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Driving position!

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by tiptonjuk, Jan 9, 2007.

  1. tiptonjuk
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    tiptonjuk Member

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    [Jan 9, 2007]
    I'm after some advice for what I know is a subject that is a individual thing, but something that I hope you lot can help with.

    I have an A3 S-Line with the standard half-leather seats.

    For the last couple of weeks I've been having real issues getting comfortable in my seat while doing the 60 mile round-trip commute to work. The main issue is that my knees are starting to ache during the drive, and for most of the day.

    I have my seat positioned at the correct distance from the pedals, I have the seat quite low to the floor, and the seatback in the "relaxed, almost asleep" position.

    I have tried playing with the height and the backrest position, and this just seems to move the ache from one knee to the other.

    Do any of you guys have some suggestions on what I'm doing wrong, and how I can make myself comfortable again?

    Cheers
    John
    #1
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  3. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Jan 9, 2007]
    To be honest,the only way you'll get comfy is to get another car.
    Compared with my A4,there is a real lack of adjustability on the A3 S-line seats.
    I've had my car 2 years now and still cannot get 100% comfy.
    Long journeys are an achy pain,whereas my A4 was a comfy joy.

    Being specific,the seat squab (the bit you sit on) is too short and too flat,IMO.
    So most of your weight is on your arse.
    In my A4,you could tilt the front of the seat up,so your thighs supported your weight too.

    A complete lack of lumbar support is absolutely criminal too.
    I have to use a lumbar roll (cushion) in my car to avoid backache.
    #2
  4. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Jan 9, 2007]
    Not quite an answer to your problem and obviously everyone can give their own views but personally I have had an SE model for nearly 3 years and find the seats very comfortable. One of the reasons I went for the SE was that I preferred the 'standard' seats to the so called 'sports' seats. I have driven my A3 from home to the Channel Tunnel and then from Calais to just inside Germany near Baden-Baden on several occasions. It's 135miles to the Channel Tunnel and a further 415 miles to Germany and it takes around 8 hours actual driving and I can get out of the car with no aches at all. The following day I have driven a further 370 miles to Austria and again get out with no aches or pains. The DSG also helps as my left leg is no longer push a clutch pedal in all the time.

    As I say, this is with SE seats rather than Sports seats and I tend to drive with the backrest more upright than 'laying down' which I personally find more uncomfortable. All my previous A3s were 1.8T Sports and had sports seats and I find my current seats much more comfortable. Also, as I have shorter than average legs (I'm 5'10" tall but only have a 29" inside leg) with the DSG I can adjust my seat to a comfortable position without having to worry if I can push the clutch pedal fully down.

    I know this does not help your problem but it may make one or two others consider the seats in any A3 they order in a different light.

    Hope you soon find a more comfortable set-up. You could just try having the backrest more upright for a while and see if that makes any difference.
    #3
  5. alfiejts
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    alfiejts Member

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    [Jan 9, 2007]
    Same issue here with the standard S-Line sports seats....

    I find the problem is a total lack of lumbar support.

    If you sit in the seat, you can arch your back in and feel all the empty open space where the seat is meant to be supporting your spine in a nice "S shape".

    There's a school of thought that if you put the seat right down, it tilts the squab slightly and helps alleviate the problem for some people.

    I'm not too tall (5'8") and find that if I have the seat quite a way up (up half to 3/4 of its height adjustment range) then the backrest seems to fill in the lumbar gap behind my spine best.

    I also found at the weekend on a long run that it might not all be down to the seat shape....

