I found the perfect car, but... (Installing Seat Heaters) - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

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E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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Old 04-18-2005, 08:02 AM
rasher rasher is offline
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Location: Kansas City, Missouri
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Mein Auto: 1964 Ford Thunderbird
I found the perfect car, but... (Installing Seat Heaters)

I've found the perfect car (1998 328iC sport/premium package) that has everything I want except that it does not have seat heaters. Unfortunately, this is a deal breaker for the wifey.
I've searched around the forum and haven't found anything satisfactory, so I'll ask again:

1. Is it possible to install seat heaters after the fact. I'm pretty sure I'm going to want to go the OEM route if just to ensure maximum compatibility.
2. If so, is this a dealer/service center installation?
3. Or..., is this something I could do myself? I'm somewhat handy, but a bit reluctant to tear into such a nice car. What all would be involved? I don't suppose I'd be lucky enough that the heating elements were already installed, would I?
4. Is this something that could be had, preferrably with a dealer/service installation for around $500 or less?
5. Should I just keep looking? Unfortunately, I'm pretty set on the Dk. Blue/Parchment Leather color combo, which I understand is pretty rare. This particular car is low mileage (56,000) and well maintained, so I'm very interested.

Any advice will of course be rewarded with good thoughts and feelings.
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Old 04-18-2005, 09:04 AM
njoutlaw88 njoutlaw88 is offline
Location: Bradenton Florida and nyc
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Mein Auto: 96 328ic
It sounds like a hot car. The seat heaters are nice but not necessary but I know how women can be. Anyway I am sure you can buy the heated seats on ebaymotors.com. If not buy one of those things you put on the seat and it warms up.
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Old 04-19-2005, 06:30 PM
dwsscs dwsscs is offline
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Location: Fayetteville
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Mein Auto: Nissan Frontier
I know finding the "perfect car" can be a pain, but if all you need is heated seats to make it perfect. Then there is a add on kit for it, I am sure it would be some effort and $$.

Just look around I saw it somewhere, I think it costs about $180 per seat not including installation. However it wasn't OEM! It took me a few months to find a nice used vert, and I ended up driving 200 miles to buy a 94' 325ic. Ironically it was in better condition than most of the newer ones and lower miles then ones I had driven. I would really think about if the heated seats are really worth it. If the car is in good condition otherwise.
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Old 04-19-2005, 08:19 PM
three28i three28i is offline
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Location: Canada
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 80
Mein Auto: 2003 540i M Sport
You can always tell the wifey that it's "a fairly straight forward change, and the cost appears to be reasonable." Be sure to be vague. Don't give the project a deadline.

Then after a few months if you don't have the new seats in, just shrug your shoulders and say "oh, well. such is life. I'm off to play some pool and have a few brews..."

Just a thought.

But seriously, work on convincing her it isn't that big a deal, while at the same time work at trying to make it happen (the heated seats.) I NEVER could have gotten a 328iC or iS; my wife was adamant that it had to fit the whole family comfortable.

So I got the Sedan. I was amazed at her acceptance of it when I showed her the leg room in the back seat. And since I prefer the Sedan over the coupe with respect to cosmetics appearance, it was a win/win situation for me. I was quite shocked. Anyway, I digress....

Good luck with your purchase.
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Old 04-21-2005, 08:03 PM
Silver328i Silver328i is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 328i W/M3 sport susp
Why do you let your wife run the show? I have heated seats (factory installed) in my 1998 328i 5pd Sedan with M3 sport suspension, but for all the use they are they are probably not worth the extra hassle to install (unless your wife has a bad back or arthirtis, as my elderly dad likes to use it for when taking him to the hospital). But I'd be happy with window cranks instead of my power windows, sunroof, 6-way heated power sport seats, Harmon-Kardon top end sound system with 6 CD changer, heated mirrors, etc.

Overall, I wouldn't pass up a car becasue of not having heated seats, but I could see if it it didn't have AC or some other major thing. I never use mine since they are worthless in general, except in sub-zero artic weather before the car warms up, but you should't be driving that quick anyway since your windshiled is covered with ice and you can't see. And the back seats are not heated, so passengers will have to "suffer" still - oh my, dread the thought! Tell your wife she will have to "rough it" and not be a priss. Such "over the top" luxury features are a sign of the collapse of our civilization.
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Old 06-03-2005, 07:24 PM
MyFutureSelfnMe MyFutureSelfnMe is offline
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Location: Boston
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Goddamn right. Make her walk home.
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Old 06-04-2005, 07:33 AM
Silver328i Silver328i is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 328i W/M3 sport susp
I guess I am used to women like my current "significant other" that are more tough and get greasy working on cars too!
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