How To Remove Factory Seat Covers

Upholstery, floor mats, seats, window tint and anything inside the vehicle and not electronic

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A Psycho Martyr
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How To Remove Factory Seat Covers

Postby A Psycho Martyr » Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:34 am

Ok, so If anyone didn't know, I'm driving a 2003 Base model Vibe, so I do NOT have airbags in my seats.
I have no clue how different they actually are if you have them in yours.

In this tutorial I'll show how I removed the stock fabric off the seats for washing and hopefully some customization.
A little disclaimer: I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE IF YOU BREAK SOMETHING!!!!

What you'll need:
A ratchet
Breaker bar (if ya have one, not a must-have tho)
12mm socket
14mm socket
Phillips head screwdriver
Flat-head screwdriver
Hex key or Star bit (not sure what size :? )
Ziploc bags labeled (Front Driver)(Front Passenger)(Rear 60)(Rear 40) <---so ya don't lose parts ;)
Some good chill tunes 8-)

With that said....let's get started with some tasty, tasty pictures:

I began by removing ALL my seats (Look HERE if you're not sure how to do this)

The first seat I did was the 60% section in the rear. You begin by removing the top of the seat from the bottom.
It's two 12mm bolts (one on each side)

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Then, starting with the TOP, you'll need to remove the plastic off the back.
You'll start by removing these two silver screws (hex head or whatever) from the tracks in the back of the plastic

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Then you'll remove these little gold screws

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Now to remove the plastic off the back of the seat you slide up on the entire piece. DON'T PULL! :o It literally just slides up and then comes unhooked.
Here's what the hooks (NOT clips) holding it in place look like.

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Now that the plastic is off, some of the fabric is held on by plastic hooks. Just undo everything you can and pull it all back.

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Then you'll need to remove the plastic pieces that your headrests fit into. Easy squeezy :P
Just reach inside and squeeze two tabs while pushing and it pops straight out! Here's what it looks like from the inside

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Then you move on to the piece you pull up on to lay the seats down. It's simply threaded on there. Lefty Loosey and you're home free :D

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Don't forget about the circle plastic thing still in there. It's just like the headrest holders. Here it is before and after removal

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Now on to the plastic trim that your shoulder seatbelt comes thru. Tiny tabs hold it into place. Just pop it out.

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Now to remove the foam from the frame of the seat, you have these annoying little metal rings called hog rings pinched onto a metal bar inside the foam.
I pried them all apart and pulled them out, but in retrospect, I realize I could have just cut them with wire cutters and saved LOADS of time.
You have to trash them anyways and use all new ones. So here they are....and they're EVERYWHERE!!! :x

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Now THAT piece is done

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Okay So the whole hog ring thing goes the same throughout the WHOLE process, so I'm not gonna post
anymore pics of those. The rest of this "How-To" will show you how to disassemble every seat down to that point

On to the bottom of the 60% seat:

You 1st need to remove this spring thingy . One side of it is covered by fabric that is hog ringed to the spring itself.
Undo those and then undo the 4 springs in there. Set all that aside and don't lose anything.

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Now start to unclip the plastic edges of the fabric from the frame of the seat.
Do this until you can pull the cover around the foam and begin to undo those blasted hog rings :evil:

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Once all your hog rings are removed, you're done with the 60% seat completely :D
NOW let's move on to the 40% seat

Same process for removal of the plastic backing. Two hex head screws inside the tracks, two gold screws, then SLIDE it up

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Then I went ahead and separated the top from the bottom of the seat. Two 12mm nuts hold this thing on. One on each hinge

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Then pull all these out....same as before

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Start undoing more hog rings until you can remove the frame from inside the foam, then remove MORE hog rings til the fabric is free

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Now on to the bottom half of the 40% seat. Flip it over and you have the same spring thingy. Removal is the same as the 60% seat

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Then start undoing your fabric carefully making sure you undo all the hog rings and you're done in NO time :roll: (took me forever b/c I was all scared :lol: )

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THE REAR SEATS ARE DONE!!!!

