The average seat heater replacement cost is between $578 and $612 for most makes, models, and years of vehicles today. The labor costs are between $2128 and $161, usually taking between 1.5 and 2 hours to complete this procedure. Lastly, the cost of the parts is generally around $450 for this expensive fix.
Let’s see the seat heater’s function, how it operates in your vehicle, symptoms of a faulty heater, safety driving with a broken seat heater, the steps to replacing the seat heater, and other recommendations we have for operating your vehicle efficiently and safely!
What is a seat heater?
The seat heater is a luxury component found in most modern cars on the road today. Heated seats sometimes come as commonplace in vehicles or are offered as an add-on option for higher trim levels. This seat is available in almost all cars, trucks, and SUVs that provide the driver and passenger with the option to heat the seats in cold conditions.
Occupants of the car can easily turn on the heat and control the level of heat, by an adjustment knob located close to the driver and passenger front seat. The mechanism warms the seat cushions to keep the occupants comfortable and warm while the engine warms up after sitting for a long time.
The seat heater mechanism is the portion of the heated seat that produces the heat for the occupant. If you find the seat is no longer warming up after prolonged use, you will have to look into the seat heater replacement cost.
How does the seat heater work?
When the seat heater is turned on, power voltage is supplied to the heating element, known as the seta heater. The seat heater provides electrical resistance against the incoming current, and in turn, produces heat for the occupant.
The wires of hte seat heater are intertwined in various patterns across the seat cushions underneath the seat cover to distribute heat evenly and prevent any excessively-hot spots that could get uncomfortable to the owner.
If you find that as an occupant, the seat is getting too warm in certain spots, you need to have a mechanic examine the wiring and quote you for the seat heater replacement cost.
To prevent this uneven warming from consistently happening, a sensor is used to measure, regulate, and control the seat heater’s temperature. In addition, a module is used in some vehicles to help in the easy adjustment of the temperature. If the driver or passenger cannot quickly adjust the heat of hte seat, you will have to look into the seat heater replacement cost for your specific car.
Symptoms of a Faulty Seat Heater
To get an understanding of why you might need to pay the expensive seat heater replacement cost, you first have to be aware of the signs and symptoms of a faulty seat heater to prevent any further repair costs.
Heater Will Not Turn On
The most common issue associated with seat heater malfunctions is a heater that will not turn on when the occupant flips the interior switch. When the switch is engaged and in the ‘on’ position, heat does not build up in the heating element under the seat cover. The wires that comprise the pattern under the cover are thin, and prone to excess wear and tear over time if exposed to tough conditions.
If the wires have been constantly exposed to damage or trauma, they can become damaged, frayed, or broken.
Faulty Electrical Connection
One of the main causes of the seat heater not working properly is the electrical connection, whether it be a faulty switch, corroded or frayed electrical wire, or a blown fuse in the seat heater mechanism. If you find the seat becomes too hot in spots or does not respond to your adjustments, you will have to look at the seat heater replacement cost.
Make sure you notice the signs and symptoms of a faulty seat heater before it is too late. In some extreme cases, the owner can be burned by a seta heater if the temperature cannot be controlled, leading to unsafe driving conditions.
Can you drive with a faulty seat heater?
Although it may not seem like a very important component in most cars today, the seat heater can be the deciding factor between a comfortable and luxurious ride, and a miserable morning on your way to work. Not only is a malfunctioning heat heater an annoyance, but it can also turn out to be a cause for concern in some cases.
In some instances, it simply will not work and leave you cold during the winter. However, if there is an electrical problem within the system, a short circuit can damage other internal components in the electrical system, leading to a higher seat heater replacement cost.
A seat heater that is not working properly cannot regulate heat, increasing the risk of getting too hot, burning the occupant, and increasing the risk of a distraction and the potential for a crash.
This condition should be checked and repaired as soon as you notice any signs of a faulty seat heater, helping you catch the problem and pay for the seat heater replacement cost before it gets even costlier!
How often do I need to replace my seat heaters?
Lucky for car owners, this is not a part that needs to be maintained or repaired at regular maintenance intervals and car check-ups. However, the problem with this is that you will typically not notice any signs and symptoms until it is too late.
As soon as drivers or occupants notice the seat does not get hot, it is getting too hot, or the interior switch cannot control the temperature, chances are you will have to pay for the entire seat heater replacement cost to keep your seat heaters working safely and properly.
