Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi, obviously I'm new here, but Subaru is not new to my family. We've had the 04 outback and now a 2012 impreza, love 'um, but Outback's driver's seat won't move forward/back.

I have done a variety of searches on this site. Please forgive me, and help by pointing me in the right direction, if this has been covered. This is the closest I could find...... http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...4892-broken-power-seat-motor-anyway-move.html

The tilt (front and back work, two motors) The fore/aft doesn't work. For those of you who know, I took the switch off, took apart the two halves, exposed the inner 3 ball bearing switches, took apart the fore/aft 4-spring, 2-ball bearing, 2 copper rocker arm contacts. Seems fine...what a [email protected]@@, err, bear to get back together.

So my dumb guess is that switch is OK, how do I test motor? I have multimeter. Can I pierce into wires leading to motor to see if it's getting signal? What should meter say, how do I prove motor is bad (or connection). Or something else.

Thanks folks, and sorry if this has been covered; I will humbly read whatever old thing you refer me to.

Thanks, Erik.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,429 Posts
The seat should have a total of four motors:

slide, or movement forward and back,
reclining, which is the slope of the seat back,
front tilt, which raises and lowers the front of the seat bottom, and
rear tilt, which raises and lowers the back of the seat bottom.

I presume that only the slide (forward, back) motor isn't working.

how do I test motor? I have multimeter. Can I pierce into wires leading to motor to see if it's getting signal? What should meter say, how do I prove motor is bad (or connection). Or something else.
You're on the right track. There should two wires going to the slide motor, and a two-pin connector right at the motor. First thing would be to check that the connector is firmly in place -- it might have come loose.

Then, if you can get to the connector at the motor, it should be possible to back-probe the two contacts with your Voltmeter to check for Voltage when the seat control switch is set to either the move forward or move backward position. If there isn't any Voltage, then the problem is in the switch. If there is Voltage, which should be around 12 Volts, then the motor is bad.

If you can't get to the connector, I believe the wires to the slide motor are blue, and blue with a white stripe. A couple of sewing needles can be used to carefully pierce through the wire insulation, and with the Voltmeter connected to the needles, check for Voltage as above.

An alternative would be to check for continuity (Ohms) through the motor, instead of Voltage. In this case, I'd disconnect the large connector at the seat switch, then, again at the two wires for the slide motor, check for Ohms between them. If the motor is good, there should be continuity, with the reading somewhere in the 5 to 25 Ohm range (I'm guessing here, based on measurements I've made on similar motors); the main thing is the resistance shouldn't be zero (if you're using a digital meter) or over about 100 Ohms.

It might be necessary to remove the seat to gain access to the motor wiring. Or perhaps there might be just enough space to access the wiring underneath the seat by just removing the four seat hold-down bolts, but not disconnecting the wiring.

If the seat has to be removed, then be sure that the battery is disconnected. This is because there's a constant 12 V supply to the seat control switch (the motors work even with the ignition key out), and, I believe, your car also has a seat side airbag, which is wired underneath. Disconnecting the battery and leaving it that way for a while before disconnecting the airbag connector underneath can help avoid inadvertently triggering the airbag system.

Of course, if the seat wiring is disconnected, only the continuity check (Ohms) of the motor can be done.

Hope this helps . . . let us know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Solved, sort of....

Well I did the diagnotics with the multi-meter. The switch is working, when pushed the motor is getting 12.7 V, so the motor is bad. Or is it just "hung-up", or is the machinery stuck? To test the latter I banged the motor every which way, and jostled the drive rods and seat track.

Guess what!!!!????? When I pushed the switch I heard a blip of life from the motor, so I repeated the process and got about .5 seconds from the motor, repeat, and got working motor.

I haven't moved the seat more than an inch cause I'm fraid it may get stuck. So, I still wonder what was keeping it from working.

BTW, 3 motors 1 up/down front, 2 up/down back, 3 seat moves fore/aft.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,429 Posts
The 4th motor I referred to is one for the seat back (e.g. slope/recline), which I guess your 04 Outback doesn't have.

If the mechanism was stuck, I think there might have been some sign of the motor trying to work (hum, click, groan etc) when switching to forward and to reverse, as I presume you tried earlier. If there was nothing, then the motor probably wasn't working.

The motor brushes or commutator might be worn or dirty. Either could lead to the symptoms you observed. If this is the problem then it could happen again.

Each motor has two wires. If you can disconnect the three motors, measure the resistance between the two wires going to each. The readings should all be similar. If the seat forward/reverse motor is significantly different, especially much higher, then this could be indicating bad brushes or commutator contacts.

When this first happened, was it a very long time since the seat was adjusted? If so, then it's possible that by operating the motor, the brush/commutator contacts will clean themselves, at least partially, which could be enough to keep the motor going. If it does, then I'd make sure that all the motors are run periodically.

Let us know how it works out . . .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I have the same problem. After wiggling taking off the trim piece and wiggling the seat a lot, i now can get it to move but i have to push on the switch again to get it to stop.

I will probably buy a new switch, but I notice there are memory switches available for sale at about the same price. Will that work on my seat even if i didn't have memory switches originally installed?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
I realize this is primarily for 'Outback', but the 'Forester' model should not be too different. My 2009 Forester has the electric adjustments on the drivers seat. It will move forward and back, and up and down, but the recline function is stuck in the fully reclined position and will not return to the upright position. Very uncomfortable to drive and not safe. I do hear a hum when I actuate the switch, but there is no movement. Any help on this will be greatly appreciated. I have yet to start taking things apart but thought I might get some pointers before I attempt it. I am a retired industrial maintenance electrician so am pretty knowledgeable and proficient with repairs. How do I easily access the motor/mechanism? Is there an exploded view drawing of this? I certainly am not anxious to buy a whole seat. If I can't get it to function can I manually maneuver the seat to a more upright position? If so, I will probably disconnect that motor until I can fix or replace it so it can't happen again. Again any help/suggestions will be appreciated! Thanx!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
I believe the seat should not be able to operate unless the ignition switch is 'on'! This occurred when my 14 yo Grandson was left alone in the car for 5 minutes.
 

·
Registered
'15 Outback 2.5i Premium
Joined
·
2,536 Posts
I believe the seat should not be able to operate unless the ignition switch is 'on'! This occurred when my 14 yo Grandson was left alone in the car for 5 minutes.
I've heard complaints from someone whose car is like that. It's a nuisance for him if he drives it after his wife has, because the seat is way forward and it's hard to get to the ignition switch.

You can't win, can you?
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top