170. Twenty Pence for the Grease Monkey (AKA, How to fix a broken seat on a Ford Mondeo)
For several months the drivers seat in my car hasn't been right. It hasn't stayed fixed in position, instead it would rock a little on it's runner. I sent it to the garage, but they said they couldn't fix it. I believed them thinking that I'd wait a while before getting a new one, or more likely an old one from a breakers yard.
On Friday afternoon I was at work. Lin was coming to pick me up and would be using my car. When my phone rang, she screamed at me in a state of distress that the car was broken. As she had reversed off of our driveway the seat slid all the way back on the runner to the point where her feet no longer reached the pedals, leaving the car rolling backwards towards our neighbours camper van. Fortunately, Ben was sitting in the back and was able to push the seat far enough forward for Lin to drive. She pulled the motor back up onto the driveway and they all decanted to her little midget mobile.
This morning I decided that I'd have a look myself rather than taking it back to the garage. To my very pleasant surprised when I unbolted the seat from the floor I found that it couldn't be easier to fix. Somehow a 20p piece (the one in the picture) had become lodged between the runner and the teeth on the mechanism that holds the seat in place. All I had to do was remove the coin and the seat would work properly again. The garage obviously hadn't bothered to look this far.
So the moral of this story is: Check things out for yourself before taking the word of lazy "professionals"; things may be a lot easier to repair than you'd imagine
How To Remove The Driver's Seat On A Ford Mondeo (I Suspect It's Pretty Similar On Most Cars)
1. If you have a car stereo that is protected by a key code system, make sure you know the number. This will save you a lot of hassle later on.
2. Ten minutes or more after last turning off the engine, remove the cable from the negative terminal on the battery (you don't want any live electrics whilst working on the seat and you especially don't want to risk firing off the air bag). 10mm spanner.
3. Leave the car for a further 15 minutes to ensure that any stored up charges in the capacitor are released.
4. Push the seat as far back as it goes and unscrew the two front retaining bolts using a 10mm spanner - I'd recommend the socket type.
5. Now push the seat as far to the front as you can and unscrew the rear four retaining bolts.
6. Tip the seat backwards a little so that you can access the electrics. Unscrew the bolt that holds the two halves of the electrical connector together using a 7mm spanner. Pull these apart. Don't worry, it's very well designed so that the parts will only fit back in one way so you can easily put all the wiring back in a single movement.
7. Now you can tip the seat completely back to get access to the workings underneath.
8. If you need get the seat out of the car you'll need to detach the seat belt, but that didn't apply to me so I can't tell you how to do it.
9. When you've finished put it back, by following these instructions in reverse. If you're not confident you could use your camera to take a series of pictures as to how it should look - but I thought it was so straightforward I didn't bother with this.