I have a 2001 GT Limited, and had everything except the cold weather package. This was great when I bought it (fall 2010) because I didn't even think about how my old car had heated seats for the winter (Student @ UND in Grand Forks, ND). I installed a block heater right away to be safe since we have temps get down to -40 and lower with windchill, not fun for starting a car in. (my TDI jetta gelled up on me twice)
After driving around all last winter and freezing my bum off I decided that I wanted heated seats. My leather seats are in immaculate condition and I didn't want to spend the money buying a used set and then selling mine, so I looked around at heated seat DIY kits. After spending a fair amount of time looking and comparing the different heating element options (sizes, # per seat, switches) I ordered a kit off ebay for $80 shipped. This kit included 4 heating elements (1 bum / 1 back per seat), and 2 full wiring harnesses with switches (relays, fuses etc). I took a few pictures though the whole process and figured it might be nice for a few of you guys to read up who have been thinking of doing this, but just aren't sure about it. I have NEVER dealt with seat covers and such before this so I was a little worried but that's why I did the passenger seat first, because I don't have to sit there! [IMG]file:///C:/Users/Ryan/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image001.gif[/IMG]
I also did the Driver’s seat mod to add a couple inches of leg room, which robertbt7
talked about in a thread last year. I took some pictures to help out for people with question on the difficulty of it.
I ordered the OEM switches and bezels because I’m not a fan of things that don’t have a super clean install (The extra couple bucks are worth the aesthetics in my opinion.) This can also be done to cloth seats if you want to keep your bum toasty warm!
Parts Ordered / Tools Needed
1. Seat heater kit - ebay for $80 (inlcudes switches and wiring) – My friend has the same kit, works great.
2. OEM Seat Heater Switches & Bezel - $30 - ??? (I found a used set and the guy included the wire plugs, to make wiring easier)
3. Hog Ring Pliers and Rings - $10-$40 (Got mine at a farm implement store, but wanted to get this
4. 14 mm socket - remove seats
5. Phillips and flathead screwdriver, and a micro flathead (or tiny anything)
6. 2 pliers (I used 1 needle nose and 1 regular) - for unbending old hog rings
7. (Optional) - Drillbit (didn't write down size) and drill, and dremel or a box cutter even.
8. (Optional) – Carpet Cleaner, perfect time with your seats taken out
Installation (Time Required 2-4 hours, depending on your skill/work effort)
First thing’s first, grab a stereo, cold beverage of choice, and lay all your tools out ahead of time to make life easy. I’ve learned over the last couple years to spend the 10 minutes now and save a good hour or two during the project digging around or having to make a trip to get supplies.
Disconnect the battery!!! This is VERY important because there are airbags in the seats, and we don’t want those blowing up do we now, and we also don’t want any airbag lights afterwards. After disconnecting the battery I turned the ignition fully on and held the brake down for a couple minutes, to make sure there was no charge anywhere. (I take no responsibility for any airbag issues you may have)
Pick a seat to start the install on – I choose the passenger side because of no power stuff and if I mess up it’s not in my seat. The seat needs to be unbolted and have the airbag disconnected. I started by loosening the (2) front bolts to the floor (14mm) and then sliding the seat forward and taking the (2) bolts in the back out. Slide the seat backwards again and remove the front bolts. At this time you should be able to slide the seat forward a ways again, and then lean the seat back forward. Now tilt the entire seat backwards so you can see underneath it. There is one yellow plug which goes in the seat, this is for the airbag. They disconnect, but you need to push the green tab in before disconnecting them. Now pull the seat out of your car and enjoy a little of your beverage! Here is what the plug looks like in the car once the seat is out. If you have the time to have your car apart for doing both, go and remove your driver’s seat now, same deal, except there are 3 plugs because of the power elements and seat belt light.
Now comes the fun part, taking your seats apart! Above a have a picture which shows how the heating elements look sitting on the seat, and the wiring harness next to them. To start remove all the plastic paneling on your seat. You need that micro flathead or something to pry the screw covers off, which hide the Phillips screws. I believe there are (2) plus the screw which holds the back adjustment handle on. On the power seat adjuster, you just need to pull straight away from the seat and the adjustment piece will pull off. At this point you can “unsnap” the seat covering from the edges, it is a channel type seam, which I am going to call channel locks from here on, like what is found on Jeep soft-tops or tonneau covers (forgot to get pictures). There are also (2) I believe bolts that hold the seat bottom onto the frame, remove those and then you can take the bottom seat cushion with cover still on and move it around.
