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Kevin C.
Kevin C., Subaru Master Tech.
Category: Subaru
Satisfied Customers: 1738
Experience:  34 years of Subaru service experience, ASE Master Technician.
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2005 Subaru Baja: just sits..loose..seat back is in the lock position

Customer Question

The knob that locks and unlocks the back seat of my 2005 Subaru Baja just sits in the slot loose! The seat back is in the lock position; so, it's not dangerous to have someone riding in the back seat; but, I need to be able to unlock it in order to lower the back of the back seat. Can you advise?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Subaru
Expert:  Kevin C. replied 2 years ago.

Kevin C :

Welcome to Just Answers, I'm Kevin and I'm here to help resolve your Automotive issue Please click the ACCEPT button when satisfied with your answer.Positive Feedback is appreciated! Hello

Customer:

If I a going to have to take my vehicle to a dealership, anyway, I am on a limited income and really can't afford this good service if I can't repair the issue myself. I'm hoping you understand my delima.

Kevin C :

Sure, the knob in the top corner just comes out

Kevin C :

Rather than releasing the seat

Kevin C :

I have fixed dozens of these

Kevin C :

If you look at the bottom of that button, you will notice the hole is threaded

Customer:

I emailed the dealer from whom I just purchased this vehicle. They have not as yet replied. They were not the most cooperative. I guess since I am a senior, they think we are all made of money! Sorry. Don't mean to complain.

Kevin C :

there is a threaded release rod within the seat back that the button/knob threads into, what has happened is the knob , over time will unscrew until it is off

Kevin C :

No problem feel free to vent

Kevin C :

Full Size Image

Customer:

But, the knob seats clear down. It doesn't stop at any one place.

Customer:

I have the manual; but, it has no instruction as to the malfunction of this knob!!!!

Kevin C :

What you need to do is take the knob off, fish around in the hole in the seat where the knob was, use a thin screw driver or something similar, you will find that rod, then line up the rod over the hole and screw the knob back on.

Customer:

It doesn't look like it has any threads to allow one to screw it back on. Am I not seeing something?

Kevin C :

they are set deep in the knob

Kevin C :

unless they are stripped, once you line up the rod and screw it on, if the knob does not tighten down, then the threads are stripped, you will just need a new knob.

Customer:

Is there any possibility that I might go out in the garage and try this procedure before I close this chat in the event I have a further question? I know that is asking alot and I don't intend to take advantage.?

Kevin C :

sure, I am converting this chat to Q&A, but you can just come back and post, I will answer..I will be on for about a half hour more, even after that, you can post and I will respond tomorrow.

Kevin C :

Even after clicking accept, we can still work on this as well.

Customer:

It won't take me that long to determine if this old lady has the intelligence to follow your instruction! Ha!

Kevin C :

lol

Kevin C :

just have to look or feel around for the rod inside that seat..you saw my pic right?

Kevin C :

of the seat

Kevin C :

also may help to use a needle nose pliers to grab the rod if the screw driver is hard

Customer:

I can't see down into the hole to be able to tell if that rod is in a vertical position to accept the knob or not! Does the knob go on in a particular position? There is a slot in that knob.

Kevin C :

not really

Customer:

Okay. Let me try the needle nose. There is just not enough room to get your head over the hole to look inside.

Kevin C :

once the rod is over the hole the knob just screws down

Kevin C :

I know it's a tight fit in the Baja

Customer:

I'll be right back. I hope!!!! Ha! Thanks for your patience!!!!!

Kevin C :

you can push on the seat cushion, may be able to feel or push the rod towards the hole too

Kevin C :

no problem

Customer:

Does the headrest come off? I could then have room to see into the hole. The knob just falls flush with the back of the seat as it is right now.

Kevin C :

the rest comes off, not sure you have enough clearance to get it off though, will hit the roof

Customer:

Okay. I understand. I will go try pushing on the seat cushion s you suggest. I know you won't be on line much longer. I appreciate your help; and, would like to resolve this before you are off line.

Kevin C :

No problem

Customer:

The plastic cover came loose over the hole and now I can reach in with my fingers and feel that rod with a spring on it. BUT.....it is off center and I can't seem to get the knob to make contact.

Kevin C :

the rod should be moveable, using a screw driver or such to guide the rod over the hole, it is a bit tricky

Customer:

It is. Very much so. But, there doesn't seem to be enough clearance. That's what took me so long. I was trying to do just that.

Kevin C :

move the rod over the hole, then put the plastic ring on the knob, thread the knob on the rod, then push the plastic ring back down.

