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Lumbar Support

Taglotn

Member
Nov 6, 2019
5
0
Chicago Illinois
I read through a number of posts about the lumbar support in my model 3. My problem is that I can't make the support retract enough and it "sticks" me in the back. It isn't that the device doesn't work - I can make it stick me high, stick me low, stick me a lot, but I just can't make it retract enough to be comfortable.

I took delivery of the car in July 2018 and spent the rest summer driving everywhere. The lumbar support was never an issue. Something changed. This summer my discomfort starts within moments of leaving my garage. And long trips - I ached severely when I arrive. In one of the posts there was a mention of a software update. Could it be that a software update changed the range over which I can retract or extend the lumbar? Is there a cure?

Just to underline, my wife has back problems and when we purchased the car she regularly exclaimed how comfortable the seats were. Now she is sitting up straight - not even using the back of the seat because the passenger lumbar is the same issue.

Please help,
In pain
 

ajdelange

Active Member
Dec 10, 2018
1,077
540
Virginia/Quebec
I don't know if this will be helpful or not but this control failed in my X's passenger seat and the repair was effected by "reprogramming" the seat. Thus, clearly, what happens to the seat depends on firmware so there is a chance, at least, that if you can get Telsa's attention, either at an SC or a ranger, the seat could be reprogrammed more to your liking. It used to be comfortable, now it isn't so something broke. Get Tesla to fix it.
 

MTSN

Member
Mar 17, 2019
291
394
Denver
I read through a number of posts about the lumbar support in my model 3. My problem is that I can't make the support retract enough and it "sticks" me in the back. It isn't that the device doesn't work - I can make it stick me high, stick me low, stick me a lot, but I just can't make it retract enough to be comfortable.

I took delivery of the car in July 2018 and spent the rest summer driving everywhere. The lumbar support was never an issue. Something changed. This summer my discomfort starts within moments of leaving my garage. And long trips - I ached severely when I arrive. In one of the posts there was a mention of a software update. Could it be that a software update changed the range over which I can retract or extend the lumbar? Is there a cure?

Just to underline, my wife has back problems and when we purchased the car she regularly exclaimed how comfortable the seats were. Now she is sitting up straight - not even using the back of the seat because the passenger lumbar is the same issue.

Please help,
In pain

Unfortunately, I have the exact same issue, and I've had it now with both a mid range and performance car. When I first took delivery of both cars, the lumbar was fully retracted, and eventually either through someone adjusting it out or just natural inflation, the lumbar starting sticking out to the point it's very uncomfortable. I had a service ticket in for the mid range car, and they looked at it and said it was operating as normal. I've literally considered tearing the seat apart and removing the lumbar bladder permanently, but I haven't had the time to figure out exactly how to go about that. I love the car, but this lumbar issue is significant and bothers me to the point I won't drive the car on road trips. I have an old Sprinter van converted to a camper I drove 2,100 miles in 2.5 days with zero discomfort, yet any trips beyond around 45 minutes in the Model 3 is near excruciating.

Interestingly enough, my wife finds the seat to be one of the most comfortable she's ever sat in, but she always prefers a lot of lumbar support whereas I hate it. Almost everyone who has driven my car or ridden in the passenger seats raves about how comfortable they are. I wish I felt the same, as the comfort is far and away my biggest complaint about the car.
 

Matsayz

Active Member
Jul 6, 2019
1,083
793
Las Vegas
I’ve got this same issue with my SR+ (June 2019 build). If I don’t retract the lumbar as soon as I get in the car it won’t go back. Definitely something happened after an update somehow
 
Jul 28, 2019
483
463
Brandon, Manitoba
Got this from somewhere on this forum - possibly it might help.
Just note the instructions here on how the lumbar works are incorrect. It’s actually two separate bags.
Press forward: inflates both bags
Press backward: deflates both bags
Press upwards: inflates the upper bag, while deflating the lower
Press downwards, inflates the lower bag, while deflating the upper
 

Taglotn

Member
Nov 6, 2019
5
0
Chicago Illinois
Got this from somewhere on this forum - possibly it might help.
Just note the instructions here on how the lumbar works are incorrect. It’s actually two separate bags.
Press forward: inflates both bags
Press backward: deflates both bags
Press upwards: inflates the upper bag, while deflating the lower
Press downwards, inflates the lower bag, while deflating the upper
Thanks. I will try this. However, I have tried pushing the button around in all directions to no satisfaction so far.
 

