Front seat locking mechanism - How does it work?
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  1. #1
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    Front seat locking mechanism - How does it work?

    1999 Passat V6 Sedan

    I am having a problem with the driver's seat locking mechanism. It looks like the part that 'locks' into the various holes when you pull up on the lever under the front of the seat is stuck and needs to be cleaned and lubricated.

    How does this mechanism actual work though. That is what happens when I pull up on the lever and move the seat backward or forward? I tried to see what the passenger side seat did, but not a lot of space to see what is going on.

    thanks.

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  3. #2
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    The exact same thing is happening to my 99 passat too. I was thinking of spraying down with WD40 too loosen it up first though.
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  4. #3
    Moderate Moderator Steve in Chicago's Avatar
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    The way that assembly is supposed to function is....

    when you pull on the seat adjustment handle (12a), it pulls the cable (12b) which will slide the locking pin (8a) out of the holes in the guide rail. You can then move the seat forward or backward to the desired position. Once in position, you release the handle and a spring will slide the locking pin back into the locking holes.



    What exactly is malfunctioning on your seat? Does the handle move but the locking pin stays put? Perhaps your cable came detached or broke.
    You may need to remove the seat to see what's going on with that mechanism. I remember seeing a DIY for seat removal. You'll need to search around to find it. Remember, you'll need to disconnect the battery before unplugging the connector for the seat-side-airbag. Make sure you have the radio security code before you disconnect the battery.

  5. #4
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    Does only one side of the seat want to slide forward or backward? Most of the times it is due to the spring/wire assembly that goes between the 2 seat rails. When it becomes disconnected it can't pull the lever to unlock the other side.

  6. #5
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    Don't know if this is the case with yours, but I just fixed my drivers seat with the same problem. The way the cable is routed it has a fairly good bend to it and if your seat is adjusted often that bent area is flexed regularly. Mine finally kinked there, so the cable no longer functioned properly and stuck regularly. The fix was to remove the seat and replace the the cable. Probably took me about an hour. but 40 minutes of that was me trying to get the seat out and back into the car. Not really to much to lube there, however I did lube the rails and rollers while I have it out and I sides beautifully now! GL with your fix.

  7. #6
    Moderate Moderator Steve in Chicago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by l1tech View Post
    Does only one side of the seat want to slide forward or backward? Most of the times it is due to the spring/wire assembly that goes between the 2 seat rails. When it becomes disconnected it can't pull the lever to unlock the other side.
    The seat in my 99 appears to only lock on the center rail. I know what you're talking about with the two seperate locking mechanisms, like I've seen on other seat designs (like a bench seat). My 99 has a rear left & rear right wheel(17b) in a track, and a front center rail with the locking pin.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve in Chicago View Post
    The seat in my 99 appears to only lock on the center rail. I know what you're talking about with the two seperate locking mechanisms, like I've seen on other seat designs (like a bench seat). My 99 has a rear left & rear right wheel(17b) in a track, and a front center rail with the locking pin.
    Almost all seat designs that I have seen use some sort of locking mechanism on either side, whether it be a bench seat or a bucket seat. There is a good chance that VW uses something completely different though. I have power memory seats in mine so i can't go out and just look and I have never had to fix a seat on a manual seat in a VW...leave it to VW to overcomplicate even the smallest thing such as how the seat locks into position

  9. #8
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    I had the same problem with my seat. The pin that slides through to lock the seat had seized inside its collar. Happily, there was no problem with the cable, so a little WD40 in all the holes and cutaways round the collar did the trick. Phew!

  10. #9
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    I've got this problem too. I'll be playing with in the next day or two.

    I'm curious about this, "disconnect the battery before unplugging the connector for the seat-side-airbag. Make sure you have the radio security code before you disconnect the battery."
    Seems like you might get away with partial removal and leave the connector plugged.

    What happens if you don't disconnect battery?

  11. #10
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    Removing these seats is really a piece of cake. Once removed and flipped upside down, you will see how a spring actuated threadless bolt engages into anchoring holes in the center rail. I have replaced the spring actuated bolt and release handle as a unit - for both driver and passenger sides. Quite easy. But even with a replaced locking mechanism they begin to stick after a couple of years.

    A thorough degreasing with parts cleaner, then just a drop of oil does the trick. Be sure to clean the floor mounted chair rails of the old, cruddy grease and french fry salt and bagel crumb sludge. Then regrease lightly. You'll be amazed how easily the seat floats back and forth while adjusting.

    If someone does remove their seat, I would be curious if they would weigh it and post it here. The OEM seats are HEAVY, I'm guessing well over 40 lbs.

    P.S. The driver side seat has a second, higher tension, spring that allows the driver, while driving, to adjust the seat. Without this high tension spring (not necessary on the passenger side) a driver could push back while adjusting and just keep floating rearward until stopped. Not good with your feet 10" from the pedals. But that larger, high tension, spring is virtually impossible to replace due to its high tension. It's what keeps the driver seat's default position as all the way forward. For example, while out of the seat, say kneeling on the ground (such as while vacuuming the driver's pedal well area), pull up on the seat adjusting lever. The seat, without any weight, should slam forward to stop. When that high tension spring breaks the seat no longer moves all the way forward. So adjusting the seat while driving is now tricky so as not to push too far back and lose contact with the pedals. I have a replacement spring that is still in my garage, uninstalled. If someone has replaced the spring without straining their milk I'd like to hear about.

  12. #11
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    I had the same issue so I decided to tackle it tonight. I removed the seat and gave all the parts a good cleaning with Remington gun cleaner (first cleaning agent I saw). Also used a .308 bore snake to clean out the sleeve the pin slides into. An unorthodox method, but it worked like a charm! Once everything was clean it was back to working just fine!

    VeeMike: Drivers' side cloth seat weighs a tad over 47lbs.

  13. #12
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    wrong thread sorry
    Last edited by davidp423; 11-04-2013 at 05:58 PM. Reason: wrong thread

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