enrique Comments: Hi I have a 2001 BMW 325i the passenger seat moves forward and back fine but the other button to move seat position of the seat is not working, I hear the motor trying to do it but nothing happens. How can I fix this. Thank you
March 16, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I suggest removing the seat and inspecting the motor and cable. if the motor is moving and the seat is not, the cable or connection may be faulty. Once you identify the issue, order the parts and fix the issues. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799 and they can help figure out which part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
David Comments: I have a 2003 CI BMW, the passenger seat will not rise when I move the switch , all other movements are OK , also lumbar support air deflates slowly. Suggestions appreciated.
February 17, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The switch may be faulty. I would check the signal to the motor, if it present when the switch is pressed, the motor is faulty. if there is no signal, the switch may be faulty. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Scotty Comments: I recently purchased a 2011 128i bmw and the passenger power seat would not move forward or back. When I went to look the motor was unhooked from the connector? And was chewed up on the end. On the left side that makes the seat move. Is there anyway to buy just that part?
January 11, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799 and they can help figure out which part or repair kit you need. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Christen Comments: I have a 1994 325is. The SRS airbag light went on, and I'm at a loss on what exactly is wrong. When I searched the Pelican website for potential clues on what to fix first, I noted the tech article on replacing the occupancy sensor and the seatbelt receptacle. Problem is, my '94 was manufactured in 09/93, and most of these pictures and references are for later model. What's the best bet IF I DON'T have the occupancy sensor or seatbelt receptacle as pictured. Get the whole part 72-11-8-167-M9. Appreciate any help.
January 5, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Before replacing any parts, have the fault codes read. The fault code will direct you to the problem area. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Silent Sapper Comments: I have a 1997 328i E36 the driver side seat moves back, forward, up, and down. I was cleaning the seats and laid the back down now it will not come back up! The other controls work fine, but this one does nothing is there a manual way to raise the seat?
December 28, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You could try running power and ground directly to the motor. Or, removing the seat, then removing that motor and manually turning the cable. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
BMW guy Comments: I have a 1989 535i BMW the drivers seat is stuck in a twisted position with the left side working moving up and down but the right side of seat is stuck. What is broken or how do I fix it
December 13, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The cables that run from the motors to the drives fail. Remove the seat, look for the cable with the popped out housing. You will want to replace it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
abby Comments: I have a 2010 dodge charger and the driver sest to move foward does not work everything else is like to move up n down but jus not to move forward..
November 26, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The seat switch could be bad. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
nyfinest18 Comments: i have a 2000 bmw 323i. my passengers seat recliner doesn't work when I pressed it, it doesn't even make a sound...also on the same seat the heated seat doesn't work, I pressed the button for the seat the 3 lights come on and at the same time go off...can you please help me with this...
November 17, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: i would remove the seta and check the seat heating grid to see if it is shorted, and also check the seat motor that is not working.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Eric Comments: I have a 97 bmw 328i. The passenger side power reclining back makes motor noise but doesnt move. all other parts of power seat work. by pushing the seat back all parts of the seat move to a full reclining position. How can I fix this and how difficult is it.
October 26, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It sounds like there is a problem with the drive unit for the seat back. I would remove the seat and seat back and inspect and replace the faulty parts.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Keith Comments: How do I separate to seat back from the seat. 1997 528i E39. Dying the seats and replacing all trim pieces. Seat is out and on the work bench
October 20, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Remove the seat back cover and loosen the leather cover, there will be two bolts, one on either side just above the hinge point. Remove the bolts and unplug any wires for the seat heater and pull the seat back up and off.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
RyGuy Comments: I have a 1995 328i and the seat is not moving forward or backward, or making any noise at all when I hit the switch that moves the entire seat at the base. The switch that moves the top seat up and down works perfectly fine. Is there a fuse to these things or do I have to replace the whole switch assembly?
October 19, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It could be the switch or the motor, try swapping the switch from the other side to check the switch.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
scott Comments: 1998 m3
the power back recliners don't work on my seats
pass. side motor makes noise but no mowement
drivers side NOTHING
is this an easy fix
October 18, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You have to remove the seat and the seat back to repair the drive for the seat back, I would give it a 9 on a scale of 1 to 10.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Jim Comments: Dear Pelican,
I own a 2003 BMW X5 4.6is.
The switch that controls the back recline does not work.
The switch works to lower the back, but the switch when turned to raise the back does not work.
Would you suggest that I replace the switch or could it be the motor?
Is there a method to trouble shoot the switch? Can I override the switch?
Please answer as soon as possible as my passengers must lie down in order to ride.

