How to make the driver seat comfortable?

iChris93

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#1
So, I’m not sure where exactly to post this but I figured I’d try it here.

How do you get the back of the driver’s seat to a comfortable setting? I’ve had the car less than two weeks but I’ve gone on two ~4 hour trips and every time my back is sore. Just a couple years ago I went on a cross country road trip in an SLK230, which should have much less comfortable seats, and had 16 hour driving days and my back had less discomfort.

I believe the discomfort/soreness is due to the lumbar support not retracting far enough. Do any of you experience this or have suggestions?
 

MelindaV

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#3
have you tried to change your posture?
if the lumbar support is seeming to not retract far enough, it may be more that you are sitting with your spine curved out instead of in. next time you get in the car, consider if you are sitting on your tailbone, or if it is behind you (you should be on your hips, with your tailbone pointing backward).
 

iChris93

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#5
have you tried to change your posture?
if the lumbar support is seeming to not retract far enough, it may be more that you are sitting with your spine curved out instead of in. next time you get in the car, consider if you are sitting on your tailbone, or if it is behind you (you should be on your hips, with your tailbone pointing backward).
I think the seats are perfect. I've taken two 4 hour trips in it and didn't have an issue either time. First car ever for that. Maybe play with different positions
I’ve tried several different positions and if I adjust my posture it seems I need lumbar support higher than my lower back.
 

Allb18c

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#7
I wonder if the Model S seats are compatible on the TM3. I find those seats much more comfortable. If the seat rails match then thats a good first step!
 

Vin

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#8
I just wish we had cooled seats option in addition to heated. My back gets hot a lot especially with black seats. Is this a major mechanical element to add to production or any simpler way Elon could add that option especially since Tesla makes their own seats?
 

Dano9258

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#9
I just wish we had cooled seats option in addition to heated. My back gets hot a lot especially with black seats. Is this a major mechanical element to add to production or any simpler way Elon could add that option especially since Tesla makes their own seats?
Elon has stated before they might have a cooled seat option using the a/c vents. So you use your app prior to getting in, it will point the AC at your seats and then when you get in, nice and cool
 

Vin

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#10
Elon has stated before they might have a cooled seat option using the a/c vents. So you use your app prior to getting in, it will point the AC at your seats and then when you get in, nice and cool
Thanks. I meant cooled continuously while driving to cool off our backs, which I find to get hot often. I know certain Kias have cooled seats so just being a little nitpicky about adding another luxury :)
 
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PNWmisty

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#11
I’ve tried several different positions and if I adjust my posture it seems I need lumbar support higher than my lower back.
I've seen professional auto reviewers rave about the comfort of Model 3 seats and I agree with them.

If you have the Premium Upgrade Package, and I believe all current Model 3's do, then they have 8 or 10 way adjustable and the lumbar support has 4-way adjustment. It's not necessarily intuitive and the manual doesn't go into great detail but I find the seats to be very supportive and comfortable. And I'm comparing it to my Volvo S80 sedan which had legendary seats.

It appears the lumbar support contains a pneumatic bladder that can be pumped up/deflated with the four-way rocker dedicated to lumbar support adjustment. The up/down adjustment has quite a range so it should fit a wide variety of body heights/butt shapes. The angle of the seat base plays into the proper lumbar adjustment quite a bit as alluded to by MelindaV.

Since it appears you might have a somewhat unique requirement, this is what I suggest based on your earlier comments:

Retract the lumbar support (deflate) all the way. You should hear it pump up or "leak" out as you make this adjustment. If not, it might need Tesla to look at it. Then, from fully deflated, inflate it slightly until you feel it "grow" just a little. Then move it up/down until it fits into the center of your lumbar area. From there you can adjust the seat back angle and seat surface angle/height to your liking. You may need to do a minor up/down adjustment of the lumbar after making these adjustments.

When you get it where you want it, remember to save it to your driver profile.
 

tivoboy

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#12
One thing I found with the seats in the M3 is that the quick seating position has one sitting actually IN the left side of the seat, so the left bolster and bottom support is putting a bit of extra pressure on the lower back. Making sure I get my position directly in the CENTER of the seat helped a lot. So, move into the center of the car a bit more.

And I added more lower back lumbar (increase the balloon) and the seating position is definitely doable for several hours at a time. It's not an S class or 7 series, but Its better than my C AMG.
 

PNWmisty

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#13
And I added more lower back lumbar (increase the balloon) and the seating position is definitely doable for several hours at a time. It's not an S class or 7 series, but Its better than my C AMG.
One thing I know from having built custom motorcycle saddles is that there exist a myriad of butt shapes and sizes and, what is heaven for some, just doesn't work for others. As far as I know, there is not a car anywhere that has a bottom seating surface that is adjustable in shape. So any thumbs up or thumbs down will be specific to the individual. It seems the Premium Model 3 seats are good for about 90% of the population which is well better than average.

