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2012 limited, white, no moonroof or nav
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1,698 Posts
Does the light in the switch come on? Does one seat work, but not the other?

Is the key on? ;)
 

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18,300 Posts
If one of the "on" lights comes on when a switch is turned to low, then the switch is getting power. That means the fuse and the seat heater relay are okay. Both switches are powered from the same source.

The absence of lights could be due to burned out bulbs. The absence of heat could be broken heater filaments in the seats. Both are not uncommon.

If you're not going to use the heaters, don't bother with it. Trouble shooting would probably require removing the seat heater switches and measuring for continuity through the bulbs and switch contacts, and for Voltage going to the seat heater elements.
 

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2002 outback
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443 Posts
while i dont have heated seats in the ob, i do have them in our mazdas. and i have replaced both drivers lower, and one upper. huge pita, but to me, worth it. also very common problem in bmws. you basically gotta pull off the seatcover, this involves hog rings on most cars, and they can be a bitch to remove. the first one i did, i unbent the hog rings and reused them. the next one, i just cut them suckers, and used new ones. since i worked at the bmw dealer at the time, i used the bmw rings, which were smaller in wire diameter, and thus a lot easier to handle. i guarantee you your wrists will feel 10x worse than carpal tunnel. after the first one, i found a really nice set of hi torque cutters, and hog ring pliers made for seatcover installs, which made a huge difference. on the mazda, and on bmw, the lower and upper seat heaters are separate, but joined in series, so if one of them goes out, both dont work. on the mazda, the sensor that controls the heat is in the upper element. the lower element goes out way more than the upper. they connect with a simple wire connector. you will have to take the seat apart, so it will have to come out of the car. and they are really heavy. i separate the upper part from the lower in the car, then they are way less bulky and a bit lighter. on the mazdas and on some bmws, you will destroy the seat switch bezel, cause no matter how you pull/pry/push, it will break. i use the heated seats every day when it is cold. which to me is like 60 deg
 

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2005 Legacy 2.5i Wagon 4EAT; 2005 Forester XS 4EAT
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672 Posts
Are you sure you left them on long enough for you to notice? Mine are HORRIBLY slow at getting warm, and they don't maintain anything resembling continuous heat. These are the worst heated seats I've ever owned in a vehicle. I've been considering aftermarket. Anything would have to be better.
 

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2005 Legacy 2.5i Wagon 4EAT; 2005 Forester XS 4EAT
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672 Posts
If they didn't have heated seats, the default was two little coin bins... ;)
 

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2000 Subaru Outback Limited, Manual Transmission
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713 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Are you sure you left them on long enough for you to notice? Mine are HORRIBLY slow at getting warm, and they don't maintain anything resembling continuous heat. These are the worst heated seats I've ever owned in a vehicle. I've been considering aftermarket. Anything would have to be better.
I think this comment solved my "problem". :-D
 

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2011 Tacoma TRD Sport Double Cab Long Box
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2,893 Posts
Are you sure you left them on long enough for you to notice? Mine are HORRIBLY slow at getting warm, and they don't maintain anything resembling continuous heat. These are the worst heated seats I've ever owned in a vehicle. I've been considering aftermarket. Anything would have to be better.
Yup, the Gen2 heated seats are not impressive. Sometimes my '04 LLB seats would get awfully hot, but most of the time it was almost not worth turning them on. It was as if they had a mind of their own.

I don't know if it was age or if they were like that since they were new. My 2008 is MUCH better.
 

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Premium Member
2005 3.0 R n totaled
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7,529 Posts
Put sheep skins on your seats; they are cool in summer and warm in winter...I used to have them on all my cars few years back....
 

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2002 Outback LTD Wagon
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77 Posts
Mine are realy good or just so so, you never know what you're going to get on any given day. Once in a while I have to put my seat on the low setting (because high can get hot) but usually high is fine.
 

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2000 Subaru Outback Limited, Manual Transmission
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713 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I had my passenger side on yesterday... I couldn't feel heat when I reached over and touched it. Later on a friend got in and after a while he said it was burning his ass. Is there some sort of sensor that only allows it to work when someone is sitting in the seat?
 

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2005 Legacy 2.5i Wagon 4EAT; 2005 Forester XS 4EAT
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672 Posts
I had my passenger side on yesterday... I couldn't feel heat when I reached over and touched it. Later on a friend got in and after a while he said it was burning his ass. Is there some sort of sensor that only allows it to work when someone is sitting in the seat?
No. You usually won't feel much just by touching it. It's more of a radiant heat that you'll really only feel by keeping your hand or butt pressed into it for at least a good 15 seconds or so. That's how all heated seats in cars are that I've owned.

If you think about it, the heating element is a couple of layers down: leather (or cloth) > padding > element.
 
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