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How can I make the front seat track slide more easily?

909 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  Electron Man
Hi all,
I have looked at a number of 2003-2004 Passat wagons for sale, and they look like a great fit for my family, but there is one thing in the way. On all of the ones I have seen, it takes some force to get the driver's seat to move forwards or backwards on the track. This isn't a problem for me, but it is a show-stopper for my wife, who has some mobility issues. She needs to move the seat all the way back to get in, and then move it up to drive. When she tries to move it forwards, she just slides herself forwards and the seat stays put. Her current car is a Subaru, which, like most other cars we have had, slides really easily and isn't a problem.

Does anyone out there know what makes the track stiff and if it can be loosened up? Is it just in need of lubrication, or is it built that way? If built that way, could it be modified? How?

Worst case I wonder if I could attach an extension spring underneath that would make it easier to go forward (and harder to go back). (Maybe I could use a couple of the springs that seem to fall off the seats.)

Finding one with a power seat or retrofitting one would be a nice solution but it's a bit of project. :wrench:

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Did you try adjusting the seat to its highest elevation (use lever on LH side) before attempting to move it forwards? It makes a small difference in fore/aft effort required. If she's sliding on the seat, it may not matter one way or the other. These must be leather seats...I can't imagine anyone sliding on the velour/cloth seat.

Otherwise, your best bet would be to remove the seat from the tracks (but don't disconnect wiring harnesses) and clean the **** out of both rear tracks and then apply an ample coating of fresh lithium grease to both of the plastic "sliders" attached to each support arm and a little grease onto the entire length of the front adjustment rail and guide. To allow more room before removing the seat, adjust the seat back fully forward (towards windshield) before taking it out of the rear tracks.

It's about two or three hours work (and some brute effort to get the seat support arms behind the rear tracks) at a leisurely pace.
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