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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
The E9X is the 4th evolution of the BMW 3 series including a highly tuned twin turbo 335i variant pushing out 300hp and 300 ft. lbs. of torque. BMW continues to show that it sets the bar for true driving performance! -- View the E9X Wiki

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  #1  
Old 12-27-2011, 10:13 AM
gofastslowly gofastslowly is offline
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Heated Seats Problem

I have a 2006 325i with heated seats. Yesterday when turning the seats on (it always defaults to the highest or "3 lights" setting), the function turned itself off after 10 seconds or so. I tried changing the setting to medium or 2 lights; same result. This happened several times throughout the day. However today the heat worked fine. Any thoughts as to why this is happening? Loose wire, fuse, switch, etc? Has not happened on the passenger side.
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  #2  
Old 12-27-2011, 11:13 AM
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AzNMpower32 AzNMpower32 is offline
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What condition is your battery in? The module shuts off unnecessary functions or reduces functions when the battery charge is too low.
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  #3  
Old 12-27-2011, 11:17 AM
Scorchpa Scorchpa is offline
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Same thing happened to me yesterday with my steering wheel. A search on this forum showed that others have had the same. recommendations were...

1) do not turn on heater for 10-15 seconds after car starts
2) replace the fuse for the heater.

might work with your seats as well
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  #4  
Old 12-27-2011, 01:33 PM
gofastslowly gofastslowly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzNMpower32 View Post
What condition is your battery in? The module shuts off unnecessary functions or reduces functions when the battery charge is too low.
Great thought. Battery seems to turn over fine although we haven't had much cold weather yet this year. How do I know if my battery is starting to get weak otherwise? Should a battery be replaced after "x" number of years before it goes dead or show signs of weakness as you've mentioned?
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  #5  
Old 12-27-2011, 02:20 PM
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AzNMpower32 AzNMpower32 is offline
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We replaced the battery on the 06/06 build 325i last month. Probably a good idea if you're still on your first battery even if it turns over fine. We didn't notice any issues with the 325i but did it anyway.
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  #6  
Old 12-27-2011, 03:54 PM
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SD Z4MR SD Z4MR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gofastslowly View Post
Great thought. Battery seems to turn over fine although we haven't had much cold weather yet this year. How do I know if my battery is starting to get weak otherwise? Should a battery be replaced after "x" number of years before it goes dead or show signs of weakness as you've mentioned?
Is your clock running slow?
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  #7  
Old 12-30-2011, 12:05 PM
gofastslowly gofastslowly is offline
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Update: The battery was replaced in 2009; the clock is accurate; and the issue with the heated seats continues although it's sporadic. I will leave the main heat off and wait at least 15 seconds before turning on the seat heater (only the driver's side is problematic). Any other suggestions would be appreciated. Perhaps a loose wire or contact or the switch itself?
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  #8  
Old 01-10-2012, 12:03 PM
gofastslowly gofastslowly is offline
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Problems continue. I think I've narrowed it down to either the switch or the element in the seat. It is only on the driver's side. To reiterate; when I push the heated seat button, the 3 lights go on and within 1-4 seconds the lights turn off; if I again hit the switch, the heating level reduces indicated by 2 lights, however the system turns itself off as well. I will not pay big $$ to have the seat taken apart. Is there a DIY for the switch? Can I take the passenger side switch and swap for the driver's side to isolate if in fact it is a switch? Lastly, any other thoughts? Battery is new, clock runs fine and all other electrical is good.
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  #9  
Old 08-24-2012, 10:45 AM
midnitemyst midnitemyst is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gofastslowly View Post
Problems continue. I think I've narrowed it down to either the switch or the element in the seat. It is only on the driver's side. To reiterate; when I push the heated seat button, the 3 lights go on and within 1-4 seconds the lights turn off; if I again hit the switch, the heating level reduces indicated by 2 lights, however the system turns itself off as well. I will not pay big $$ to have the seat taken apart. Is there a DIY for the switch? Can I take the passenger side switch and swap for the driver's side to isolate if in fact it is a switch? Lastly, any other thoughts? Battery is new, clock runs fine and all other electrical is good.
Did you ever find any answers to this? I'm in the exact same situation with the same exact questions. Would be nice to know if you got anywhere with the repair. Hope to hear from you soon. Gonna need these seats for the upcoming winter!
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  #10  
Old 08-24-2012, 01:31 PM
gofastslowly gofastslowly is offline
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heated seat problem

