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Seats are hurting my back!

Discussion in 'Gen III 2010+ Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubles' started by Priustein, Dec 3, 2011.

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  1. Priustein

    Priustein New Member

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    Hello everyone, I just bought a 2011 Prius III and at 6'4" tall I'm very uncomfortable in the car, my seat is to tall and can't get it low enough to be able to adjust the seat properly and my back and neck are killing me, maybe I am just to big for the car? I'm looked in to changing the seat and or adding a lumbar support but I don't want to compromise my safety or in cure the expense of a new seat just to find out that "Kind of" works. Any tall people having the same problem that can help with any advice would be greatly appreciated. By the way I only have 120 miles on the car...
  2. car compulsive

    car compulsive Active Member

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    Welcome. There are a number of tall folks on the forum who have found ways to be comfortable. Do some searches and you'll find a number of threads on the topic. I normally drive all cars with the seat back fully upright and found that if I moved it one notch back, my lower back was much more comfortable in the Prius. Others have had good luck with a cheap lumber support bought at Walgreens.
  3. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) Aspiring Hypocommuter.

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    I bought one of the $10 lumbar support gizzywhoppers, and it's moderated my seat woes somewhat, although I still get "Prius butt" whenever I have to drive more than about four hours a day... ('my' G3 is a company car.)
    Good Luck!!!
  4. dkelly

    dkelly Member

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    Athough I like just about everything with my Gen III, the seats could use some serious improvement. I suppose they have a lightweight construction to reduce the car's overall weight but, considering I spend several hours in the car every day, better seats would certainly be appreciated.
  5. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    Does the US spec have electric lumber support and a lever to raise and lower the seat? If not, you could always import a European seat - but I guess that could be rather expensive.
  6. RRxing

    RRxing Active Member

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    The 2010 (and I assume the 2011) models all have the raise/lower lever for the driver's seat. Only the IV and V models have the electric lumbar support.

    I have a 2010 IV and I'm 6' 1". Can't say I've ever been uncomfortable except for my left knee rubbing against the hard plastic piece near the door handle.
  7. phoenixgreg

    phoenixgreg Senior member

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    Ha Ha! I thought I was the only one with a sore butt and back after long trips. :D
  8. prince101005

    prince101005 Junior Member

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    I'm 5' 11" so no hieght issues but do have significant lower back injuries and pain. I've used cheaper lumbar support as well as pricier ones from the Healthy Back Store and found good, but never total relief. Recommend trying variety of lumbar supports, beginning with a rolled towel before spending on pricier possibilities. Best of luck!
  9. Priustein

    Priustein New Member

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    Thank you all for all your helpful ideas and consideration, I will look in to a lumbar pillow and may alter my seat brackets in the front to try and get the seat to drop an inch or so to make the seat feel more ergonomic, Thanks again.
  10. tumbleweed

    tumbleweed Senior Member

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    I hate to be negative but you may well have bought the wrong car. With only 120 miles on it why don't you go back to the dealer and see if they will let you return it for something else, a hybrid Camry perhaps.
    1 person likes this.
  11. fulltank

    fulltank New Member

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    I'm 6'2" and find the seats fine. I tend to be someone that leans forward a bit and never really rests a lot of weight on the back of my seat. Have been on several 4 hr trips and had no problems.
  12. Den49

    Den49 Member

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    Try this:
    After two years of wear, I restored the comfort of my Prius IV seats by removing them and inserting one inch upholstery foam between the springs and existing foam. This allowed me to restore the cushioning properties of the seat and adjust the curvature of the seatback to better fit my back. Its a bit of work to remove the seats, and you may need to do it more than once to get the right amount of foam in the right spots, but it was well worth the result. The seats are comfortable again for my 6 foot, 62 year old, arthritic body.
  13. mmichaell

    mmichaell New Member

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    How long does this procedure take? I might have to do it to have some semblance of lumbar support for my 2010 Prius III.
  14. Den49

    Den49 Member

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    There is a learning curve on removing the seat and unzipping the seat cover. The first time may take you an hour or more, but after the first time, you should be able to remove, insert the foam and reinstall the seat in less than 30 minutes.
  15. Jim E.

    Jim E. Junior Member

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    For what it's worth, here's something I've found that works for me.

    I am 6' 1.5" tall and have a very long back. Given my personal anatomy, my chiropractor insists (and has been proven correct) that the normal lumbar support found in most car seats is actually positioned too low for my comfort. Over long distances (my commute is 70mi/day), this actually causes more discomfort as the muscles down there react to the strange position of my spine as it is forced to conform with traditional lumbar design.

    Not that I'm picking on Prius, because for me all car seats are equally uncomfortable. It's just a fact I have learned to accept.

    So I use a stiff 1-foot-square couch pillow and position it up more towards the head, so that it is supporting more "mid" back than lumbar.

    Obviously this solution isn't for everyone -- but the pillow only cost $3.99 at the local thrift store. It is old & gold & ugly & has a tasteless tassle fringe. Fortunately the only time I ever have to look at it is just before I sit down.
  16. LowandSlo

    LowandSlo Junior Member

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    I do a regular 280 mile drive and found that I needed more lumbar support. Added a lumbar cushion from Amazon and back ache was solved. Cost about 20 bucks. No back ache after 4.5 hour drive - priceless.
  17. Priustein

    Priustein New Member

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    All good advice, thanks again for the feed back. I ended up going to "The Back Store" and buying a lumbar pillow made of dense memory foam for $59.00 and it seems to be helping, I haven't made any long trips yet but it has improved the comfort level of the car around town.
    Happy Holidays everyone!
  18. yabi

    yabi New Member

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    I thought PC Shop sold these, but couldn't find them. Maybe some seat extenders would help you?
  19. Old Bald Guy

    Old Bald Guy Old Bald Guy

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    Model:
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    I saw this fix elsewhere and will pass it on here. It's called changing the seat tilt.

    Remove the two front seat mounting bolts and loosen the two rear ones. (you will have to remove two snap on covers on the rears) Raise the front of the seat up and insert some body washers (I used a quarter inch worth) under both bolt holes and re-install the bolts.

    I found that the stock bolts were long enough for the 1/4 inch lift but you might want to get longer ones if you need to lift higher. If you replace the bolts, use grade 8 bolts for strength.

    1/4 inch doesn't sound like much but it rotated the entire seat back and made it much more comfortable for my long legs. Tighten ALL the bolts back down.

    Also, try different seat back settings. I have to have mine a couple of clicks farther back than my wife does.

    This fix takes just a few minutes and makes the seat much more comfortable for 600 mile drives.
  20. Den49

    Den49 Member

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    You can also use washers to adjust the seat level from left to right. I had a car once with a drivers seat that tilted to the left and caused neck strain. Fixed it by installing washers under the LF and LR seat brackets. Adjusting left-right slant can also help relieve sciatic nerve pain.
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