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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 04-06-2012, 12:59 PM
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Fold down seats wont fold down

Been a long time since a problem I couldnt figure out happened. My fold down seats quit working for no reason. When you pull the handle nothing happens. Like the latch isnt engaging. Thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 04-06-2012, 01:07 PM
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broken cable?
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  #3  
Old 04-06-2012, 01:14 PM
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Nope, cables are fine. Chased them all the way to the lever. Seems there should be a manual lever or something to release the.
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  #4  
Old 04-06-2012, 03:41 PM
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Pull the lever and than kick the crap out of it and see if it falls. Or maybe there's some sort of child safety lock I don't know about on the levers?
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  #5  
Old 04-06-2012, 04:00 PM
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Possible that the seats just aren't pushed back all the way to engage the latch?
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My input is that ffej knows what he's talking about .
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  #6  
Old 04-06-2012, 04:59 PM
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Possible that the seats just aren't pushed back all the way to engage the latch?
Had that hunch too, I had a buddy push in on them while trying to pull the lever. I even removed the cable end from the handle and pulled on it with a pair of pliers. It is STUCK.
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  #7  
Old 04-06-2012, 05:58 PM
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Is there a key lock on the e46, like on the e39?
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  #8  
Old 04-07-2012, 07:43 AM
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Is there a key lock on the e46, like on the e39?
Yes there is but that only activates works with the trunk lid.

It sounds like the cable came off the latch mechanism...but it doesn't make sense that both happened. Something is hinky.

Lie on your back and jimmy it.
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Old 04-07-2012, 11:14 AM
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I just went and looked at mine. There are two bolts that hold the latch mechanism. Take those two out and the whole mechanism should come out when the seat folds forward. There is the cable that is attached, which means at the worst you will have to loosen it from the release handle.
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  #10  
Old 04-07-2012, 11:30 AM
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See the pic. Hope it helps.
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  #11  
Old 04-07-2012, 11:38 AM
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Do you hear the pop indicating that the latch released the seats when you pull the release levers? If no, it would seem that somehow the cable is currently too long to release the latches - like a guide or something broke and now there's slack in the cable. If you can manually get pliers on the cable why not try to manually unlatch the seats without using the levers and see if that works.
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  #12  
Old 04-07-2012, 11:40 AM
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It`s possible that the PO somehow put the seats back to their upright position while the latches were already back in the "closed" position, thereby jamming the latches.
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  #13  
Old 04-07-2012, 12:57 PM
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Here's a picture of the driver side seat latch in its neutral position after the seat is folded down are your latched in a similar position?


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  #14  
Old 04-07-2012, 08:19 PM
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Thanks guys. Haven't tackled this yet. Today I spent my time with the ZHP removing the throttle body and ICV, cleaning them and lubing them with seafoam deep creep and replacing my intake boots (been having 0171 codes from time to time). Tomorrow I will unbolt them and see what happens. Thanks PT and Gryph for the pics.
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now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
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  #15  
Old 04-08-2012, 12:40 PM
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Well, I removed the bolts and checked the latches. Looks like maybe they just needed adjustment or something, but I broke the clips that hold the latches in while removing them. So now they are FOR SURE broken. I have to get new cables. FML.
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