Thanks,
Jim
October 15, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would say it is the switch, try swapping it with the switch from the other side to test it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Mick Comments: Hi
I am in the process of updating my semi electric cloth seats in my E60 2007 530D to leather ones, however when fitting the passenger seat the electrics dont seem to work. I am going to try and check all of the obvious ie fuses / wiring before swapping over the wiring from my cloth seats as I know these are good but if this does not work is there a way to manually make the seat go back as it is obviously all the way forward for easy removal of the torq bolts I am relatively handy but would appreciate being "talked" through it
Cheers
Mick
October 15, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If all you changed was the covers you shouldn't have a problem. I would check all of the connections are correct, also check the wires in the seat rail and make sure they are not cut or pinched.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
bert Comments: firstly thank you for your time and effort answering questions and posting this - I am fitting BMW heated seats to another vehicle and just looking for wire code to hook up
October 8, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What year and model did the seat come out of?
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
chris Comments: hello! i have a e36 m3 and i've run into a dilemma that i was hoping you could help me with. my passenger seat stuck because the switch is physically broken. someone stepped on the switch and the little arms that go into the knobs are snapped. i need to replace the switch and i understand that i need to take the seat out to replace it. my dilemma is that i can't take out the seats because i cant access the front the bolts because it is scooted to the front. is there a way to replace the switch without taking the seat out? if not is there a way to open the switch and manually hit the controls that the knobs would move, or is there a way to manually move an electric seat? and last resort, if i have to break something to get the seat to move, what and how would i go about doing that? any input is much appreciated. thanks!
October 5, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Try using a small pick to move the switch, it should be small enough. If not you should be able to get the cover off to unplug the switch, then you can use the switch from the other side to move the seat.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Rod Comments: Was testing 1997 comfort seat buttons using car battery prior to install, all working then wire to battery pos came loose, with a small spark, now nothing works, any pointers would be greatly appreciated
September 28, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The switch is probably damaged from shorting it out.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Amines Comments: I have a BMW 2003 745i and I can never get the rear window to defrost or de-mystify quickly. I press the demystify button on the right of the REST button and it takes about half an hour to clear the wback window. How do I do this so that it can clear the back window in just few mins. Do I raise the temperature while this button is pressed or what?
September 27, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There is no adjustment for how hot the glass will get. If the system is not working correctly there could be a problem with the power supply to the rear glass, the ground for the rear glass, or the grid in the rear glass could be damaged. If the grid is damaged the rear glass will have to be replaced.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Mike Comments: Pelican, thanks for a place where we can get straightforward answers.
I have a 2008 550I with most of the bells and whistles. The drivers side thigh adjustment no longer work. I can hear the motor running and all the rest of the of the adjustments work as they should. Any help would be appreciated.
September 14, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If you hear the motor running when you push the switch, the is going to be a problem in the drive from the motor, remove the seat from the car and remove the lower seat cover and inspect.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
tnt229 Comments: How do I remove the lumbar switch on a 2001 759iL? I looks like there is a metal clamp holding the lumbar control to the cover.'
September 14, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Remove the cover that the switch is mounted in and remove it by unclipping it from the back of the panel.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Dee Comments: Thanks, but it is not the switch. I currently have the main switch panel on the side of the seat removed, but because it is a Ci, I have the extra switch on the top of the seat back just for moving seat forward and backwards - it moves the seat backwards only. When I press the forward button I just get a single electrical click. What would you try next?
September 11, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would check the wiring under the seat, the motor only has two wires going to it they are reversed back and forth to change the direction of the motor to move the seat if the switch is ok then the wires under it might be shorting out.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Dee Comments: 2000 323Ci, all of the electric seat control buttons on the drivers seat are only moving the motor in one direction i.e. seat backwards but not forwards, headrest up but not down, seat height down and not up. Any suggestions? btw, the seat is too far back to remove the floor bolts.
September 10, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would check the seat switch, swap it with the one on the other side and see if that fixes it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
JohnA Comments: I have a 02bmw 754li, the driver seat titled all the way in the up position. Is there a way to manually release the seat?
September 1, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The only way would be to disassemble the seat and remove the motor that controls that function
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
o2eZy Comments: motors are motors some have a few different things but the principal is the same
I was brought up in the motorcycle industry for 45 years which is a few years ahead of the car motor industry
we had digital turbo shit in the late 60's plenim chambers
5 valver per cylinder digital ignition and fuel injection
the list goes on and look what the motorcycle industry has now
bmw motors a walk in the park












