Seat Problems — up/down + seat back stuck



New to this, wondering if someone can please help.

Recently bought a 97 Z3 1.9 with some minor issues with the seats.

The electric motor does go backwards and forwards but the up/down just makes a noise with no movement.

Also, the back of the seat is manual, but when I pull on the handle, the seat stays bold upright with no movement. I have oiled, but no joy!

These problems identical on both seats!!

Has anyone got an idea as to what it could be?

Also, on the 1.9 engine, are they belt or chain driven?

Thanks in advance.



Hi Max, first welcome.

Second the M44 engine is chain driven so no need to worry about cam belt changes, and as long as it is serviced well and regular should be bomb proof (use good oil — Fuchs Titan Supersyn for example).

The seats each have two motors, one for the front / back motion and one for the up / down motion, if you can hear the motors but have no movement, then something may have become loose / broken or trapped in the mechanism, I would suggest taking the seats out and bench testing, you will see what is not working that way, hard to diagnose otherwise.

The manual adjustment on the backrest is spring loaded, if you pull on the lever and have no weight on the backrest it will spring up to top position, to lower the back, just pull on the lever and lean into the seat.

Hope this all hopes, keep us posted on the seat motor issue



I’ve heard of both problems, but not both seats in the same car at the same time. The good news is that they go back/forwards as that will at least allow you to get to the back bolts to remove the seats if needed.

As usual Zedonist has hit the nail on the head with the course of action. If you need any motors, let me know as I have a couple spare somewhere.

PS I’ve added you to the «M44 Massive», an exclusive club for 1.9 owners



Thanks for getting back to me!! I will get the seats out and try and assess whats going on! Will keep you updated!


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I did both sets of seats in both my zeds a few weeks back. One seat suffered with a dead motor.

Very simple to strip down prize open the prongs at both ends then the central shaft slides out with little magnetic pull.

Once out i noticed the commutator was covered in carbon (copper finish covered in black deposits). Once i clean it and reassemble the motor i did a continuity check spinning the motor by hand. It should give you a reading while rotating. You can even test the motor by using a 12v car battery (aka my dad’s caravan battery)

Things worth noting: inside the top cap there is a small capacitor that looked like a weak point. one of my engineers pointed out it was an off the shelf item from maplin if its failed (proven by a continuity check)

Another thing i encountered was when assembling the motor shaft through the centre top cap you will struggle to push the brushes back and get the shaft in (Due to size of fingers and small gap) i curled a piece of paper to hold the brushes back.

I went through this process with all my motors as a preventative measure. If this proves useful i could always make a pictured write up in detail.