Driver's side electric seat will not go forward or back

Tiny
SCOTTB10
  • MEMBER
  • 1991 BUICK PARK AVENUE
  • 3.8L
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 100,000 MILES
I went into the store the other day and when I returned to the car the driver seat was all the way forward and it won't go back.
It goes up and down and tilts, But no forward or back
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Friday, February 7th, 2020 AT 6:04 PM

25 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

There are three separate motors on this seat. Since you still have partial operation, that tells me the primary power circuit is still working. That leads me to the next thing.

In addition to a circuit breaker powering all of the motors, each motor has its own built in circuit breaker. The only way that circuit breaker will reset is when power is removed. So, if there is a short which caused the seat to move and then kick that circuit breaker, it won't reset until the battery power is removed.

With that, the first thing I want you to do is disconnect the battery and wait approximately 5 minutes before reconnecting it. See if the seat is then operational. Also, when you first connect it, have a helper in the seat to see if automatically the motor is turning on. If it is, we have to replace the switch.

IF you look at the attached pic, it is a wiring schematic of the switch. I have a feeling that is where the problem is.

When you disconnect the battery, only disconnect the negative side. You will lose presets with the radio and the clock, date or anything other that requires battery voltage to be present.

Let me know what you find.

Joe
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Friday, February 7th, 2020 AT 6:16 PM
Tiny
SCOTTB10
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the quick reply. It's dark here so I will try the battery disconnect in the morning. I will post the results. Thanks for the help. It was a real trip trying to drive it home from the store with my chest stuck against the steering wheel.
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Friday, February 7th, 2020 AT 6:27 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
LOL. Sometimes I feel like I'm stuck when I get in customer cars, so I feel your pain.

Let me know what you find and you are very welcome. I will watch for your reply. Other than disconnecting the battery, if you can get behind the switch, you can disconnect power there. Just disconnect the connector. I have no pictures of it, but there will be plugs.

Take care,
Joe
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Friday, February 7th, 2020 AT 6:54 PM
Tiny
SCOTTB10
  • MEMBER
No luck, I disconnected the negative on the battery and it still doesn't respond. I listened when I hit the switch and I don't hear anything going on.
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Saturday, February 8th, 2020 AT 3:33 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
The noise may have happened as soon as it was reconnected. If nothing was heard, then I need you to confirm there are no disconnect plugs, damaged wiring, and if there is power to the switch. If there is power, i have a feeling the motor may have gone bad.

Here are a few links you may find helpful:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-use-a-test-light-circuit-tester

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-use-a-voltmeter

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-check-wiring

_________________________

Let me know what you find.

Joe
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Saturday, February 8th, 2020 AT 8:27 PM
Tiny
SCOTTB10
  • MEMBER
That would be something if it ran on its own while I was in the store and pushed the seat all the way forward and then shut off. I didn't smell any burnt wiring or such. In my case I have the module on the armrest that controls the windows and the seat. Everything else works including all the other seat controls, except forward and back. I'll probably have to pull the seat out so I can test the motors. I bought the car as a project that I think I can fix and give to my girlfriends son. It has a couple other issues that I need to fix. For one if I leave it sit for a few days the battery will go dead, I don't think that will be hard to find the drain, But it's developed a miss when going up a hill or stepping on it. Sounds like it's spitting up through the carburetor. I just got it so I'm still exploring. Sometimes the check engine light comes on but most of the time it's out and I have a low coolant light on, But I know the coolant is full and it doesn't overheat, In fact it runs real cold, like somebody took out the thermostat. How about that for fun. I'm a little concerned because I have water on the floor under the seat. Apparently the door needs new seals. I read one article about water under the seat and the wiring for the seat runs under the carpet and is prone to shorting out when it gets older.
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Sunday, February 9th, 2020 AT 5:33 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Anything is possible. The only way to be sure is to see if there is power to the seat motor. Something may have shorted.

Let me know what you find or if you need anything.

Joe
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Sunday, February 9th, 2020 AT 8:28 PM
Tiny
SCOTTB10
  • MEMBER
Any ideas about why it has a miss when under power? I thought fuel filter or plugs and wires.
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Monday, February 10th, 2020 AT 12:21 PM
Tiny
SCOTTB10
  • MEMBER
I'm having a hard time getting the seat out. I got the 4 bolts in the back, But I can't see any front bolts or with the seat all the way forward I can't see them. Wish I could find a good diagram or procedure or I could find a way to get the seat to go back.
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Monday, February 10th, 2020 AT 3:57 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

The front of the seat has hooks on it which attach. No bolts. The seat will hinge up. Here are the directions for removal and replacement of the seat. The attached pics correlate.

______________________________

2001 Buick Park Avenue V6-3.8L VIN K
Seat Replacement
Vehicle Body and Frame Seats Service and Repair Removal and Replacement Seat Replacement
SEAT REPLACEMENT
Seat Replacement

Removal Procedure

Caution: When you are performing service on or near the SIR components or the SIR wiring, you must disable the SIR system. Refer to Disabling the SIR System. Failure to follow the correct procedure could cause air bag deployment, personal injury, or unnecessary SIR system repairs.

Pic 1

1. Move the seat to the full-rearward position using fore/aft switch on side of seat.
2. Remove the front track cover cover.

