Repair/replace heated seats


TopherS
04-01-2008, 10:33 AM
My driver's side heated seat went out the other day. The light on the dash will light up, but no heat...and there a "cli-click" sound from under the seat every few seconds if the heated seat is turned on. I don't know how the heated option in the seats work. I don't want to replace the seat frame/motors, as they were just replaced a year ago and so the motors work fine. Is there a way to fix this w/o replacing the seat motors?

northstar1958
04-03-2008, 10:27 PM
Topher:

Most likely the heating element burned out or broke. I have the same problem...I know my element is burnt (after running some tests)...From what i've researched, on the 97 model, the heating element is attached to the leather upholstery, so its a simple matter of taking it to a dealership and having them replace the leather seat upholstery at a cost of over 800
bucks.....(like thats gonna happen) I remember reading somewhere that the new models had a replaceable element, but you still have to pull the upholstery off to get to it....I've got some other info stored on this subject somewhere, but i'll have to find it....good luck

Northstar

bigsky
04-07-2008, 11:00 PM
Funny...had the exact same thing happen about a month ago with the same symptoms and the "clicking."

I have not looked to fix it yet but it is probably either the element or the heater module. The "clicking" leads me to start with the module (about $100 new).

Apparently the module from the passenger side can be swapped to confirm. I think the module is on the underside of the seat. The service manual notes removing seat, but I am going to try getting at it without removing (though it is not that hard to remove).

There is also a module that can be accessed fairly easily from the front with the seat up all the way (and plastic front cover removed by lifting up to release clips and pulling forward). But...I think this is the memory module.

mcmlxv
04-11-2008, 02:48 PM
The same problem occurred in my '01 two months ago. Click-click, indicator lamp works, cold butt.

GM lists two different part numbers for the drive's side leather seat bottom cover fo all years of production. One number is for heated, the other is for non-heated. That leads me to believe the heating element is incorporated into the backing of the upholstery.

Heated:

Gray: P/N 12456775, GM list $603.80, GMparts4less.com $452.85.

Neutral: P/N 12456779, GM list $566.72, GMParts4less.com $425.04.

On the gray cover, GMPartsdirect.com lists it for $357.94, but charges $78.75 for S&H. That's why I don't use them anymore.


Good luck.

bigsky
04-12-2008, 01:39 AM
The same problem occurred in my '01 two months ago. Click-click, indicator lamp works, cold butt.

GM lists two different part numbers for the drive's side leather seat bottom cover fo all years of production. One number is for heated, the other is for non-heated. That leads me to believe the heating element is incorporated into the backing of the upholstery.

Heated:

Gray: P/N 12456775, GM list $603.80, GMparts4less.com $452.85.

Neutral: P/N 12456779, GM list $566.72, GMParts4less.com $425.04.

On the gray cover, GMPartsdirect.com lists it for $357.94, but charges $78.75 for S&H. That's why I don't use them anymore.


Good luck.

So you are saying the problem is definitely the heating element and not the heater module?

mcmlxv
04-12-2008, 10:50 PM
So you are saying the problem is definitely the heating element and not the heater module?

No. I'm saying that if the cause of the problem is in fact the heating element, the repair will likely necessitate replacing the bottom seat cover.

Let's hope the fix is the heater module. I've had the seats out of this car once already when the dealer, under warranty, replaced BOTH adjusters. The bill would have been more than an entire engine replacement.

Over the winter, I replaced the driver's side seatbelt which had defective webbing and had become a safety hazard. After that, I vowed I would never touch these seats again.

Now the driver's side lumbar makes a popping noise when selecting the up/down function.

Love the Park but I hate these wierd, complicated seats.

bigsky
04-12-2008, 11:16 PM
No. I'm saying that if the cause of the problem is in fact the heating element, the repair will likely necessitate replacing the bottom seat cover.

Thanks for that. I have seen that sometimes the elements can be repaired...when there is a broken wire for instance.

I have taken apart the back of the seat on a 99 (without removing the seat) to remove the lumbar support (anyone interested in one?). I felt it was always "hitting" my back and so decided to remove it completely. It is not that hard to take apart. The lumbar mechanism actually does not move up and down, rather it puts pressure on the bottom or top of the plastic mechanism through the use of wires/cords.

I would like to replace the leather with cloth and have been trying to find these, but yards want to sell the entire seat and they are too expensive to ship.

The track/motor assembly is a bad deal...all that is needed is to replace a motor and should be a fairly easy and not too expensive job, but GM does not sell individual motors.

EDIT...OK may have found something. Someone on another forum had the clicking and swapped modules but it did not fix...looks like it may be an element (could be seat bottom OR back)....either a broken wire or burned out. Will try to follow up.

TopherS
04-15-2008, 11:22 AM
Wow! I turn my back for a few days and y'all are off and runnin' with more info than I thought I'd get on the subject...thanks, guys! :thumbsup:

Bigsky, I have thought about going to cloth seats, too. I like cloth much better than leather, but I can't see putting some cheesy seat covers in a Park Ave...just wouldn't be right. Somewhere, I thought I even saw heated cloth seats...that may be too much!!! Cloth only came on the earlier years, with leather becoming standard somewhere around 2000 or so. But even when cloth was standard, I think most people got the leather. I'm still looking, but with warmer weather coming, I have a feeling that I'll forget about it until it gets colder again.

mcmlxv, I have the popping noises on my lumbar, too. Only when going up/down. When inflating/deflating, no noise. So far, it doesn't seem to affect the lumbar...yet.


I remember that several times before the heater went out that I would get a faint smell of burning plastic. It would only last a second or two and then go away. I was hoping it was coming from outside...now I realize it was probably my seat heaters.

So if an element is burned out or a wire is broken on either the seat or the back, will it affect the function of both? Because I lost heat in both the seat and the back, I thought it might be something like the module. But with what you found about switching modules not making a difference, now I'm worried about having to replace the whole seat. I just got the seat repaired with new motors, I don't want to get another seat and risk the motors going out and having to replace them again, this time without a warranty to pay for them. :frown:

I would be willing to spend a weekend taking the seats out and checking out the wiring and such...but I have no idea what I'd be looking for!!! :lol:

bigsky
04-16-2008, 04:41 AM
The person who said the module did not fix his went to an aftermarket element in the seat bottom. He said he just "wired it in" and now has heat on the bottom but not the back.

I was not aware of any aftermarket but apparently so. My understanding (as per "1965") is that the element is sewn in. So some type of "hack" job is probably needed. But when you look at the price for OEM new, looks like it would be a cheaper option.

On the lumbar, I think the "popping" is due to the "cords" which move the lumbar assembly getting caught somehow and then freeing up causing the noise. As long as the cords don't break it should continue to work.

Still looking for some OEM cloth covers...I think you are right Topher on the 97-99 time frame. The trick is finding a "retired" 97-99 in the local area.

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