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heated seats, any cars a no no

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Copper - Posts: 48
Copper spacespace
Joined: November 05, 2003
Location: United States
Posted: December 15, 2007 at 7:32 PM / IP Logged  

just started installing heated seats at my shop, i am the owner and usually do them myself.  we are a quality shop doing about 8 remote starts  a day..

any tips, tricks, does, DONT as far as aftermarket heated seats.    particular cars that suck, air bag probs, ect.


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Chris Luongo 
Platinum - Posts: 3,746
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Joined: May 21, 2002
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Posted: December 16, 2007 at 10:41 AM / IP Logged  
I've only installed heated seats in my own car, but they do a lot where I work.
Two things I've observed by watching them:
1. Most (or all?) newer cars (I want to say 2005-up, but I might be wrong) have an OCS (occupant classification system) sensor in the passenger seat cushion. It detects the weight of passengers (or parcels) and decides whether to enable the passenger airbag.
On cars with an OCS sensor, they don't install a pad on the passenger seat cushion. The passenger gets heated backrest only.
2. On some cloth seats, the fabric is a permanent part of the seat........that is, there is no "cover" to remove. The seating surface is permanently bonded to the foam cushions. The Dodge Caravan is an example of this.
The only way to put seat heaters in a Caravan, would be to install aftermarket leather seat covers as well.
Platinum - Posts: 7,056
Platinum spaceThis member has made a donation to Click here for more info.spaceThis member consistently provides reliable informationspace
Joined: December 14, 2004
Location: Isle Of Man
Posted: December 16, 2007 at 11:09 AM / IP Logged  

As far as air bags in the seats...... disconect the battery, and when testing for power for the it BEFORE you remove the seats, or after you put them back in.

Do NOT turn the ign. ON while the seats are'll throw up an air bag code so fast it will make you sick!  And there are more, and more that

YOU at the shop, cannot clear. little FYI.

Copper - Posts: 116
Copper spacespace
Joined: November 08, 2005
Location: North Dakota, United States
Posted: December 16, 2007 at 1:55 PM / IP Logged  

As Chris touched on the ocs gel pad is sometimes in the seat, many chrysler products use a spring that weighs the occupant of the seat, the springs are part of the seat bottoms, the reaon i mention this is when you are reinstalling seats you must make sure to torque the seats to the proper specification or you risk damaging the OCS system in those vehicles...and then you are off to buy a whole new seat bottom

jim hunter 
Silver - Posts: 351
Silver spacespace
Joined: March 23, 2006
Location: United States
Posted: December 16, 2007 at 7:50 PM / IP Logged  
i do a lot of heated seats both on my own and for the company where i purchase mine from, and they (alea leather in michigan)have the only seatheater that has been lab tested to not cause a problem with airbag sensors. chrysler ones are all safe, but some gms and some imports use a weight sensor pad which is visibale when you remove the cover and thats the one most guys stay away from heating the cushion but the ones i use are tested as safe for this application.
chrysler mini vans like chris said are a heat bonded cloth (leather is velcro so youd be safe if needed on these )cover you can "filet" the cover off the foam but it will be baggy and leave an appearance i dont care for and if your not extremely careful you will have lumps present as some foam lefton seat cover will "read" thru the finished look, so i dont do them, only other one i can say for sure like this is mini cooper, i also never remove a seat to do seat heaters , i remove as much of cover as necessary while seat stays in place, (exception was mini( carpet was bonded to a foam filler for a deep floor pan), i didnt remove them i just unbolted and lifted them to get underneath seats to run wire harnessbut as stated if you want to remove seats, disconnect battery before removing wire harnesses from seat bottom or it'll be hell ! LOL
good luck
Copper - Posts: 48
Copper spacespace
Joined: November 05, 2003
Location: United States
Posted: December 16, 2007 at 8:54 PM / IP Logged  

all posts were very informative so far..  i did a buick rendevous on one of my first installs.   i didnt pay attention to whether it had a passanger air bag detection system.   i assume it did..  the customer never said anything.  i assume is the problem that would come is in the case of an accident if it didn't see the pressure from the passanger, the passngr air bag wouldn't deploy... sounds like a wonderful lawsuit waiting to happen huh?    almost all vehicles w/ passanger detection have a the indicator on the dash or console?   some in mirrors, but do they always have the indicator to tell you it is off until passanger sits down. 

i will just pass on the cloth seats,  dont need the money that bad.   i am doin them for $409/ pr high and low settings w/ back and bottom pads.     should take 2-3 hrs  i assume for most cars? 

again thanks for the helpful info guys

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Silver - Posts: 796
Silver spacespace
Joined: September 18, 2002
Location: United States
Posted: December 17, 2007 at 11:02 AM / IP Logged  
This site has a list of cars with glued covers
Mike Battaglia
Specialized Car Audio
Bensenville IL 60106
jim hunter 
Silver - Posts: 351
Silver spacespace
Joined: March 23, 2006
Location: United States
Posted: December 17, 2007 at 6:59 PM / IP Logged  
i wouldnt stay away from cloth seats, just those vehicles with heat bonded covers like the chry minivans, your best source of business can come from cloth as very few manufacturers offer heat in cloth yet they all offer it in leather, its a great marketing tool to use at dealers or for retail as you can most times offer what they cant get factory.
as to the seat heaters on air bag sensors the reason manufacturers say dont do it is if they havent been tested theres the fear that the higer heat may cause a malfunction which could cause accidental deployment, i have used many different brands and the ones i get from alea are the only ones i have seen that have been tested and passed the air bag deployment test, also as they are a mesh fabric so you can hog ring the cover back on or use small zip ties to reattch the cover without having to modify the heating surface or the cover. once you get a few installs under your belt they are actually pretty easy. i can do most cars in 1-2 hrs complete both seats without ever removing the seat,good luck and happy heating! LOL
Copper - Posts: 96
Copper spacespace
Joined: June 10, 2003
Posted: December 19, 2007 at 4:38 PM / IP Logged  
stay clear of older model cadillac cars, they have the fabric bonded to the foam.
also don't do pacifica's. you MUST remove the exhaust from the vehicle to remove the seats.
jim hunter 
Silver - Posts: 351
Silver spacespace
Joined: March 23, 2006
Location: United States
Posted: December 19, 2007 at 8:05 PM / IP Logged  
i do pacificas all the time, as i stated i never remove a seat for install i do them in the car, saves time and headaches and doesnt make install hard, to me the slight tight work area iseasier than removing the seat, i only remove the seat if im installing leather interior

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