How to fix a Odyssey Rear Seat that won't go down

I had this problem on my Odyssey and thought I would publish how to fix it - my rear seat was stuck in the position where people could sit on it but I couldn't put it down for cargo purposes. Bummer.

Step 1 - remove the plastic cover

Removing the two screws wasn't too hard (although not trivial either), but then what? How to get it off! There are two hooks on the back of this plastic piece that will break if you pull too hard. The hooks are circled in red but from the normal front view (first picture) you can't see the hooks because they are behind. Push down as shown with green arrows and then pull out as shown with blue arrow. Be gentle!

Step 2 - notice that the cable came off either the left or the right side. In my case it was the right side.

This is how it looks when it is back together. You can't see it in these pictures, but there is a tiny slot for the cable to go into.

The cable will have to slide into the slot on the outside, top part and then the slot turns towards where the cable disappears in the yellow sleeve. Make sure you can see the slot before performing the last step.

Step 3,4 Alternate!!!
Recently, someone posted this picture to show another (easier) way to do this - click to see.

Step 3 - Make the repair tool.
You will need a strong paper clip - not the standard size but a little bigger. You will want some pliers to bend it into the right shape which will vary as you learn the right shape. Here is my tool after I finished with it. Since the last step includes pulling hard, the tool is a little straighter now then when it was in the proper shape. But this shape shown in pictures is very close to what you need but should have much more curve in the first of these 2 pictures. Not 90 degrees but maybe half that.

Step 4 - Do the repair.
You now have to get the cylinder into the far side of the hole. If you use your tool and it is bent properly, the cylinder will turn inside the bend of the tool perfectly. You can move the pastic latch back and forth to get the cylinder into the far side. When you get it, pull the paper clip hard and push/jiggle gently on the plastic latch to get the wire into the top slot then when the cylinder comes flush into the hole (well not flush - see the pictures above - but much farther in), pull the plastic latch and you are done - just remove the tool.


Please please email me - If I change my mind I will remove this last part so obviously I still want you to email me. Email me if you failed. Email me if you were successful. Email me if you have suggestions to improve my instructions. Just email me.