Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

B1970 OBD-II Trouble Code: Passenger Seatback Forward Switch Circuit Short to Ground

diagnostic check engine light

B1970 code definition

The B1970 trouble code notes a circuit error in the passenger seatback forward switch.

What the B1970 code means

The B1970 code is a standard OBD-II trouble code that detects a passenger seatback forward switch circuit error. The passenger seatback forward switch is the switch for the front passenger seat that controls the forward and rearward movement of the seatback. The switch is usually located on the outboard side of the seat. If the body control module or powertrain control module (PCM) detect a circuit error from the seatback forward switch, then the B1970 code may be triggered.

What causes the B1970 code?

There are two common causes of the B1970 trouble code. The first is damaged electrical components in the power seat system, or in the seatback forward switch. The second is a failed passenger seatback forward switch. While very rare, it is also possible that the code is caused by a defective body control module.

What are the symptoms of the B1970 code?

When the B1970 trouble code is stored, the front passenger seatback forward and rearward switch will likely be inoperable, meaning that the seatback cannot be adjusted forward, and likely rearward too. It is also possible that the check engine soon warning light will illuminate.

How does a mechanic diagnose the B1970 code?

The B1970 trouble code will be diagnosed using a basic OBD-II trouble code scanner. A trained mechanic will use the scanner to view the freeze frame data and assess the code, while also checking for the presence of additional trouble codes. If numerous codes have been detected, then they will need to be diagnosed in the order in which the scanner displays them. The trouble codes will then be reset, the vehicle restarted, and the code checked for. If the B1970 code is no longer present, then an intermittent error or an inaccurate detection should be suspected.

If the code is still present, then the mechanic will begin by visually inspecting all of the electrical components. If any fuses are blown, wires are shorted, or connectors are loose or open, then they will need to be replaced. If the electrical parts are in working order, then a failed passenger seatback forward switch should be assumed.

After any components are repaired or replaced, the trouble codes should again be reset, the vehicle restarted, and the B1970 code checked for. By doing this, the technician will know when the problem is fully resolved.

Common mistakes when diagnosing the B1970 code

The most frequently made error when diagnosing the B1970 code comes from a failure to properly follow the OBD-II diagnosis protocol. The diagnosis protocol should be observed at all times, as it helps ensure efficient and thorough inspections.

It is fairly common for seatback switches to be replaced even when they are fully functional, because damaged electrical parts were overlooked.

How serious is the B1970 code?

The B1970 trouble code will not cause any drivability problems. However, the front passenger seat may not be able to be adjusted, which can cause comfort and practicality concerns. As with all trouble codes, an inspection should be scheduled when the B1970 code is detected.

What repairs can fix the B1970 code?

Repairs for the B1970 trouble code include:

Additional comments for consideration regarding the B1970 code

This code is a manufacturer specific code, which means that the definition changes depending on the automaker. On some cars the B1970 code represents a passenger seatback forward switch circuit malfunction, while in other vehicles it represents a completely different body problem. Technicians should always be aware of what vehicle they are working on when diagnosing this code.

Need help with a B1970 code?

YourMechanic offers certified mobile mechanics who will come to your home or office to diagnose and repair your vehicle. Get a quote and book an appointment online or speak to a service advisor at 1-800-701-6230.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.


Post a question and get free advice from our certified mechanics.


More related articles

P0222 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0222 code definition Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input What the P0222 code means The manufacturer specifies a range of acceptable voltage to be produced from the throttle position...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
Insurance Requirements for Car Registration in Kentucky
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet requires that all drivers in Kentucky carry liability automotive insurance, or “financial responsibility” in order to operate a vehicle legally and maintain vehicle...

Related questions

Q: Loud bog noise will not excellerate with no codes in computer

Just because the computer does not have any codes does not mean one of the sensors is not reading correctly. If you are using an oil bath type air filter, it may have contaminated the mass air flow sensor with...

Q: How do you get Check Engine Light reading with no OBD-II plug?

All vehicles that are newer than 1996 and sold in the United States are required to have an OBD-2 system. The scanner plug may have been removed for some reason by the previous owner or mechanic. If this is the...

Q: Car hesitating on acceleration.

Thanks for writing in about your Mazda 6. You need to make sure that the mass airflow sensor is not getting contaminated by an oil type air filter. If it is, replace the air filter with clean paper type one...