('14+) Using seat cushion - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 06:57 AM Thread Starter
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Question Using seat cushion

Since the Forester doesn't have a power passenger seat and my wife is short (4-10) she wants to sit on cushion. But when she does the air bag turns off. Is there anyway to get it to turn on, she says NO to not using it. I would be ok with just making it stay on all the time.

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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 08:18 AM
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The sensor in the newer Foresters is a Electrostatic Capacitance Sensor system. So, the short answer is, no, she's not going to be able to use that cushion.

Here's some information on how it works.

Stanley Subaru | How Does the Occupant Detection System (ODS) Work in My Subaru?

As far as tricking the sensor, I can't think of any good ideas, unless she wants to sit on a tablet that's on and charging!


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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 08:48 AM Thread Starter
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I guess the air bag will stay off then. She has the seat all the way back so it may not make any difference. Subaru should be ashamed for being so cheap. Every top of the line suv we looked at had a power passenger seat. msrp $38k and a manual seat.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 09:29 AM
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For what's it's worth, the passenger seat already sits really high. It's basically at the max height that the power driver's seat goes to. The seat is only designed to go so high, as they want to keep their passengers in line with the airbags in case of an accident. I don't think it's Subaru that's coming up short on this one
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah it is higher than others we looked at. Not going to stop her from using the cushion though.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 10:15 AM
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Well, one other way might be to move the sensor from the bottom of the seat to the back of the seat. I won't officially suggest you do this, but as someone who has removed these sensors to swap them between seats, they are just a slim fabric-eque sensor. Someone with a decent aptitude at upholstery should be able to disassemble the seats and move it to a more desirable position for your needs. I suppose them she'd only need to keep her lower back into the seat.

Again, just thinking out loud. I don't endorse or suggest messing with any safety systems. Officially, your wife should come to terms with her height and sit safely on that sensor!

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 10:18 AM
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One other thought from a quick Google search:

"I have experienced the same problem with my 2016 Forester,i.e., the passenger airbag will NOT turn on when my wife sits on an air cussion in the passenger seat. Solution: Purchase a "WIFI Blocking Nickel/Copper Fabric" (24" X 15") from amazon for $18. Place the fabric under the air cussion and the airbag will come on when someone sits in the seat. Nobody in the seat and the airbag is off. I fabricated a pillow case with the metalic fabric sewed inside and place the air cussion in the pillow case. ( I aasume no liabilities for passing on what I experienced). Christmas16."

Maybe this would work for you? The cost of entry is low enough to give it a shot:

RFID Blocking, Cell Signal Blocking, WIFI Blocking Nickel/ Copper Fabric. 24" x 15"
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 10:37 AM
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Wow, impressive. But I'm stumped as to why it works. If it works for rminor, Subaru should be notified as something to adopt because there may be a crowd of people out there using cushions with airbags off.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 10:51 AM
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I'd imagine the metal woven into the fabric holds some from of electrostatic that the sensor reads as an occupant.

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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I'll give it a try. If it doesn't work I'll return it. Be here in 2 days, I'll post the results then.

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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 11:44 AM
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Good luck. Hope it works for you!

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 11:49 AM
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Interesting thread. I'd love to read a technical explanation of how that fabric works. Heh - I guess I'm not sure how the whole detection system works in the first place...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bingow View Post
Wow, impressive. But I'm stumped as to why it works. If it works for rminor, Subaru should be notified as something to adopt because there may be a crowd of people out there using cushions with airbags off.
I suspect it would not be well received by Subaru. In my 2015 owner's manual they specifically warn you not to use a seat cushion because it could make it easier for you to slide under the seatbelt in a collision. No doubt some lawyer-speak in this, but I wonder how much more dangerous it would be. And if that cloth is slippery, would that increase the risk?

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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Here's the update promised. IT WORKS! Thank you Raz007. She cut it to size and stitched it to the cushion. Works great.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 12:51 PM
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Perfect. Glad to hear that it worked out. Happy wife, happy life.

Does it still trigger the sensor if you aren't sitting on it? Or only when it's there, and you are also sitting on it?

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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Just checked. When I started the car with nobody sitting on it the display went to "Off". I tried pushing down on it with my hand and it stayed off. Went around and sat on it and it went to "On". Looks like it's just what I needed. Just used half the material, she's sending the other half to her twin sister who has the same problem. She will see if it works in a Hyundai Genesis.
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