Kevin C :

this way you have a little more room in the hole with that ring off

Kevin C :

you will need something to guide the rod over the hole so you can get the knob over it

Customer:

How far up can you pull that rod? When I try to move it over the hole, it just goes back to the side. It won't stay in position.

Kevin C :

use a needle nose pliers to hold it

Kevin C :

or tweezers

Customer:

They don't seem to be long enough.

Customer:

I must be doing something incorrectly!

Kevin C :

you cannot grab the rod with the needle nose?

Kevin C :

your needle nose pliers may be too short

Customer:

Negative. But, I didn't try since I have that plastic cover loose.

Customer:

They are regular needle nose. Aren't they rather uniform in length?

Kevin C :

ok, remember just put that plastic ring on the knob before you screw it down

Kevin C :

many different sizes

Customer:

I'll go try again. I have to make it work!!!

Kevin C :

ok

Kevin C :

If you cannot get it, we can resume tomorrow, I will be on around 7:30 AM Central time.

Kevin C :

Another option is a piece of wire clothes hanage curled on the end to hook the rod

Kevin C :

hanger

Kevin C :

hook the rod to guide it over the hole.

Customer:

I have to work all day tomorrow. I even tried to pull the rod to the center with a screw driver and then hold it with the needle nose. NO LUCK!!!

Kevin C :

Just need to work at it, it's tricky but manageable. I will be on until 9 or 10 pm tomorrow (central time)

Kevin C :

PM

Customer:

I don't even know how to get back to you. It is getting late here; but, I won't give up just yet. I will keep trying. I know what I have to do; but, it just isn't coming together.

Kevin C :

Just come back to the site, sign in and you can access your question, and post to it, I will get an e mail and be able to continue

Kevin C :

it will be in Q&A format

Customer:

Then the knob could be stripped even if I do get it on there. That would be the icing!!!!!!!

Kevin C :

it may be, 1 out of 10 are

Kevin C :

odds are in your favor

Customer:

Thank you. You have done your best. If I click "accept", can I still continue tomorrow night or do I have to pay another $29? If so, I will go to the dealer and let them fix it which will probably be an easy fix for them; but, a heavy fee for me.

Kevin C :

Even after clicking Accept, we can still work on it, no extra charge

Kevin C :

just will continue

Kevin C :

I know the feeling, at my dealer, the minimum charge is $60.00

Customer:

Okay. I am going back out to the carport and keep trying. I love this Baja and want everything perfect even if it is a used vehicle! I keep my cars immaculate and in better shape when I sell them or trade them in than they are when I buy them!

Kevin C :

Nice! I'll keep that in mind when I'm looking for another car LOL

Customer:

Oh. by the way..................our dealers are at $80 - $100 an hour!!!!!!

Kevin C :

Mine is $120.00 per hour..a half hour is minimum check out fee

Kevin C :

wish I made all of that

Kevin C :

lol

Customer:

I have a 1997 Cadillac Eldorado in show room condition with 70,000 miles on it. I have a sports car, also; but, am selling it.

Customer:

Me too. We wouldn't be doing what we are doing if we made that rate per hour. Would we?

Kevin C :

Wow! I have an Outback LOL

Kevin C :

not at all

Customer:

An Outback is the same as my Baja. Right?

Kevin C :

same platform, yes

Customer:

Except mine is a truck and your's is a station wagon.

Kevin C :

exactly

Kevin C :

years ago, it was called the BRAT

Customer:

I will TRY to get back to you tomorrow to give you the "outcome" of my attempts. I remember the Brat. I had a Subaru back in PA where I am origianlly from and I drove it from there to CA. It was great. I am a GM person at heart, though.

Kevin C :

stood for Bidrive Recreational All Terrain

Customer:

Never knew that!

Kevin C :

LOL, I have worked for Subaru way too long to remember that

Customer:

Have a good evening if there is any left for you. I am frustrated; but, will keep trying. I am not one to give up easily.

Kevin C :

LOL, just don't get mad and rip the seat out! I will look for you tomorrow

Customer:

That is next!!!!!!! Ha!

Kevin C :

LOL, have a good night

Customer:

See ya! Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX You told me what to do. It's my fault if I can't do it.

Kevin C :

You'll get it, I have faith in you..try the coat hangar

Customer:

Good idea! If it doesn't work, I can "hang" myself! Ha!

Kevin C :

LOL, don't forget to let me know the outcome of if you still need a pep talk

Kevin C :

<<<cheer leader

Customer:

I'll probably need "happy hour"!

Kevin C :

I'll drink to that, good night

Customer:

Good night.

