VW Beetle Forum banner
1 - 4 of 4 Posts

7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone,

Just bought a 1998 VW Beetle 2.0l for my daughter. This place is great, I already found a DIY on the fuel door latch not working, now looking for one on fixing the front seat not latching. I have read some threads on the problem with the cable coming detached from the handle(seems to be common), which is what I can see when I looked under the seat, but have not been able to find a DIY on how to fix it......Any help would be greatly appreciated....



Certified Arcade Tech
416 Posts
The seat lock is based upon a single cable that runs from the black handle, pivot...through the sheathing and then to a spring loaded "piston" (for lack of a better word)

Carefully remove the skirting around the base of the seat--that plastic that surrounds it.

What often happens is that gunk, grime, and other nasty stuff builds up on the piston/rod. And it seizes up in the sleeve.

This isn't a hard fix at all. With the skirting removed, position the seat all the way back. You should see a steel assembly with machined holes in it. That is what the push rod/piston moves forward and engages into. (By moving 'forward'? As you're looking at this from kneeling outside the car--the rod comes TOWARDS you and engages into the steel mating hole)

If you wish to make it easier to work with? Push the seat all the way back, and you'll see a set of hex heads/bolts (might be nuts--it's been a few months sense I did our repair) just ahead of the steel bit with the holes. If you remove those two fasteners then push the whole assembly backwards..the seat, as a whole unit..can then tilt upwards/backwards so you can see how the whole thing goes together.

Most likely you will have to get some shop rags(this gets messy) you'll see where the cable routes--and then the part that connects to the side of the rail. It will look like a 1/2" thick or so...maybe about 2" long cylinder tube. The metal piston/rod is contained within.

It's spring loaded- If the spring is broken? Then you're off to a pick and pull or a VW parts dept. (The cable replacement runs about $55 bucks or so. We got ours from a pick and pull for $ 7.00)

Best thing to do here is to use some brake clean...load up the shop rags under things so you do not ruin your carpet. And hose the daylights out of the rod/piston cylinder inside. You'll want to work the handle as well to pull it in/out until it pops free. (it will only pop free if the spring part is good.) Once it pops free and moves without any issues? I would get a can of "Lock Lube" which is a powered graphite. (more shop rags---that stuff makes a huge mess) and give the piston/rod a good soaking in graphite. That will keep it moving freely.

If it's totally crammed with crap? You can remove just the end that secures to the seat rail bit. It's a steel 'clip' if memory serves. Once that clip is removed (careful not to snap it!!!) The piston/rod thing can be removed and then you can work it back/forth until it frees up. You'll have to 'eyeball' where it remounts back into the rail and put the clip back on in the same area for it to correctly engage. (took us a few tries when we did ours)

Once it's all done? Lower the seat back into the mating area for the two fasteners...give it a kick towards the front of the car so everything lines back up. (might take a wiggle as well..) secure the fasteners and reinstall the plastic covers. Should be good to go.

If you need a replacement cable? Best bet will always be a U-Pull yard or a pick and pull. That way you get to experience how things come apart and go together on a junk car--So if something breaks? Who cares? Word of caution on the cable replacement. Just behind where it attaches to the black handle (I want to say you'll need a torx set to remove the black handle IF you need to grab a cable out of the yard) The mount to the seat can break pretty easy. It's a plastic double edge clip that you compress together and then slide out of the square steel mounting hole. Just be careful and observe how it goes in/out before just grabbing it.

Drop me a PM or reply back here if you need a hand. I do a lot of work, but I'll check back here as often as I can.

1 - 4 of 4 Posts