Help, Advice, Owners' Discussion and DIY Tutorials on Volvo XC90s. The XC90 proved to be very popular, and very good for Volvo's sales numbers, since its introduction in model year 2003 (North America).
I haven't checked mine, but on other volvos I have switched the casing on slides forward or up and forward and "unsnaps" to be removed. You don't need a ton of pressure but you do need to pull on it. I will try to remember to check mine tomorrow and get back.
So I checked mine out, the XC90 is a little different than others but same general theory. towards the back you will see a tab, looks like three sides of a square, that is a tab/clip that holds the back in place. I wiggled mine to get it free but you may need to put a flat head into the top and bend it out slightly. While doing that lift up on the back, that will free that half.
I didn't go through with the front, but it looks like there is just a hex or star (torx) screw holding it in place from behind, move the seat all the back and up and you should be able to get to it no problem, installation is of course opposite of removal.
I just replaced the drivers side seat control panel on my 08 XC90 and thought a short might be helpful. I bought the part from VolvoPartsWebStore.com for $13.60 without shipping which was the cheapest I could find. I picked up a few other things to justify the shipping (oil filters, crush washers). I got the charcoal gray one which is part number 39802011. Other colors are available to match your interior. The new one has a couple of ribs on the underside to reinforce where it had cracked so I'm hoping this will last a lot longer, plus I plan to be a little more careful getting in and out.
Torx - 20T, 15T Cutting pliers 3 zip ties flashlight
First, move the seat all the way back to get as much room to work with. If you look under the seat, you'll see the seat control cable running to the panel. The cable was marked with yellow tape to show where the zip ties were. Two were connected to the bottom of the seat and the third connected to the seat control panel. Cut the zip ties with the cutting pliers and you'll be able to remove the cable from the harness. Its the green one on the left. Squeeze the underside of the connector and it should come free.
I cut all three zip ties, but in retrospect you only have to cut the two which connect the cable to the underside of the seat. The third one is connected to a small black plastic/metal clip which can be removed from the old panel and placed on the new one (It's near my fingernail, zip tie and all). The new one didn't come with this clip so you'll need it either way.
There's a 15t screw on the front end of the panel which runs perpendicular to the seat rails but faces the interior of the car. You should be able to feel around for it to locate it if you don't see it. Unscrew it and you'll be able to pull the front part up from the 9 o'clock position to about 11 or 12. You should be able to pop the panel out now which is only held in place on the rear end by some tension from the C connection to the seat. A look at the new part will help explain it. See the far right
Unscrew the three 20T screws which hold the seat control module in the panel and proceed to place it in the new panel. Replace the small black plastic/metal clip on the panel and zip tie the cable to the panel (if you cut it earlier). It's easier to do now rather than later. Being right handed, I found it easier to push the C connection of the rear end of the panel onto the seat by doing it from the rear seat. It should pop in place and you'll be able to put the panel back to it's 9 o'clock position. There's a metal plate (silver and rectangular) protruding from under the seat which helps to support the panel so make sure that is securely in place before replacing the 15T screw. Connect the cable to the harness and replace the zip ties to complete the job. Took about 30 minutes for me but I took pictures and all so maybe 15 minutes at most.