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Electric Seats

I have a 2002 Nissan Pathfinder. The electric driver’s seat will not move in the forward/back position, though the rest of the seat movements are working. The dealer repair service said the motor is shot and requires a $1000 replacement. Can I get a better price? Can I manually move the seat forward as it is too far back for comfortable or safe driving?

A common technique used in power seats is to transmit the motors turning power to the gears of the seat is by using square cables (almost exactly like spedometer cables). These cables can “strip” that is, they can round off and the motor just spins. These cables are in housings that keep them inserted into the motors “hole” the plastic housings can break letting the motor just spin.

How extensive diagnostics did the Dealer do before comming up withthe motor failure diagnosis? (how much did you pay?)

Motors can fail electrically,does the motor run at all (any noise?) How did they eliminate the switch as the failed part? switches are much more common to fail,followed by the cables I described.

If the motor trully did fail you can turn the cables with a drill motor to move the seat (this info is all useless if your seat does not use the speedo type cable for power transport)

GM used motors with gears, BMW used the cable method. Look at your seat motors is there a plastic tube attached to the motor? (the cable is inside the housing)

Check eBay ( and auto wrecking yards. You’ll find one eventually.

This is unusual enough that there is no aftermarket source. You need to buy a surplus Nissan motor or a new Nissan motor. Another shop could do the job for less, but Nissan only new parts will increase the price. An Indy mechanic might accept surplus parts that you supply. or he could get it himself. Just be aware that if parts you supply fail in a few months, it could be the parts you supplied. That’s why many mechanics won’t accept customer-supplied parts.