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

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?
 

Discoducky

P100DL, 2021 M3, 4 CT reservations and counting
Supporting Member
Dec 25, 2011
4,485
17,073
My mountain
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.
 

BertL

Active Member
Aug 19, 2015
2,018
1,580
Carlsbad, CA
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.)
 
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".
 

Max*

Charging
Apr 8, 2015
6,672
3,835
NoVa
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).
 

CHG-ON

Still in love after all these miles
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.
 
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.
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!
 

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