Pic 2

3. Move the seat to the full forward position.
4. Remove the riser cover (1).

Pic 3

5. Remove the seat to floorpan bolts (1).

Pic 4

6. Tilt the seat forward.
7. Disconnect the rear heater duct (if equipped).
8. Disable the SIR system. Refer to Disabling the SIR System in SIR.
9. Disconnect the remaining electrical connectors.
10. Remove the seat with aid from an assistant.

Installation Procedure

pic 5

Important: Prior to installing the seat, verify that the area where the hooks engage is not deformed or raised. If the sheet metal is deformed, re-flatten the raised sheet metal using an appropriate device, such as a ball peen hammer.

1. Position the seat in order to align the hooks in the slots, with the aid of an assistant.
2. Tilt the seat forward.
3. Enable the SIR system. Refer to Enabling the SIR System in SIR.
4. Connect the electrical connectors.
5. Connect the heater duct (if equipped).
6. Move the seat forward using the fore/aft switch on the side of the seat.

Notice: Refer to Fastener Notice in Cautions and Notices.

Pic 6

7. Install the rear seat to floorpan bolts (1).
Torque the outer bolt first then the inner bolt (1) in order to secure the seat to the floorpan.

Tighten the bolts to 35 N.M (26 lb ft).

Pic 7

Important: Ensure that the adjuster tongues are under the track.

8. Install the rear riser cover (1).

Pic 8

9. Slide the seat full rearward using the fore/aft switch on the side of the seat.
10. Align the front trim track cover to the seat track.
11. Push the cover inward to secure.
12. Reposition the seat.

__________________________

Let me know if this helps. I did note that step one is to move the seat fully back. Ugh! You should be able to still get it.

Take care,
Joe
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Monday, February 10th, 2020 AT 7:15 PM
Tiny
SCOTTB10
  • MEMBER
I appreciate the effort, But I can't see any of the pictures. From the description none are quite like mine. I took off 4 nuts on the very back of my tracks and because my seat is stuck in the forward position I can't figure out what it has in the front. Also my seat control is on the armrest of the door. What do you do when you can't move the seat. But I tried to look and I didn't see the same kind of bracket as the back had.
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Monday, February 10th, 2020 AT 11:38 PM
Tiny
SCOTTB10
  • MEMBER
I got under the back of the seat and unhooked the wiring connector. I used a cordless drill battery to power each motor separately all worked except the forward and back motor. So I am pretty sure that motor is toast. Now all I have to do is figure out how to get the seat manually backed up. Until I get a new motor. I have yet to find a diagram that is accurate to my seat. I've seen some that have rods that go across from the motor to move the seat forward and back, But mine has a enclosed cable, like a heavy duty brake cable. One is green another is blue. I still can't get to the front bolts if there are any.
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Tuesday, February 11th, 2020 AT 4:46 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
I'm not sure why you didn't get the pics. However, the front of the seat hinges down into the body / floor. There are no bolts. I tried to attach that pic again. Let me know if it comes through this time.

By the way, great idea with the cordless battery test. I may use that one myself.

Let me know.
Joe
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Tuesday, February 11th, 2020 AT 7:32 PM
Tiny
SCOTTB10
  • MEMBER
My front seat has a bracket on the floor with what looks like a slot the the seat bracket slides into. I drew a basic image of the bracket. I've tried lifting the seat in the back and pulling, But it doesn't budge.
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Wednesday, February 12th, 2020 AT 1:20 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Are you able to remove the tab cover? I have to be honest, the only thing I am seeing is what I sent you. I know it can be tough to move, but it should pivot out. You may need a helper.

Joe
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Wednesday, February 12th, 2020 AT 4:33 PM
Tiny
SCOTTB10
  • MEMBER
I hope you saw the little seat diagram I drew, But I think your right, it should slide out of those brackets. Tomorrow I will have some help trying to pull it out. I really appreciate all of your help. I'll let you know what happens tomorrow. Luckily here in Happy Camp we've been having 70 and sunny for a few days.
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Wednesday, February 12th, 2020 AT 7:48 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

I did look at the picture, and actually if you drew that, it was good! It must be nice to have the good weather. I think I need to get a boat soon. Nothing but jumping back and forth between rain and snow. Ugh! I forgot what the sun looks like.

Regardless, let me know what happens. I hope it comes out for you. The only thing I can think of at this point is it has something to do with the seat's present position. However, you should still be able to tilt it.

Take care,
Joe
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Wednesday, February 12th, 2020 AT 8:13 PM
Tiny
SCOTTB10
  • MEMBER
Thanks Joe. I've been designing houses and buildings for about 30 years. That seat was easy with my architecture program. If you ever need any diagrams or drawings feel free to let me know.
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Thursday, February 13th, 2020 AT 7:48 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Although my son is in college for program engineering, I think that is something he always wanted to do. He was worried about getting a job in the field. Not to much happens in PA. LOL

Take care and let me know what you find. Someday, I just may take you up on that offer.

Joe
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Thursday, February 13th, 2020 AT 7:12 PM
Tiny
SCOTTB10
  • MEMBER
Got it done yesterday. Turned out to have 2 more bolts in the front.
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Friday, February 14th, 2020 AT 8:20 AM

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