Seat Heater Malfunction - Switch or Element
I am new to this forum having recently picked up a 2005 X5. The seat heater for the driver's seat does not work. When the button/switch on the console is pushed for the driver's seat heater, nothing happens. There are no lights at all. The passenger seat works as expected.
I know it's not a fuse because I checked them and because both front seat heaters appear to be on the same fuse circuit and the passenger seat works. I took the switch apart and examined what I could for solder connections and pcb board integrity and everything seemed fine to a visual inspection. The switch is more complex than I would have expected. I did not take apart the mechanical part of the switch but I can hear the microswitch click in the switch when the seat heater button is pressed.
I have not yet taken apart the seat to check continuity in the heating element. I tried to do that with the seat in the car by removing the plastic backing from the seat but I could not see a plug for the seat heater wires and there is a whole lot going on the back of the seat with the lumbar support bladder and tubes. I think it might be a big job to take apart the seat to check the actual heating element. I also don't have a wiring diagram to show which pins on the electric seat connector are for the seat heater.
I have read many posts about the heating elements breaking which seems to produce a symptom in which the switch will light up for a second and then shut off (or set the seat on fire). My case is different since the switch does not light up at all. I have seen a couple of posts with the same symptom I have but no resolution was provided.
I am trying to decide whether to pull the seat and take it apart to see if I can find a plug to check continuity for the heating element or to just buy a replacement switch on ebay for $100 and hope that does the trick.
I welcome any thoughts or guidance.