Power Seat Won't Move Forward Or Back

Power Seat Won’t Move Forward Or Back: [Check Solutions]

To get a comfortable ride, it’s common to adjust the power seat. A power seat can be moved in multiple directions. Have you ever faced any difficulty moving your power seat?

The power seat won’t move forward or back if there is any problem that is controlling this movement. The main connector and switch can also be responsible for this issue. Any problem with the power and ground connection can also be a reason if the power seat doesn’t move. 

There are so many connections between the power seat and the car. So, you need to check every possible reason to find the exact reason why your power seat isn’t moving forward or back.

5 Reasons For Power Seat Won’t Move Forward Or Back: Check Now

If the power seat of a car doesn’t move, it can be because of multiple reasons. To find the exact reason, you should check every possible reason and detect the one that prevents the seat from not moving.

1. Circuit Breaker

The circuit breaker should be checked with a multimeter. You will find the circuit breaker in the junction box, which is located next to the brake pedal. 

Take the multimeter and change the settings to Ohm. plug one connector on one side of the circuit breaker and the terminal on the other side. If there is any value except 0, shown in the multimeter, then it’s fine. Otherwise, the circuit breaker is damaged.

2. Main Connector

There will be a main connector that connects the seat with the car. Check if the connection if it’s loose or popped off. As the main connector is placed where your foot rests, it’s possible that the connection is disrupted by any object.

Sometimes, there are objects around the main connector that interrupt the connection. Unplug the connection and plug them in again to check if things work or not.

3. Motor

There are multiple motors underneath a power seat. The motors are responsible for moving the car up, down, left, right, forward, and backward. 

To check the motors, you must keep the seat plugged in with the car. There will be indicators on the motors that indicate which directions they are moving the seat. The motor for forward and backward movement is usually placed in the frontside of the underneath of the seat.

There will be only two cables connected to the motors – power and ground. Disconnect them and check with the test light into the terminals while moving the switch. If the light glows on the test light, then there is a problem with the motor. 

4. Switch

The switch that controls the adjustment of the power seat can be another reason it’s not moving forward or backward.

Check if the connection is perfect and tight. Also, check the terminals to see if there are any green corrosions that need to be cleaned or repaired.

Sometimes, the switch gets clogged if there are any particles stuck between. So, detach the switchboard to check the connections and clean the inner area with a brush. 

5. Power & Ground

Finally, check the power and ground that are coming from the connector. There will be lots of wire coming from the connector. The thicker two are power and ground.

Normally, the ground connection is black, and the positive connection is with a brighter wire, such as red or brown.

Now, you need to check them with the test light. Put one test light on the ground side and another one on the power side. If things are alright, the light will glow. 

How To Fix Power Seat Won’t Move Forward Or Back: Check The Solutions

If you can find the exact reasons by testing the individuals, now you need to repair it. The loose connections can be solved by connecting the wires and plugs again after cleaning the slots.

If the part is totally damaged, you now need to change the damaged part and get a new one. Conduct a professional car repairman to complete the job perfectly.

The installation should be done by a professional to avoid any further issues. Depending on the reason, the cost will vary. 

The power seat motor will cost you around 100$ or more as per the car model. You need to spend 20$ to 100$ for the power seat switch. Also, there will be an additional charge for installing the damaged part by a professional.  

How To Manually Move Power Seat Forward Or Back: Try Now

You may want to move the power seat manually If you are not planning for a quick repair. Here are the steps you should follow to move the car seat forward or back manually This method is also effective moving the power seat without power.

Step 1: Get the Winder Tool

For this method, you are required to use a winder tool. This tool can be found in the car tool kit. Winder tool is basically a combination of  flexible drill bit extender and an allen wrench with a handle in the end.

Step 2: Find the Socket

Find the motor underneath the seat.There will be multiple motors in every direction. If the issue is with forward and backward, find that motor which is usually placed on the front side of the seat.

Step 3: Rotate the Socket

Connect the winder tool’s bit into the motor socket. Now, turn the handle of the tool slowly to move the seat. If you connected the correct motors socket, the seat will now move forward and backward as per the rotating direction.   

That’s how you move the seat manually with a winder tool. It’s quite tough to move the socket in such a position. The technique will only work for the forward and backward motor.


What Causes A Power Seat To Stop Working?

There are multiple reasons for a power seat to stop working. Malfunctions with the power switch button can be a reason for this issue. It can be either repaired or replaced. Another common reason for this issue is the damage to the power seat motor.

Sometimes, objects get stuck underneath the seat, which prevents the seat from moving forward or back. A blown fuse or stretched cables are also responsible for stopping the power seat from working.

How To Know If The Power Seat Motor Is Bad?

Some signs indicate that the power seat motor is damaged. If the motor is bad, pushing the switch won’t move the seat forward or backward. Also, there will be slow seat movement if the motor is getting bad or already bad.

In a word, the condition of the motor can be identified by checking the power seat movement.  If the seat doesn’t move freely, there is something wrong with the power seat motor.

How Long Do Power Seat Motors Last?

There is no fixed lifespan of a power seat motor. It depends on the use of the adjustment of the  power seat. Typically the power seat motors are designed to last for years. Normal usage of the power seat won’t require any servicing of the motor ever.

The motor is one of the most important parts controlling the power seat’s movement. Hence, any defect into that part won’t let the seat move freely.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Power Seat Switch?

The cost of fixing or replacing the power seat switch will depend on many factors. You need to spend depending on the quality, model, and others. If you purchase the power seat switch online, you must provide detailed information about the vehicle to get the suitable switch.

However, the average power seat switch replacement costs $20 to $150. You will be charged an additional cost for the labor charge as it’s pretty tough to install the power switch by yourself.

Why Does My Power Seat Only Move Forward?

If your power seat is only moving forward, it can be because of the motor. There are adjustment motors placed underneath the power seat. For troubleshooting, check the power and ground while using the switch.

Another possible reason for this issue is a faulty switch. The switch might not be providing enough voltage to move the seat backward. Inspect the parts with a technician to find the exact reason and replacement.

Final Thoughts

A slogged power seat will make the ride very much uncomfortable. Having an idea about the reasons why the power seat won’t move forward or back will be better to encounter the  issue instantly. Most of the time, it’s the motor that creates this issue.  

Check the connections first to see if there is any loose connection. Conduct a professional car mechanic if you are unfamiliar with car parts, as any wrong connection may worsen the damage.


Osborne, C. M. (2022, December 20). How to Manually Move a Power Seat: 6 Options & Helpful Tips. wikiHow. Retrieved February 16, 2023, from https://www.wikihow.com/Manually-Move-a-Power-Seat

What Are Power Seats in Cars? (n.d.). Progressive. Retrieved February 16, 2023, from https://www.progressive.com/answers/what-are-power-seats-in-cars/

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