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Thread: Seat Warmer

  1. #1
    Sport Button On - DSC Off jpklecker's Avatar
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    Seat Warmer

    This morning riding to work with the top down, I attempted to activate my seat warmer. It would only stay on for a couple of seconds then shut itself off; this stayed the same for numerous attempts. I could tell that the heating element was working as once or twice the system stayed on for about a minute. Has anyone encountered this problem before? Any suggestions as what to check in order to fix this?
    John Klecker - 2002 Topaz / Crema (61782)

  2. #2
    Z8 Addict Scott Pettit's Avatar
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    I have not experienced it but would suggest that you pull your seats and check the connections. There are 2 and they can work loose and / or the contacts can become dirty. I would pull the connectors apart and clean and spray them with and elec contact cleaner.

    This is the road less travelled by your checkbook. The alternative is that the thermostat that auto shuts down the heating element is dying and needs replacement. That is probably a job for your dealer.

    If you are in Northern California, I'd be happy to help you pull the seats.
    Scott Pettit
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    Sport Button On - DSC Off jpklecker's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tip Scott; and the offer for help however I'm located in Scottsdale, AZ. I'll check into how to remove the seat to check the connections. On the way home, even though it was warm enough I didn't need the seat warmer, I did try it out again. This time in the high setting it stayed on much longer before turning off and in the low setting on the second try it also stayed on longer. I don't need the seat warmer very often as usually it's warm enough down here, however my only top down time is in the winter as the summers are too hot to lower the top. As a result, as you suggest, the contacts might need cleaning due to lack of use.
    John Klecker - 2002 Topaz / Crema (61782)

  4. #4
    Z8 Addict Scott Pettit's Avatar
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    Based on your reply, it could also be the switch itself. Another check (and easier) is the fuse. If the fuse is going bad but is still in tack, it may be causing the intermittent cycle.

    My wife is going through the same thing in her Escalade and I going to delve into it this weekend.
    Scott Pettit
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  5. #5
    Sport Button On - DSC Off jpklecker's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tip! Yesterday I did try moving the seat forward and back a couple times, just about 3 inches or so, to see what might happen. It seemed like the seat warmer was now working properly. The driver's seat never gets moved as I'm the only one driving the Z8--whereas the passenger seat does get moved and it's seat warmer has always worked fine. I'll check it out in the next couple of days to see if it still works properly. Are there contacts related to the seat rails which might get dirty or corrosion that could cause bad contacts if the seat is not moved? If it doesn't work properly I'll next check into the switch itself.
    John Klecker - 2002 Topaz / Crema (61782)

  6. #6
    Z8 Addict Scott Pettit's Avatar
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    There are 3 (as I recall) connectors under the seat which can become loose and / or dirty.

    Many of us luck out and just need to unplug them, spray a contact cleaner into them and plug 'em back in.

    To remove the seat, slide it all the way back, remove the two front nuts. Then, all the way forward and remove the 2 rear nuts. Carefully lean the seat toward the other seat and you should be able to reach the plugs. I suggest that you cover the center console with a towel to protect it. Based on what you describe, I would inspect the wiring in the event that one has been damaged by the seat movement.

    This is about a 30 minute job.
    Scott Pettit
    61930
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  7. #7
    Sport Button On - DSC Off jpklecker's Avatar
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    Thanks so much Scott for the info on how to check this. I plan to work on this during the weekend. I hope it's only a dirty or loose connection.
    John Klecker - 2002 Topaz / Crema (61782)

  8. #8
    Z8 Addict Scott Pettit's Avatar
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    Good luck. By the way, the electronic contact cleaner that most car owners (that I know) use is from Radio Shack.

    If you have any questions, call me.

    209-480-2271
    Scott Pettit
    61930
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  9. #9
    Sport Button On - DSC Off jpklecker's Avatar
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    Hey Scott... thanks for the tips and assistance, but I encountered one problem this weekend... the bolts holding the seats are a form of allen wrench -- any idea as to the type and size? It looks pretty straight forward to remove, but I don't have one that fits the seat bolts. Please advise. Thanks!
    John Klecker - 2002 Topaz / Crema (61782)

  10. #10
    It is a Torx bolt, not an Allen wrench, BMW has been using them for a while. I recently bought this very nice toolkit with all the Torx bolts we need for our cars.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  11. #11
    Z8 Addict Scott Pettit's Avatar
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    I have great Torx sets from Sears. Both SAE and metric. Get both and you are on your way to a well equiped shop. I recommend the 3/8 drive version and not a 1/4 set.

    While you are at it, pick up a 3/8 universal and 6" extension. It will help remove the rear bolts (it does on Z3's).

    All of the above is also available at Harbor Freight. Probably cheaper. I like Sears due to the warranty.
    Scott Pettit
    61930
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  12. #12
    Sport Button On - DSC Off jpklecker's Avatar
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    Scott--first thanks for all the tips and help. I have gotten the seat unbolted and checked out the wiring. All of the wires (three) seem to be fine. The only problem I am having is how to unplug the wires to clean the contacts. I tried pulling on the connections but they seem very tight; I don't want to damage the conectors since they are only plastic. Any tips on how to easily undo the connectors? Any additional assistance will be greatly appreciated.
    John Klecker - 2002 Topaz / Crema (61782)

  13. #13
    Z8 Addict Scott Pettit's Avatar
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    John,

    Sorry for the delay in getting back to you but I was on the road and could not reply.

    The connectors have a small clip that you need to gently release to slide them apart. Also, they may just be stuck so try prying them apart (again, gently) with a small screw driver. Then you can inspect the contacts and spray them with a cleaner.

    Feel free to email me at:

    [email protected]

    or call me on my cell 209-480-2271 anytime.

    Scott
    Scott Pettit
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  14. #14
    Canadian eh... zeta's Avatar
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    I have had the same experience with my driver seat. It started out as short cycles and them stopped working entirely. The first time it was under warranty so I took it into the dealer. I am not sure what they did to fix it. However, the problem has now returned, so I will be very interested to see if the connection cleaning helps.

    Thanks, Robin

  15. #15
    Z8 Addict Scott Pettit's Avatar
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    How many miles are on your seat?

    If low, it may be the connector. If high, the unit itself. I just went through this with my wife's Escalade which has 95k miles and is in otherwise mint condition.
    Scott Pettit
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  16. #16
    Sport Button On - DSC Off jpklecker's Avatar
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    Checked all the connections under the seat, every one was good. It appears after disconnecting and resetting the main connection on the cable that comes up from the floor to the under side of the seat; that this was where my problem was. Seat warmer worked beautifully last two times out in the car.
    John Klecker - 2002 Topaz / Crema (61782)

  17. #17
    Canadian eh... zeta's Avatar
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    I am not sure what you mean by "resetting". Is it just reconnecting or is there something more?
    Thanks, Robin

  18. #18
    Z8 Addict Scott Pettit's Avatar
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    Hopefully you sprayed the contact cleaner on the plugs before you reconnected them. This will prevent build up of the film that coats the contacts over time.

    Anyway, glad that it worked out for you. Let me know if there are any further problems.
    Scott Pettit
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  19. #19
    Sport Button On - DSC Off jpklecker's Avatar
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    Per Scott's recommendations and help I disconnected the plug, cleanned the contacts, sprayed with contact cleaner, then re-connected the plug. All seems well at this time with all functions working as when the car was new--I have a working seat warmer!

    Thanks again Scott!
    John Klecker - 2002 Topaz / Crema (61782)

  20. #20
    Z8 Addict Scott Pettit's Avatar
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    Congratulations! Job well done and a great chance to bond with your car.
    Scott Pettit
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