Sooner or later you’re going to need some extra space in the trunk. In order to achieve this, you have to know how to fold the back seat.
Although most manufacturers have made folding back seats simple, every car has a procedure of its own. They are all very similar, but it’s good to know the details.
Besides this written tutorial there is a video at the end of the article which you can also watch on our YouTube channel.
HOW TO FOLD THE BACK SEAT ON A CAR? STEP-BY-STEP PROCEDURE
The tutorial you’re going to see is done on a Skoda Fabia. Nevertheless, it may come in handy for other cars as most of them have a similar system.
Exceptions are modern cars with automated or semi-automated electric systems for folding the seats. In this case, a simple press of the button solves the whole problem.
Here, the focus is on the classic manual system. So here’s the procedure:
1. REMOVE THE TRUNK COVER
This step mostly applies to station wagons and hatchbacks. Do this if you need the whole height of the loading space. Otherwise, the cover can stay in the car.
The same applies if you have a trunk board instead.
On most cars, there will be some sort of attaching system (clips, strings, guides, etc) that you have to release.
In the case of Skoda, there is a big retracting clip on one end of the trunk cover. When you retract it, you can pull the cover out.
2. IF NEEDED, MOVE THE FRONT SEATS FORWARD
This is optional and doesn’t have to be done if you want to learn how to fold the back seat.
With the Skoda, the shape of the back seats demands this. So, move both of the front seats forward so they can fit in.
Once they are folded, you can return the front seats back to normal.
In a lot of cars, the rear seats can be folded without doing this.
3. TAKE OUT THE HEADRESTS (OPTIONAL)
On most cars the headrests fold down together with the seats so take a look do you have to do this step at all.
If it’s like on the Skoda, you’ll have to take them out. This is done by pressing a little plastic ring at the bottom of the headrest (or on top of the seat) and then pulling the headrest upwards.
Make sure not to use too much force so you don’t accidentally damage the headliner.
4. FOLD THE LOWER PART OF THE BACK SEAT
The lower parts of the back seats are held in place with a hinge system. You have to pull the seat upwards and sway it against the front seats.
To do this, stick your hand between the lower part of the seat and the backrest and pull it outwards.
The other way is to grab the seat by the side and pull upwards. On the Skoda, the seat divides into two parts, so you’ll have to fold one at a time.
For other cars, the system is pretty much the same. The difference may be that the seat isn’t divided and that there may be textile handles hidden under the seat for easier pulling.
5. FOLD THE UPPER PART OF THE SEAT (BACKREST)
To do this, first, find the safety locks. You’ll see two plastic handles embedded in each corner of the backrest.
Set the seat belts aside so they don’t get in the way. If the seat belt slowly retracts, you can click here and take a look.
Now, pull the locking handles up, press the seat towards the front of the car and lower them into place.
If the seat is divided (in most cases it is)repeat the whole procedure for the other part.
The locking mechanism is basically the same on most cars. You either pull or push the lock, that’s the main difference.
Once you’re finished, this is how it’s supposed to look. In this case, the seats don’t fold all the way down so the loading surface goes a bit uphill, so to say.
On other cars, it may be flat.
One more convenient thing about the Skoda is a dashboard warning light that appears when the seats are folded.
Although this may seem as stating the obvious, it is very useful, especially if you don’t lock the backrests properly into place. This is a very useful warning if you, for instance, have to mount child seats.
The warning light goes away after a couple of seconds.
HOW TO RETURN THE BACK SEATS INTO PLACE?
The procedure for returning the seats goes in reverse order:
1. RAISE THE UPPER PART OF THE SEAT (BACKREST)
Move aside the seat belt and pull up the backrests until both sides lock into place.
You’ll hear a distinctive click sound but nevertheless, give both seats a bit of a budge to be sure they are firmly locked in.
Also, return the seat belts back in place.
2. MOVE THE FRONT SEATS FORWARD (OPTIONAL)
Again, this is the case for Skoda. On other cars, you may not have to do this.
3. FOLD BACK THE LOWER PART OF THE SEAT
Push the seat towards the backrest and let the hinge system do the rest. Make sure the seat fits in properly and that the seat belt buckles stay above.
4. RETURN THE HEADRESTS
First press the mentioned safety rings on top of the seat and then insert the headrest. This isn’t necessary but they fall into place much easier
As mentioned, if you have a car where the headrests fold together with the seats, skip this step.
5. RETURN THE TRUNK COVER
With the Skoda, first, insert the side without the retractor clip. Then insert the other side while retracting the clip at the same time.
It should click into place.
See that everything fits in (especially if you have a trunk board) so that there isn’t any rattling or annoying noises when you start driving.
Learning how to fold down the back seat in your car doesn’t take much time.
After a few tries, it will become routine and will take only a minute or two.
Once you’re done hauling any kind of load or else, make sure everything is properly returned into place.
Perhaps the most important part is to check that the backrests are safely locked in place but also check the lower part of the seats and that the seat belts are functioning properly.
If you have to remove the headrests and the trunk cover or trunk board, best leave them somewhere safe like in the house. When they’re inside the trunk, you may damage them while loading. Besides this, if you take them out to get more space, you may accidentally forget them somewhere.
One more thing for the end: folding the back seats is much easier if the trunk isn’t crammed with unnecessary stuff. If it is, you first have to unload it all, then you risk forgetting something…all in all, a lot more fuss. Not to mention the fact that it takes much more time.
One more reason to keep the trunk nice and tidy.
Written by: Sibin Spasojevic
Former car technician, life-long car and DIY enthusiast, author for Despairrepair.com
HOW TO FOLD THE BACK SEAT IN A CAR-YOUTUBE VIDEO