The motorcycle saddles that worked for some people all day long were torture racks for others. Which is why there are at least 8 or 10 custom motorcycle saddle builders in the US alone. They make their living shaping the saddle to the rider for all-day comfort. In cars, this would be much less common but I imagine if you have unique requirements you could find a custom seat builder. But it won't be cheap, a custom carved motorcycle saddle is $2K-$3K for the basic saddle.
 

iChris93

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#14
Since it appears you might have a somewhat unique requirement, this is what I suggest based on your earlier comments:
I feel like I should not have a unique situation. I don't normally have back pain/trouble and I have never had an issue with the back of another car seat being uncomfortable. I just cannot seem to get the seat right. Maybe I'm missing the perfect setting because my back is already sore by the time I try to adjust it again.
 

PNWmisty

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#15
I feel like I should not have a unique situation. I don't normally have back pain/trouble and I have never had an issue with the back of another car seat being uncomfortable. I just cannot seem to get the seat right. Maybe I'm missing the perfect setting because my back is already sore by the time I try to adjust it again.
It sounds like your seat might not be working correctly. Based on your post, I played with my seat settings this afternoon. I learned that when the lumbar support is fully deflated, and the vertical adjustment is in the middle, all support goes completely away and allows my lower back to curve into the seat. It's not uncomfortable but it doesn't feel like it offers any support for my lower back and would probably become painful on a long drive. But as I inflate the lumbar support it fills in and starts providing comfortable support. At that point you can move it up/down but I don't think it slides up/down, it feels like it rocks higher/lower, like a small teeter-totter mounted vertically in the seatback and a bladder in the middle. I think the secret for comfort is making sure the rocking motion is mostly pressing on the lower end of the teeter-totter or balanced more centered. Then inflate the bladder enough to offer support but not so much that it feels hard. Basically, it should support your lower back without pressing into it.

If your lumbar adjustment is not broken, your problem may be that you are inflating the pneumatic bladder too much or you have the rocker control too far from the middle of the adjustment range. You shouldn't feel the lumbar support, it should just gently hold your back in the correct shape. If you have trouble adjusting it, it could be that the four-way rocker switch doesn't have very good feedback as to which way you are rocking it. In other words, you could be accidentally rocking it at 45 degrees instead of up/down or fore/aft. This could be causing you to adjust a function different from the one you think you are adjusting. If the lumbar hardware is broken, it could be as simple as a small leak in the pneumatic system.

But without more descriptive feedback, it's hard to tell exactly what your issue is. Because I've never had a car that had such a customizable lumbar support.
 

John

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#16
Mine used to hurt my back.
Try different positions.
Mine is relatively upright now, with a lot of "scoop" to the seat (front up, rear down). Just a little lumbar.
Just as an idea.
 

tipton

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#17
I'm in the same boat. going INSANE in the car fiddling with the seat all the time when i drive. i can't get the lumbar position right. i think its good and then next time I get in i hate it. part of it has to be that I was so used to my old car and the limited lumbar support that now i've just got it out of whack. i wish there was a button to put it back to factory setting when you get it.

no matter what i do with the lumbar it seems like it is inflated too much just the og poster describes above.

i think i'm just going to have to go out to the car in the garage and mess with it instead of trying while driving
 
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#18
My problem is my right thigh cramping, rather than lumbar... I keep trying the front edge of seat lower/back higher to be level, lumbar in/out, etc... better but still uncomfortable on medium/long drives.
Almost like my butt is sinking too far into soft seat middle, and thighs are hitting some pressure point.
 
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#19
So, I’m not sure where exactly to post this but I figured I’d try it here.

How do you get the back of the driver’s seat to a comfortable setting? I’ve had the car less than two weeks but I’ve gone on two ~4 hour trips and every time my back is sore. Just a couple years ago I went on a cross country road trip in an SLK230, which should have much less comfortable seats, and had 16 hour driving days and my back had less discomfort.

I believe the discomfort/soreness is due to the lumbar support not retracting far enough. Do any of you experience this or have suggestions?
I recently bought my 3 and I too find my lower back aches after driving for an hour. Have you been fortunate enough to find a solution? Thanks!
 

tipton

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#20
I recently bought my 3 and I too find my lower back aches after driving for an hour. Have you been fortunate enough to find a solution? Thanks!
my solution was to go to a chiropractor and get adjusted for the first time in my life. i couldn't get used to the seats, still don't like them but this made a world of difference and made things tolerable. they seem to be getting somewhat broken in as well which is helping.

the biggest problem i have now is the raised edges on the seats cause leg pain sometimes.