The average price for a seat heater control module replacement cost typically ranges between $190 and $205 for most vehicles. The price of the labor is between $59 and $72, while the cost of the parts is around $131. As you can see, the labor is typically less than an hour, with most dealerships or mechanics having an hourly rate of $80-$100.
Of course, the total seat heater control module replacement cost will depend on the make, model, and year of your car – along with the extent of the damage to any other parts around the area.
Let’s see what the function of a seat warmer, the purpose of the seat heater control module, the symptoms of a faulty module, how to diagnose and repair the control module, and the overall seat heater control module replacement cost.
What is a seat heater?
Most modern cars have seat heaters, giving the driver and passengers to heat their seats with just the push of a button. This is especially common for vehicles that are sold in cold climates, since heating your seta can help for a more comfortable ride.
Normally, the heated seat buttons are located on the side of the driver and passenger door, near the gearshift, or sometimes on the front instrument panel/dashboard. In some cars, only the bottom of the seat warms up, while in other vehicles, the bottom and the backrest portion of the seat can heat for added comfort.
The benefits of using seat heaters is making the car much more comfortable while using in the winter. Since your heating system can sometimes take a while to come on full blast after your car has been sitting all night, the heated seats do a great job of warming up your body temperature in the meantime.
The only negatives of seat heaters are if there are potential malfunction with specific vehicles. If something is wrong with the seat warmers, there could be potential burns or non adjustable settings. Although this is very rare, you should still be aware of this potential problem when using seat heaters and evaluating the seat heater control module replacement cost.
What is a seat heater control module?
To get a good idea of the overall seat heater control module replacement cost, we need to know about the purpose of a seat heater and the control module in vehicles today. Modern cars with seat warmers depending on this seat heater control module to turn on and off the heating elements. If the module was not present, the seat would never get warm, or it would get warm and never turn off.
The control module will monitor passenger inputs for seat heaters, ensuring the temperature is adjusted to the correct level for the specific decision by the driver or passenger. In addition, the control module scans sthe system for any errors or safety issues, times the seat heaters for automatic switch off, and then relays that specific information learned to the other systems in the vehicle to prevent overheating of electrical malfunctions.
If you find that your seat heater is not working correctly and not sending information to other systems, and you find yourself overheating or the other electrical components short circuiting, this is a sign you need to look into the seat heater control module replacement cost.
How does the seat heater control module function?
The seat heater control module typically works the same across the board – regardless of the specific system and car they are monitoring. For the seat heater, the control module works together with battery power, heating elements, seat heater on/off switches, seat heater relays, temperature sensors, and the entire electrical network at the same time.
When a signal input is sent to turn on or off the seat heaters, the seat heater control module, also known as the SHCM, will send those same signals to allow the seat to reach the specific temperature. The temperature is chosen by the driver or passenger, and can be easily adjusted with the press of a button o r the roll of a knob.
Once the temperature is reached, leftover power will then be transferred to the seat heating elements to make sure the seats do not cool off, overheat, or fluctuate temperatures unintentionally. At the same time, the common area network, or the CAN, receives info from the seat heater control module. This information is then displayed on the driver’s panel, infotainment screen, or on the dial itself to show the users the specific temperature.
If the driver and passengers find the display information for their seat heaters is not correct, or not being displayed tall, they will have to look into the seat heater control module replacement cost.
Symptoms of a Faulty Seat Heater Control Module
If you find that as a driver or occupant of the vehicle that you can’t adjust the temperature of the heat warmer, this is a clear sign something is wrong with the seat heater control module. Erratic operation of the heater basically comprises all of the symptoms and warning signs of potential danger or fire risk.
If the seats do not respond to driver input, do not turn off when instructed, don't’ regulate temperature correctly, or do not provide data to be displayed on the screen for the driver and passenger, these are additional signs that the control module is not working correctly.
The best thing to do in this situation is to bring your car to a mechanic. At this point, the professional will give you a quote on the seat heater control module replacement cost for your specific car model.
Can you drive with a malfunctioning seat heater control module?
Luckily for car owners, repairing their seat heater control module is not on the list of common maintenance or every-year replacements. Fixing this part is quite rare, so you don’t have to worry about spending thousands of dollars per year on the seat heater control module replacement cost.
However, when you do notice issues with the seat heating, you should look into getting the problem fixed quite soon. Since the repair cost is fairly low when compared to other repairs and replacements in your car, paying less than $200 to fix the issue for potentially the rest of your car’s life is a good investment.
In addition, paying to add to the comfort of your car during the cold winter months is especially lucrative if you live in a cold climate. If you find yourself using the seat warmers for a few months out of the year, paying for this repair is the best move.
How are seat heater control module problems diagnosed?
When you realize that you have an issue with your seat warmers and your control module, you need to bring your car to a local mechanic so a professional can evaluate the system. When diagnosing the SHCM, the technician has to compare the conditions to electronic conditions. This means that the technician sees if the visual clues match the data being displayed.
For example, if the mechanic sees that the control module is switched to the ‘on’ position but there is no voltage to the seat heater relay, this indicates an issue with the electrical system and the seat heaters. Discrepancies in communication are commonly used to see what is the root cause of the seat heater issue.
If the mechanic sees the issue originates with the control module, the module will then be rendered defective. At this point, the mechanic will give you a quote for the seat heater control module replacement cost and carry out the necessary repair.
Seat Heater Control Module Replacement Cost
If you look to find parts for a seat heater online to save some money on the overall replacement cost, you may be able to find inexpensive parts that you can bring to your mechanic. When looking online, seat switches typically range in price from $20-$280. The discrepancy in price depends on the make, model, and year of your car.
The cost of labor generally runs between $80 and $100 per hour at most mechanics, garages, and dealerships. Depending on where you go for this repair, the labor price will be between $59 and $72, showing that this quick fix takes less than an hour when done by a professional mechanic.
Taking the cost of the parts into account and adding them to the cost of labor, you can expect to pay around $200 for the seat heater control module replacement cost at most mechanic shops. Although this may seem hefty for some seat warmers, the added comfort, warmth, and confidence while driving is well worth the repair price.
The Bottom Line
Although the seat heater is an optional feature that is not necessary to operating your vehicle, having a comfortable drive is key to keeping your car on the road and enjoying your vehicle. If you frequently drive in cold-weather conditions, fixing the seat heater control module when you notice communication discrepancies ensures a comfortable ride for many more years to come.