    I realised that depending on where I positioned the seat, my left foot was perfectly placed on the footrest and I actually found I was pressing on the footrest and tensioning the muscles in my back, pushing myself into the seat.
    If I deliberately kept my foot off the footrest so that I wasn't tensioning my leg & back muscles, it actually helped a great deal and I didn't develop the aches I usually get....
    #4
  6. alanjonesbath
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    alanjonesbath VAGOwners.co.uk

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    [Jan 9, 2007]
    I don't know if the full leather S-Line seats are any different to the half-leather version, but so far I've got no complaints with comfort. I seemed to find a very natural and comfortable position almost straight away, and the only aches I've had are on the sides of top half of my legs where they rest on the edges of the side bolsters, and thats just because I'm a bit on the porky side so a bit wider than most ;) Event that though is relatively minor, other than that I'm perfectly comfy in mine even on 100+ mile trips (done two so far). Maybe it helps having the DSG as I don't have to worry about my clutch foot, but anyway, so far, I'm happy :D
    #5
  7. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Jan 9, 2007]
    I have no issues with the seats in my S-Line, nor did I with the sports seats I've had in my SE for the past three years. I've made sure I added lumbar support on both and have found them by far the most comfortable seats I've ever had in any car. I've done quite a lot of extended drives, including a few trips to the 'ring at around 9 hours each way and have never been even the slightest been achy or stiff when I've got out at the end of it.

    The comfort levels are probably dependent on your body shape to a large degree but also how you sit. I have the seat at the lowest possible height and also quite far back, so that I can just depress the clutch pedal to the floor at maximum leg stretch. I then position the seat back and wheel so that when I grasp the top of the wheel my arm is almost fully extended.
    #6
  8. southpaw66
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    southpaw66 Member

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    [Jan 9, 2007]
    I'm, 50% percentile size (5'10") and I find the seats in mine comfortable for 350 miles round trips.

    My settings are;
    seat at lowest
    adjust fore/aft of seat for comfortable clutch control (not too stretched)
    adjust steering column so it's fully down and fully out (i.e. closest to you)
    adjust seat back so when arms outstretched my wrists (not hands) sit on the top of the wheel.
    This position is based on maximum car control based on a rally driving day experiences at silverstone and I find very comfortable as I used to suffer from lower back pain my previous leon before adopting this position. It is the standard racing driving position for normal cars - only single seater driver are reclined.

    It tends to sit you closer than you might expect but gives great control and stops overreaching which can stress your back.

    However, I did still find that my left knee was hurting resting against the centre tunnel brace (next to gear stick) but I've changed my resting foot position and it's fine.
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  9. batwad
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    batwad Member

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    [Jan 9, 2007]
    Maybe you could raise the seat height up a bit so your calves are angled down a bit, thereby putting more weight onto your thighs.
    #8
  10. MarcQuinlivan
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    MarcQuinlivan Active Member

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  11. Spook
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    Spook Member

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    [Jan 9, 2007]
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  12. stevec
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    stevec Member

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    [Jan 10, 2007]
    I had three test drives, one in an S-line and two in the S3, all with the new Audi sports seats. After 1 hour I wanted out of the car each time, it was uncomfortable to the point of extreme discomfort, almost painful to my neck and back. It looks like the new sports seats also don't have an adjustable squab which won't help either.

    The S4 i test drove has the ability to tilt the seat to gain the same efect, wh yis this option not on the A3 range, I wonder? Odd.

    Having said that I had an old model A3 1.8TQ with sports seats and my current S3 with recaros. Both were excellent for long drives of 3 hours plus.

    I had the same problem you talk about with earlier cars i drove that there was no support for the knee, meaning my weight was distributed on the heel and bum. If you have an adjustable squab this resolves the issue, or you can try a rolled up tea towel (or similar light cloth item) under your knee to the same effect. It is not pretty but it works. the objective is to take the pressure equally over your knee, heel and bum.

    Alternatively you can get an S3 and fork out for bucket seats to get the same effect. Its what i am doing after a long set of emails to Audi customer services, who don't seem to recognise that we are not all the same shape!

    It seems the only way to get better posture in the A3 range is to downgrade to a SE or upgrade to an S3 with bucket seats. I know this problem does not affect everyone, but it is crazy that the problem exists at all, when i never hear of this problem with the old S3 seats on the multiple forums I have visited in the last 7 years. :blink:
    #11
  13. Tim Stuart
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    Tim Stuart Member

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    [Jan 10, 2007]
    This is the driving position I adopt and I have no problems at all with getting (and staying) comfy and I do over 3k miles per month.
    #12

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