Seems like a fairly common problem. The contact within/inside the seat breaks and renders the heat useless. The only way to repair is to rip apart the seat and fix/replace the contact parts. I decided the $1,000+ estimate I got was not worth it. Also, soon after my power seat (driver side as well) went haywire. It only works when no pressure is on the seat, ie. from a standing position or when I lift my butt up. Only real problem with my 06 325i since I bought it new....at 92k miles and running.
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  #11  
Old 08-24-2012, 10:52 PM
midnitemyst midnitemyst is offline
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That's a shame to hear. Would have really liked to use this heated seat for winter. Didn't try anything with the switch then? Or anything else to try and fix it?
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  #12  
Old 08-25-2012, 07:17 AM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gofastslowly View Post
Update: The battery was replaced in 2009; the clock is accurate; and the issue with the heated seats continues although it's sporadic. I will leave the main heat off and wait at least 15 seconds before turning on the seat heater (only the driver's side is problematic). Any other suggestions would be appreciated. Perhaps a loose wire or contact or the switch itself?
I'd have a look at the system layout to begin, assuming this a DIY request.

Are you familiar with the seat heating electrical system? True to BMW philosophy, and German Engineering, it's much more complicated than we think.

Click image for larger version

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.

Dang! Just noticed....this thread last year's news....like, now giving birth?


.

Last edited by CALWATERBOY; 08-25-2012 at 07:39 AM.
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  #13  
Old 08-25-2012, 07:55 AM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY View Post
Dang! Just noticed....this thread last year's news....like, now giving birth?
Don't feel embarrassed...it was "reopened" as someone did a search on their problem, came across the thread, and asked if there was a resolution (as none was posted).
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  #14  
Old 08-25-2012, 05:11 PM
BobBNY BobBNY is offline
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An idea

Quote:
Originally Posted by gofastslowly View Post
Seems like a fairly common problem. The contact within/inside the seat breaks and renders the heat useless. The only way to repair is to rip apart the seat and fix/replace the contact parts. I decided the $1,000+ estimate I got was not worth it. Also, soon after my power seat (driver side as well) went haywire. It only works when no pressure is on the seat, ie. from a standing position or when I lift my butt up. Only real problem with my 06 325i since I bought it new....at 92k miles and running.
How about trying to find a used replacement seat from a salvage yard, etc? Probably a lot cheaper. Not sure how you can test it before buying, but perhaps you can buy it on the condition that all of the electronics work, etc.

BB
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  #15  
Old 08-27-2012, 10:44 AM
midnitemyst midnitemyst is offline
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I may still try just replacing the switch as a cheap solution to an otherwise pretty expensive problem. Better than nothing. I finally have heated seats and I can't use it in Winter!
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  #16  
Old 12-24-2013, 06:27 AM
loboracer loboracer is offline
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I am having the same problem with the driver's seat on my 99 328i e46. The light will not stay on for more than a second when cold. Once I get driving I can get it to stay on. The seat doesn't seem to heat as fast as my 99 323i but does work well once it will stay on. Pass side works great. I have checked multiple forums. Is there no one that has figured this out yet?
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  #17  
Old 12-24-2013, 02:44 PM
hondo402000 hondo402000 is offline
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A Digital multimeter would be a good investment and check the plug under the
Seat and see if there is power to the seAt. Also not too difficult to take
The bottom seat cover off. Just need some hog rings and hog ring pliers
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  #18  
Old 12-24-2013, 02:50 PM
loboracer loboracer is offline
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I have the multi meter. There has to be power getting there at least a few minutes after I am driving it because it will cook my rear. Is there a ground or something that is common for having a bad connection? Really weird, seems like once I start driving it will stay on but will not if car is cold and idling. Car starts right up, batt is good.
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  #19  
Old 12-24-2013, 05:31 PM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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How is your battery? In e9x at least, heated seats are considered a convenience feature. The car will disable convenience features such as heated seats, welcome lighting, comfort access, etc to conserve power.
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  #20  
Old 12-24-2013, 05:38 PM
R1200 R1200 is offline
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It's not worth spending big bucks to fix this problem when you can easily add a heated cushion for a couple of winter months. I have used the heating element from these cushions as they include a thermostat and I sew them into a pocket on the back of my motorcycle jackets for days when wind chill is a factor. It might be possble to add a thermostat to your existing heated seat and skip the fancy three level control from BMW which probably cycles the heater at varying rates.

I once disassembled a leather seat from a sports car to make repairs and improve the cushioning. It was a project where hands get cut up and special tools are required. Not fun and certainly not worth it when a separate cushion will fix the problem.

Consider lamb skin for a seat cushion. It's not heated but an excellent insulator.
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  #21  
Old 12-24-2013, 05:39 PM
loboracer loboracer is offline
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It turns over fast and starts easily even in the single digit temps we are having. I was wondering if there could be a bad connection somewhere that would make this happen until warm.
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