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Passenger seat back fails to return to upright position.


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Oh no! Trouble in Paradise...(2002 Deville base)

Returning my wife home from the hospital after a back procedure, the back of the passenger seat failed to return to it's upright position on command...all other power mechanisms for the seat work. I am assuming my wife didn't try to remove her weight from the seatback as she pressed the control and her body's weight stripped a gear or burnt a contact...or....? Any ideas?

I have an appointment with a tech at the local GM/chev service on Monday following Christmas. (great time to have difficulties, huh?)

 I trust they will be able to diagnose it, but the question REALLY comes down to access to the parts necessary to fix...ARE they readily available from Cad/GM/Chev...or is it a search for a junked seat mechanism? Parts available ANYWHERE?

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Interested to hear the diagnosis.

 

If you do end up replacing the seats -- I have replaced seats before; you can buy them surplus or pick a part.  You have to be very careful about the seat belt tightening mechanism for the airbag, which is a small explosive device.  The airbags have to be disabled prior to swapping the seats, and you may find that the replacement seats need a replacement of the device (they became surplus after a wreck which fired the device).

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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Looking online, I see used tracks with motors that appear to be available at a decent price. It appears to also be the part that has the motor for the back section to recline.

I would rather replace the mechanism rather than the whole seat at the risk of not matching the appearance of my original seat.

Has anyone R & R'd   the  seat , and replaced this track/motor assembly?  Bruce has mentioned the need to disable the airbags and paying attention to the seat belt tightening affair.

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not in the seat, but rather in the seat belt anchor which may be attached to the seat.  The charge goes off to tighten the seat belt just before the airbag inflates to try to hold you away from the bag.

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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I am interested to hear their diagnosis.  A workaround may be to pull the seat toward the proper position while actuating the control switch.  Sometimes with a window problem this can allow you to get it into the right position, then simply treat it as non-adjustable until repaired.

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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2 minutes ago, Bruce Nunnally said:

I am interested to hear their diagnosis.  A workaround may be to pull the seat toward the proper position while actuating the control switch.  Sometimes with a window problem this can allow you to get it into the right position, then simply treat it as non-adjustable until repaired.

 

Already tried that. Seems locked. It will be a problem laid back like it is till I get it at least looked at. There are no shortages of track and motor assemblies available online, so my question needing to be answered is whether the it is a simple R&R of the seat out of the car, then the track off of the seat and then reverse procedure. I am hesitant to attempt it if the seat upholstery has to be unstitched, or taken apart to put the new arms that support the back INTO the back. They must insert themselves a fair amount of way up the seatback, so I wonder what the anchoring/bolting details are like. I do not want to mess up the seat. It is like new.....just doesn't work...lol!

 

 

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So, digging a bit deeper into the process of removing the seat, and along with Bruce's warning to disengage the air bags, do I have to do all the under dash unconnecting all the front air bags OR can I just disconnect the BATTERY so there is no power distributed to all these items? 

A procedure I read started with removing the SIR fuse under the back seat, then proceded to have me go under the dash and disconnect the front and pass. air bags. Is this really necessary if the Battery is out of the loop? It warned that removing the battery and then working on the airbags was a potential for all kinds of problems...not sure why this would be an issue if put back correctly, but just looking for some validation to this warning.

Also, since the back is fully reclined, will that keep me from getting to the bolts I have to loosen to remove the tracks?

this is much more complicated than taking out the seats in my old '66 ford....

Procedure I read was from a site called JustAnswer. Seems they sell you the information specific to your prob. But past problems of other people are on the site to read, which is where I got the SIR information and the directions to disconnect the airbags under the dash.

Does anyone have an opinion about JustANSwer site?

 

Edited by Nohilow
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The warnings are valid.

YES, the air bag connectors should be disconnected. ESD (Electro-Static-Discharge ) is the reason. The connectors are readily accessible and are easy to disconnect.

Let's assume ( yea I know what that word means ) that you only disconnect the battery and leave the connectors connected to all the air bags. During the process of working on the seat you create static electricity from the carpet or clothing and it finds a path through the SRS system, IF the connectors are still connected, you now have a complete circuit to ignite the air bag, I guarantee, you are not and will not be fast enough to get out of the way.

