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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My elderly sister has a Chrysler Town and Country van. I believe it is a 2014 model year. Lately she has been having the fuse for the driver's seat blow rendering the seat immobile. She has been able to adjust the seat by putting a new fuse in but the fuse soon blows. I urged her to take the car to the someone for proper trouble-shooting and today she took it to the dealer. The dealer trouble shot the problem and prounounced a fault in the seat's motor. They stated she needed a new seat frame at a cost of $3100. She is not going to pay that to have the seat fixed and the dealer's other recommendation was to just not adjust the seat.

My sister has zero mechanical aptitude and lives a thousand miles from me but I am her "go to" person for all such issues. I wish she could deal with an independent mechanic and she might get better information or at least a more palatable price.

I wonder if seat motor failures have occured to others on this forum?
 

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Welcome.

The seat have more than one motor.

Ask her to check which one is blowing the fuse and don't use that feature for now.

If it is the back/forward motor, it might just be something stuck under the seat.
 

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Likely something simple. Any smell from the motor?

The Dealerships like drumming up business, that's why Service Managers and some Mechanics are on commission. $3100 sounds like a good haul.

She needs a trustworthy Mechanic.

Not adjusting the seat works for me, the only time the buttons get touched is when I move the seat ahead to stow the second row. Does the Passenger's seat have motors?.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I think there are two issues here. First issue is moving the seat back and forth which is how the fuse blows. Secondly she has mentioned something about the front of the seat being pitched down....has always been that way since she bought the car apparently. I suspect the both the motor that moves the seat forward and back AND the seat that pitches the front of the seat may well be bad.

Not adjusting the seat sounds good, but when she travels she her very large son in law and her daughter drive with her. Thus moving the seat is pretty important and besides that, she wants the car to work properly.

The car was with the dealer all day today and they diagnosed a fault in the motor thus their offer to order the entire frame which would include all three motors. I have been looking at schematics and the motors can be replaced by a competant mechanic but it appears to me that the motors are not sold (by Mopar) separately. Mopar Direct's price for the frame complete is only a bit over $800 and the frame is available used for around $250.
 

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It's not the motor. It's much simpler. I had the same problem with our 2013 T&C. It's the cable harness at the back of the connector rubbing against the metal seat rail and eventually rubbing through the insulation. I added electrical tape around each wire and moved where the cable harness was lying so it wouldn't wear through again.

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's not the motor. It's much simpler. I had the same problem with our 2013 T&C. It's the cable harness at the back of the connector rubbing against the metal seat rail and eventually rubbing through the insulation. I added electrical tape around each wire and moved where the cable harness was lying so it wouldn't wear through again.

View attachment 62973
Thank you. Originally this was my thought also. But after a day at the dealer no fault in the wiring harness was found and their diagnosis was the seat frame which is expensive and includes all motors regardless of whether or not they are needed. It's hard providing a lot of guidance to someone who is 800 miles away and in an major city suburb that I don't know at all. She needs a good indie mechanic who knows how to REPAIR rather than just replace.
 

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Ask her to disconnect the motor connector. If it keeps blowing fuses, then you know is not the motor itself.

Never trust a mechanic who quote a very expensive repair.

Also, replacing a motor might not fix the problem if the problem is with the seat frame.

Check junkyards, some offer installation. You may buy a good complete seat for a couple of hundred dollars + installation.
 

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Can you use Google and your telephone to find her a mechanic that is in her city? Look for a place local to her that has good reviews and even if you can't get a firm quote, determine how they price their labor costs. They don't have to know that you are 800 miles away. You could probably even find her a used seat frame or a whole used seat on the Internet.

I assisted a nephew with getting a junkyard engine in a Mercury Sable totally on the telephone, including extricating his car from the dealer that wanted to charge 5 grand which was more than the car was worth. I think I found an engine for $650 and he found a mechanic for $1000...

$3100 sounds like the worst "take advantage of a vulnerable person" price I could imagine.

Is the very large son in law able to help with the strategy here?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Can you use Google and your telephone to find her a mechanic that is in her city? Look for a place local to her that has good reviews and even if you can't get a firm quote, determine how they price their labor costs. They don't have to know that you are 800 miles away. You could probably even find her a used seat frame or a whole used seat on the Internet.

I assisted a nephew with getting a junkyard engine in a Mercury Sable totally on the telephone, including extricating his car from the dealer that wanted to charge 5 grand which was more than the car was worth. I think I found an engine for $650 and he found a mechanic for $1000...

$3100 sounds like the worst "take advantage of a vulnerable person" price I could imagine.

Is the very large son in law able to help with the strategy here?
I'm trying all of these things and yes, the son-in-law can provide assistance and has offered to take the car to "his" mechanic. Events are developing!
 