variable cam timing in the early 70's off set bores early 70's
August 27, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the Info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Sony Comments: I have a 2004 325i, the driver side seat won't move forward or back. I do hear a clicking noise when I move the button but nothing happens. The rest of the functions are fine, up/down and reclining. What could be the problem?
August 22, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It could be the switch or the motor itself, unbolt the. Seat and apply power and ground to the motor and see if it will move if it does, replace the switch. Also look for broken wires under the seat while you are there.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
o2eZy Comments: I have a 2004 e46 323i that the passenger seat is completely dead not one motor works
have checked the fuse and seems ok
the airbag light stays on
have you any idea what I should look for or is there a common fault
August 16, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like it could be the seat switch, check to make sure there is power and ground going to the switch,
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Martin Comments: Hey Pelican, I have a bmw 318i -97 M3 touring with manual adjustable seats. I have a problem with my aribag lamp is lit and I suspect there is a problem with seat occypancy sensor or seat mat on the passenger seat, which apparently is a common error, therefore I ordered home a bypass unit but after taken out the seat I can unfortunately not locate the sensor ? it is just a cable connection which then progresses into some kind of stuffed material. Might it maybe be behind that?
August 12, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The sensor is built into the lower seat cover, there should also be a small black box under the seat, that it is plugged into.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Mike Comments: I have a 02 330Ci and my driver's seat will only move forward and up or backwards and down. To get into a comfortable position for driving, my head is hitting the roof. I cannot set a height up/down and then move forward/backward to get a good leg position. Any idea what I can look at? Thanks.
July 31, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would take a look at the switch and make sure it is functioning correctly.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
nickbrick20 Comments: can i take the switch from my drivers side and put it on the passenger side just to move it forward? .....or if i have a friend with the same car can i take his and move mine then give it back
July 23, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You can swap the switches from left to right to test them.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Nickbrick20 Comments: i am hoping someone here can help me, i have a seat that is so messed up that it cant move forwards or backwards i can get the two front bolts off, but not the rear. I have a m3 E36 and passenger seat is completely broken they said i need a switch and then there maybe other problems but right now i don't have $200 for just a switch is there any way i can manually move it forward since its all the way back and no one can sit in the back of that seat. IF ANYONE HAS ANY IDEAS PLEASE LET ME KNOW :
July 23, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There is no way to move the seat manually without breaking something.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
eric Comments: I have a 91 E31, my passenger seat will not raised up or down but you can hear the motor when switch is used. what might be the problem?
July 10, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The motors have transmission cables that sometimes work there way loose. Try securing the drive cables first - Nick at Pelican Parts  
neil mcfarlane Comments: hello I have an bmw seire 5 2003,computer says restraint fault could this be passenger seat and how easy is it to fix
July 7, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The clock spring and seat belt buckle switches also go bad as well as the passenger seat occupancy system - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Wendi Comments: I have a 328i convertible that the passenger seat airbag light has started coming on and won't go off. Found a plastic cup jammed under the seat in the back. after removing the cup the seat will not move forward or back word up or down. Would you please help me! Did the cup cause this issue and can you lead me in the right direction. Thanks Wendi Fulton
June 12, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: if the cup damaged the electrical connector or wiring harness, then yes, it could be part of the problem. I would try to inspect the electrical components under the seat for damage. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Tim Comments: My daughter's passenger seat back would not move back but moved forward. Her boyfriend moved it all the way to the front and it would not move back. What I did was un-clip the power to the motor that moves the seat up and down and plugged it in to the motor that controls the seat back. I then could use the up/down switch to get the seat back to move back to a comfortable position. I then moved the power back to where it belonged and left the seat back power unplugged until I can replace the switch. This procedure can work for any quick fix.
May 5, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the tip. It's a good one! - Nick at Pelican Parts  
clevem Comments: A little off track! I own an '08 Mini Clubman S and the driver seat adjust lever has ceased adjusting the seat. Likely a gear broken! I would like to upgrade to power adjusters? I wonder if you have done or know about any 3 series base/track units being swapped under the OEM Mini front seats?
May 2, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't have any experience swapping a BMW seat track into a MINI. I would suggest replacing the faulty rail witht he correct part. Give our parts specialists a call: 1-888-280-7799 They will help you locate the right seat rails - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Yoks Comments: Front passenger seat of '01 330i E46 will raise but not go back down. I hot wired the unmounted motor and it spins even on reverse polarity. On the switch side, I get 12.4 volts switched to raise seat position and negative 12.4 volts switched to lower seat position. Why when I connect the unmounted motor to the harness, the switch can spin motor on the raise position but not on lower position?
April 21, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The switch could be bad. Check it again with a load on the circuit. There should be no more than 0.2 voltage drop across the switch. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Fossy Comments: I have a BMW series 3 328i cab.E36 My 8 year old daughter stepped on the electric seat adjustment switch and broke it. Now I can't move the seat. To replace the switch do I need to take the seat out. If so, although I can remove the two front nuts securing the seat to the floor. the rear nuts are covered by the seat. How can I manually move the seat forward? Any advice much appreciated.
March 29, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It's tough to move the seat without the switches working. I would try to remove the seat fasteners with the seat in place. This is your best bet to avoid damagint the power seat components. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
aurora Comments: How do i diagnose heated seat not working, can it be relay, on/off switch, whole assembly?
March 25, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would go to the seat heat element and see if there is power and ground to it. This is a good place to test as it will tell you if everything else upstream is functioning. If you are missing power or ground, work your way back through the other componenets using a wiring diagram. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
esteeone Comments: your articles & comments are very helpful. i own a 1992 735i e32 with an electric motor on the throttle body.my problem is that my motor itself is fine, but my encoder wheel is damaged. can you please guide me in the right direction. thanks for your time,it is very much appreciated. sincerely written, Esteeone!
March 13, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If a portion of the throttle body is damaged, you should replace the entire unit. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
BMWI325 Comments: Please help, 1995 325i e36, recliner seat gearwhite is the problem, I purchased Green and White gears from ODOmeter Gears, openings in both of these gears to small. Gear shaft/stick to wide to fit. Any help would be great, where else can I purchase other gears ?
February 3, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I've replaced both of these gears on my 1995 BMW and they did fit well. I suspect there's something else wrong here, or perhaps the mechanism you're looking at has something stuck in it so that the gears don't fit. I'm going to copy this question to the forums if you can post a picture of the problem there then perhaps we can get a better idea of what the issue is. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
DanM3 Comments: Help me Pelican! I removed my power sport seats from my E36 M3 for re-upholstering. When I went to put the passenger seat back in, ONE of the holes in the rear does not line up with the hole in the rail and I can not get the bolt in properly. The seat still moves back and forward completely normal, is there any way to adjust the rail?
November 28, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Plug the seat in and move it all the way forward or backwards, when the seat stops hit the button again a couple of times, this should help line up the seat rails, unless the rail was damaged when it was re-upholstered.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
harriet Comments: I have a 1990 BMW 528i with a driver's side seat back that no longer functions. When sitting in the seat, the right side of the back is tilted badly backwards. No amount of pushing or pulling on the seat back will correct it. What's the solution?
October 4, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: you are going to have to remove the seat back and replace the drive cables for the tilt motors.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Skip Comments: I have a 1994 325I convertable. The drivers side seat back motor runs when you hit the switch but it does not move the seat. Help please. I cannot find another motor. Can you help please.
October 1, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like the motor is functioning, but the drive is not, remove the seat and check the drive box under the seat.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Sandy Comments: Hi, I have an 02' 330CI. The driver side controls stopped working a few weeks ago, however the control on the back part will move the seat as expected. Also the controls will work for a few seconds then not work for days at a time. What part of the controls do you think this is or could it be the motor? Thanks!
August 29, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It sounds like it could be the switch, swap it with the switch on the other side and see.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
shame boy Comments: pleasee help me,i have a 1986 528e bmw how do you repair the arm rest on the driver side seat? the seat isn't firm.
May 28, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Remove the seat and the seat back and check to make sure the bolt is tight, if the arm rest is worn you are going to have to replace it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Stan Comments: On a 98 M3 you only need the sensor mat and enough of these 52-10-8-130-678-M9 to replace the break away clips in the illustration to solve the problem of a occupancy sensor failure. Mine had two of the clips and two screws. Don't make the mistake I did and order a seat pad its not needed to do the job. You will need about a 10-12 narrow wire tires. Use black ones so you can see them against the beige cushion when trying to fish them under the wires. You'll see what I mean when you have the seat apart.
May 26, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the Info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
dvasilenko Comments: Hello. My passeger seat is stuck in the all the way up position. However, it does move back and forward, as well as the recline. help? thank you
May 24, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It sounds like the motor for the up/down function is faulty, Remove the seat and check to make sure the motor get power and ground when you push the switch. If it does replace the motor.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Susieq Comments: 98 328i, driver seat is stuck in recline. The seat DOES move forward and backward but the recline does NOT. Please help!!
May 21, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like the motor for the recline function is faulty, remove the seat and make sure the motor gets power and ground when you push the switch, If it does replace the motor.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
milt Comments: hi pelican staff,
my 1991 735i bmw passenger seat would at 1 time would recline,and up or down but not back or forward I removed the switch,and got a spark,now is no power,after replacing switch,where is fuse located.for passenger seat front.thank you.
March 5, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Check fuse 16,17,18 in the front fuse box under the hood
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
john Comments: 1993 e32 750il twisted seat back. Is there a guide somewhere on how to straighten twisted seat back by shortening cable drive housing or other fix?? thanks, john g
February 26, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: over time the cables shrink, you can try to stretch them back out but that repair doesn't last long. replacing the cables is the best fix. I would grab a repair manual. It will list the special tools and each step of the procedure. Give our parts specialists a call: 1-888-280-7799 They will help you find what you need.

- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Edward Comments: 2002 BMW 745i. the front passenger seat is stuck all the way back, when you try to move it forward you hear a grinding noise the seat wont move forward but moves to the left and right. all the other aspects of the seat works fine. Is this a major, costly job to rectify? Thanks' Edward
February 23, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There is something stuck in the seat rail jamming it. remove the seat and remove what ever is stuck in there. If the rail is damaged it will have to be replaced.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Lou Comments: I have a 1992 e32 735i and the seatis stuck. I'm trying to move it manually to access mount bolts. What size hex or torx drill bit should I use to move the motor. I tried to power it with a 12v battery pack but no go.
Appreciate any advise.
Thanks
Lou


February 17, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You can try to turn the motor by hand but the screw will strip out with all of the force you will have to apply. try removing the motor and pushing the seat after it is out.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
J Comments: hi pelican, i have a 2003 bmw e46 318ci facelift auto with manual seats, the problem i have is the passenger seat moves back and forward but it has stopped reclining for some reason im not sure why, please help me fix this problem thanks.
January 27, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You are going to have to remove the seat and check to see what part of the lever linkage is not working.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Pfeller1 Comments: Hello - I hv a 2004 740i- the telescoping steering wheel stopped going up and down after the battery died. It goes back and forth fine. Any idea how to fix it. Also, at the same time the sunroof stopped working. Coincides ? Thank you
December 23, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Hmm, electrical gremlins like these tend to come out indeed after a battery has been dead. I would try disconnecting the battery again for a while from the car and then reconnecting it. It may have something to do with your seat memory - I have a similar issue on my 5-series with the wheel, where the seat memory computer forgets to move it up and down occasionally. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
kris Comments: I have a 200 bmw 328i and the driver side seat heater has stopped working, what is the best way to troubleshoot this problem
December 12, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Check for voltage under the seat at the connector, if there is power and ground the problem is in the mat in the seat, if not check the fuse and the switch.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
sam s Comments: I have 1994 325 convertible and the passenger set will move up/down and forward but not back. The more its pushed forward the hard it is harder foor people too sit in the seat. What is the problem?
December 3, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would check the function of the switch, try swapping it with the switch on the other side.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
matty Comments: I have a 97 E36 M3 with a power seat that does work at all no noise no nothin, i dont even know what part i would need to fix it. Any help would be greatly appreciated
November 24, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Start by checking the fuses for the power seats.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
KEN .H Comments: I HAVE A 1999 BMW M ROADSTER. tHE SEAT STOPPED WORKING AND WHEN WE PULLED THE SEAT WE FOUND THAT A COIN HAD LODGED ITSELF IN THE TRACK. AFTER REMOVING THE COIN AND REINSTALLING THE SEAT EVERYTHING SEAM OK UNTIL WE DROVE THE CAR. NOW THE SEAT SLIDES BAK AND FORTH ABOUT 1/2" TO 3/8 OF AN INCH.ANY IDEAS AS TO HOW TO FIX IT OR WHO CAN FIX IT.
November 17, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The seat track is going to have to be replaced.
Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
fred Comments: Eureka. I found an easy way to adjust the seat when something does not work.
Turn on the power but don't start the engine.
Position yourself on the seat with your feet firmly on the floor and your back firmly on the seat back. Hold the power switch back while pressing like hell with your feet. You will acutally hear the seat drive turning as the seat goes back.
November 11, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff:
Thanks for the additional Info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
GreenT Comments: Hi Pelican guys - I have a 200 740i and suddenly both the front seat heaters stopped working. I press the button to tuen it on, the three green LEDs light and then they go off in a few seconds. Driver and passenger failed simultaneously. No blown fuses, front or back. Any ideas? Thanks!
November 2, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There is going to be a fault in the center switch center, sometimes the contacts burn in the back of the module. Remove and inspect.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Tom Comments: OK, I just replaced the seat gear passenger side in my 1995 325iC. I thought everything went off without a hitch until I reinstalled the seat. Now, it seems the backrest release mechanism is stuck because the seat folds like a cheap suit. I pulled the seat back out and the backrest release cable seems to be functioning properly. But the seat will not stay in place, almost like a spring or something is not activating to lock it back in place. Any ideas?
October 14, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The latch could be stuck, or the cable could be sticking. Remove the seat and check the function of both.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
calemonlaw Comments: Have the same problem....electric motor still works but won't shift back and forth. Only way to move it is to turn the 2 side gears manually from the bottom front

