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  #1  
Old 05-15-2017, 08:06 AM
RickBMW2002 RickBMW2002 is offline
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2011 328i drivers seat is killing my back

Hi, I am a new member to this site and was hoping that someone could help me out. I recently purchased a used 2011 328i with low miles and in great condition. I spent a total of about 10 minutes test driving it and all was well so I bought it. Two days later I drove it over 30 miles and the drivers seat is killing my back. The seat has lumbar support but even in its lowest setting it still feels like a knife is jabbing into my back.

Question, is this normal? Can I do something about it? Are there seats from older or different models that I can bolt in that are not so stiff in the lumbar region?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 05-15-2017, 08:12 AM
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Folgen Sie Mir Folgen Sie Mir is online now
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I've had several BMWs & my old 2004 330ci had the best seats. Even the seats in my 5'er aren't anywhere near as comfy as my buds caddy. To be fair, I do have chronic back problems.

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  #3  
Old 05-15-2017, 08:22 AM
RickBMW2002 RickBMW2002 is offline
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Thanks for the quick reply Folgen Sie Mir

This is my 6th BMW and none of them have had this level of lumbar support. I heard that you can replace them with E38 seats but have yet to have this confirmed.
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  #4  
Old 05-15-2017, 08:23 AM
TutorMonster TutorMonster is offline
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If there's a specific point sticking into your back there's most likely something wrong with the seat. If you push the lumbar support all the way forward, it offers a wide flat area of pressure for your lower back. There should not be a pointed spot of pressure. Perhaps move the lumbar support all the way forward and take a well-lit picture so we can see it?

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  #5  
Old 05-15-2017, 09:11 AM
F10-N52 F10-N52 is offline
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um, these are good seats. lumbar support is good for your back but uncomfortable until you get used to it.

when you get used to it, its very comfortable and fits your back well.
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  #6  
Old 05-15-2017, 09:57 AM
RickBMW2002 RickBMW2002 is offline
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Thanks

So live with it a while?
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  #7  
Old 05-15-2017, 10:11 AM
F10-N52 F10-N52 is offline
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You'll get used to it quicker then you think
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  #8  
Old 05-15-2017, 10:44 AM
Porando Porando is offline
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Does it have Sport suspension?
Does it have RFT?

If not - there is no help....to be honest. Just need different car.

If both - there is easy way to reduce that noticeable - replace RFT with Michelins PSS (~$800) and replace factory shocks with Koni FSD (~$800)and you can take it across the country.
I did it in stages - disd shocks first and this helped and repalace tires when the old once were due.
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  #9  
Old 05-15-2017, 10:49 AM
Porando Porando is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickBMW2002 View Post
Thanks for the quick reply Folgen Sie Mir

This is my 6th BMW and none of them have had this level of lumbar support. I heard that you can replace them with E38 seats but have yet to have this confirmed.
Hhehehehe comparing E38 seat comfort with E90 is wrong - there is no comparison. E38 is a limo a E90 is not.
And mounting E38 seats in E90 will probably look terrible - if they even fit.
You problem is likely not lumbar but car stiffness and coming through your butt.
When I bought my E90 sport/RFT I had the same feeling - spine hurt and felt that my kidneys will fell off...
My wife (who used to drive E38) refused to ride on passenger seat with me..

Michelin PSS + Koni FSd cured the pain and I love the comfort now and she does not complain. She actually like the comfort and seats now.

Last edited by Porando; 05-15-2017 at 10:51 AM.
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  #10  
Old 05-15-2017, 12:55 PM
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2NASpec 2NASpec is offline
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Yeah these seats aren't the most comfortable for cruising and everyday driving. However, I guess its a decent compromise between a sporty and comfortable seat designed for some spirited driving.
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  #11  
Old 05-15-2017, 01:01 PM
Mashman Mashman is offline
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Do you have the sport seats? With the lumbar support completely deflated, there is nothing there at all.

I recently made a road trip from Austin to Sedona and back, and thought the seats were incredibly comfortable.
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  #12  
Old 05-15-2017, 09:14 PM
F10-N52 F10-N52 is offline
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Honestly... they're pretty good seats man.

The 5 series seats are a lot more comfortable and supportive, but the 3 series seat is perfectly good.
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  #13  
Old 05-15-2017, 10:26 PM
wilt wilt is offline
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Do you have Sport Seats in your 2011 328i? which body style?

I had sport seats and sport suspension in my 2001 325i E46, but when I purchased my used 2011 328i E90 sedan, it was with non-sport suspension and non-sport seats. While my wife HAS complained about the very harsh ride of the non-sport suspended E90 (caused by runflats), she has never complained about the ride being harsh with the sport suspended E46. We have taken two long trips in the E90 requiring 12 hours on the road. While my wife had complained a bit about the E46 sport seats, she has never complained about the E90 seat in spite of two trips with very long drives requiring 12 hours stints on the road each way.

Last edited by wilt; 05-15-2017 at 10:27 PM.
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  #14  
Old 05-16-2017, 05:37 AM
oldgeezer oldgeezer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickBMW2002 View Post
Hi, I am a new member to this site and was hoping that someone could help me out. I recently purchased a used 2011 328i with low miles and in great condition. I spent a total of about 10 minutes test driving it and all was well so I bought it. Two days later I drove it over 30 miles and the drivers seat is killing my back. The seat has lumbar support but even in its lowest setting it still feels like a knife is jabbing into my back.

