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Seat Looseness

42986 Views 107 Replies 37 Participants Last post by  rorz12
I couldn't find the original thread on this subject, so forgive me for starting over. (Maybe it was the other forum.) I finally got around to looking under the seat and this is the letter I wrote to BMW. I'll let you know if and when I here back.

There's a second issue I didn't mention, but I didn't want to muddy the waters. I also found that the thigh support can move a little if it's positioned anywhere other than full in.


Letter:

I would like to bring to your attention an issue with the 6 Series front seats that seems to be common amongst many owners based on the forums that I read.

Simply put the front seats have a looseness that allows movement under load when the car is cornering. It does not take much lateral input to generate movement.

I have investigated this problem to isolate the cause. I am an engineer with 30 years automotive experience, so please take my analysis seriously and forward it to the appropriate personnel.

There is a cross-car steel support tube that passes through two (I assume urethane) bushings under the forward edge of the seat frame. This assembly is part of the mechanism used to raise and lower the front edge of the seat cushion. The bushings, attached to the seat cushion pan, are oblong in relation to the diameter of the tube to allow longitudinal movement as the mechanism is raised and lowered. Lateral movement is controlled by flared "stop" features on the steel tube on either side of the outside (driver) bushing. It is the relationship between the sides of this bushing and these stop features that is problematic.

If the front seat edge is adjusted to any position other than full stop (high or low), which places the tube firmly against the bushing, lateral movement can occur between the sides of the bushing and the flares on the tube. This motion is easily felt by the seat occupant as the bushing (and seat) bounce back and forth between the two stops on the tube. Hardly acceptable on this class of automobile.

Many 6 Series owners have taken their cars to the dealership with no resolution. A permanent solution needs to be driven from the top down. It seems a simple solution would be a wider, harder lubricious bushing to prevent the unwanted lateral movement without binding the adjustment mechanism. But I will leave that analysis the the BMW engineering staff.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter. I look forward to a solution and positive response.

Feel free to contact me at any time to discuss this further.

Best regards,
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Great letter. I've been meaning to go have mine looked at. I haven't noticed the thigh support issue, but I do feel the shift in the base of the seat that you described. I'm interested to see what they tell you.
Here's the reply. In the famous words of Harold Ramos "short, but pointless":

Thank you for contacting BMW of North America, LLC regarding your 2012 BMW 650i.

Our BMW engineering and design teams are dedicated to creating vehicles that move today's consumers and their demand for enhanced utility and more versatility. Customer feedback plays an integral role in improving product design and development. We appreciate the time you have taken to share your thoughts; your sentiments will be heard and considered.

The BMW Customer Relations and Services Department is available Monday through Friday from 9:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M., Eastern Standard Time. You can reach us at 1-800-831-1117.

Sincerely,

Erin Roberts
Customer Relations and Services
Representative
I took my 2012 650i in for the first annual oil change last month and the SA said there was a recall on a seat problem, something about bolts on the seat floor. He said he would have to get the parts ordered and they would call me. They called about 4 days later and I took it in. Took about an hour and they said it was a recall about some bolts on the seat assembly, which they replaced. Don't know if this is the same problem you had (I hadn't noticed any looseness on mine) but it was a BMW recall item. Hope this helps.
Thanks, but that's a different issue, which I also had corrected by the dealer. I will keep the forum posted if I hear anything about the bushing issue. My dealer is working it from their angle too. In the meantime, I think I have a bandaid solution which I will try this weekend. If successful, I will share with the forum.
ok so i thought this seat looseness issue was nothing to do with me

until one day i start feeling little squikiness on my thighs when on hard corners, especially when driving out of busy parking lots

the problem is that while the actual thigh or seat movement is really small, the squicky feeling, something like continous intermittent clicking of some material or vibration is definitely and annoyingly felt on corners.

so i took it up to the service center, they had a look at it and they fastened all the bolts they can and greased certain parts. no improvement.

i decided to take a closer look at it and just like OP described, front part of the seat is lodged by two plastic ring on a thick black tube. these two white platic rings are designed to move clockwisely AND laterally, and was the cause of friction felt on my thighs.

i bought myself a can of spray on grease, sprayed it, and the problem was neatly gone away. am i simply hiding the fault? i dont think so because the lateral movement was so tiny to start with. it was the vibration that was so annoying; the seat movement cannot be noticed.

i've noticed the new m6 on display did not have any changes on the seat design; but it did have plenty of white grease all over the white platic ring. seems the winter temperature here did a role in making that bad vibration

hope this info helps i had some headaches now im so relieved

Attachments

Thanks Cool. I have noticed that there is no movement when the front edge is at either extreme (full up or full down). In these cases the bar is tight against the white bushing preventing any movement or vibration. I was going to try a thick grease as you suggest but it has been too damn cold to work on my car. I am glad to hear this works. I will do the same when my garage floor goes above freezing.
I have the same issue.
Can you explain how to access to the under of the seat and put grease. I'm noot so keen od doing this kind of things, but the noise drive me crazy!!!
You can ask your dealer to do it. It is a tough reach and requires some flexibility. Just raise the front edge of the seat to its highest point and, kneeling from outside the car, bend over the threshold into the footwell and go for it.

You will see a steel bar running laterally through two white colored bushings. You want to apply a thick grease in and around these bushings. Good luck.
I have the same issue.
Can you explain how to access to the under of the seat and put grease. I'm noot so keen od doing this kind of things, but the noise drive me crazy!!!
I've also noticed some "greater than normal" looseness of the drivers seat in my 2012 F12, especially when pulling the backrest forward to get into the back seat... Is this related to the recall? Just had my vehicle in for service and nobody mentioned a recall... Do you have specifics on which vehicles affected?
I took my 2012 650i in for the first annual oil change last month and the SA said there was a recall on a seat problem, something about bolts on the seat floor. He said he would have to get the parts ordered and they would call me. They called about 4 days later and I took it in. Took about an hour and they said it was a recall about some bolts on the seat assembly, which they replaced. Don't know if this is the same problem you had (I hadn't noticed any looseness on mine) but it was a BMW recall item. Hope this helps.
Bonz, anyone else - have you had answers on this? Any new information?

R.
Not me. Mine seems to be getting worse. I going to take it in to my SA. Need new wiper blades anyway.
I had the same exact problem, each time i turned the seat shifted. I took it to my dealer and they replaced the whole underworkings (for lack of a better term) and now its perfect.
Had the same issue with my car, took it in on Feb 5th, they gave it back to me on March 14th, no you' didn't read hat wrong. Luckily I had a 550 loaner. My seat was making a knocking noise, and felt like it would move out of place when I was driving, specially while making turns. Pretty crazy if you ask me, another issue I had was my ASA'S throwing the car into neutral when I would get of the brake pedal sometimes...
Just spoke with my SA, and she said that the shifting/loose seat is a known issue to BMW. They're apparently working on a fix and will notify us when it's available. I'll update once I get my car back and I hear more.
I'm sure it was my letter that did it. :rofl:
I used a Teflon bike chain spray in exactly the same spots as in the picture (thanks for the tip Bonz and collhandshin!). Looseness and squeak all gone.
They really didn't have any additional info for me when I picked up my car. The gist of what they told me is that they've recognized the problem and are working on getting the parts together to distribute to the service centers. I guess this is a "to be continued..."
Per the invoice, "found slack in rail, parts for repair are not available, see advisor."
Meanwhile it is worth trying the lubricant trick - nothing to lose. Just push your seat as high and as further back as it goes, get a flashlight and spray lubricant on those two joints
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