Okay, on to the front seats, we'll do the driver side first since it was the easiest. Start by removing the plastic trim all around it.
There are two screws on each side and then the plastic is kinda pieced together w/ no actual clip. The seatbelt actually did (with help) fit thru the whole in the trim

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The lever you pull to recline the seat is pretty easy. Just pull it up and you can see in my photo where I pried. This is where you use the flat head

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Then to remove the top half from the bottom half you undo a few hog rings, then undo the two 14mm nuts on each side.
These babies were EXTREMELY torqued down, so this is where a breaker bar would come in handy

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Now if we look down inside the top half, we see 3 more hog rings, undo those, then remove the headrest holders.

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Then your metal frame pulls out and you find trashed plastic.lol Start removing the hog rings and your fabric from the foam.
The front seats down each side just have a metal rod w/ a loop that is hog ringed to the foam.
Undo the rings and pull the rod out and the fabric will begin to come loose

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Now we move on to the bottom of the seat. We need to remove the knob that raises the base of the seat up. Here are the best pics I could get.
I used needlenose pliers, held them open and pushed this clip out.

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Then unsnap plastic edges and undo hog rings and you're done with the front driver side. The whole foam piece just lifts straight out of the frame for you to do so.

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NOW we move along to the final seat... the Front Passenger
I began by undoing the plastic trim. All was the same as the driver side.

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Then I separated the top from the bottom by removing 8 14mm nuts. Four on each side.

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To remove the plastic from the back of the seat, you PULL OUT on the TOP two corners. Easy clips, then you slide it upward

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Then begin undoing fabric, hog rings, and then pull the frame out of the foam

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Velcro
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Then we move on to the MOST RAINED IN SEAT EVERRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!
The bottom of my passenger seat is SOOOOO rusty it's rediculous.lol :shock: ops :lol:

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Unplug your passenger airbag seansor. Then continue removing the foam from the frame

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OKAY, ignore the rust please and let's continue to removing the fabric...and ALL it's hog rings from the foam.

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Guess what????

YOU MADE IT!!!!!

We have now successfully removed the factory covers from our seats. Now you need to vacuum (foam went everywhere)

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Then you get your tools off the ottoman before the wife flips out

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Move your JUNK ( :roll: ) out of the way

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Machine wash on Gentle and hang to dry

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Then procrastinate for 3 days and FINALLY write a HUGE tutorial for GenVibe ;)

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If you have any questions I know you won't hesitate to ask. :lol:
I really....REALLY hope this helps someone out in the future b/c it sure was a lot of work.
And a headache doing this write-up too :o


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CAMOGIRL
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Re: How To Remove Factory Seat Covers

Postby CAMOGIRL » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:34 pm

WOWH. :geek:

I kinda feel exhausted from looking at everything you did! This is a very helpful writeup, I get all slow and scared too, and it's nice that you posted what stuff looks like, and what kind of connectors to expect. After carpooling to school last year 60 miles RT, and this year 90 miles RT, I think I'm going to take it all apart and wash it, it's gettin kinda grimy with three nursing students living out of it... How clean did they come in the washer on gentle? Like brand new or was there still spotting but mostly good?
Well-behaved women rarely make history.

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A Psycho Martyr
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Re: How To Remove Factory Seat Covers

Postby A Psycho Martyr » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:58 pm

I haven't taken them out in the sunlight, but they seem to be spotless. I mean not NEW, but no stain spots or those little rings they get when they get wet.
I know you can have them shampoo'd and there are several ways to clean them while they're still in the car, but mine were coming off anyways.

They smell awesome now too. You know when you slap a seat and you can see a cloud of dust come off?
machine washing will rinse ALL that out and my washer has a clear window in the front.....water was brown at one point in the rinse cycle :shock:

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tpollauf
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Re: How To Remove Factory Seat Covers

Postby tpollauf » Fri Sep 07, 2012 6:04 pm

Brandon. You know a portable dirt devil and/or Bissel would be a lot quicker and easier :? However the perfectionist in you (most of us here) saw the advantages of going to this extreme and doing it right. Awesome report and tutorial :D I love the fact that you did all this on your wife's furniture and didn't get caught :lol: I bet the kids toys came in handy :roll: Since you went through all this bother, now you need to have something "classy" embroiled into the fabric before you put it all back together. Let your imagination run wild (I usually do!) and get creative. My post last winter on installing heated seat elements doesn't even come close to what you have posted here. Nice work !!!! ;)
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star_deceiver
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Re: How To Remove Factory Seat Covers

