Heated seats can make your winter commute much more pleasant, as well as reduce back pain and other aches and pains that can come from a long time spent in a seated position -- making a malfunction with the heating mechanism an especially crushing blow during the coldest months. Fortunately, there are a few quick fixes that may have you riding in comfort again in no time. Here are some simple troubleshooting methods that may be enough to get your heated seats working again, as well as some situations in which professional repair may be in order.
What can you do to troubleshoot your heated seats?
When it comes to heated seat malfunctions, there are a few relatively common issues that can be easy to resolve on your own.
The first thing you'll want to do is check for any blown fuses. When a fuse is old or put under a sudden and extreme amount of strain, it can break; in other cases, a fender-bender or other minor accident can be enough to jar a fuse loose from its plug. If you notice that the fuse for your heated seats is broken or dislodged, replacing it is usually a simple task that shouldn't take much time or cost you more than the price of the fuse itself and a fuse puller.
In other cases, the power to your heated seats may be blocked by corroded or damaged wires. This can often happen if soft drinks or other liquids are spilled on the seats and not quickly wiped up. Check the connection where the wires join the seat (usually located behind or beneath the driver's seat) to ensure these wires appear to be in good condition; if they're corroded, cleaning them (after unhooking your vehicle's battery cables to avoid any shock) may be enough to get your seats working again. Those who are comfortable making minor electrical repairs may also be able to patch or repair any bare wires that could be causing the heated seats to stop working.
When may you need to visit the dealership or repair shop?
If you're not easily able to diagnose your heated seat issues by examining the source wires or fuses, your next step will likely be to remove the seat and take a look at the heating assembly -- a tough job for those who don't have much experience in this area. In most cases, you'll be better off enlisting the help of an auto repair shop or your vehicle's dealership rather than going farther on your own. Check it out.