Chevy Impala Uncomfortable Lumbar Support

voorhees1voorhees1 Member Posts: 3
edited July 2014 in Chevrolet
Althrough I've had this car for only a short time I did drive a 2008 Impala for a year (company car). Because of the pleasant experience with the '08 I decided to buy an '09 when I had to return the company car. However I find the driver's seat to be extremely uncomfortable as compared with the 2008. . . specifically the lumbar support. It doesn't seem to deflate all the way as it should, and it really really hurts my back (and others who have driven my car). No problem with the passenger seat.

I took it back to the dealer and was told "this is the way it is" and nothing can be done.

I've drove other '09's and experienced the same problem. This seems to be the way it is on all 2009's. (No problem with the 2008's.)

Do others find the lumber support uncomfortable?

Does anyone have a suggestion on how fix this?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


  • lostwrench1lostwrench1 Ct.Member Posts: 1,165
    I purchased an 09 Impala a few months ago and have no problem with the lumbar. During the test drives I found the bucket seat to be much more comfortable than the bench seat. Do you have a bench seat?
    My solution would be to take it to another dealer and have them check if the lumbar is fully retracting. If it is, ask if the retracting mechanism can be adjusted so the lumbar will retract to a greater degree.
    If there is no joy in mudville, I would stuff the seat above and below the lumbar.
  • voorhees1voorhees1 Member Posts: 3
    Thanks for your reply. I have bucket seats.

    How would I go about stuffing the seat above and below the lumbar?

    Thanks again.
  • lostwrench1lostwrench1 Ct.Member Posts: 1,165
    Forget what I said about stuffing the seat. I went out to look at the seat to see how easy it is to access its innards and what do I see ? An air bag.----- Don't touch. Don't go there.
    This is the first car I have owned with a side air bag and forgot it was in the seat.
    If you cannot find a comfortable seat setting after trying all the possibilities, you will probably have to resort to using some sort of small pillow(s) behind your back.
    If your 08 had no air bag in the seat, perhaps that is an indication that the innards of the 09 seat had to be re-engineered to accommodate the air bag, resulting in a different and less comfortable seat.
  • rysterryster Member Posts: 571
    I have to ask...did you test drive the '09 before you bought it? Was the seat uncomfortable during the test?

    Regardless of the seat mounted airbag, a skilled and reputable auto upholsterer should be able to add padding where you need it without affecting the airbag.

    Based on my experience with my current '06 Impala, the padding in the seat will break down over time. Perhaps the seat will soften up enough on its own and become more tolerable.
  • voorhees1voorhees1 Member Posts: 3
    I did test drive it but not as much as maybe I should have. I did drive an '08 for a year and loved it.

    I drove the '09 home but didn't notice how uncomfortable it was until AFTER I tried the lumbar support a day or two later and then couldn't deflate it all the way.

    I hope the padding will break down and the seat becomes more tolerable.

    Thank you for your suggestions. You time and help is greatly appreciated.
  • p100p100 Member Posts: 1,116
    edited July 2010
    I too have noticed that lumbar support in my '09 LTZ is somewhat irritating to my back. Have not noticed it during the test drive, The ratcheting mechanism for the lumbar adjustment in this car is cheap and cheesy. Why couldn't they install an air inflatable lumbar support? It certainly could be justified in a car with $ 31,300 sticker price.

    After I ratcheted the support to its firmest setting, I then released it fully and pushed hard on it to see if I could "deflate" it or release it further. I was somewhat successful and it does not bother my back that much now.

    Another option I am considering are custom tailored sheepskin covers. Yes, they have to be custom tailored, because these seats are huge and no standard sheep skin will fit them! Also they have side airbags, so a regular sheepskin would not be suitable.
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