It's a safety procedure......  USE IT !!!!!!!!! :paint2:

You're on your own with the website, never been there.

THERE IS ALWAYS ENOUGH TIME TO DO THE JOB RIGHT - THERE IS NEVER ENOUGH TIME TO DO THE JOB AGAIN !!!

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OOPs got on my safety soap-box and didn't answer the other questions. :blush:

Does your Deville have air bags on the side of the seat back? (should be marked if it does) If the seat has pre-tensioners snd/or air bags, it should have a yellow SRS style connector under the seat. The connector will be bright yellow and the wiring will be inside a bright yellow sleeve. So refer back to my previous post, BEFORE doing any work on the seat...

You should be able to get to the seat track bolts as long as you can move the seat forward. The rear is bolted down the fronts "hook" in. Won't be easy though because the seat back will be a PITA to work around.

Seat work sucks, they're hard enough to get out when they're working properly.

I thought you were scheduled for an appointment to have the dealership repair the seat.

THERE IS ALWAYS ENOUGH TIME TO DO THE JOB RIGHT - THERE IS NEVER ENOUGH TIME TO DO THE JOB AGAIN !!!

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I am scheduled for a diagnosis. Don't know how indepth that will be...it's a chevy dealer. I assume the part is going to be a pulled part and unavailable thru GM network? So...don't know how involved they want to be with installation on a questionable, NOT GM OEM part. We'll see. A solid recommendation to a trusted garage they may know of would be enough for me to put it off till they can see me. BUT...I am also getting all the info together that I would need to do it myself. Old eyes, knees, etc will be time consuming factors for me, but mechanically I feel up to it.

ONe question...are all the air bag connectors this yellow color you speak of? Is that the color assigned to them? If there are a bunch of connectors under the dash when I tear into it, I would prefer being guided by simple colors than trying to decipher these confusing B&W line drawn diagrams I am seeing online...

Another question...does the Cadillac service manual that I cannot seem to find online (yet) have in-depth instructions for a procedure like this? I'm not talking about Hayne's or Chiltons...I mean the real deal...GM/Cadillac stuff.

Thanks for your time! ...and...

Merry Christmas! 

BTW, OldCadTech...I'm in Portland. Are you east or west wash.state?

Your signature echoes my union's (Pipefitter's)  motto:

"Do it right the first time." 

 

 

 

Edited by Nohilow
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I'm in SW Washington, River is south Ocean is west lol. I see your dilemma with a repair shop.

I will send you a PM with contact info.

The connectors for GM vehicles are yellow and are easy to spot. Other manufacturers use oranges and reds but they all usually have a distinctive look.

If you're talking about a procedure to repair the seat, no - not really, very vague, not step by step. Another thing to remember is the SRS module is under the passenger seat.

Sometimes the body isn't willing to go when the mind says - "you can do it - you've done it before"....

MERRY CHRISTMAS !!

Edited by OldCadTech

THERE IS ALWAYS ENOUGH TIME TO DO THE JOB RIGHT - THERE IS NEVER ENOUGH TIME TO DO THE JOB AGAIN !!!

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  • 1 month later...

Problem Resolved! My recliner problem has been put on the  back burner till I was able to get some health issues in order. Finally, made a few local inquiries and after receiving some good reviews on a local Auto Upholstery shop I took it in and left it with them. They had a line on another similar seat that we could scavenge for parts if necessary, and would give it a look over. The next day they called and said they had taken the seat out and checked all the electrical items and they were functioning correctly, so they shined up everything that needed shining and reassembled. Seat works like it is supposed to. I was ready for a big headache and once again the Caddy Gods shone down their light of mercy upon me. Thanks for all your input!

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Glad to hear you got it resolved.

you know in my archives somewhere I have a picture of a somewhat common issue with the power seat backs.

It has to do with the bolt that goes from the adjusting mechanism to  the seat back.

The bolt becomes loose and sometimes falls out causing the seat back to fall back. 

There is one on each side and are not too easy to be seen without trim and upholstry removal. 

 

GM FAN FOREVER

Nice, clean, luxury= fine automobile

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