What’s a power seat?

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Power seats are front seats in vehicles with electric motors for adjusting position. A control switch is mounted under the seat, allowing for various adjustments. Initially in high-end cars, now available in lower-end vehicles. Converting seats to power is easy and profitable. Modern seat motors are durable and long-lasting, making the option popular and often bundled with other expensive options.

A power seat is typically the front seat in a vehicle that is equipped with electric motors that control the movement and position of the seat. A control switch much like a small joystick is mounted on the underside of the seat, allowing the driver to adjust the position of the seat in various ways. The typical power seat is a six-way unit with movement up and down, back and forth, as well as various recline positions. In a bucket seat configuration, the driver’s seat may be the only such seat in the vehicle, but the passenger seat may also be so equipped. In a bench seat application, the entire seat is controlled by the driver’s side control switch.

Initially offered primarily in high-end cars, the power seat option soon became available in lower-end vehicles, including pickup trucks. While it is possible to do so, adjusting the driver’s side seat while the vehicle is in motion is discouraged. Seat position adjustment must be completed before putting the vehicle into drive. On certain vehicles, preset adjustments can be completed by pressing a switch on the seat control panel or next to the outside mirror control. This typically allows two or more settings to fit multiple drivers and once programmed, allows a driver to place the seat in the same comfortable position over and over again.

Many vehicles come from the manufacturer complete with a seat electrical wiring harness under the seat, regardless of whether or not the seat option is actually installed in the vehicle. This makes converting seats to power an easy process that involves installing a powered seat in the vehicle and plugging in the existing wiring harness. The correct seats can often be found at a local salvage yard or online auctions, making the conversion very profitable.

Power seat components from the early 1960s were prone to motor burnout and failure in American-made cars. Advances in electric motor design have made modern seat motors durable and long lasting. This has made the option very popular, and it is often offered in a model line that was previously a poor selling vehicle. This inclusion of the power seat option can often increase sales and create a more desirable car. The seating option is also frequently bundled with other more expensive option packages to increase sales as well.

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