Introduction: Adjusting the Tilt of Car Headrests

It is very typical for modern cars (say, from 2012 on) to have headrests tilted forward. The reason for this is whiplash protection. The new regulation requires the headrests to be not more than some 10mm from the back of your head to avoid injury. Sounds good, right? Well, it depends. For example, the designers of my Mazda 6 did a good job minimizing the gap. The only problem is that this only works for the average Mazda driver that they had in mind. This average Mazda driver either has a habit of driving in a half-lying position or has a terrible kyphosis. When I assume my normal driving position in this car, the headrest pushes my head forward, so I'm forced to exchange safety for RSI. Not a good idea! I thought initially that the problem was in the anatomy of my body but if you google the issue, you'll see that I'm not the only one. Moreover, not only Mazda is to blame. Many other cars which I tried had the very same issue.

This instructable tells you how to adjust (actually to bend) the headrest slightly backwards that they do not annoy you still fulfilling their function. It is provided with no guarantee of success, so do it on your own risk. It worked out very well for my Mazda headrests.

Step 1: What You Will Need

- Headrests obviously

- Tape to protect the poles of the headrests from scratches

- One wide wooden plank or a couple of them (I used three). When put together they should be wider than the distance between the poles.

- Paper or cardboard to protect the headrest leather or textile

- Ratchet straps

- Pipe with an inner diameter large enough to be put on the headrest pole

You might also need a tire lever or another pipe to put under the poles (see next steps)

Step 2: Protect the Poles

Wrap some tape around the poles to protect them from scratches.

Step 3: Fix One Headrest on a Wooden Plank

Bind it with a ratchet strap very tight. Use a plank or cardboard, or old paper to protect the headrest from damage.

Step 4: Bend It!

Put the pipe on the pole and push it down bending the pole. It might be handy to place a tire lever directly under the pole to make bending easier.

Step 5: Check If the Angle Has Changed

If not - push harder. If you like what you see, continue with the second pole and with the other headrest.