2004 LeSabre Limited Dead Heated Seat


pcmos
12-04-2009, 02:58 AM
Recently my driver side heated seat simply quit working. Passenger side is working just fine. When I press the button to activate the driver heated seat, the button displays "Hi" as it should. The seat just never gets warm, if I press the button again, nothing happens, it doesn't change to "Lo" like it normally would. In fact it sort of "locks up", the button just fails to do anything until it's pressed a few times. After a few presses of the button, it will finally change from Hi to Lo and then Off. Unfortunately the problem isn't the switch as I tried swapping it out. Has anyone had any experience doing further diagnosing and / or replacing the heated seat pad itself?? I'm just wondering if there is some common problem with the system or something I should check first.

stuzman
12-05-2009, 10:42 AM
Recently my driver side heated seat simply quit working. Passenger side is working just fine. When I press the button to activate the driver heated seat, the button displays "Hi" as it should. The seat just never gets warm, if I press the button again, nothing happens, it doesn't change to "Lo" like it normally would. In fact it sort of "locks up", the button just fails to do anything until it's pressed a few times. After a few presses of the button, it will finally change from Hi to Lo and then Off. Unfortunately the problem isn't the switch as I tried swapping it out. Has anyone had any experience doing further diagnosing and / or replacing the heated seat pad itself?? I'm just wondering if there is some common problem with the system or something I should check first.

Here is some stuff I posted awhile back...
http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=470557&highlight=troubleshooting+heated

pcmos
12-05-2009, 05:35 PM
Ah, yes, I found your post after putting mine up. I ran a search in the forum and read through it. The factory shop manuals provide a good description of the functionality of the heated seat system and all of the modules involved. I can rule everything out except the heated seat module, thermistor, and heated seat element. Essentially your problem sounds identical to mine. I was hoping someone would jump in and say "oh it's a problem with the connection between such and such, and is a very common simple failure on these cars."

Did you end up actually following through with the repair?

I'm worried that the seat heater pads won't be available from the dealer because I can't seem to find them in any of the OEM online dealer databases where I usually have no problem digging up hard to find parts. GM Parts Direct doesn't show the element pad in their listing. The shop manual claims that the thermistor is integrated in the heater pad on this car, which would rule out the use of an aftermarket pad.

stuzman
12-06-2009, 12:31 PM
Ah, yes, I found your post after putting mine up. I ran a search in the forum and read through it. The factory shop manuals provide a good description of the functionality of the heated seat system and all of the modules involved. I can rule everything out except the heated seat module, thermistor, and heated seat element. Essentially your problem sounds identical to mine. I was hoping someone would jump in and say "oh it's a problem with the connection between such and such, and is a very common simple failure on these cars."

Did you end up actually following through with the repair?

I'm worried that the seat heater pads won't be available from the dealer because I can't seem to find them in any of the OEM online dealer databases where I usually have no problem digging up hard to find parts. GM Parts Direct doesn't show the element pad in their listing. The shop manual claims that the thermistor is integrated in the heater pad on this car, which would rule out the use of an aftermarket pad.

The car belongs to the wife and I asked her if she wanted me to fix it. She wasn't worried about it, so I didn't follow up with any repairs on it. If you do find out anything about where to get the heaters, let us all know.

pcmos
01-14-2010, 11:09 PM
Just to give everyone an update. I stopped at the dealer on my lunch break today near work to ask about the dead heated seat. The parts manager said they make a heater element replacement kit that includes everything to swap out the heater element pads in the seat. The whole kit for the driver's side is 175. I'm not terribly upset by that price and I'm pleasantly surprised to find the part is easy to order. Hopefully when I get one of my upcoming paychecks I'll be able to allocate 200 bucks to keeping my back side warm in this cold NJ weather.

I also want to do some further diagnostic work and make sure that the heater element is the actual problem. I'll confirm a dead element with a simple resistance check, although I can't really imagine what else could be wrong. Passenger side still works just fine.

consultIII
01-14-2010, 11:45 PM
I've changed the element before. It shorted out and actually burned throught the material the wire element is housed in. Was melted into the seat foam but didn't burn the seat cover.

pcmos
01-15-2010, 12:44 AM
Did you do the repair with the seat mounted in the car or did you remove the seat and work on it outside of the car? I may remove the seat for cleaning and restoration anyway since it seems like the sort of job that would be a lot more comfortable to do in my living room. I'd also like to replace the cushion and backrest elements together. I know the vertical backrest has a heater element in addition to the horizontal cushion. I'd like to go ahead and replace both if I can.

dpalomaki
01-15-2010, 08:43 AM
When you get the parts, please share the part number, maker, etc.

While mine are working now, that may not always be the case into the future.

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