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Passenger Seat Heater Problem

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Noticed a problem with the passenger seat heater on my E60 520D.

Last week son put it on and there was a burning smell and the lights clicked off.

Today noticed that when wife pressed it on 3 lights were on for a couple seconds and then turned off.

Tried a few times with the same result and on 1 occasion there was the burning smell again.

 

The driver's side works fine so I am assuming it isn't a fuse and Uncle Google tells me they run off 1 fuse.

Any ideas of likely cause and cost to repair?

Will this be a main dealer jobby or should I hunt out a good BMW Indy in Manchester?

 

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Oooooof.  Notoriously expensive to resolve at a main dealers.  Heated seats are brilliant things but if they go wrong they're not cheap to fix.

 

You could ask at the main dealers to get an idea as to how serious the fault is (it may be minor, after all), but if it isn't then I think you'll find it'll be cheaper finding a matching interior at a scrapyard and asking them to part with one seat!

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How important to you are the people that sit on the electric chair?

 

:secret:

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Might the seat have got damp?

 

I don't think so as the car was also kept alone for a week in between the heater being used and then tried consistently for a couple days all with the same outcome.

 

 

How important to you are the people that sit on the electric chair?

 

:secret:

Quite! This is the crux of my concern, and the burning smell when son tried it (risk of fire)

 

 

Sounds like there is a fault in the heating element.

I think so too. When you put it on and no-one is sat on the seat the lights stay on - I think the heater doesn't actually kick-in until there is pressure on the seat and at that stage the lights quickly go out

 

 

Oooooof.  Notoriously expensive to resolve at a main dealers.  Heated seats are brilliant things but if they go wrong they're not cheap to fix.

 

You could ask at the main dealers to get an idea as to how serious the fault is (it may be minor, after all), but if it isn't then I think you'll find it'll be cheaper finding a matching interior at a scrapyard and asking them to part with one seat!

I feared it will be an expensive thing. I guess I could ask the Dealer to take a look to fault-find but there are apparently 2 reputable Indy BMW places in Manchester so have emailed them as a starter for ten so was thinking try them instead and leave dealer out altogether?

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The heating element should come on irrespective of whether someone is sat in the seat. More likely is the weight of someone is causing the short. Hence the burning smell and the subsequent tripping.

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Oooooof.  Notoriously expensive to resolve at a main dealers.  Heated seats are brilliant things but if they go wrong they're not cheap to fix.

 

I have to prepare myself for bad.

One of the Indy people replied and said could be wiring or heating element and if the latter it will be very expensive :(

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Personally I wouldn't even bother getting it fixed, unless it was something cheap, have you checked the wiring and connections under the seat?

I hate heated seats, never, ever use them, makes it feel like you've p1ssed yourself!

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Cold leather seats are horrible - I could live if they were cloth.

Also I don't want to risk loose electric wiring for my family.

Will get someone who knows what they are doing to check the wiring.

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I get the leather thing, but even then I still find they don't actually warm up until you're on them, so you still get that cold first arse on seat every morning, seconds later, you've taken the chill off with your body heat anyway and the heating is rendered pointless.

Just my own opinion anyway, don't like em, but I understand the safety issue, particularly with the burning smell.

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If you use them and value them, then it is worth fixing no matter what the price is (within reason).

 

I use mine a lot but if it was in the 5 series I never have the passenger seat on - because there is very rarely anyone in it!

 

I guess it depends on how much you use it or, just as much a factor, how much it bugs you that it doesn't work (because that's the thing that always gets to me when things like this happen).

 

I have no first hand experience whatsoever.  All I know is what I've been told or heard from others in the past, and it was always a case of "make do without it" if the fault was with the seat itself rather than the connecting electrics or controls. 

 

Look on ebay.  I've just looked and there's an E60 pair of front seats, in leather, M Sport, heaters etc - £170 + £50 delivery.

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I guess it depends on how much you use it or, just as much a factor, how much it bugs you that it doesn't work (because that's the thing that always gets to me when things like this happen).

 

This,. Plus it's usually the missus .....

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Thought I would update the thread.

Remembered that I had taken out extended warranty with Stratstone (having very carefully asked about where it was valid as dealer was in Scotland who I bought car off) and I still had about a month of this.

Rang dealer who said yep bring it in....uummm 500 mile round trip just for you to look and see if this is even covered by warranty? I thought I was allowed to take it someplace local?

Sure - try your local Stranstones.

Ring a couple (Porsche and Jag) both say they can't touch the car and nearest Stratstone BMW is 35 miles away..

In the end BMW UK direct me to a local dealer (Non-Stratstone) who say they will create an account with them and I can take the car to them to have it reviewed and if covered they will sort the repairs - I will know by the time the diagnostics is done what the problem is and it is is warranty-repairable anyway.

If not I can take it to an Indy to sort.

It is going in Sat morning for the look-see.

I asked them to expedite as I only have a month left now on the warranty :roflmao: (I am 90% sure they will tell me it is not covered anyway)

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I don't see why a heated seat wouldn't be included in a good warranty. It's an electrical fault so comes under that remit.

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Apparently if its wiring etc they don't cover it but the heating element (ie the expensive stuff) is.

That being said I am having the usual batted around from one to other.

Will stump up for the diagnostics and then see what is the root cause

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Well despite it being heating elements they have refused to cover it.

Parts £1500 + vat then labour.

told bill would be ~£3k at dealer.

Will be booking in with the Indy and taking it from there....

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Ouch.  I was hoping what I'd read years ago had been wrong, but clearly not.

 

Do you know how much the independent will charge?

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Ouch.  I was hoping what I'd read years ago had been wrong, but clearly not.

 

Do you know how much the independent will charge?

 

not yet - they didn't have dates to book in until mid Jan but now I know the problem I can get back to them

Just get a salvage yard replacement seat then? Surely a far better option.

That is my plan - but will see what local highly regarded Indie say

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If the warranty includes the element and BMW say that the element has gone then it's probably just the warranty company trying to wriggle out of it.

I'd be firing a sternly worded letter back to them and see where that gets you - they probably have a policy of refuting every claim at first instance!

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