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Discussion Starter #1
Hello

I have a 2000 outback wagon limited with leather seats and neither one of them are working.
They did work before, it was my wife's car and she really did'nt tell me when they quit. I know there has been quite a few post's about this but, I can't figure out what's wrong.
I checked all the fuses and they are good.I know there is one underneath the dash and it is good also. Don't know where to turn. I was thinking it might be the switch themselves and I can get used switches on e-bay for $40.
Anyone have any thoughts:confused:
 

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2004 "USDM Lancaster6" -OBW Pearl White LL Bean Edition H6.
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The heating element themselves may have crapped out. The constant flexing of the seat weakens the already brittle heating element, and it eventually gives out and breaks. This happened on my 2002 obw. All fuses were good, switched lit up and all, but the seats were still freezing. The connectors under the seat may have come loose too, so it may be worth it to take a peak. Just my .02, hope it's of some help!
 

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Do the indicator lights that are supposed to show when the seat heaters are turned on light up when the switches are in either the Hi or Lo position?

If the lights do come on, then there's power going to the switches. (Both sides are powered from the same single source.) From there, it could be: bad contacts in the switches (but not highly likely that both switches would become defective on both Hi and Lo positions); disconnected or broken wiring to the heaters (unless work or cleaning was done under the seats, again, not highly likely); or, the heater elements have failed. In regard to the last, it's possible and as noted, has been seen before, but there's several elements in each seat, and the probability of all failing is far less than, say, only one or two, especially the ones in the seat bottom. If the switch indicator lights come on in Hi and Lo positions of the switch, use the High position to check for some heat in one area of the seat, that is, the seat bottom or lower seat back. (High puts the elements in parallel, so even if one is defective, the other still could work; this wouldn't be the case in the Low position where they are connected in series.)

If the switch indicator lights do not come on in Hi and Lo switch positions, it's possible it's just that the bulbs are burned out (not unusual). Again, double check that there is no warming at all in the seats themselves even though the lights don't come on.

Continuing with the "no lights" situation, which fuses did you check and how were they checked? There's one fuse in the in-cabin fuse panel to the left of the steering column (fuse #4, 20 Amps) and another 20 Amp fuse on the "relay block" (has about 6 relay and four fuse receptacles) which I believe is to the left of the fuse panel). (A quick check of fuse #4 can be done by checking to see if the lights for the vanity mirrors come on and the power rear view mirrors work -- fuse #4 powers these as well.)

Oh, and remember that the ignition switch has to be at the ACC, or ON position for the seat heaters to work.

Let us know . . .
 

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Discussion Starter #5
No lights on either side on hi or lo. The vanity mirrors do work, and also I believe I read somewhere that the fuse that control's the rear receptacle(for lack of better term's) work's because I plugged my spotlight in it and it work's.
I did pull the bottom dash panel off (lower left) and I found (1) 20 amp fuse and it was o'kay.I feel no heat in either side in the hi or lo position.
I really don't know what to think.
 

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According to the wiring diagram, the rear accessory power outlet is off the same supply, so the fuses and the related relay (rarely a problem) are okay.

At this point I think more detailed troubleshooting will be needed. There's probably power to the switches, but somewhere there's a bad connection. I've attached the related wiring diagram.

The rear accessory outlet power is connected at the oval-circled R1, so you know there's power to that point.

One other question -- when the headlight switch is turned to the first position (for parking lights etc) do the seat heater switches light up as well? They should (along with the other various controls on the dash board). I'm wondering if perhaps someone was working in or around the center console and the connectors (R42, R43) to the switches were removed.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Did'nt have much time after work this evening but, did check the indicator light's and none of them are working. I also checked the connection's under the seats and they are fine:confused:
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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Those switches come out relatively easy. You can pull them, check for continuity between the poles in both positions and narrow this down a lot faster.
 

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2000 Subaru OBW (base)
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Do the indicator lights that are supposed to show when the seat heaters are turned on light up when the switches are in either the Hi or Lo position?

If the lights do come on, then there's power going to the switches. (Both sides are powered from the same single source.) From there, it could be: bad contacts in the switches (but not highly likely that both switches would become defective on both Hi and Lo positions); disconnected or broken wiring to the heaters (unless work or cleaning was done under the seats, again, not highly likely); or, the heater elements have failed. In regard to the last, it's possible and as noted, has been seen before, but there's several elements in each seat, and the probability of all failing is far less than, say, only one or two, especially the ones in the seat bottom. If the switch indicator lights come on in Hi and Lo positions of the switch, use the High position to check for some heat in one area of the seat, that is, the seat bottom or lower seat back. (High puts the elements in parallel, so even if one is defective, the other still could work; this wouldn't be the case in the Low position where they are connected in series.)

If the switch indicator lights do not come on in Hi and Lo switch positions, it's possible it's just that the bulbs are burned out (not unusual). Again, double check that there is no warming at all in the seats themselves even though the lights don't come on.

Continuing with the "no lights" situation, which fuses did you check and how were they checked? There's one fuse in the in-cabin fuse panel to the left of the steering column (fuse #4, 20 Amps) and another 20 Amp fuse on the "relay block" (has about 6 relay and four fuse receptacles) which I believe is to the left of the fuse panel). (A quick check of fuse #4 can be done by checking to see if the lights for the vanity mirrors come on and the power rear view mirrors work -- fuse #4 powers these as well.)

Oh, and remember that the ignition switch has to be at the ACC, or ON position for the seat heaters to work.

Let us know . . .
Thanks plain! I thought there was a major electrical problem wrong with my car. My seat heaters didn't work, my cigarette plug wasn't working, and my head unit was doing this weird thing where it would stay on for like 10 seconds after i took the key out of the ignition. Normally, as soon as I turn the key to off, all power to the car gets cut, including the radio. After reading your post, I checked the power mirrors, which also didn't work. I pulled fuse #4 and sure enough, it was gone. Replaced the fuse on my lunch break from work and voila! Everything is back to normal. Thanks a lot! :29:
 
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