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Heated Seat Replacing Broken Element

Heated Seat Replacing Broken Element - A common ailment in...

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Replacing a Failed Heated Seat Element A common ailment in urS cars is failed front seat heater elements. This is a guide to replacing a bad heating element. Warning: This is not a quick or simple procedure. Allow a full day and make sure you have all the parts and tools on hand before you begin. Take your time, be patient, and be gentle. Read this guide all the way through before you begin. Consider the condition of the outer bolster before you begin; both the leather cover and bolster cushion are available separately from Audi and are very easy to replace while repairing the seat base heater. Verifying that the element is bad: That first step to any repair job is verifying that the part to be replaced is actually the source of the problem. While it is true that most heated seat failures are the result of a failed element, and most failed elements are in the seat base (rather than the back), there is little joy in completing this complex, timing-consuming, and expensive repair only to find that your butt is still chilly. The only time when testing is not necessary is when the heater is still working but has developed a “hot spot” where one area gets much hotter than the rest of the seat; failure here is certain, and ignoring this warning can result in a black hole burned through your leather. It is also much more likely that the driver’s seat will fail than the passenger’s. This write-up will assume the work is being performed on the driver’s seat; the passenger’s is the same idea, but most locations are reversed. To determine whether one of your elements has burned out, each must be “ohmed out” or tested for continuity. This is a simple test, but it does require an ohmmeter. In simple terms, an ohmmeter measures resistance. A working seat heater element will read some resistance; a broken element will read infinite resistance, or open circuit. To test: Find the red plastic plug under the seat behind the driver’s right ankle (this may be black on some early cars). The plug houses six wires, two are for the back element, two are for the base element, and two lighter gauge wires for the thermostatic control which is embedded in the base element. In the photo below, the seat has been unbolted and tilted backwards. It is not necessary to do this to get to the plug.
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Unplug the wires. In the picture above, the green portion is the main harness; the red is the seat harness. The red should remain clipped to the bottom of the seat. Bentley is (at best) confusing as to which wire is which, so the best bet is to detach the red plug from the bracket that holds it to the seat bottom. Turn it around so that you can see the 6 wires going in. Note that as they exit the plug from the rear, they enter two plastic tubes or looms; two should be together in one plastic casing, four in the other. The two go to the seat back, the four to the base. Use the ohmmeter to test the two seat back element wires for continuity.
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