http://www.ca-lemon-law.com/
September 28, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff:
Thanks for the additional Info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Yasoda Comments: I have a 1991 750 BMW. I reclined the driver's seat and can't get it back up in position. It has a twist to it; the right side of the back moves to position but the left side is not moving. Recommendations? Help!
August 15, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The drive cables in the seat back need to be replaced, you are going to have to remove the seat to repair it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Dave Comments: I have a 2001 525 sport wagon. The plastic housing which wraps around the bottom of the driver's side seat and contains the seat controls is broken in the front and the back and periodically jams when you change the seat position. I assume I have to replace the complete housing. Is this something a guy with average repair skills can handle? How would I do it? Thanks for any help.
August 11, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The covers come in pairs and they are not that hard to change.I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
ceebee Comments: 1999 BMW 328is e36 and passenger seat stuck forward position
Are the fuses located under hood or glove box? Little room between seat and dash. Also front seat bolts covered by seat tracks. Seat will go up but not down or back and forth. The seat back in full recline position. I need suggestion please
August 9, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would check the seat switch first, try swapping it with the switch from the other side.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Bob Comments: My son has a Z3 and while i was trying to adjust the drivers seat thinking it was manual i pulled the drive wire from the motor to the grey driving mechanism out . How do i put this back ?
August 8, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Remove the seat and you will see where the cable is missing from, you should be able to reinstall by sliding it into place. Make sure the square end of the cable is all the way into the motor.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
burk Comments: my 02 330xi needs new left side horiz.seat motor .how do I replace it?I do have a motor with memory.
July 19, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Wayne Comments: I have a 1997 BMW Z3, I would like to replace the power switch that controls my passenger side seat. I think I have sport seats but can't seem to find a Picture of the switch that is like the existing seat. I recently purchased on off the internet that was supposed to fit my seat it didn't so before I purchase another I would like to see a picture. supposedly my correct switch part no. is 61318413896,my vin no is 4USCH7326VLE03639. is there anyway you can supply a picture of the correct switch. Thanks
July 3, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
GeneO Comments: There may be too much lumbar support in the 2011 X3 for my wife even with the air bladder completely deflated. Do you have a proceedure to remove the air bladder to let the seat back go flatter? Or can some padding be removed and the air bladder left intact?
June 19, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The air bladder when deflated is very thin, removing it will not help, you could remove the seat back and try to remove some foam, but then the leather will not fit tight and you could have problems with the seat heater.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Nickie Comments: I have a 2003 330xi and the passenger seat will move forward and backward but will not recline or sit-up
What could it be should I replace the Moter I replaced all the fuses and
It still won't recline pleas help .
June 4, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You could have a problem with the switch, I would also check the wires under the seat and make sure there are n damaged wires.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Lessismore Comments: any idea how to get a seat out of a 97 z3 that is frozen in the rearmost position?? i think doofus prior owners left convt open rainstorms or did swamp running. ive managed to get backrest out and all cushions. the front nuts are off and i am dead in the water. Sorry i ever bought this overengineered bratwurst burner. itis passenger seat. driver seat is fine. I am done with this thing. No way to see bolts from underside of vehicle either. stupid design. I will cut the seat out and buy an old one on ebay but cant get to interior tracks......very very frustrating. I might drop match in the tank..... any advice you can give would be appreciated and take me off of the ledge of my building. MDR
June 4, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There is no easy way to get the seat to move to access the bolts, some times you can disconnect the seat motor and jump power and ground to it to get it to move, you can also try to remove the motor from the gear box to free up the seat.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
mannytex Comments: I have a 2000 Bmw Z3 Roadster and the passenger seat moves forward and backwards fine, but it's stuck in the upright position and when I try the switch on the side of the seat I can hear the motor running but the seat doesn't go down. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.
June 4, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There is a cable connecting the motor to the drive, it sound like it is stretched or broken.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
bcrdukes Comments: Hi Pelican Parts Staff,

