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Lower back ache when driving for an hour. Seat adjustment tips?

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by Koryin, Dec 14, 2015.

  1. Koryin

    Koryin Member

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    This is my first car that has had such a customizable seat and I'm completely clueless on how I should be adjusting it.

    Right now, if I drive for an hour or so, my lower back starts to ache and burn. I believe that's what the lumbar support is for but I have yet to figure out the best way to have it. No setting feels particularly different from the others when just seated.

    Any tips or tricks on how to adjust the seat for the best comfort and no pain?
     
  2. Discoducky

    Discoducky Active Member

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    Hmm, can you feel the lumbar support move up and down, as well as stronger (out) and weaker (moving toward the rear of the car)? Also, try the passenger seat to see if it does the same just to ensure they are the same.

    On my seat I leave it pretty high and nearly all the way out on long drives. If this doesn't work well enough you might get a small pillow for the bottom.
     
  3. BertL

    BertL Active Member

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    Additionally, play with seat tilt and height. I find not having sufficient physical support under my thighs (the front edge of the seat bottom), along with lumbar being a little higher as Discoducky suggests, are key to reducing back pain.

    ...then of course, are one's shoulders and neck. For me, those settings have to do with adjusting steering wheel height and how far out it comes to you, in concert with seat height/tilt. Depending upon your torso, you'll have to adjust the seat up/down not only for comfort, but so you can also see as much as possible in the Instrument Cluster -- hopefully without too much important info cut-off as is the case now with my odd frame and V7.0 IC layout.

    Good luck. Seat settings generally take me a couple weeks of fine tuning to optimize in a new vehicle. With MS, as V7.0 came out about 10 days after I took delivery, I had to go through a little longer refinement trying to achieve best IC visibility possible (which isn't too good with 3/4 of the speed and surrounding indicators cut-off by the top of my steering wheel, but I don't have shoulder aches as much, which is even more important to me.)
     
  4. RDoc

    RDoc S85D

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    I've got a separate profile for using the car on the highway in autopilot mode that puts me higher and more upright than my normal manual driving position. Since I like to keep my hand on the wheel at all times, this makes it more comfortable. You also might try just defining a few profiles and switching between them every half hour or so, "A change is often as good as a rest".
     
  5. bredi

    bredi Member

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    I'm having the same issue with my non next gen seats. Do you have Next Gen or Standard?
     
  6. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    I think seat comfort is highly subjective.

    I've driven/passengered 8+ hours in my non-next gen seats, and I've never had any back issues. Though occasionally I mess with lumbar support, for the most part I keep it "off" (for lack of a better term).
     
  7. Chris TX

    Chris TX Active Member

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    My lower back used to burn something fierce until I started taking my wallet out of my back pocket. Also, I move the lumbar in and out every hour or so. As others might have said, tilting the seat base down could also help.
     
  8. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    When I've felt back pain in Model S, 100% of the time it's been because I forgot to turn the lumbar back off after letting a friend test drive. Both original and NG seats.
     
  9. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Lumbar support must need a different kind of spine than the ones you and I have. Off for me too.
     
  10. Koryin

    Koryin Member

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    I usually put the lumbar support in the curve of my spine as thats where I always figured it should be.

    I am too tall to do much adjustment to the seat height. It's already as low as it goes and its still too high.
     
  11. nctalkinghead

    nctalkinghead Member

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    After picking up my P85 two days ago I have no need to even carry a wallet :wink:
     
  12. 2krazykats

    2krazykats Member

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    When I pick up my car and hand over the check, I won't have need for the wallet since all my money will be going to them! :crying:
     
  13. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    I keep my lumbar fully extended due to my bad lower back. On long drives, I move it up and and down periodically, which makes a big difference for me. Surprisingly, I find that keeping the lumbar up about 75% of the way toward the higher setting seems to help my lower back the most. I think it helps me to sit straighter, giving me a better arch, which takes the stress of the lumbar portion of my back. My L-3-4-5 are shot and the original seats seem to be the best for me, though many don't like them.
     
  14. msnow

    msnow Active Member

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    I also turn the seat heater on.
     
  15. ThortsMD

    ThortsMD Member

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    I used to have terrible back pain with original gen seats when on long drives. Finally got one of these (McCarty's Premium Sacro Ease Back Support | Relax The Back) and had the shop build in a big lumbar curve for support. It's expensive, but now I can drive for hours without discomfort. I so put cushioning around the bottom metal hinges to protect the leather of the seat.
     
  16. Chris TX

    Chris TX Active Member

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    Sometimes, I wish I could disable the bottom heating element and have just the back on. That would be fantastic!
     
  17. hybridbear

    hybridbear Member

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    You can move the height of the lumbar support up & down in the Model S? Is this with all types of seats? That's a really cool feature!
     
  18. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    It's a 4-way lumbar support. I think all the new seats have it (cloth, regular seats (discontinued) and nextgens)
     

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