Modifying a car seat

Using a cushion on a car seat may help, but it has some disadvantages. It raises you up so that the curve of the back of the seat is in the wrong place for you, and you may be too high up to drive comfortably.

For these reasons, I (Jon Miles) decided to modify my car seat (Volkswagen Golf Mark 3) by cutting out a section of foam, so I could sit comfortably without a cushion. Here is how I did it:

  1. First check that your car seat is suitable for this alteration - it should have a thickness of at least 5 centimetres (2 inches) of foam under the material. And remember that cutting the seat will reduce the value of the car if you want to sell it.
  2. Place a 'Tush Cush' type of cushion on the car seat, and draw round the inside of the cut-out to mark out on the car seat where you want to remove foam. Use chalk to mark the material so that it is not permanent.
  3. Don't cut the cover material of the car seat around the chalk mark, as this would leave an uncomfortable edge and look unsightly. Instead, cut the cover material in a line down the middle of the U shape, starting at the back of the seat. Before you reach the front (rounded part) of the U with your cut, branch the cut into two so that it becomes a Y shape, with the tips of the branches of the Y meeting the rounded edge of the U. (Sometime I'll work out how to put a diagram on this site.)
  4. Peel back the edges of the cover material, and mark the top surface of the foam rubber with a U directly underneath the U marked on the seat. A pen works better than chalk to mark the foam.
  5. Using a very sharp knife, cut down into the foam along the marked U shape to a depth of 5 centimetres or so (2 inches).
  6. Pull out the foam you have cut around - you don't have to undercut it, as you can pull the foam apart with your fingers.
  7. The cover material will spring back to cover the hole, but the seat will now be much more comfortable to sit on.
  8. Keep the plug of foam in case you want to put it back later.

I've also put a slab of foam rubber on the back of the car seat from my waist to my neck, so my bottom is not touching the back of the seat at all.

Written by Jon Miles

Updated 2019-07-28

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