I have a 1998 BMW M3 sedan 9/97 build date. My passenger occupancy sensor is bad. Is this tutorial applicable to my car/seats? They are not the Vader seats. Thanks!
June 2, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It will apply, I would also grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Big Zack Comments: I have a 2004 BMW 540. The key remote defaults to the#3 seat program position, which is tilted to the right and in the forward-most position.I cannot change the setting on the key remote but can move the seat with #1 and #2 memory buttons or with seat controls. Any suggestions?
May 31, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The car can only remember 2 master keys, have you had any keys replaced, if so you have to have the old key removed from the cars memory.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Mike Comments: I have a 2001 530i and neither my steering wheel nor my seat will move. When I push the memory buttons I hear something move sounds like something under the hood is going from one position to another when I push one button or another. Visual inspection of the fuses - they all seem ok. Thoughts / help?! And thanks in advance - your site is a wealth of info!
May 13, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would check the power and ground supply to the seat memory module, also check the wires to the steering adjustment motor.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
mkpackfan Comments: I have a 98 BMW 328i, the driver's seat will not recline forward, will recline backwards and move forward and backwards. Any suggestions?
April 30, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like the switch might be faulty.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Jim Comments: 2006 BMW Z4, roadster 3.0i. Heated power seats with memory. Passenger seat tilt adjustment is frozen in forward position. I found small pieces of the gear that operates the tilt on the floorboard. The motor appears to be operating fine however, the seat back will not move at all. Can I buy the gear or do I have to buy the entire mechanism. Are there instructions on how to remove the mechanism to replace the gear, without ruining the whole mechanism. Is there a manual override to get the seat back tilted back some until I get the unit fixed?
April 28, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would grab a repair manual. It will list the special tools and each step of the procedure. Give our parts specialists a call: 1-888-280-7799 They will help you find what you need. There is no way to move the seat until you fix it.

- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
407Steve Comments: The thigh bolster on my 2000 323Ci sport seat does not lock in any position. I can't find a way to remove and diagnose to see what parts I need. Do you have a procedure? A repair kit?
April 22, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would grab a repair manual. It will list the special tools and each step of the procedure. Give our parts specialists a call: 1-888-280-7799 They will help you find what you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
PBK Comments: A quick FYI - the easiest thing to do is to follow the leads from the fore-aft motor, pull the white plug, then apply 12 volts to move the seat. I used somr conduit and a lawn tractor battery with no ill effects. With the rear bolts covered and the motor jammed, it took me 3 hours to pull the passenger seat. There's not much I didn't try, and I finally detached the star bolts holding the gear assembly to the track. The outside one comes easy, the inside one is a SOB. Pull those assemblies out and the seat will then slide forward. I admit to some broken parts, but at least now I can start solving problems instead of creating them.
April 17, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional Info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
tee Comments: I HAVE A 1992 535I BMW. THE PASSENGER SIDE POWER SEAT DO NOT WORK,IT STOP WORKING OVER THE BACK BOLT.WHAT DO I NEED TO DO,AND WHATS THE PROBLEM?
April 16, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It could be one of a few things. Check the fuses, check the relay for proper operation, and finally check the electric switch. The switches fail all the time, we have an article on replacing them in our tech articles section. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Caleb Comments: My seat was stuck in the recline position and it ended up being a broken seat gear. In the process of replacing the seat gear I lost the piece that connects the motor and turns the gears. I have no idea what this piece is and I was wondering if you guys sold this piece or knew how i could obtain it?
April 13, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I think that this piece is part of a seat mechanism and is not available separately. However, I could be mistaken - if you have a photo of the missing piece (shot from the other seat), then perhaps our sales dept can assist you in finding it. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
deathangel Comments: 1990 bmw convertible heated front seats not working and the light for the rocker swithces is out.there is no fuse blown in the fuse box or indicator telling me its even in the fuse box.
April 4, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: These heater elements blow out all the time. I would check the resistance on the element inside the seat - if it's open, then it's probably burned out. I've never had to replace one, but I hear it's not easy. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Kymbr Comments: The passenger seat is stuck in the highest up position and it won't go up or down, I don't hear the motor running. Is there a manual overide so I can keep the seat in the lower position?
March 20, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If you remove the seat, then you can manually turn over the motor using a drill or even your hand. Or, you can apply 12V directly to the motor to make it move. More likely, your switch is defective, and you can simply fix the problem by replacing the swtich unit. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Rodo55 Comments: Thanks for the article. My BMW dealership is two hours away so whatever I can do on my own the better. The article gave me the confidence to attempt my E46 seat. It has quite a number of differences however it is much the same and it is mostly looking at the set up and working out what to unscrew and most importantly what to do up again to put it back together. I have completed the task and using a BMW fault tool reset my electrics. Cheers from New Zealand
February 26, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Great! Thanks for the feedback, glad it worked out! - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Jim Comments: I have a 1990 325i convertible, the seats are manual, no power. On the passenger seat it will not move forward or backward. It has a sliding button or lever that operates the seat. When I move it, it feels like nothing is attached to it.
Any ideas how I can repair this? Thanks
February 26, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I haven't taken one of those seats apart in the past, but it sounds like a broken lever. You'll have to take the seat out of the car and put it on a workbench to disassemble it and see what the issue is. If you can't get it out of the car, you should be able to reach down under the seat and manually lift the lever with your hand. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
GLCook Comments: My 2002 M Roadster has power seats. The problem which I hear is common is that when you brake there is a small motion forward, as if the seat is loose on the rail. Do you sell replacement parts for this and is it something I can do myself? Thanks!
February 12, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Hmm, I haven't heard of this issue being a common problem? If it were my car, I would check first to make sure that the seat is bolted down to the chassis properly. If yes, then I would remove the seat and try to replicate the problem with the seat on the bench. It's probably a cog gear or a cable that connects to the motor that may be worn or loose, causing slack in the mechanism. You may be able to fix it for cheap if you can swap parts from the passenger side (which probably doesn't get as much use as the driver's seat). - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Chands Comments: 1998 BMW Z3. The drivers seat is stuck in the middle and cannot be raised either- i cannot access the front bolts to remove the seat. Appears both the motors ie to raise or to move forward & backwards is burnt out and won't work despite "hot wiring" with an external battery. How do I remove the seat? Help!!
February 7, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This is a very annoying situation to be in. The seats do have manual overrides so that you can move the motor with a tool when the seat is completely stuck. The best way to see how this works is to remove the passenger seat and look at the mechanism under there. That way, you can work under the driver's seat and feel what you're looking for so that you can move the seat back and remove it from the rails. Also, I doubt that both motors are burned out, you might want to recheck your wiring. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
John Comments: I need to fix the seat heater in my 1997 328i sedan,,the driver side..the lumbar heats but the seat bottom does not,,do you have a repair procedure for this,,,and do you sell the heat pad,,,thanks..
February 1, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sorry, I don't have a procedure for this, but I believe that it's pretty straightforward and similar to fixing the seat sensor pad for the passenger side air bag. You need to remove the seat, remove the bottom, and then extract the cushion that is not heating properly. You may want to bench test it before buying a new one, just in case the issue is not with the heating element itself (you can also check the resistance of the element, if it's an open connection, then it's burned out). - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
asmithie Comments: I have a 97 740il and the driver's articulated upper backrest moves very slowly and makes a grinding sound. Any idea what's going on?
January 28, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: These things seem to break over the years. I suspect that one or more of the small plastic gears inside are beginning to fail. My best recommendation is to ignore it, or replace it with a used one from a wrecking yard or eBay. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
stanate Comments: I have a 2001 740il the srs airbag red light will not reset.
I purchased a reset tool. It resets the other codes but keeps responding "cannot connect". I replaced the computer airbag brian but it still says failed cannot connect.

