How to Modify Seats to Fit Your Car

Updated February 21, 2017

Modifying the seats in a car allows for a comfortable and customised fit. However, newer models of cars require more care when changing the positioning or style of the seats. The Tall Club website explains that modern car seats are designed and installed as a part of a sophisticated safety system. When the seats are changed, it affects the entire safety system in the car. The seat, the seat belt assembly, the airbag system, the wiring harness, and the surrounding parts of the interior all have to be considered when adjustments are being made to the seats.

Remove the original seats and measure the interior of the car to determine the space that is available for installing new seats. The new seats should be designed for the specific brand and model of car so that all of the safety features still work effectively.

Ensure that a new seat comes with the appropriate seat belt. The AutoSpeed website explains that the buckle as well as the seat belt are attached directly to the seat. As a result, the seat must be able to withstand the amount of force that is distributed to it from the seat belt during a collision.

Select a seat that not only fits the width of the floor space that is available in the car, but one that also allows enough space between the headrest and the ceiling. A longer seat will restrict the amount of leg room, while a taller seat can block the rear vision.

Consider adjusting the length of the seat runners to increase the amount of leg room in the car. The Tall Club website explains that two runners can be cut to size and welded together to increase the seat's range of movement. Longer runners allow plenty of leg room, but the amount of clearance between the driver's head and the ceiling of the car must be considered due to safety factors.

Install the chosen seats and ensure that the seats still enable all of the car's special safety system features to work correctly. The seats in modern cars usually have sensors that must be aligned with the internal safety system. The sensors coordinate the deployment of the air bags based on the rate of speed of the vehicle, the point of impact, the position of the driver in the seat and the amount of torque applied to the seat belt.


Installing car seats is an important process that must be completed correctly. It is advisable to take the car to a reputable auto shop or custom car shop and pay to have professionals select and install seats that will maintain the safety of the car while meeting the car owner's needs.


Before customising and replacing the seats in a car, it is important to contact the insurance company as well as the car manufacturer. The warranty on the seats or the entire car can become void after the personalised seat customisation. Also, very few insurance policies will cover car modifications.

Things You'll Need

  • Wrench
  • New seats with correct seat belts
  • Tape measure
  • Seat runners
  • Welder
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About the Author

Shannon Johnson has been a freelance writer since 2008, specializing in health and organic and green-living topics. She practiced law for five years before moving on to work in higher education. She writes about what she lives on a daily basis.