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Back Seat Stuck In Ford Expedition—What To Do?

Are you having a problem with the back seat of your Ford Expedition? Is it stuck, and you want to know what you can do to get it working again? You’ve come to the right place, for we have researched this question and have the answer for you.

One of the problems that you might encounter with the Ford Expedition’s back seat is the failure to fold the backrest forward if the handle is near the top of the backrest.

A loose cable is usually the culprit, and tightening it should fix the problem. Here are the four common causes of a stuck rear seat in your Ford Expedition:

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  • Loose or failing cable
  • Debris on the lock
  • Carpet jam
  • Track jam

We'll talk about the back seats of the Ford Expedition in greater detail in the succeeding sections. We will discuss the different problems that cause the seats to become stuck and what you can do to fix them.

Ford Expedition King Ranch on display during the 2015 Charlotte International Auto Show at the Charlotte Convention Center, Back Seat Stuck In Ford Expedition—What To Do?

Ford Expedition Rear Seats

The rear seat of the Ford Expedition can be moved or adjusted in four different ways. This allows you to adjust it for better ride comfort or to move it out of the way to increase cargo capacity.

First, pulling the handle on one side of the seat cushion will move the backrest forward all the way down to the seat cushion.

To return the backrest to its original position, simply push the backrest upward and then towards the back until you hear a clicking sound. The clicking sound tells you that the backrest is back to its normal position.

Never drive your Ford Expedition until the backrest is locked in its normal position. Always make sure that you lock the backrest in its standard position before driving.

This is to prevent serious injuries in case someone is using the back seat and there is a collision.

Cloth comfortable rear car seat

How To Adjust The Recline Of The Second-Row Seats

The second way that you can move the second-row seats is by adjusting the recline of the backrest. Adjusting the recline helps give you a more comfortable sitting position while riding.

To adjust the recline, pull the same handle on the side of the cushion. Pulling the handle will temporarily remove the lock on the backrest, and you can recline it backward or forward.

When adjusting the recline, always use your upper torso to push the backrest backward. Pushing it back with your hands or arms might be difficult and could lead to an injury.

How To Move The Second-Row Seats Out Of The Way

Pull the handle on the side of the cushion all the way to unlock the second-row seat from the Expedition’s floor. This will allow you to tumble the second-row seat forward to move it out of the way.

Tumbling the second-row seats out of the way will give you better access to the third-row seats. Moreover, if the third-row seats are in stow mode, tumbling the second-row seats forward will give you more cargo space at the back of your Ford Expedition.

How To Slide The Second-Row Seat Forward Or Backward

The fourth way to move or adjust the second-row seats of your Ford Expedition is to slide it forward or backward.

Sliding the second-row seat backward will give you more room to stretch your legs. This can make long rides more comfortable. Sliding it forward will give you access to the back of the second-row seats in case you’re trying to reach for something there.

There is a lever in front of the second-row seats that you can pull upward. Pulling it will unlock the seats from the track, allowing you to slide it backward or forward.

What To Do With Stuck Ford Expedition Back Seats

Ford Expedition, close-up of the rear seats

Now that we have more ideas on the different ways that you can adjust or move the seats of your Ford Expedition, we can start to talk about the different ways that the seats get stuck.

How To Fix Seats That Don’t Fold Forward

Empty trunk of a modern car with folded rear seats

The handle that you pull to unlock the backrest and fold it forward can be in different locations in different models and trims of the Ford Expedition. However, the way the mechanism works is similar across different designs of the rear seat.

Moving the handle upward also moves a lever. The movement of the lever pulls a rod along a track on the lever. This pulls the lock that keeps the backrest in place.

The lock has teeth like that of a gear. The stabilizer plate keeps the backrest in place. It also keeps the lock in position. Once you release the lock, a radial spring will push the backrest forward, folding it on top of the seat cushion.