Postby star_deceiver » Fri Sep 07, 2012 6:30 pm

That's quite the write-up! I don't think my car's seen a vacuum in..... ever.... with the exception of moving one!
2016 Ram 3500 4x4 Diesel RCLB Dually w/stick
2012 Chevy Silverado 1500 Cheyenne 4x4 (Traded in - 03/30/16)
2009 Vibe. (Traded in - 12/12/12)

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Reaccion
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Re: How To Remove Factory Seat Covers

Postby Reaccion » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:32 am

Wow!! Very nice! I needed this! Great details!!


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lannvouivre
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Re: How To Remove Factory Seat Covers

Postby lannvouivre » Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:35 pm

Now the real question is...how did you get them back on?! lol
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A Psycho Martyr
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Re: How To Remove Factory Seat Covers

Postby A Psycho Martyr » Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:51 pm

I'm not puttin them back on til I get what I want done to them,
but when that happens, I gotta buy a set of Hog Ring Pliers and some rings and prepare to shout profanities :evil:

NcLoven
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Re: How To Remove Factory Seat Covers

Postby NcLoven » Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:31 pm

Well I drive a base model 2005 and I want to make my own custom seat covers. Do I have airbags in the seat? Thanks for the tutorial. I will use it when doing mine... If there are no airbags in the seats.

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A Psycho Martyr
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Re: How To Remove Factory Seat Covers

Postby A Psycho Martyr » Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:58 pm

I suppose you could look up tour VIN# somewhere and find out. or call a dealer and ask em.
I would think if you had airbags, the seats would be marked somehow.
Like maybe a tag or an embroidery thing saying they had airbags

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silverbullet
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Re: How To Remove Factory Seat Covers

Postby silverbullet » Sun Nov 11, 2012 3:08 pm

When I put heated seats in the front I used zip ties instead of hog rings. Way easier and works perfect. I'm curious to see what you'll do with yours.


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BillCrittenden
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Re: How To Remove Factory Seat Covers

Postby BillCrittenden » Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:02 pm

I just wanted to say THANK YOU for such an awesome guide here! I took my seats out after 170K miles to throw the covers in the wash and get rid of the moldy old carpet. I couldn't have done it without breaking stuff if it weren't for this. Thank you.

Instead of hog rings for reinstallation, I was going to use some 20 or 22 gauge wire and just twist it off but I find that the seats still conform to the pads quite nicely without. Zip ties, why didn't I think of zip ties?


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hoooboy
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Re: How To Remove Factory Seat Covers

Postby hoooboy » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:04 pm

Nice HUGE DIY
I also use zip-ties. So far no problem!

Is this a seat heater??? It doesnt look like mines!
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Damn your passenger seat rack was so rusty! (I was a rustproofing tech for the last 6 years! lol)

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A Psycho Martyr
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Re: How To Remove Factory Seat Covers

Postby A Psycho Martyr » Wed Mar 12, 2014 6:10 am

nah, that's the Passenger Seatbelt Light switch.
When pressure is applied, the airbag turns on

...and yeah, man every time it's rained in my car
it has been the passenger side .lol.
terrible, I know :?

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hoooboy
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Re: How To Remove Factory Seat Covers

Postby hoooboy » Sat Mar 15, 2014 10:23 pm

That's weird because I put seat heater pads on my Matrix XRS 2005 and I dont have this thing! I have a switch somewhere because I also have a seatbelt light for the airbag. But I never see this sensor on my car!

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tpollauf
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Re: How To Remove Factory Seat Covers

Postby tpollauf » Sun Mar 16, 2014 7:55 am

Some cars had (and may still have) this sensor on the BOTTOM of the seat. Follow the wiring and you'll locate it!
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A Psycho Martyr
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Re: How To Remove Factory Seat Covers

Postby A Psycho Martyr » Sun Mar 16, 2014 1:06 pm

tpollauf wrote:Follow the wiring and you'll locate it!


^^Tim's right. It should be that simple.


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