The average price for the power seat switch replacement cost is between $352 and $365 for most cars on the road today. The price of the parts is around $300, while the labor ranges from $51 to $64 depending on the complexity of the procedure and geographical location of the mechanic’s shop. Owners can expect the total labor time for this fix to be under an hour – a quick fix to help get you back on the road!
Let’s see the function of the power seat switch, how the power seat and switch works, the importance of this part in your car, if you can drive with a faulty power seat switch, and the overall power seat switch replacement cost!
What is the power seat switch?
The power seat switch is used by the car occupants, whether drivers or passengers, to adjust the seats to the correct position for maximum comfort or functionality while driving. The power seats can be used in any car, truck, or SUV to adjust the base and the lumbar support to custom positions or angles at the push of a button.
Power seats can move forward to bring the users closer to the dashboard, increasing the line of vision and maximizing comfort for those with shorter legs. The power seat can also move backward for taller drivers and passengers who need added legroom to sit for long periods of time comfortably.
In addition, occupants can use the power seat switch to move the power seats up or down to fully see the dashboard and provide a full field of vision while driving. Lastly, the users can adjust the lumbar support and the headrest to ensure the upper body is at the correct and comfortable angle to the lower body. If the lumbar or headrest adjustments are not operating, you will experience a higher power seat switch replacement cost.
Any cars that do not have the power seat feature must have a lever or bar in the front or side of the seat to provide the adjustments. Although less common, you can find this adjustment mechanism on older and used cars. If you have a manually-adjustable seat, this counteracts the power seat switch replacement cost.
Power Seat Control Module
In many cases, settings for multiple car occupants can be saved and memorized by the seat control module or the body control module. The power seats are adjusted using the power seat control module and various small motors inside the seat, placed in different positions to adjust the seat’s various portions. Typically, the driver presses a control switch that alerts the power seat control module to turn on a relay and start the motor.
In most cases in modern cars, settings for multiple occupants can be memorized by the seat control module or the body control module. If you notice any issues with the body control module, this can cause a higher power seat switch module replacement cost.
Power Seat Motor
Along with the power seat control module, the power seat motor works together with the power seat switch to operate the seat and control the function.
The power seat motor is crucial to providing the driver with the correct driving angle to reach the pedals, reach the steering wheel, and see the dashboard in the front seat. The shape and position of the power seats in a motor vehicle, whether it be a car, truck, or SUV, can be customized and personalized at the push of a button for maximum comfort and ergonomic ability.
The power seat motors work together to control the seat forward, backward, tilted up, tilted down, or headrest movements. By controlling the lumbar support and the positioning of the seat, you can get a comfortable driving sitting position. The motors in the power seat are usually activated and turned on by various relays that respond to signals from the power seat switches. If you find the power seat switch is not activating the motor in your seat, you can expect a higher power seat switch replacement cost.
How does the power seat switch function?
Now that you know the importance of the power seat switch, the power seat motor, and the power seat control module, you need to know how these parts work together to operate the seat. The power seat switches communicate with the module that coordinates the function of the motors – with this line of communication, the seat will move in accordance with the adjustments made by the car occupants.
In some cars, the adjustments of the seats can be memorized by the seat control module or the body control module. These operations and other electronically-controlled mechanisms, like the power mirrors, locks, power windows, airbags, and car alarms, are controlled by the body control module. If the body control module is not working properly, you will have a higher power seat switch replacement cost.
Body Control Module
The body control module in your car is the “computer,” which is the electronic system responsible for monitoring, analyzing, and controlling numerous electronic accessories within the car’s body. The body control module, also known as the BCM, controls the power windows, power mirrors, immobilizer system, air conditioning, central locking, and other electronically-assisted parts.
The body control module works in tandem with other computers within the car, helping aid in the actions that require electrical power like locking doors and turning on overhead lamps. Since it is in charge of all electrical components, any damage to the power seats or the BCM can cause a higher power seat switch replacement cost.
Symptoms of a Faulty Power Seat Switch
A power seat is designed and manufactured to move in various directions, led by different seat motors that move along separate axes to change the angle and direction of the seat. The differing axes can move the seat forward, backward, diagonally, up, or down.
