Page 1 of 1

Poor Lower Back Support

Posted: Sat Oct 26, 2019 8:54 am
by jfran2
One of the few things I have NOT liked on my 2014 i3 Rex is the lack of lower back support on the seats. My passenger seat isn't quite as bad, so I suspect it's partly just normal wear and tear on a five-year-old car. Still, I wish BMW had given us at least a rudimentary manual lumbar support adjustment! I came up with my own by putting just a little extra padding in the seat cushion. This website: https://www.jesseweb.com/tech/repairing ... st-fabric/ tells how to remove the back of the seat on the i3 to gain access to the springs and backrest cushion. It's not difficult, and where he talks about the difficulty in getting it loose from the top, I just left it hanging. With the bottom and sides popped loose, it gave me enough access to the lower back region of the seat. All I did was buy a square of 2" thick foam from Hobby Lobby and cut about a 4" square of it. I worked that between the springs and backrest cushion to add a little extra padding to the lumbar region. With a little trial and error, I got it to the point where it feels pretty good on my sensitive back!

Re: Poor Lower Back Support

Posted: Sat Oct 26, 2019 8:56 am
by jfran2
If you can't get the website to open, you basically just get some plastic auto upholstery pry tools (around $7.00 from Harbor Freight). Start at the lower right of the seat back and work your way around the bottom and sides. It popped loose pretty easily!

Re: Poor Lower Back Support

Posted: Sat Oct 26, 2019 11:16 pm
by frictioncircle
Great tip, jfran2!

Over the years I've seen comments here dinging the i3's seats.

Certain things about any car are objectively true... How fast is it, what's the turning radius, how long does it take to charge?

Seats, however, are 100% subjective. If you're 5' 2" or 6' 4", the i3 will have the same turning radius but probably not the same seat comfort.

Nice work taking matters into your own hands! :)

Re: Poor Lower Back Support

Posted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 11:14 pm
by MrDavidLamp
jfran2 wrote:
Sat Oct 26, 2019 8:54 am
One of the few things I have NOT liked on my 2014 i3 Rex is the lack of lower back support on the seats. My passenger seat isn't quite as bad, so I suspect it's partly just normal wear and tear on a five-year-old car. Still, I wish BMW had given us at least a rudimentary manual lumbar support adjustment! I came up with my own by putting just a little extra padding in the seat cushion. This website: https://www.jesseweb.com/tech/repairing ... st-fabric/ tells how to remove the back of the seat on the i3 to gain access to the springs and backrest cushion. It's not difficult, and where he talks about the difficulty in getting it loose from the top, I just left it hanging. With the bottom and sides popped loose, it gave me enough access to the lower back region of the seat. All I did was buy a square of 2" thick foam from Hobby Lobby and cut about a 4" square of it. I worked that between the springs and backrest cushion to add a little extra padding to the lumbar region. With a little trial and error, I got it to the point where it feels pretty good on my sensitive back!
Great tips. I’m on my second i3 first was leather Terra I believe. This one is Deka Cloth. What I found helped the most was tilting my seat back more than normal as the upright position of the seats and their positioning in the car in general is higher than most sedans. By tilting back 10-15 degrees more than the average sedan/hatchback I’ve gone from awful back pain to almost no back pain when driving the i3. Ill also look into adding cushioning because that seems like a fun weekend project regardless.

Best of luck with the back pain.