Driver's Seat too low

I own a 2004 Malibu Sedan and the driver’s seat has always been a problem. Consumer Reports that year said, Make sure the seats are OK with you. I didn’t listen. My wife uses this car for work. We also use it for long trips to see the kids. It’s too low and thus not supportive and just doesn’t feel that comfortable, especially on long trips. The dealer said there’s nothing I can change, can’t replace the seat, etc. Has anyone out there tried any cushion, mat or any other method for raising the seat?

There ARE replacement seats (just not through the dealer). Also look where it bolts to the floor and see if steel shims can be fabricated to raise the seat up.

Given modern cars have air bags and usually side ones. Be wary above rising too much with the seat. Your air bag may work in a danger zone.

Only other thing I can think of - was a power seat an option on this car? You might find one in a ‘recycle’ yard, would fit, but problem is how to hook it up.

How is that different then a very tall person sitting in the same seat???

There are numerous variations of seat cushion at the parts store. I use one for my bad back. Find one that looks like it will help, try a drive with it, and of it isn’t as comfortable as you thought it would be bring it back and exchange it for another style. Odds are you’ll find one that will work.

Power seats were definitely available for the Malibu. I’d guess that the wiring is already there; the OP needs to drop in a salvage yard seat and hook up the wiring. But it is likely that the power seat only has leather surfaces. If the original seats are fabric covered, they obviously won’t match. I’m not sure if the fabric covered cussions can replace the leather ones.

That’s interesting, considering how many cars out there have air bags and seats that can be adjusted up and down.

If the Malibu doesn’t have this feature at any trim level, that is pretty sad.

What about getting longer bolts and some kind of risers or spacers to elevate the seat? That seems like it would be a practical solution, even if you have to have the spacers/risers fabricated.

I looked it up and you’re right! My book’s specs definitely do have what’s called a driver’s power seat, but actually raises it from about 11" to 12", which is still too low for me. That’s not much “power” and not much extra “seat.” I looked at other models and they have the same seat. Now, the Malibu Maxx of 2004 has a 6-way power driver’s seat, but I have no idea if that’s really any different from mine. We have a Windstar which sits at 15". So, that’s a lot of difference. And that height is really what we need.

Where would I find replacement seats? A catalog? On the web? At a parts store?

I’d need something that raises the seat another 3". Can I get one that thick? Where?

Interesting post because when I was in the market for a used sedan I test drove two of these and noted the same problem. I am 6’ and my wife much shorter and I figured she won’t be able to drive because she is already complaining of the seating height of our older car. I ended with a Camry.

Now to your question, if yours is a classic then the Maxx is a totally different car as far as I know. 3" of cushion and then I think your neck support might be useless. I like the idea of metal work where the seats bolt just to raise it. I think that might be the cheapest and the most practical fix.

Go to a store that sells foam and get a piece that compresses to 3". Look in your Yellow Pages for a store that sells foam or plastic materials.

Search at a medical device outlet that provides seat cushions for people that need their seated position altered.

I had perscribed to me a 3" thick very firm seat cushion to help my L5/S1 disc condition.

Three inches is a lot. When I suggested an aftermarket seat cusion, I had no idea it was that much.

If you raise the seat 3" will you be able to reach the pedals?

Yes; the floor to the seat height is 12" (That’s when the power seat is set at its highest)and that’s really low for anyone whose got normal sized legs. Believe me, our knees are several inches above the seat when we drive and there is no support for the upper leg to rest on the seat. I have a Windstar van whose floor to seat height is 15" and it works with us just fine. Come to think of it, I suppose even if I could raise the seat 2" it would help a lot.


Take a look at this site - They sell portable seat cushions to the private aircraft market. They’ll a little pricey but may be the solution to your problem.