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Toyota Service
Toyota Service, Toyota Expert
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 4821
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1997 Avalon power seats. Both front seats will not slide

Customer Question

1997 Avalon power seats. Both front seats will not slide forward/back BUT both will seats tilt and raise/down.
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: No. Every thing else works ok.
JA: OK got it. Last thing — Toyota Mechanics generally expect a deposit of about $20 to help with your type of question (you only pay if satisfied). Now I'm going to take you to a page to place a secure deposit with JustAnswer. Don't worry, this chat is saved. After that, we will finish helping you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.

Hello. Welcome to Just Answer. Please allow me to assist you. Since some of the seat functions work, we can rule out fuses and relays. Either you have corrosion at the wire connector under the seats, or, the armature for the fwd/reverse on the drive motor is stuck. Here is what to do: unbolt the seat and tip it backwards. Check the wire connector. If it is ok, move the seat control fwd/reverse whilst tapping on the drive motor with a mallet. Tap gently and cycle the control back and forth. See if that causes the seat to start to move.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
BOTH seats quit working at the same time. Both seats have the same problem. What is the common point of failure for both seats? Doesn't each seat have its own drive motor etc.?
Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.

Each seat has its own drive motor. It is possible that you may have wire connector issues (or, rarely, but it does happen) rodent damage on gnawed wires. The first thing to do is see if there is power coming to the drive motors under the front edge of the seat frames.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I can't work this right now. I'll come back later today. How do I resume this dialogue?
Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.

Reply back to this chat window when you want to resume.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I still need the common point of failure for BOTH seats to quit working at the same time. Where in the seat electrical circuit are both seats tied together for sliding front to back and at the same time not impacting tilt and raise/lower.
Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.

Each seat is unique unto itself. Power comes to the switch assemblies on a common line. If both seats have an inoperative condition, it is not power related. It is either drive motor failure/seized up or a switch issue. A power issue (fuSE, a wire, a ground, etc) would cause the seats to be entirely inoperative, as opposed to a section that works and a section that does not work. You either have seized drive motors or a couple bad switches

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I think the likelihood that both seat motors or both switch assemblies failed at the same time is unlikely. I don't want to rip both seats out looking for an unlikely event.
Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.

it is simple t check. Pull the switch assembly off and check for power with a 12 volt test lamp or a DC voltmeter. There is one fuse for both seats; that would be the 30 Amp "DOOR" fuse. If the door locks and windows work, and some part of the seats works, the fuse is OK.

Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.

Check for power in the the driver seat fwd/rev motor. You should have power in the Solid Blue wire in one position of the slide control, and then power in the Blue with a Black stripe wire in the other slide position of the switch. If you have power in these wires as described, your motors are either seized up (tap them with a hammer whilst manipulating the seat switch to loosen the stuck armature), or the motor has failed.

Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.

With all due respect for your opinion, I have to disagree. Again, if any portion of the seat works, the switch is getting power. The eliminates power into the seat wires as a potential issue. Now, if you have rodent damage (gnawed wires), it would not be uncommon for both to fail at the same time as the wires are right on the floor. Assuming you have power, and no rodent damage, that leaves us to the choice of stuck or faulty drive motors or failed switches; either, or both are possible on a 19 year old car.