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-   -   DIY: Fix your broken seat warmer (pics) (http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=271981)

Bell040 01-19-2013 03:36 PM

DIY: Fix your broken seat warmer (pics)
 
If you are like me and many others that have had their drivers side seat warmer go out... I found the problem and fixed it.

Problem: Your drivers side seat warmer stops working. The lights on the button stay illuminated for ~1 minute, and the light goes off without the seats ever getting warm.


Solution: If you are under warranty... you could take it to the dealer... that is, if you don't mind them ripping your seat to shreds replacing your elements...................... that you do not even need.

If you want to fix it yourself, it is not that bad of a job. There is one little wire that has burnt out and had lost connection. It is not in the element....

.... YOU DO NOT NEED TO RIP YOUR LEATHER SEATS APART TO CHANGE THE ELEMENT!!!


Step 1: Take your seat out of the car. This takes me less than 3 minutes.

Seat removal DIY: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=100176



Step 2: From the bottom of the seat, locate the heater element leads that go to the seat back (not the bottom... that one is probably fine)

There is ONE pink and ONE blue wire going into a grey connector. (the other connector with pink and blue and 2 more wires goes to the bottom element)

http://i601.photobucket.com/albums/t...psfd78b07c.jpg

http://i601.photobucket.com/albums/t...ps4395d855.jpg

Check the two wires for resistance or continuity. It should be between 1 and 2 ohms or they should show continuity. Mine showed an open circuit. (above)

If it is an open circuit, you will need to dig a little deeper to see the problem. The wire takes a 90 degree turn under the one-zie, and it gets burnt up there for some reason.

.... I dug a little too deep because I didn't know what I was after. That is why my bottom cushion is missing



Step 3: Unsnap bottom seat "one-zie" connector to release the leather. Then unzip 2 zippers on the back of the seat. Fold up the front leather to expose the lower section of the heater element.

http://i601.photobucket.com/albums/t...ps677c9f9b.jpg

Step 4: check the resistance directly on the heater element. It should be 1 to 2 ohms.

http://i601.photobucket.com/albums/t...ps5d597924.jpg

So......... you have an open circuit at the connector, but a good circuit at the element.... the wires in between must be bad.

Indeed they are:

http://i601.photobucket.com/albums/t...psee60bd15.jpg

You can cut and redo the connection on that one, and you will be done. I added male and female spade terminal connectors so it will be easy if I ever need to go back in there.

Enjoy your butt being warm again... :)

techinny 01-19-2013 03:46 PM

Very nice diagnostic work and write up, saved for future reference.

BigMatt 01-19-2013 03:49 PM

Awesome write up. I need to do this to mine!

SRFnSNO 01-20-2013 07:17 AM

Thanks for the write up need to look at this on mine also.:thumbsup:

CWI 01-20-2013 08:34 AM

How does the harness come loose? I got the bolts out no problem, not like a lot of members have said. I just used a torx and a 8", 3/8" drive ratchet. I have a sprained shoulder and still did it without a lot of pain. A little hard to break loose but maybe 50 lbs force.

CWI 01-20-2013 11:36 AM

I finally got it out. I have continuity to the bottom of the seat. Found the problem after I remove the entire bottom cushion. It's in the back cushion damn it. Live and learn. I've done more work on this car than I did on any in the 70's and that was a lot.

Anyway, the pink wire was broken a little more than an inch from the heat element. Hope I don't have to do this again. It's like the rear deck, a bitch the first time and easy after that. Should be good to go once make the splice and put it all back together.

Your writeups definately helped, thanks.

Bell040 01-20-2013 01:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CWI (Post 6060449)
I finally got it out. I have continuity to the bottom of the seat. Found the problem after I remove the entire bottom cushion. It's in the back cushion damn it. Live and learn. I've done more work on this car than I did on any in the 70's and that was a lot.

Anyway, the pink wire was broken a little more than an inch from the heat element. Hope I don't have to do this again. It's like the rear deck, a bitch the first time and easy after that. Should be good to go once make the splice and put it all back together.

Your writeups definately helped, thanks.

I guess taking the seat out was easy for me.... since I have had the seats out of the car several times now. I took it out once for extra cargo space, another time to clean under it, and even once to race it (it weighs ~50 lb).

From reading everyone's problems with it, it's always the back cushion on the driver side...and it is always just an inch or 2 from the element.

2SSRS@Gen5diy 01-20-2013 02:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bell040 (Post 6060823)
I guess taking the seat out was easy for me.... since I have had the seats out of the car several times now. I took it out once for extra cargo space, another time to clean under it, and even once to race it (it weighs ~50 lb).

From reading everyone's problems with it, it's always the back cushion on the driver side...and it is always just an inch or 2 from the element.

Thank you for a grate DIY, nice to see members adding info they learn on the GEN5 diy.

firestone_ss 01-21-2013 10:33 AM

been saying this for a long time,if the issue was a short gm would recall it but since the wire breaks no recall,also the side air bag harness in the same seat has a similar issue

CWI 01-23-2013 02:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by firestone_ss (Post 6063632)
been saying this for a long time,if the issue was a short gm would recall it but since the wire breaks no recall,also the side air bag harness in the same seat has a similar issue

The problem with mine does appear to be a design issue. It broke at the same place as the OP. It looks to me like the wire gets pressed against part of the seat frame and over time gets cut through.

I had continuity through the pad and fixed the wire. Stuffed everything back together and tested again before reinstalling the seat and shi*, no continuity. Guess now I need a new heat pad.:(

Agent WD-40 03-22-2013 12:27 PM

Can anybody tell me what gauge this pink wire is? It would be nice to have wire in hand before pulling the seat out. This happened to mine and I want to replace the section of wire.

Has anybody re-engineered anything in fixing this to prevent it from happening again (like adding some extra support around the wire)?

Bell040 03-22-2013 03:24 PM

You can see the wire by just looking under your seat and finding the plug (there is a black cover over the pink and blue wires)... without taking the seat out.

I just ran the wire out of the seat differently... so it should not fail there again.

Agent WD-40 03-24-2013 02:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bell040 (Post 6320911)
You can see the wire by just looking under your seat and finding the plug (there is a black cover over the pink and blue wires)... without taking the seat out.

I just ran the wire out of the seat differently... so it should not fail there again.

Thanks! I was able to find it. It looked like it was about 16 gauge. I ordered some flexible silicone jacket wire to replace the damaged factory wire.

Where did you end up running the wire? I'm assuming not around the corner of the seat like the factory did. I've not taken the seat apart yet so perhaps it will be self evident when I do.

Did you add any extra protection to the wire bundle (like split loom)?

Silver2SSRS6spd 03-29-2013 06:42 PM

I have a question about removing the seat, I loosened the two screws and they are spinning freely, yet they will not come out. It seems like I may have broken off the welded nut that is probably underneath the rails. Anyone have any ideas?


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