I bought a 2008 Suzuki XL7 Luxury recently and when I bought it, the heated seats didn’t work. The dealership of course offered to take care of that problem. I purchased the vehicle and scheduled service a few days later, but when I brought it back the heated seats were working that day, so they didn’t fix anything. They have been working intermittently since then, and I kept bringing it back. When I brought it back on a day that they weren’t working, they said I needed a new heated seat element. They made the repair and when I picked it up, they were working. Today they are not working. These people seem to be idiots, but if I bring it somewhere else, I will have to pay for the repair. Does anyone have any suggestions on what it could be besides the element so I can nudge them in the right direction? It’s been about 5 months now and I’ve brought it back 4 times so far. I can’t sell it or trade it yet because I would end up owing on it. But they advertised heated seats and said they’d fix them for free. But I don’t want to keep going back there for no reason if they can’t fix it. Your thoughts?
I’d keep going back until they fix it. It could be a relay, but more than likely it’s the seat.
The symptoms are variable. Sometimes I hit the switch and absolutely nothing happens. Sometimes they turn on but then turn off after about 20 seconds. Sometimes they work just fine.
Heated seats can be a bear to work on. There is a lot of resistance in the circuit when they are working which can cause a switch, wiring connection or relay failure. Then there is the problem of the heater element which can short out suddenly. It takes someone with a good working knowledge of heated seat circuitry to get them to work properly. When I repaired my daughter-in-law’s heated seats…I had to replace all of the components…wiring, element, switch, circuit breaker and relay before they would work reliably. You may have to do the same thing.
you can replace the seat on your own, new electrical elements can be as cheap as $50
What’s probably happening is the heating element (which is a special type of wire which winds along somewhere under the seat cushion) is probably partially broken somewhere. Not surprising what with people sitting on it, getting in and out of the car since 2008. I had a heated mattress pad that this happened, with the same symptom. The reason it works one day and not the next is that the break is not quite all the way, so electrically is intermittent. If you bump it just right it will temporarily re-connect and you’ll have heated seats for a while. The heating element is probably not a repairable item, and the only solution is to purchase and install a new element.