Question, is this normal? Can I do something about it? Are there seats from older or different models that I can bolt in that are not so stiff in the lumbar region?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
It shouldn't be doing this. Try the passenger seat and see if it feels the same. Maybe the lumbar bag is out of place or isn't deflating all the way. If your seat is hurting you there is definitely something wrong.
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  #15  
Old 05-16-2017, 05:41 AM
oldgeezer oldgeezer is offline
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Originally Posted by RickBMW2002 View Post
So live with it a while?
No.

If you've owned 6 BMW's and this one doesn't feel right then there is likely a problem.
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  #16  
Old 05-16-2017, 07:28 AM
F10-N52 F10-N52 is offline
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Is your e90 sitting on low profile tires or something? I've driven e90's with and without the sport suspension, with and without low profile tires and found the suspension to be extremely comfortable and compliant for how aggressive it handles.

The sport seats were great! I liked the e90 a lot.
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  #17  
Old 06-21-2017, 09:44 AM
RickBMW2002 RickBMW2002 is offline
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The passenger seat does not hurt as badly. I am going to take it into the local BMW dealer this afternoon.
Also, I do not have the sport seats, would they be a more comfortable choice? Perhaps I could find some from a salvage yard or ebay?
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  #18  
Old 06-22-2017, 08:51 AM
thegazelle thegazelle is offline
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I have a 2011 328i as well. When I first got it, I had the same impression and my back was uncomfortable. It didn't hurt or wasn't extremely sore. Now, I am not saying this is the solution but what I found out was that the seats were put to the very lowest height position. I felt like I was in a go kart and I don't know if it is the combination of that and the seat angle, but once I raised the seats to full height and adjusted the seat angle, it is quite comfortable now. That being said, it is nowhere as comfortable as my MDX seat, but we are comparing apples to oranges here.
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  #19  
Old 06-22-2017, 10:15 AM
F10-N52 F10-N52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thegazelle View Post
I have a 2011 328i as well. When I first got it, I had the same impression and my back was uncomfortable. It didn't hurt or wasn't extremely sore. Now, I am not saying this is the solution but what I found out was that the seats were put to the very lowest height position. I felt like I was in a go kart and I don't know if it is the combination of that and the seat angle, but once I raised the seats to full height and adjusted the seat angle, it is quite comfortable now. That being said, it is nowhere as comfortable as my MDX seat, but we are comparing apples to oranges here.
You should always sit as low as you possible can in a sedan, especially a sporty one. I have the seat all the way to the bottom, the steering wheel stretched out all the way down and back and the seating position is quite good, although not perfect (I am tall )

The e90 despite being such a small car is great for 6 footers though.
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  #20  
Old 06-22-2017, 12:02 PM
thegazelle thegazelle is offline
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My curiosity is piqued as to why I would sit lower in a sedan? I imagine it is center of gravity in aggressive turns, etc., but I use the car primarily as means to haul my three kids around...and since I was just let go last Friday (after 20 years) from my job, I no longer have the commute to worry about (on which I did not speed anyway since it is bumper to bumper). Both front seats were lowered to the lowest level when I got it but that's when it was uncomfortable until I adjusted the seat height. Can't say I would lower it again unless there is a safety reason for doing so. I don't speed, don't take turns aggressively, etc.
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  #21  
Old 06-22-2017, 12:16 PM
F10-N52 F10-N52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thegazelle View Post
My curiosity is piqued as to why I would sit lower in a sedan? I imagine it is center of gravity in aggressive turns, etc., but I use the car primarily as means to haul my three kids around...and since I was just let go last Friday (after 20 years) from my job, I no longer have the commute to worry about (on which I did not speed anyway since it is bumper to bumper). Both front seats were lowered to the lowest level when I got it but that's when it was uncomfortable until I adjusted the seat height. Can't say I would lower it again unless there is a safety reason for doing so. I don't speed, don't take turns aggressively, etc.
The whole point of a sedan is that the vehicle is low to the ground which therefore means the driver Should be too, just like you are meant to sit high up in an SUV. IMO it has nothing to do with how you drive. Ideally you want to be sitting as low as possible while still being comfortable. Sitting low helps you feel connected to the road which is why I hate SUVs.
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  #22  
Old 06-22-2017, 12:41 PM
ramblinman ramblinman is offline
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I have the sport seats in a 2008 392, and I have never found them as comfortable as the standard seats on my e46. There is less padding. Also, I have the coupe and there is less headroom. The sport seats thigh bolsters are too narrow, unless you are Bruno. Over time the padding compresses, and I think the seat bottom springs get stretched. I had an upholstery shop adding padding to the bottom bolsters, when then frame started pressing into my legs. But I feel the seat bottom still feels saggy. I plan to buy a new set of bottom springs and an OEM seat pad and see if I can get it back to a new feeling. When I ride in the passenger seat, it's very comfortable, so I think it's more of a wear problem and a lack of padding in the e90 series.
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  #23  
Old 06-22-2017, 12:52 PM
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Pilgrim Pilgrim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F10-N52 View Post
The whole point of a sedan is that the vehicle is low to the ground which therefore means the driver Should be too, just like you are meant to sit high up in an SUV. IMO it has nothing to do with how you drive. Ideally you want to be sitting as low as possible while still being comfortable. Sitting low helps you feel connected to the road which is why I hate SUVs.
That's an amusing theory, but sitting low is just a personal preference. Feel free to disregard this advice. You are "meant to sit" in the position that it most functional and comfortable for you.

Sit where you are comfortable, have good sight lines, and have good control over the steering wheel without being too close. It's not necessary to drive in the classic 50's Italian way-back seating position with your elbows locked, either.
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  #24  
Old 06-22-2017, 05:00 PM
ericwudi0830 ericwudi0830 is offline
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I dont think it should be stabbing your back, but I do think you should give it a few more rides. Lumbar support is a lifesaver
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