Sooner or later, knowing how to remove the back seat will come in handy for sure.
A situation will appear where you’ll need some extra loading space.
Yes, you can fold the seats but occasionally you’ll need a couple of extra inches for the load to fit in or to be able to close the boot.
This article will show you a way to do that, how to increase the boot space by completely removing the back seats.
We’ll be showing this on a Skoda Fabia Mk1 station wagon (estate) but the basic principle may be applied to other cars also.
If you’re not up for reading, you have a video tutorial at the end of the article which you can also watch on our YouTube channel.
HOW TO REMOVE THE BACK SEAT?
1. TAKE OUT THE TRUNK COVER AND HEADRESTS
The first part of learning how to remove the back seat is done just like when you want to fold them. If you want to see only how to fold the back seats, we’ve made a separate article dedicated specifically to this topic, click here if you want to take a look.
Back to business: first take out the trunk cover. In the case of the Fabia, press the big plastic clip on the right side to release the cover.
After that, remove the headrests. Pull them upwards. On most cars, they’re held in place by safety retainers, press them and pull the headrests out.
2. FOLD AND REMOVE THE SEAT BASE
Fold the lower part of the seats and then take them out. On the Skoda, it’s simply done by pulling the metal clips at the base of the seat towards each other. That will release them from the holders.
When learning how to remove the back seat, this is one of the easier parts to do.
3. REMOVE THE BACKRESTS
Pull the plastic release latch that holds the backrests locked and fold them down. Make sure to set aside the seat belt so it doesn’t get in the way.
To remove the backrests completely, on the Skoda you’ll find a simple latch mechanism located at the base of the backrest on each side, just next to the wheel arch.
Best use a flathead screwdriver to open the latch.
Pull the seat out by first pulling the side you’ve released and then the other side which sits on an axle.
Do the same on the other seat; I would first recommend doing the smaller and then the bigger side which is more cumbersome.
In the case of the Fabia station wagon, if you want to completely remove the bigger part of the backrest, you’ll have to take out the central seat belt. This is easily done by removing a 17 mm screw located under an opening in the floor carpet.
If you decide to do this, make sure to properly return and tighten the screw to the proper specifications using a torque wrench.
FINAL RESULT WHEN YOU REMOVE THE BACK SEAT
The final result is a pretty flat, increased boot space, significantly larger than with folded seats.
In the case of the Skoda, you can leave the bigger part of the backrest to avoid taking off the rear, central seat belt.
The obstacles are the seat belt buckles that can be removed. But if you’re not going to use the loading space on a regular basis, I would recommend avoiding it. They don’t get in the way all that much anyway.
HOW TO RETURN THE BACK SEAT OF YOUR CAR?
1. RETURN THE BACKRESTS
When you want to return everything back, best start with the backrests.
This time first insert the backrest onto the axle and then into the latch. Make sure it sits in properly, push it in and the latch should close.
Use a screwdriver to additionally check if it’s properly closed.
Set the seat belts aside so they don’t get caught. Fold the backrests back into place and make sure you hear a click sound of the locking mechanism. This is a sure sign that the release latch caught the seat and that it’s in place properly.
After this, fold the seat belts back into place.
2. RETURN THE SEAT BASE
Next, return the lower parts of the seat. Insert the metal clips and push them back into place. Make sure they sit in properly. Fold the seats back.
3. INSERT THE HEADRESTS AND RETURN THE TRUNK COVER
When returning the headrests, to avoid jamming, best press the retainer clips so they go in easier.
Regarding the trunk cover, in the case of the Skoda, first, insert one side and then the other. Press the clip on the right side so the cover falls into place.
To simplify, returning the seats is the reverse procedure of getting them out.
Also, and most importantly, make sure everything is locked and set in place properly, especially the backrests. When finished, give them a budge to be sure the latch caught the backrest properly.
So, all this is a fairly simple procedure, and what’s even better, you’ll need minimum tools.
Again, despite the fact that this example is shown on a Skoda Fabia, you’ll find that many car manufacturers have a similar way of how to remove the back seats.
The main difference is in the way the backrest and the seat base are held in place. There may be different types of latches or even screws.
If you plan to do this on your car, best fold the seats first and take a look at the whole system. Whatever the case, it shouldn’t be complicated and besides this, you’ll know if you need any additional tools.
Written by: Sibin Spasojevic
Former car technician, life-long car and DIY enthusiast, author for Despairrepair.com
HOW TO REMOVE THE BACK SEAT AND INCREASE BOOT SPACE ON YOUR CAR? YOUTUBE VIDEO