The Volvo Parts, Accessories &
Performance Specialists Since 1963

Time For a Seat Rebuild?

2019-01-14 - ipd Staff

Disclaimer: Direct from ipd’s Tech Tip archive!  This tech tip contains information from previous publications.  Products mentioned may not be available or the information may not be accurate due to changes in supply, manufacturing, or part number association.  Please contact ipd Customer Support if you have further questions.

Volvos have long been known for their comfortable seats that provide correct orthopedic support. If the seats in your Volvo are showing their age, you have some options. The four most common problems are worn upholstery, broken lumbar supports, broken down foam and broken seat web grids. The good thing about Volvo seats is that they can be rebuilt without any special tools. These upgrades are pretty easy for the experi-enced do-it-yourselfer and we provide excellent instructions for most of these repairs with the specific product.

Custom Fit Seat Covers

Our custom fit seat covers are made specificallylorrthe 200 and 700 series seats and provide a near original look. They are made of a premium quality fabric that will last for years and look good doing it. We have local customers with our seat covers in their 240s that have been in use for over 10 years and 100,000 miles and they still look great! Plan an hour or two for this project.

Lumbar Support

One of the features that makes these seats so comfortable can also make them very uncomfortable when it fails. The adjustable lumbar support system provides lower back support when it's working; when it fails you know it in a hurry! It's amazing how effective that little support can be and even more amazing is how painful the seats can be on your lower back when the lumbar has failed. Plan an hour or two to replace broken lumbar components.

Replacement Seat Foam for 200 Series

Replacing the seat foam is the most time consuming seat repair as the seat must be disassembled down to the frame. When the seat foam breaks down the seat may look fine, but when you sit in the seat you'll feel the steel frame as the foam no longer supports the occupant. This is most noticeable around the perimeter of the seat base and or back. Plan a good 2-3 hours per seat for this major overhaul and consider this a good time to completely rebuild the seats as you will have them completely disassembled.

Seat Base Webbing

The seat webbing is stretched across the frame of the seat bottom and provides flexible support to the cush-ion. When it fails, you end up sitting quite a bit lower in the seat and it no longer feels comfortable and sup-portive. You can usually see a failure in the wire webbing if you use a flashlight to look under the seat. Loose springs or broken wires means the web needs replacement.


A complete rebuild of one seat could cost $400. Another option to consider is locating a good used pair of seats from a Volvo recycler. The seats in 200 series are interchangeable throughout the entire production 1975 to 1993. Good used seats typically sell for $150 to $400 a pair depending on condition. Keep in mind that 4 door front seats in a 2 door will not have the ability to tilt forward for rear seat access. 700 & 900 series also share interchangeability, but you may run into some differences in power and manual seats. The rear seats in all sedans are interchangeable, there may be some minor differences in late model wagon seats.

You may also want to take a look at aftermarket seats like Recaros, Konig, Flofit etc. We have used some of these seats in past project cars and they look great, but usually don't provide the comfort and back support of the Volvo seats. Most will provide significant improvements in lateral support for enthusiastic drivers. Plan to spend $400 and up each for these seats and adapters.