Heated seats are a great luxury for those who live in cold climates, but it can be tough on your wallet if you’re not careful. A heated seat can also help on days when your back and body are achy.
If you love your heated seat, then you’ll want to find a way to keep it working. While you probably don’t want to try to fix it yourself, there are a few tricks that you can try before giving up and calling your mechanic.
The average seat heater replacement cost is between $500 and $710 for most of today’s makes, models, and years of vehicles. The labor costs are generally around $150 up to $310 depending on where you go!
Lastly, you’ll have to add the cost of parts which will be about $400 – making it a pricey repair when fixed by professionals at a mechanics shop.
If your seat seems to have stopped working suddenly, then all you need might be just a slight change in the settings.
We will walk through some of the processes involved in fixing a heated seat and the cost associated with the repair.
Why Do People Have Seat Heaters?
Heated seats are a modern luxury that became popular in the 60s. They were previously only found on higher-end cars, but they have become more common due to technological advances and increased consumer demand for those features.
Because of their widespread use today, you can find heated seats on everything from economy cars to high-end luxury vehicles.
Heat seats are a great way to stay cozy in the winter when it is cold outside. It’s also an excellent feature for those who suffer from chronic aches and pains associated with arthritis or a bad back.
You can turn on your heated seat in advance, so it will be nice and toasty by the time you start driving.
How Do Heated Seats Work?
Heated seats usually have a heating element consisting of wires located directly under or within the seat cushion.
The heating element is covered in some insulation and hooked up to a switch on your dashboard.
The heater gets its electricity from your car battery and can be turned on and off with a switch.
How Long Do Heated Seats Last?
Heated seats can last between 10 to 30 years, depending on what you expose your car to and the frequency of using the heated feature.
There is a pretty wide variation in the life of heated seats. Some people have cars that have been running for 30 years and still have working heated seats!
Having higher-quality parts helps extend their longevity. Heated seat pads are typically made from high-density foam, leather, or a combination of both materials.
This type of seat cushion is more expensive to buy, but it’s also more durable.
If you want your heated seat to last as long as possible, then try to avoid leaving your car parked outside in the elements.
While the insulation on your car helps keep heat in and cold out, prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can wear down the heat pads.
How To Troubleshoot Your Seat Heater
One of the first steps people perform when fixing their heated seats at home is checking the fuse box and finding the associated fuse for your seat.
Step 1: Sit In The Seat And Check if the Seat Warms Up
Step 2: Check for a Seat Heater Blown Fuse
You can use your flashlight to check if a blown fuse is associated with the heated seats.
Find the button that activates your seat heater and push it repeatedly.
If you do not see a blown fuse, then move on to the next step since it’s likely that you’ll need to take your seat heater to a professional.
Step 3: Check for Short Circuits in Your Seat Heater Wires
Once you have checked for a blown fuse, you will want to check if there are any cuts or disconnects in your seat heater wires.
Step 4: Check If You Can Flip the Seat Heater Switch
Sometimes, you can get lucky, and your seat heater switch has just become disconnected.
Simply check the connection where the plug comes out of the seat cushion. Make sure it’s plugged in all the way. If it is not, then push it back into place to see if that resolves the problem.
If your seat heater switch is not disconnected, you need to take it to a professional since it is likely a heating issue.
What’s Involved In Fixing a Heated Seat?
While some people might try to fix their seat heater at home, it’s not a great DIY project since there is a good chance that you will need to take the seat and switch into a professional.
A mechanic will be able to diagnose the problem and let you know if you can repair your heated seats or if they need to be replaced. Heated seats are made up of a heating element and wiring, so if either of these components has shorted out, it will need to be replaced.
Your mechanic will also be able to tell you how much replacement parts for your seat heater will cost and the projected labor costs associated with making the repairs.
How Much Does It Cost To Repair Heated Seats?
Here is a breakdown of the parts and repair costs that may be involved in your heated seat repair.
If your seat is no longer heating up, you can check for a blown fuse. A new fuse will cost you between $6 and $15.
You can find the fuse box in your car’s engine compartment and remove it with a flathead screwdriver to see if a fuse is blown.
Switch Seat Heater
The switch that controls your heated seats will usually need to be replaced if it is no longer working. The switch for your seat heater can range from $15 to $85.
The resistor controls the electric current going to your seat heater and can also need replacement if there are electrical issues with your heated seats. A resistor will cost you $20 up to $65.
If your foam backing has become worn out, you will want to replace it. Foam backing prices can vary greatly but on average, expect between $18 to $75 for parts cost.
The heating element can also need replacement if it has shorted out. The cost of the heating element will vary depending on where you purchase it from, but most cost between $50 and $250.
The thermistor is a resistor that senses the temperature of your seat and controls how much electricity goes through it. This critical part can become pricey with a range from $100 to $245.
If an electrical issue is found with one or more of these parts, they will need to be replaced at the same time since they are all interconnected.
Typically labor will take between 1.2 and 3 hours, depending on your model and the severity of the repair. Typical labor costs can range from $150 to $310, depending on the professional you take it to.
If you have a professional do this for you, it will cost between $500 and $710.
How Much Will It Cost For a Completely New Heated Seat?
If your seat is old and worn out, you may want to replace your heated seat completely. Prices for new seats with heaters can range from $650 up to $2,400, depending on your make and model.
Most people will have replaced their vehicle long before this happens, but cars may require a completely new seat in some cases.
Before replacing your seat, consider if it is time to upgrade your vehicle or if you can live without a heated seat.
New Heated Seat Features
Many new vehicles are now equipped with heated seats that provide warmth during cold weather and cool during hot weather.
New seats that function with heating and cooling features will often be more expensive than just a heated seat alone.
Some new features of the seat will include:
- Expansion valves that allow more control over how hot or cool you want your seat to get.
- Adjustable temperature ranges like preheating and post-heating.
- Programmable heating that a keyless remote can control.
- Seat warmers that run off timers, meaning they turn on automatically when you’re using the vehicle.
- Seat coolers that run off timers to turn on automatically when you are parked for a certain amount of time.
- Compression technology, which encourages cooling airflow to your body.
- Air Assist Seating Technology. This is also known as dynamic suspension seating, which uses air springs to make the seat more comfortable.
New seats that use this more advanced technology will naturally be more expensive than just a simple heated seat.
Seats equipped with all of these additional features can cost you anywhere from $1,200 to $5,700 for parts and labor.
Will Insurance Cover My Heated Seat Repair?
Depending on the insurance that you have, it may cover a heated seat repair.
Contact your insurance company to find out what they will cover for this type of problem.
If your car is less than ten years old, some car warranties will cover complete repairs.
There are also extended warranties that you can purchase for around $50/m that cover heated seats.
Even if your seat is broken now, you may find that it starts to work again as you drive or after a certain amount of time.
Sometimes faults aren’t always evident right away, which makes it difficult to decide whether to repair or replace your seat.
Before having your seat repaired, it is best to ask yourself if you want to put money into fixing your vehicle or whether it’s time for an upgrade.
Try troubleshooting the seat by yourself first before taking it to a professional. Sometimes it is just something minor that can be fixed at home.
If you have a newer car that is still under warranty, consider getting it repaired under warranty first before attempting to do it yourself.
If your seat is older than ten years, you may want to consider replacing the entire seat if a repair is too expensive. Before repairing or replacing a seat, ensure that you know what’s included for the price and how long a repair will take.
Once you’ve tackled your heated seat repairs, don’t miss out on our other useful car care tips, such as banishing fishy odors, knowing how far to drive on a spare tire, and mastering the art of cleaning your Britax car seat.