Removing Seats to Clean Your Car

It's relatively easy to remove seats if you're careful and you take your time. You should remove seats because it's easier to access your car floor and its nooks and crannies when cleaning it without seats getting in the way of your cleanup.

There are four bolts holding your front bucket seats to the ends of the runners. That's two screws up front and way back. Unscrew them to remove the base of the seat. Use a socket wrench to remove them.

Pneumatic drivers were probably used to install them to ensure their tightness. However, a long enough socket wrench and wrist power should be enough to loosen the bolts.

Things to Remember When It Comes to Seat Removal

  • Decorative Molding and Bolt Removal: Some bolts have decorative plastic molding coverings held in place by a screw. Otherwise, it can be pried off with a slotted screwdriver if there is no screw present. To remove the seat, slide it to the rearmost position to expose the front bolts for removal. Slide it to the forward-most position to remove the rear bolts. Use a zip-lock plastic bag for bolt safekeeping.
  • Tilting the Seat Back and Wire Removal: After removing all four bolts, gently tilt the seat back or forward to reveal any wires connected to the seat's underside. Unplug these wires carefully. These are usually for seat belt sensors, seat position controls, and heaters. Remove the seat from your car without scratching the upholstery or doorjambs. Cover the leftover wire harness with a cinched plastic bag or rubber band. Now you can clean your vehicle.
  • Cleaning the Seat Runners and Reinstallation: Before replacing the seats back into their runners, clean these runners first. Usually, the runners are filled with dust collected by the grease put on them to allow smooth back-and-forth seat sliding. Don't remove all the grease because the seat requires that to operate smoothly and correctly. Lift the seat back again, making sure to not scratch the interior panels or doorjamb.
  • Further Runner Adjustment on Manually Adjusted Seats: On manually adjusted seats, the seat runners might slide into different positions after the cleaning process is through, leading to misalignment over the runners and bolt holes. Just release the seat positioning bar then adjust the runners into the proper position if that's the case.
  • Backseat Bottoms Removal: How backseat bottoms are removed varies from model to model or vehicle to vehicle. Some have small release levers under the front seat. Others can be removed by wedging your hand behind the seat bottom then giving it a good yank. Still others have a pull handle in the middle of the seat where the seat belt receivers are placed. Finally, there are the seat bottoms with screws at their bottom edge near the foot wells.

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