Taglotn

Member
Nov 6, 2019
5
0
Chicago Illinois
Unfortunately, I have the exact same issue, and I've had it now with both a mid range and performance car. When I first took delivery of both cars, the lumbar was fully retracted, and eventually either through someone adjusting it out or just natural inflation, the lumbar starting sticking out to the point it's very uncomfortable. I had a service ticket in for the mid range car, and they looked at it and said it was operating as normal. I've literally considered tearing the seat apart and removing the lumbar bladder permanently, but I haven't had the time to figure out exactly how to go about that. I love the car, but this lumbar issue is significant and bothers me to the point I won't drive the car on road trips. I have an old Sprinter van converted to a camper I drove 2,100 miles in 2.5 days with zero discomfort, yet any trips beyond around 45 minutes in the Model 3 is near excruciating.

Interestingly enough, my wife finds the seat to be one of the most comfortable she's ever sat in, but she always prefers a lot of lumbar support whereas I hate it. Almost everyone who has driven my car or ridden in the passenger seats raves about how comfortable they are. I wish I felt the same, as the comfort is far and away my biggest complaint about the car.
Thanks for your post. It is good to know I am not alone. I did consider whether something was up with my spine because I couldn't find a logical explanation for blaming the car. I did have Tesla service look at this and they said it was operating as it should. I have also considered tearing the seat apart.
 

Taglotn

Member
Nov 6, 2019
5
0
Chicago Illinois
I don't know if this will be helpful or not but this control failed in my X's passenger seat and the repair was effected by "reprogramming" the seat. Thus, clearly, what happens to the seat depends on firmware so there is a chance, at least, that if you can get Telsa's attention, either at an SC or a ranger, the seat could be reprogrammed more to your liking. It used to be comfortable, now it isn't so something broke. Get Tesla to fix it.
Thanks aj. Service appointment scheduled.
 

MTSN

Member
Mar 17, 2019
291
394
Denver
Thanks for your post. It is good to know I am not alone. I did consider whether something was up with my spine because I couldn't find a logical explanation for blaming the car. I did have Tesla service look at this and they said it was operating as it should. I have also considered tearing the seat apart.

Full disclosure - even though I'm a healthy mid 30s guy with a relatively athletic body type, I have in the past herniated disks in my back, torn an achilles, strained peronial tendons, couple knee surgeries, etc. To be honest, I have trouble in most seating positions that aren't very upright which is why for the last decade I only drove Toyota Land Cruisers. I still love the Model 3 too much to give up on it, so I will mess with the seat to see if I can get it more comfortable. I think the padding in the seats is too soft which also contributes to a lack of support, so I would consider having an upholstery shop replace the foam with something harder. I had a shop reshape and change the foam in a seat once, and it was a total game changer for comfort and pain. In that truck, I went from barely being to tolerate sitting in it so being able to do 3+ days straight driving off road, stopping only to set up camp, sleeping, then getting back on the trail.

Also I’ve seen a few other threads like this one here on the forum that relate: Drivers seat killing me!!
 
Last edited:

ElectricOrgan

Member
Oct 11, 2019
131
-29
USA
I don’t have back problem so I have not noticed. The seats have been the best car seats I ever had.

I would guess you are either a short person or are still young and can easily adapt to intervals sitting in a seat that forces your body into an unnatural position... or maybe very thin.

I am a tall guy and I find the "bucket" seat curvature of the upper back is excessively narrow. Correct posture is for the shoulders to be back and down. The armrest is impossible for me to use without raising my right shoulder. The seat back curve pushes my shoulders forward. I don't know who designed the seat, but it was not a doctor who was trying to make the seat support proper posture.

The seat back should be straight across the shoulders and the curve that cradles you should not begin until beyond the shoulders to prevent this hunchback posture the current seat promotes. It should be less like this ( and more like this [. Obviously this is not a one size fits all solution, so an adjustment across the shoulders would be useful.
 

EldestOyster

Member
Apr 17, 2014
263
139
Moonlight Beach
We noticed this as far back as Jun 2018. And I've been watching; no one really seems to be able to make sense of it. There also doesn't seem to be any connection to a computer; the settings never change on their own. But you may find this post in that thread Lumbar adjustments not working as expected informative. This guy did take the seat apart, so we can better learn what's inside, and you may get some ideas for yourself.
 

auke

New Member
Mar 12, 2020
3
0
Amsterdam
Thanks aj. Service appointment scheduled.

Hi Taglotn, did you reach a conclusion c.q. solution to your seat problem? Did they replace or fix your seat in any way?

My wife reports the same -- can stick me high, stick me low, stick me more, but she cannot retract it enough to be comfortable -- and I exploring options. If needed, I'll try Cintoman's approach of opening up the chair and forcing the yellow plate back but I'd be happy if there are better ways to resolve this.

I am loving the seats myself. Finally a car seat with enough lumbar support but perhaps the design is not adjustable enough for some.
 

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