Kevin C., Subaru Master Tech.
Category: Subaru
Satisfied Customers: 1738
Experience: 34 years of Subaru service experience, ASE Master Technician.
Kevin C. and 3 other Subaru Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'm back on for a little while. Are you there?
Expert:  Kevin C. replied 2 years ago.

Hi

 

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi! Had no luck with the back seat! Tried eveything! The local dealer wants $80 for JUST THE KNOB if I need one.....PLUS labor!!! Not going there if I don't have to!!~!!
Expert:  Kevin C. replied 2 years ago.

You were not able to align the rod with the knob?

 

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No. NO matter what I used or how hard I trtied. I finally gave up after 11:00 P.M. last night. I am going to try again when I go home tonight. A customer/friend of mine has needle nose with vice grips. I will borrow those tomorrow if I don't have success tonight.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I am still at work talking with my boss on the phone.

.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'm here; but, a liitle tied up talking business with my boss right now.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I am closing my store right now and will be on after I get home and try this knob thing again. Be back on line after awhile. Hope I can reach you a little later.

 

 

Donna

Expert:  Kevin C. replied 2 years ago.
Ok, I'll be looking for you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks, Kevin.
Expert:  Kevin C. replied 2 years ago.
Great!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am back on Kevin. Do you have a close up picture of just the knob, itself? I swear this knob must be missing something!!!! I even pulled the spring up and got the knob inserted that little distance inside the spring thinking it would guide down onto the rod; but, no such luck!!!! Something has to be missing!!!!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Are you there, Kevin?
Expert:  Kevin C. replied 2 years ago.
I looked in every reference I have, no pics of the inside of the seat back. All I can recommend is possibly a regular repair shop? bring the knob you have and see what they can do. The knob should go over the rod , needs to be pushed down before it will thread.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I just need a picture of the knob, not the seat back, itself. The knob has slits in it on a couple sides. That's why I asked if it mattered how it was pushed onto the rod IF I COULD GET THAT FAR.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'm not getting instant replies like last night. I have to keep going back to my email home page to review the fact that you responded. I received nothing this time.
Expert:  Kevin C. replied 2 years ago.
Q&A is slower plus I was searching for a better pic of the seat to no avail. Did you see my post above?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Negative
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I guess I am going to have to go to a dealer to try to look at the knob if they even have one!!!! I am confused as to what these two slits are for and that it seems they are there for some reason. What do they slide over? That's why I think I am missing something; but, without a picture of just the plug, how do I tell? You know.
Expert:  Kevin C. replied 2 years ago.

I would try a local repair shop, should be much cheaper.Can you take a pic of the knob and slits and post it here?

 

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I believe so. I can try. Would you know if it's complete if you saw a picture of it?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I've taken a couple digital pictures. I will see if I can download them and attach them. Do you have time to wait. I will do it as quickly as I can.
Expert:  Kevin C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes I do
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Won't let me copy and paste. Do you have an email that I could attach the pictures to?
Expert:  Kevin C. replied 2 years ago.

JA does not allow me to interact other than on here

 

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

 

 

 

 

 

I have the pictures; but, can't send them to you then.

Attachments are only available to registered users.

Register Here
Do you see any pictures from the graphic box? Just experimenting.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Attachments are only available to registered users.

Register Here
Expert:  Kevin C. replied 2 years ago.
It didn't come through..did you download the pics to your desktop, then click on the paper clip, then click browse, then in the next box click browse again, find your desktop, the pic, click on the pic, then click ok on the browser box then click insert in the first browser box
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I did that but took the pictures directly from "My Pictures" when I browsed.
Expert:  Kevin C. replied 2 years ago.
It usually works. I have had customers send me pics before.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I tried it again; but, the same results. Don't know what is happening. I clicked from the desktop this time, too.

 

 

I'm taking too much of your time and it is apparent we can't solve my issue.

Expert:  Kevin C. replied 2 years ago.
I would let a repair shop look at this, I don't think it will cost much.It's just a matter of having the right tool and angle to get that knob on.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

If only I could get the pictures to you, you could see why I think the knob looks like it's missing something. Maybe I will see if I can email a picture to the local Subaru parts and see if they can compare it to a new one for me. Thank you for your help.

 

 

Will you check to see that I am only charged for one session? When I logged on it listed two questions and two answers and two acceptances. I don't quite know what that means.

Expert:  Kevin C. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you, sorry we couldn't resolve this tonight.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

This has been so frustrating. I have to get it fixed somehow.

 

Thank you for trying.

 

Again, PLEASE insure that I am not billed for more than one session. Okay?

 

 

Good night.

Expert:  Kevin C. replied 2 years ago.
You won't be charged more than once.

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    Subaru Master Tech.

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    34 years of Subaru service experience, ASE Master Technician.
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