By preventing excess wear and tear on the seats and the underside of hte seat covers, you can reduce the chances of replacing the seat heater mechanism.
What should I keep an eye out for with seat heater issues?
Every car owner, driver, and the passenger should pay attention to how hot the seat heater is getting during use. Some drivers complain that the seat gets too warm, especially in certain spots, which can lead to minor, or major, burns for the occupants.
- Keep an eye out for a seat that is not properly responding to minor adjustments in temperature controls, and ensure you take note of any signs of a faulty seat heater while you are driving your vehicle.
- If you are an occupant with certain health concerns, such as those affecting your skin or circulation, you should be especially aware of injuries or problems associated with seat heaters. To prevent aggravating any health concerns, pay for the seat heater replacement cost as soon as you notice problematic signs and symptoms.
Recommendations for seat heater problems
Now that you have determined you must pay the seat heater replacement cost or do the labor yourself to fix this component in your car, keep a few things in mind when moving forward.
- We recommend that drivers pay special attention to whether or not the seat heaters are constantly switched to the ‘on’ position. If you always leave the seat heater on and running, it can lead to excess wear and tear much quicker than sporadic or less-constant use.
- In addition, be especially noticeable of how hot the seats are getting as you increase or lower the temperature from your control. If you find the seats are continually getting hotter without touching the button, you need to turn the car, or seat heater, off and stop driving.
- Lastly, the auto industry is finally taking serious concerns regarding seat heater issues and occupant burns. If you bring your car to a mechanic or dealership, they will be able to make the control center for the seat heater more visible to occupants to help with accessibility, or they will fix the entire seta heater assembly.
Steps on How To Repair Heated Seats
You can save on the total seat heater replacement cost by doing the labor of this quick fix yourself – only if you have the correct knowledge and perform the steps in the right order. If you find that your seat heaters are not warming up while you turn on your engine to idle and warm your car, you have to look into the steps to replacing this luxurious car component.
The seat heater replacement cost can vary greatly depending on the make, model, and year of the vehicle. In addition to your specific car, the price will fluctuate depending on the root cause of what is wrong and where the problems originate.
By following the steps to replacing your seat heaters, you can try some quick fixes that will reduce the overall seat heater replacement cost at a dealership or mechanic’s shop. If you find these steps don’t help your car, it is time to let a professional step in and do the job themselves.
Checking for The Problem Part
- The first step is checking for the problem parts. You need to consult the owner’s manual to see where the fuse box is located. Check for any blown fuses or damaged wires, such as corroded edges or frayed pieces. Repairing the blown fuse can be a quick fix for a heated seat repair that lowers the seat heater replacement cost.
- The price of a car fuse costs around $85 for most cars, with the parts costing under $5 and the labor costing around $80.
- The second step is to examine the health of the plug connecting the heated seat to the wiring, ensuring this plug is clean and free of any dirt or debris build-up. Use a diagnostic tool and electric measurement tool to confirm the plug is putting forth at least 12 volts of power on both sides of the switch.
- Finally, when looking for the root cause of the heated seat issues, locate the thermistor and analyze the part for any burned areas in the general area. If there are burned areas on the carpet of the car or on the thermistor itself, chances are you will have to replace the thermistor or the damaged wire to fix the heated seat.
- For the thermistor, replacement is typically between $90 and $160.
Replacing the Heated Seat Unit
- If you find the problem continues after finding the origin of the symptoms, you will have to use the diagnostic tool to see which section of the heated seat element is not working properly. If you find the answer to this question is “every part,” chances are you will have to pay for the entire seat heater replacement cost.
- If this is the case, detach any wires connected to the heated seat.
- Remove the heated seat from your car.
- Take apart the seat, separating the back from the base, and remove the cushion and leather from the base of the heated seat.
- Replace the heated seat parts, like the heating components and electrical wiring.
- Put the heated seat together again in the reverse order of which you took it apart.
- Lastly, reconnect the wiring.
Check to see if the seat is now working properly. If so, you have saved hundreds on the labor price for the seat heater replacement cost.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, paying around $600 for the seat heater replacement cost is vital to keeping your occupants safe and preventing any burns from overheating and lack of temperature regulation. Noticing the signs and symptoms of a faulty seat heater, like the inability to adjust the temperature and hotspot under the seat, can help prevent dangerous driving conditions in the future!