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E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:39 AM
Maxxrox Maxxrox is offline
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Location: USA
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 6
Mein Auto: 1996 BMW Z3/2001 GSX600F
Arrow Z3 - Replacing Heated Seat Element (Aftermarket?)

Hi all,

Having some serious hot spots on the driver's side seat (lower) when the heater is set to high (passenger's fine; I swapped the switches to eliminate that as a problem); my guess is that there's a broken wire or two within the element, causing extra voltage to route through another area. Just a guess. Regardless, it's hot (very..) and less than comfortable.

I'm quite proficient with DIY work (electronic and mechanical); I do my own wrenching, pulled Z3 (not mine) seats before, and have all my own soldering and heat-shrink equipment. My question is this:

Can I replace the faulty seat element with an aftermarket element, leaving the rest of the setup as stock? Assuming the Z3 heated seat switches simply regulate voltage and control timing independently of the seats themselves, this shouldn't be an issue. However, I don't know the output voltage from the switch, or the temp/timing control mechanisms involved (I've searched this forum and the web at large, nothing concrete). Not trying to burn out my stock wiring.

Push comes to shove, I'll simply buy OEM and slap it back together ($90-something for the bottom element), but looking at photos of the heaters, the construction seems a little dodgy and failure-prone. I'd prefer something with a redundant heating grid that provides both better heating coverage and less chance of complete failure.



'98 2.8 Z3 Roadster
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