Here is where you need the pliers, to unbend the hog rings. In this picture, it shows how far you can get the seat removed without taking the hog rings off, pretty far, but not enough to put in the heating elements.
After unbending the hog rings (need to do the front row first, then the sides, and then the middle, I left the very back of the seat cover connected to the cushion and pushed the Heater element wire through an opening between rings) lay your Heater element down and peel off the tape cover, sticking it onto the foam. I’ve been told you can cut/trim these pads, but I wasn’t going to take any chances, so I only put hog rings on the outer edges of the center and front “bars” inside the seat over, which has been sufficient for holding the covers in place. Now backtrack and reconnect the bottom seat cushion and that part is done!
To do the back of the seat, fold the seat forward, and it has a panel it’s back. On the bottom corners you can pull lightly and see 2 small channel locks (1 on each side). Undo these. Now look underneath the seat and where the leather meets the fabric, there is another channel lock that comes apart, you just need to play around with it a little. At this point I folded the seat all the way back, and was able to stick my hand in a large pocket inside the seat back. This pocket is the perfect size for my Heater elements, so I peeled half the sticky tape off, and worked it up in there (a little tricky but not bad. The tape will stick but pull off the element off the foam and keep moving it, it will go).
Now you can fold and reconnect the channel lock underneath the backrest (connecting the cover with this grayish fabric) and reconnect the side channel locks. Just make sure you run the plug wire towards the seatbelt, and then work it underneath the seat however you like. The process on the Driver’s seat is identical, so it’s pretty easy.
(Optional, but recommended)
Now if you’re tall or would like more leg room on road trips, here is a quick mod. With the seat out of the car, lay it so you can see the bottom of the seat rails. There are (2) bolts with Phillips head openings on each side, remove these bolts. You can now slide the seat rail off the seat, the side without the motor is easier than with the motor, a little force though and it comes off. Now measure the space between these (2) holes, and notice that about 1.5-2” back from the front hole there is an unused hole on both seat rails. This is going to be the new front bolt hole. Measure back the distance separating the original holes from this new hole, and mark it somehow. Now drill it out and put the rail back on! On the driver’s side, the new hole is where the rail is double thickness, and sits where the paper label is in the picture. On the picture with my finger, that is the “unused” hole which is now the front hole.
I numbered the old holes in red (front =1 back =2) and the new holes in green (front = 1 back =2) I believe I circled the proper holes, but you can easily tell when doing it, because you will have to drill out your back holes, and the fronts move back that little bit. Now reinstall the rails and enjoy more room!
Now on the Electronics side, on the very front of the large plastic panel, you need to trim the plastic a little, you will see where you need to trim when you attempt to put the plastic panel back on the seat. This takes about 30 seconds, and I used a box cutter and it looks good.
7. (Optional, but suggested)
At this time your seats are done getting wired, take a break, eat some food and have a beer or two. I cleaned my carpets since the seats were out and it was a good time to get the car extra clean inside.
Now you need to wire your seats up. I wanted the OEM switches instead of the ones which came with the seats, so I ordered some and also was able to get the wiring pigtails.
For the wiring schematics, I went to the dealership and was able to get the Heated Seat Circuit diagram.
Here is what each of the wires are. Drivers seat = white plug, Passenger seat = blue plug.
Combined Wires (on both switches)
Blue– 12v to the heater element (factory has a relay, but the kit I wired into had relays)
Purple – interior lights system positive ( I wired to the cigarette lighter which had same colors)
Black – interior lights system negative
Drivers Seat –
Red wire – High temp setting
Red/white wire – Low temp setting
Black wire – ground
Passenger Seat –
Red/Blue wire – High temp setting
Lt. Green wire – Low temp setting
Black wire – ground
What I did was wire the blue wire into the power wire for the wiring harness which came with the switches, and then ran that power wire (red) to a switched 12V wire. I used the one for the cigarette lighter again. After running all your wires find space for them (in the center console) and button everything up! Now try out your heated seats and have a warm bum and back all winter long!