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I've rented a BMW 318d Touring wagon. I'm not sure of the year but it seems to be at most a few years old. I'd like to completely remove the bottom of the rear bench seat (the part you sit on). This will enable the rear seats to fold completely flat. I'm stuck at figuring out how to disconnect the middle seat belt shoulder strap — it runs through the seat bottom, preventing it from being removed from the car.

There is a largish bolt/screw at the bottom end of the strap. I'm not sure what type of bit it takes but it looks like it might take a Torx bit.

What is the best way to remove this shoulder strap so I can take the seat bottom out?

  • I don’t think you are meant to dismantle a rented car... Perhaps you should have hired a van.... – Solar Mike Nov 23 '17 at 17:45
  • I'm sure it will be fine as long as I put it back together before I return it :) Hopefully they are not heavy SE users – intuited Nov 23 '17 at 18:03
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I don't have a totally definitive answer to this, but I did learn that the bolt takes a Torx T50 bit. It was impossible to unscrew without a proper wrench (I just had a hand screwdriver) and I realised I could arrange the seat bottom in a way that made enough room. I'm still curious if there isn't an easier way to do this, as I don't recall it being anywhere near this complicated with my Jetta SportWagon.

I did take the vehicle in to a BMW dealer and the guy mentioned that you do have to take that bolt out, so it does seem like that's the only way to do it. The owner's manual covers folding the seats down but doesn't say anything about removing the seat bottoms. Strange since it gives you a much more stable surface and is a lot better for hauling flat-bottomed objects like shelving and whatnot.

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