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Old 01-19-2013, 03:36 PM   #1
Bell040


 
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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)





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.



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



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:



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...
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Last edited by Bell040; 01-19-2013 at 04:03 PM.
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:46 PM   #2
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Very nice diagnostic work and write up, saved for future reference.
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:49 PM   #3
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Awesome write up. I need to do this to mine!
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:17 AM   #4
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Thanks for the write up need to look at this on mine also.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:34 AM   #5
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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.
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:36 AM   #6
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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.
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Old 01-20-2013, 01:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CWI View Post
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.
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bell040 View Post
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.
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:33 AM   #9
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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
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
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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.:(
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:27 PM   #11
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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)?
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:24 PM   #12
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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.
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Old 03-24-2013, 02:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bell040 View Post
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)?
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:42 PM   #14
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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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Old 03-30-2013, 01:22 PM   #15
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It Works!

Well I was able to get it fixed yesterday. I had the exact same problem as the OP. I was able to replace the bad section of factory wire. The top 2 pictures show the way the wire was routed from the factory. The pink wire was broken where it made a 90 degree turn through the hole in the foam (second pic).

I decided to replace the wire with a more flexible variety for the part that runs from the pad to out of the seat. I also routed the wire down the bottom of the seat instead of out the hole in the back (protected with split loom). I felt this would prevent any of the sharp bends that may have caused the factory wire to break. I carved a small depression in the foam so the split loom would sit flush (last pic).
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:49 PM   #16
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Nice!
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Old 05-05-2013, 07:28 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver2SSRS6spd View Post
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?
Thanks for the write-up - This will help me with my issue.

Any hope for Silver2SSRS6spd on those back bolts? I'm going to pre-treat those bolts with liquid wrench just in case.
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Old 10-09-2013, 01:49 PM   #18
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Thanks for this write up!!!

I to had the same issue with the driver side seat heater. I needed to clean and condition the leather and also clean out and vacuum under the seats anyways so i tackled this today.

BOTH pink and blue wires were completely broke off about 3/16" from the back heating element. It was tricky to soldier them back together, but i got it!

And as an added bonus: $0.67 was recovered in the process!!
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Old 11-02-2013, 09:32 AM   #19
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Bumped for reference.

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Old 11-23-2013, 04:59 PM   #20
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OK... same problem here. I took everything apart and found that BOTH wires had broken in about the same spot. I made new wires, soldered, protected, and reassembled. Now the seat actually starts to warms up, but shuts off after about 1:30-2 minutes. It is lasting longer than before, but still shutting off. Any ideas?
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