How do I isolate which sensor is really bad?

Thank you.
January 27, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You need to make sure that you have a specific SRS airbag tool. I've got an article on this right here: http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/techarticles/Mult-Air_Bag_Lamp/Mult-Air_Bag_Lamp.htm If this is the tool that you have and it won't connect, I would contact Peake Research for assistance. If you still can't get it to work, then you'll have to find someone with an AutoLogic computer or a factory computer who can read and reset the codes. On the early cars, sometimes the electronic bus that controls all of these computers can be finicky. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
John Comments: I have a 97 328i Sedan,,146,000miles,,the seat heater is a 2 part system,I believe,,the seat part heats hardly at all,,but the backrestor lumbar does heat,,,is this possible...and what procedure do you have to fix this..
January 21, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, there should be two coils within the seat, one on the bottom and one on the back. Sounds like the bottom "butt" part is burned out. I think that you can get a new cushion with the coils built-in, but replacing it may require the removal of the seat cover and the complete disassembly of the seat, which is not an easy job. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
tinynena Comments: i have 92 BMW 535i and the driver's seat is twisted. Please help
January 13, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It's probably just loose on the rails, I would take a look there. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Rookeworld6 Comments: I have a 2000 323Ci Convertible and the seat bealt warning light constantly flashes not the SRS light. It stays flashing whil i drive and every now and then it will stop. Is this an issue with the seat belt tensioner? and if so, is there a way to determine whether its the drivers side or the passenger side?
December 17, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would guess it's the driver's side - try buckling in the passenger side and see if it changes the behavior of the lamp? - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
t-dub Comments: i have a 1998 740iland my rear seatbelts are stuck i can't pull and latch them.Help please i need them for my baby seat
November 24, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Those 7-Series belts can be a pain. Other than replacing them, you can try tapping the mechanism with a hammer. There is a pendulum that hangs down inside the mechanism that is used to lock them when the car stops suddenly. Sometimes this can get stuck. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
zman Comments: I have a 2000 BMW M roadster. The vertical electric seat motion does not work but I isolated the problem to a worm plastic gear inside the lift mechanism of that turn the worm gear. Do you sell this part?
November 11, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sure do, we sell replacement gears that are custom-made and stronger than the originals. Try this link to our search engine, or simply search for "seat gear" http://www.pelicanparts.com/cgi-bin/ksearch/pel_search.cgi?please_wait=N&forumid=&threadid=&command=DWsearch&description=bmw+seat+gear - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
zoda Comments: Good Morning,
I have a 328is coupe, my car suffer from the seat gear porblem... I want it to know if theres a way to move the seats without changing the plastic seat gear? I just wanted to leave it in one position and thats all. Thanks for the help!
November 8, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not really. You have to open it up to move it, and then it will fall down. I've tried that before with a friends car, and we only made it worse. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Richard Comments: 1996 BMW Z3 - I think the drivers side seat motor got wet and now it won't work. Is it likely that the motor is dead and needs replacing using these instructions?
October 7, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Check the fuse - unless the motor was submerged, I doubt that it would fry because of a little water / condensation. It might be something else. You can also remove the seat and apply power directly to the motor to check it. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
reel thugz Comments: I have a 1994 325i both my front seats are stuck in the vertical position and wont recline at all. I can hear the motor running but the the back of the seats wont move every other function works perfectly and the switches also.
September 14, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like the seat gears are broken. It's a pain to replace them, but you need to do it. We sell them in our catalog (they are a *big* seller). Replacement is about an hour or two per seat. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Chris Comments: 2000 BMW 740I - both the steering wheel power tilt and drivers power seat stopped working at the same time. Checked the fuse, its good. Any ideas? Loose plug perhaps?
August 31, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: These are all related to the seat memory computer. Check the fuses on the circuit that supplies the seat memory computer. Other than that, it might be a seat memory computer fault. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Estrada Comments: I have a 1998 740 il The memory buttons dont work, I'm able to move the seat, stearing wheel, and mirrors. about 2 weeks ago when I was drinving the seat, mirrors and stearing wheel moves to another memory setting. I move it back to where I need them and 5 seconds later it does it again. Some times it dies it the entire time I drive and some other times it eventually stops moving back. PLEASE HELP!!!
August 24, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like the buttons that control the seat are triggering. I would replace that assembly, or take it apart and try to clean them out. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
wmat2003 Comments: The problem i have with my 2003 530i bmw is when i try to adjust both driver and passenger seats, only one side will rise, which causes the seat to twist. what could this be?
August 22, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I'm not 100% sure with the 03 cars, but on the earlier ones, there is a bar that goes across the bottom of the seat and is driven by a single motor. If this bar pops out or breaks, then you will have the problem you're experiencing. You need to unbolt the seat, unplug it, remove it from the car, and then inspect the mechanism underneath for clues. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Chong Comments: My driver seat in my '06 330i stop operating. It no longer moves front/back or the rear no longer leans forward/backward. The memory button also do not work. It's been 2 weeks but today when I was washing my car I pushed the button and worked for a few seconds and stopped. What do you think the cause it? Thanks in advance!
July 10, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Normally I would say it was a fuse, as it's not typical for the entire thing to stop working. I would pull the fuse and then reseat it. If you have seat memory, then there's something amiss with the seat controller. I'm not sure on the 2006 models - you might be able to get some trouble codes from the seat computer (you can on the Porsches). - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Pete Comments: I had the seat motor fail with the seat stuck in the back position. I found you can remove the bolts holding the gearboxes to the seat frame and move them inward just enough to disengage the drive gears. This allows you to freely move the seat forward and back to remove the mounting bolts.
June 5, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff:
Thanks for the additional Info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Jerry Comments: Thanks for the quick response Wayne. But the 98 328i does not have a cable. Instead it has a DRIVE SHAFT LEFT 52108157467 and a DRIVE SHAFT RIGHT 52108157466. Did you mean remove the motor and turn these drive shafts manually?
May 18, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, sorry. It's been almost five years since I took one of these apart, but I believe that these drive shafts are flexible cables. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Jerry Comments: My 98 328i has power seats. The motor that moves the seat forward and backward seems to be seized. I do not hear it humming when I engage the switch. Right now it is in the
backward position and the rear bolts that hold the seat rail are covered and I do not have access to them. The front bolts, I have access. Any suggestions?
May 17, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It could be the motor, but it also could be the switch. Do you hear a small clicking noise when you press the switch? I might try to replace the switch first or at least test it with a known good one before tackling the seat.