Does Not Follow Direction
If you find that the power seat can still move and function, but does not go in the intended direction set forth by the occupant according to the power seat switch, the power seat motor is usually the culprit at fault. However, drivers will often find the power seat switch is the main cause of the problems due to the seat’s inability to ‘follow directions.’
A faulty power seat switch can cause the seat to only work intermittently, leading to an unsafe driving condition due to the inability to reach the pedals or see over the dashboard. If you can’t adjust the seat to see the road in front of you, this can increase the risk of a crash along with the power seat switch replacement cost.
If the power seat does not move at all, let alone in the intended direction of adjustments, then the problem likely comes from somewhere else other than a faulty switch. If this is the case, then a power-related issue is the culprit. Drivers will usually discover that a blown fuse can be a symptom and cause of a faulty switch and a high power seat switch replacement cost.
- A car fuse replacement in most vehicles ranges between $82 and $99 at most car mechanics or dealerships.
Can you drive with a faulty power seat switch?
Answer: If you find the short-circuiting affects other internal mechanisms in your car, you need to look into the power seat switch replacement cost immediately. However, if the issue is isolated within the switch itself, you can get away with avoiding paying the $300-and-some power seat switch replacement cost.
If you notice that a faulty power seat switch is the result of a short circuit in the electrical connection within your car, you need to immediately fix the issue before it increases to any further internal systems. However, the more likely problem with the faulty power seat switch has to do with worn-down or malfunctioning electrical connections within the switch itself.
While the electrical short-circuiting within the switch does not create any immediate cause for concern for the rest of the vehicle, it can result in an improper seat position, inability to adjust the seat, and improper headrest adjustment that can result in an impeded field of vision while driving.
How often do I need to replace the power seat switches?
Fortunately for car owners, the power seat switches and other power-related components tend to last the entire lifespan of the vehicle. Unless the power mechanisms succumb to excessive wear and tear due to misuse of the car, they should not break-down or require regular maintenance procedures as you would find with topping up oil, coolant, or other smaller fixes.
However, regarding the power seat, power control module, and the power seat motor, the power seat switches are the most likely part to break down over time. In this case, you should ask your mechanic for the power seat switch replacement cost regarding your specific make, model, and year of the vehicle.
How do you diagnose power seat switches?
To check for a bad power seat switch or have your mechanic diagnose the power seat concerns, a technician first needs to ensure that a fuse has not blown in your car. If a fuse has blown, this can cause additional electrical issues that can lead to a higher power seat switch replacement cost.
A blown fuse is the result of either an inoperative power seat, or it can be the symptom of a deeper-lying electrical concern that can harm further components if not treated. If all of the seat functions stop working altogether, it is unlikely caused by a malfunctioning power seat switch.
If the seat does not move along the axis when the occupant presses the button, this is a sign something is wrong with the power seat motor and the power seat switch. A technician will now use a diagnostic tool to check for the power being sent to the switch. If there is an electrical current and voltage at the switch, then the technician will use the diagnostic meter to check for continuity of the signal.
If the continuity of the power signal and electrical communication is broken, the power seat switch replacement cost will be higher. Without the proper lines of communication between the power seat control module, the power seat switch, and the power seat motor, the power seat will not be able to move along the axes.
In some cases, the technician will find the root cause of the issue spans from the body control module. When this is the case, the power seat switch replacement cost can skyrocket since the BCM is in charge of all power-related items. A problem with the BCM can affect numerous internal mechanisms within your vehicle, resulting in an expensive fix.
How do you replace power seat switches?
Mechanics can quickly and easily replace power seat switches in your car by following these steps in the correct order:
- Disconnect the battery and the power to the seat
- Remove any interior trim around the switch assembly to gain access
- Locate the power seat switches in the vehicle
- The switches are usually located on the side of the seat body or on the door trim panel
- Once the trim is removed, the switch assembly is unplugged from the electrical wiring
- The old switch is removed
- The new power seat switch is installed in the correct location
The Bottom Line
As you can see, paying a little over $350 for the power seat switch replacement cost is a small price to pay to ensure you can see over the steering wheel, reach the brake and gas pedals, and give yourself and your car occupants enough room to sit comfortably. By having the freedom to adjust your seat to the proper setting, you can operate your car safely!