Some drivers find that during the fall and winter months, simply heating their vehicle is not sufficient for them.
A supplementary seat heater improves comfort and contributes to the general feeling of coziness throughout any journey.
In the following piece, we will discuss whether or not it is possible to install a seat heater in an older vehicle and provide instructions on how to do so.
Is it possible to put in a seat heater?
The convenience of a seat heater can be enjoyed in a vehicle of any age or construction series, so there is no need to worry about missing out.
The only thing you need to think about is how much money you are willing to put in and which model of seat heater you can afford, given your financial situation.
You must be familiar with your preferences and the costs associated with upgrading the vehicle because there are several options for heating your seat during winter.
Rarely does it make sense to perform such a complicated retrofitting, particularly in the case of ancient automobiles, the disposal of which is likely to occur very shortly?
In this case, the most cost-effective choice would be to go with something as simple as floor mats.
Since all contemporary automobile manufacturers offer model series with heated seats that are suitable, thanks to their technical accessories, for retrofitting, it may be a good idea to replace or treat the heart in newer vehicles that have been manufactured in recent times.
Types of seat heaters
You have your choice of the following three varieties of seat heaters if you want to be able to travel through the colder months of the year in the comfort of your vehicle in the future:
– Heating pad located outside
– The inclusion of a mat within the cover
– The replacement of the seat
A heated seat can be achieved most quickly and cost-effectively by using an external heat mat.
Because the cigarette lighter powers them, electric floor mats of this type can have wiring that sometimes looks a little unsightly.
Incorporating a layer of metal or thermal carbon fiber is the most complicated option from a technical standpoint; however, it gives the best impression that a good job has been done.
This is because it gives the appearance that the job has been done to the highest standard. If you choose a new component from the original manufacturer of the brand name product, the most expensive option is to replace the seat with a model with built-in heating.
You could also give your luck a shot at some of the local junkyards. There is a possibility that you will be able to locate a heated seat for your series there.
But whether or not this one is also nice is a separate issue.
Should you complete the task independently, or should you hire a specialist?
If it’s something as simple as heating mats that go over the seat, you can do it in your home without disturbing anyone.
The appropriate knowledge and abilities are required to replace the seat cover entirely or insert a mat into the surface of the seat.
The side airbags in the seat present the most significant challenge in this scenario because the built-in element must not cover them.
These airbags will no longer perform their intended function in the event of a collision, which will make the cabin less safe. In the worst possible scenario, you even present a threat to your safety.
Before attempting a retrofit, you should seek the advice of an experienced professional if the seats in your older vehicle already have side airbags.
Only the process of incorporating the heating element into the seat could potentially cause complications.
The subsequent wiring and connection to the automobile’s electronic system are accomplished in a manner analogous to the installation of any other electrical component.
Investing in a heat mat is the best way to cut costs and sidestep the need to go to the workshop altogether.
Step-by-step instructions for installing the seat heater
The specific actions required to install a new seat heater are contingent on the make and model of the vehicle as well as the heater in question.
Nevertheless, the following steps can be used to describe the installation process regardless of the model:
1. Loosen the straps that hold the seat cover in place
The seating surface and backrest are typical components of an automobile seat.
To install the heating elements, the seat cover must first be removed from the two components that make up the seat.
If the seat covers are not made of bonded fabric, then this is something that can be done. Because it is doubtful that you will be able to detach and reattach them without causing any damage, you should take this opportunity to get in touch with a specialized workshop.
Every other model’s fabric or leather cover can be removed quickly and easily. For example, these models all come equipped with zippers.
After that, remove the elements of the seat’s central padding, leaving behind a free surface on which to position the heating mats for the seat heater.
2. Installation of the seat heater, including the wiring
Because the heating elements for the seat heaters are manufactured to fit a wide variety of seats, they may need to be adjusted.
At this stage, it is highly recommended that you draw very accurately, particularly about the accurate positioning of the anchor point of the heating elements.
When trimming, additional caution should be taken to avoid accidentally causing damage to the side loops that serve as the heater’s negative and positive poles.
In most cases, a piece of double-sided adhesive tape already attached to the product is used to secure the heating mat in its desired location.
After being wrapped with insulating tape, the loops for the anchoring channel should then be positioned in the channel corresponding to them.
After installation, the anchor channel needs to be shortened to the point where it can, under no circumstances, come into contact with the positive or negative poles. If trimming the track is not an option, additional insulation is required.
3. A source of power and a test
In almost all of the models, the heating elements of the backrest are connected to the heating mat in the seat.
The battery is the power supply source, and the currents typically drawn from it range from five to ten amperes.
Depending on the model, you can have the choice between a direct connection and a connection through a relay.
Along with the heating elements you purchase, you will also receive the wiring diagram corresponding to them.
From a technical standpoint, the wiring with the corresponding switch on the dashboard is more challenging to understand and work with.
A secure mounting is required to avoid running the cable through the cockpit, in contrast to thermal mats powered by the cigarette lighter.
The cable within the set might need to be extended for a tidy and unobtrusive connection.
Test the newly installed seat heater as soon as everything has been connected appropriately.
Because the heat effect can only be produced if there is a previous accumulation of heat, you or someone else must be seated in the appropriate seat for the test.
Most seat heaters can only perform at their total capacity when the engine runs.
If you have any reason to suspect that the seat heater or the electrical system in your vehicle is not functioning correctly, go for a quick drive.
Advice specifically for your brand-new seat heater
If you decide to go with heated seat mats rather than an actual retrofit, you should be careful to select high-quality products from reputable brands.
These provide a format that considers the presence of side airbags and has holes corresponding to those airbags.
Products of poor quality will not offer you this sense of safety and protection.
Regardless of the type of installation, it may be worthwhile to invest in a model of higher quality from which you can anticipate an even distribution of thermal performance across the entirety of the seating surface.
Long-term financial savings are possible thanks to this. You will also increase the seat heater’s longevity, so you won’t have to worry about repairing it or purchasing a new one in a few months as you would otherwise.