Having the seat stuck forward is a terrible task to deal with. You have to get in under the seat with your hands, and disconnect the motors from under the seat and then manually turn the cables to get the seat out. Very frustrating job. - Wayne at Pelican Parts
 
manojy Comments: really great information .. this is manoj from india.
April 2, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
bjornkn Comments: Thanks for a very nice DIY page :
I have a pair of those electrical seats that I want to put into a 97 E36 318is Sedan. I would love to have a look at a pinout of all the connectors on the underside, and where those are supposed to connect to. Do you have a link or some tips?
March 1, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would grab a repair manual. It will have the wire diagram and connector views and each step of the procedure. Give our parts specialists a call: 1-888-280-7799 They will help you find what you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
palmer Comments: my 525 bmw passenger seat is kind of twisted i think the cable my be twisted, it wont come back up stright, any answers?
October 21, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You just need to get in there and test the various motors. If it were my car and access were tight, I would pull the seat and test it on the bench with a 12V power supply. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Academentia Comments: Hi ... the problem is not with the motors or gears, but with the vertical spring - part # 52108157472 - it has popped out of the clamp - part # 12521285014 - and it is in recline. It won't stay vertical. Every time I try to move it upright, it pops out of the clamp again.

What does this mean?

Thanks!
September 24, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like you may just have to bite the bullet and buy a new mechanism that contains that spring holder. Or, you might be able to find a cheap one on eBay. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Edin Karavdic Comments: Im looking for a power seat switch cover for the left side of my 2000 BMW 750 il. Can anyone help me?
July 13, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sure, give our sales guys a call at 1-888-280-7799 and they can most likely get that part for you. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
T.Cherry Comments: This was so well put together even I could do it and I'm a female. The seats are a bit heavy, extra hands would have made removal easier. While I had the seats removed I wanted to see if I could repair the recline for both driver and passenger seats. I found some handy directions at the following location: http://www.odometergears.com/subpages/E36FAQ.html

Thanks again for having the gears, Hendrick of NC wanted $167 for both sides but they wanted me to buy the entire gear both, they don't just sales the gears. Then they wanted 2 hours on each seat, $120 per hour. I would have cost me a whopping $814 to have my seats repairs. I ended up saving myself $734...Thanks for all the documents and parts.
June 17, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, the folks at odometer gears that developed these were pretty smart! - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
JoshRan Comments: What if the problem is the seat is all the way back, and won't move forward? Is there a manual override?
May 25, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Nope. Unfortunately, you need to take apart the entire seat and remove the broken gear unit to move the seat back forwards. The problem is a broken gear in the seat mechanism - it's best to replace the gear at that time. Here's a link to the spot in our catalog where we sell the seat gears: http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/catalog/shopcart/BE36/POR_BE36_INTsts_pg3.htm#item20. Hope this helps.

Or, if your switch is just broken, then simply get a new one and plug it in, and it should go forwards. You can also hotwire the terminals. If you push the switch button forward, but you don't hear the motor running, then it's the switch. If you hear the motor running, but the seat is not moving, then it's probably the plastic seat gear.- Wayne at Pelican Parts
 

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