However, some designs have a switch at the top of the backrest that uses a metal cable to pull the lever. This cable is often the point of failure.

Loose Or Failing Cable

The cable that connects the handle and the lever can become loose or get disconnected. It is common for the cable to be made of steel, so there is little chance that the cable would break, although it can happen.

To fix the issue, you need to carefully open the seat assembly from the bottom. Use a trim removal tool if you need to pry the trim or the fasteners that keep the trim in place. Adjust the cable to make it tight enough to release the backrest when you pull the handle.

If the cable is disconnected, the part that keeps the cable in place could be broken. This part is often made of plastic. Thus, it can break over time through normal use.

Replacing the broken cable holder will fix the issue. If you cannot find an exact match, you can mold an epoxy putty to fix the broken part.

Click here to see this auto trim removal kit on Amazon.

Backrest Will Not Raise To Normal Position

The backrest will not return to its normal position until you latch the bottom of the seat to the floor. If you experience this on your Expedition, check that the seat is securely latched to the floor.

Another reason why the backrest will get stuck in the folded position is when the seatbelt is connected when you folded the backrest. Reach to release the seatbelt to unfold the backrest.

How To Fix Rear Seats That Do Not Recline

Comfort car inside, Clean car interior black back seats, headrests and belt

The mechanism that releases the backrest to fold forward is the same mechanism that lets you recline the seats. The only difference is that the reclining lever is almost always at the side of the cushion.

The mechanism is made of metal to make it durable enough to support the weight of the backrest and the pressure from the radial spring.

Thus, the problem with the reclining function is almost always because of debris on the lock. Debris can prevent the lock from releasing.

Rust on the joint that holds the backrest will also seize the backrest in place, making it hard or impossible to recline or fold forward.

Cleaning The Lock And Joint

Open the seat assembly from the bottom to get access to the lock and the joint. Check the area for rust or debris. Use a brush to remove any large debris that gets stuck in between the lock.

Use a penetrating oil or a rust remover to get rid of rust on the joint.

Click here to see this water-based rust remover on Amazon.

How To Fix Rear Seats That Don’t Tumble Forward

The mechanism to tumble the seat forward is a combination of the system that folds the backrest forward and the system that unlocks the seat from the floor.

Pulling a lever on the side of the cushion will unlock the cushion from the floor. This will allow you to tumble the seat forward.

Checking The Lock For Blockage

The seat simply needs to unhook from the floor to release it. If you cannot tumble the seat forward, then the lever might no longer be pulling the lock, or the lock is stuck.

Check the lock for blockage. It is quite common for the carpet to get into the lock, jamming it. Pulling the lock manually and clearing the carpet off the lock area will fix the issue.

How To Fix Rear Seats That Don’t Slide Back Or Forward

The seat in your Expedition lies on a track that allows you to slide it backward or forward. If there is a blockage between the track and the seat, the seat will be stuck in place.

Use a light that you can bring to the bottom of the seat to check the track. Look for anything that could be lodged between the track and the seat, causing the rear seat to be stuck.

Another place to look is on the lever. Anything that goes between the lever will prevent it from unlocking the seat to let it slide along the tracks.

Fixing the problem is as simple as removing the blockage and applying some grease on the track to make it easier to slide the seat.

Power Seat Problems

Power seats have several motors that allow you to fold and tumble your rear seat at the press of a button. If these seats become unresponsive, then the problem would be the motor or the wires that supply power to the motors.

Take your Expedition to a mechanic to verify the problem and fix the issue.

In Closing

Ford Expedition King Ranch on display during the 2015 Charlotte International Auto Show at the Charlotte Convention CenteDetermine the type of seat problem that you’re having with your Ford Expedition. Match the movement problem that your rear seats are having with the possible causes and solutions.

If you enjoyed reading this article, you might be interested in these others:

Ford Expedition Interior Lights Flashing—Why And What To Do?

Ford Expedition Stuck In Park—What Could Be Wrong?