First post so be gentle on me...
My seat release cable was constantly failing, with the below, very good guide resolving the problem (the little metal hook kept coming out of its locator)
http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-...-easy-fix.html (Front seat not folding - easy fix)
a month ago the cable snapped, first stop was this forum but every post i could find was telling me its a seat out job. before attempting the job i decided i was going to try an alternative solution. A month on the seat release is functioning better than ever. (no need to exert any excessive force).
I purchased a gear cable from my local bike shop (cable only no need for the sheath and also not a brake cable as this has a larger nipple on the end which i found out the hard way) for £1.99. I followed the guide above to remove the back of the seat and expose where the cable terminates, i then removed the old cable and proceeded to threaded the new cable from the top of the seat release handle and connected the nipple to the handle (slightly fiddly). i also applied a small amount of grease to the cable.
With the seat pulled forward (less tension on the cable) i pulled the cable tight, wrapped the new cable round the hole the previous metal hook was in and tied the cable off.
i wrapped the cable 3 times through and round the hole before I knotted off the cable with a little bit of glue on the last knot to ensure it didn't come loose. In future if i have to remove the cable i will just cut below the glued knot. I also checked everytime before i wrapped it round that i had the right amount of tension to allow me to release the seat (pulled seat back and tried the lever), I assume too much tension and the seat will always be in the release position and not lock back in place.
In total is took me 20mins to complete and a month still working as good as ever, at some point i will do the same for the passenger side as that is a nightmare to engage the seat release.