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Thank you. Originally this was my thought also. But after a day at the dealer no fault in the wiring harness was found and their diagnosis was the seat frame which is expensive and includes all motors regardless of whether or not they are needed. It's hard providing a lot of guidance to someone who is 800 miles away and in an major city suburb that I don't know at all. She needs a good indie mechanic who knows how to REPAIR rather than just replace.
I checked the harness twice over several weeks before disconnecting that connector and finally seeing the fault. You cannot see the problem with an external review of the harness. It is well hidden. The little rib of plastic in the connector shell forces the wires against the metal frame. Take off the seat side plastic to get to the connector (another bad design).
 

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I checked the harness twice over several weeks before disconnecting that connector and finally seeing the fault. You cannot see the problem with an external review of the harness. It is well hidden. The little rib of plastic in the connector shell forces the wires against the metal frame. Take off the seat side plastic to get to the connector (another bad design).
I'm with you, it's likely something simple. I'm surprised the Dealership didn't try to sell her a new vehicle.

Car dealership ripoff: Hidden-camera investigation
 

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$3,100 to replace that is ridiculous. Even if they sell the seat for $2,000, that's outrageous.
 

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Out of curiosity I checked the labor manual. Replacing the motor is 1 hour, replacing the adjuster is 1.3 hours. That seat would have to cost damn near $3,000 for the labor to not be a complete rip off.

I'd report that mess to corporate.
 

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You may wish to consider getting a replacement motor from a junkyard, and try and install it yourself. I had removed my seat cushion and that gave me access to the motor, I can double check when I go to replace the seat cushion in my van. I personally do not trust dealerships, they will charge you with anything they can to make as much as possible.

But it's not just dealerships, a lot of shops do this too. You take your van for a simple oil change and they come back with a list of various things that they 'advise' you to have replaced. My recent experience was a tire shop told me the brake pads are worn to 1mm and the rotors also need replacing. The pads are just over half way worn and the rotors also had plenty life left.

And unfortunately, a recent dealer scam happened to someone I know. Their van's power sliding door was not working. They charged 3,500$ to fix it. I'm pretty sure it was the door guide track in the middle of the door that slides just below the 3'rd row vent window, because that was the photo they sent saying it was falling apart. Unbelievable, for that price they may as well have replaced the entire door......
 

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What city is your sister in? We may be able to help with the search.
 

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Most places, you could go to a local yard and get a nice seat from a crashed minivan for ~$100. Even easier, for my 1964 Valiant convertible I got 2 nice front seats from a Mustang Cobra for $50 (driver's powered). A resto shop replaced them w/ racing seats and owner didn't want them so put on craigslist cheap. For my 1965 Dart, I bought 2 Sebring seats (driver's powered) at a swap meet for $100. A 2014 is a bit new to easily find. Those are usually in the "Premier" yard at the local PicNPull, which charges a bit more. Chrysler doesn't make the seats, neither does the manufacturer (Johnson Controls, ...), indeed motors are fairly generic. I have taken them apart to replace the brushes and lube the bearings (M-B window motors). But, the problem is more likely in the wiring harness, as mentioned. A little silicone tape will fix it for $1, much cheaper than $3100.
 

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My elderly sister has a Chrysler Town and Country van. I believe it is a 2014 model year. Lately she has been having the fuse for the driver's seat blow rendering the seat immobile. She has been able to adjust the seat by putting a new fuse in but the fuse soon blows. I urged her to take the car to the someone for proper trouble-shooting and today she took it to the dealer. The dealer trouble shot the problem and prounounced a fault in the seat's motor. They stated she needed a new seat frame at a cost of $3100. She is not going to pay that to have the seat fixed and the dealer's other recommendation was to just not adjust the seat.

My sister has zero mechanical aptitude and lives a thousand miles from me but I am her "go to" person for all such issues. I wish she could deal with an independent mechanic and she might get better information or at least a more palatable price.

I wonder if seat motor failures have occured to others on this forum?
I'm not sure that this is the same thing, but I have a 2013 Town & Country. My seat would not adjust and when I brought it to the dealer, they said i needed a new driver seat wiring harness. Their invoice said:
Verified concern found broken seat trim that rubbed through the wire harness for seat motor. Replaced seat wire harness and trim piece. Seat is now working as designed.
Parts were $321.18; Labor $397.99
 

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One thing to remember here. Dealerships have the worst mechanics in the trade. If they are not bad at diagnostics and repair they are in on the "create work" program which an honest mechanic won't suffer for long. Good ones soon leave. Have your sister find a good local independent shop. There is very little a good independent can't do that a dealership can. And you'll save money.
 
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