Earlier this year the driver side seat heater went out in my 2003 Acura TL Type-S. It wasn’t a problem since winter was almost over. But now the cold is coming back and I miss having a warm butt when I drive. So I did some online research and found that this is a common problem and the fix was neither difficult nor expensive. Below are the steps I took to repair my seat heater which is now working properly.
1. Move the seat into the fully back position for easy access to the two bolts in front. Remove the bolts using a ratchet.
2. Move the seat into the fully forward position to access the bolts in the back. The bolts are concealed under small plastic covers.
3. Remove the covers. Gently pull and wiggle on the covers and they should pop off. Remove the two bolts using the ratchet.
4. There are two wire connections underneath the seat, disconnect the wires. I found it helpful to lean the seat forward so I could access the wire harnesses with both hands. It also helps to pop the larger harness off the metal bracket underneath the seat.
5. Remove the seat from the car. The seat is heavy. Be careful so you don’t scratch other parts of the car.
6. Set the seat on a soft surface. I used a towel. I also removed the headrest so I wouldn’t have to worry about scratching or scuffing it.
7. Set the chair flat on its back so you have easy access to the bottom. Remove the four screws that fasten the front plastic piece. There is a wire harness fastened to this front piece. You should pop off the clip that holds the harness.
8. Remove the two screws that fasten the right side plastic piece.
9. In order to remove the two screws that fasten the left side plastic piece, you will need to remove the hole covers. Use a very small flat head screwdriver to remove the covers. After you have unscrewed the two screws holding the plastic piece, disconnect the three wire harnesses attached to the power seating switches.
10. Remove the two bolts that hold the bottom seat section to the frame of the seat on the right side.
11. Remove the two bolts that hold the bottom seat section to the frame of the seat on the left side.
12. Disconnect all the wire harnesses underneath the seat so you have more room to work.
13. Remove the hog rings underneath the seat. There are two on each side and three in front. I found using two pairs of pliers make this job a little bit easier since I do not have hog ring pliers. You will also need to un-secure the plastic tabs that hold the leather in place in back. I found it easier to move those after I began to pull the leather off.
14. Begin gently pulling the leather cover from the foam cushion. There are more hog rings in the middle of the seat. Remove the three at the front and one on each side of the center pattern of the seat. The seat of a non Type S is probably a little different.
15. Pull back the leather a little more and the problem is exposed.
16. Remove the charred wire and solder on the replacement wire. I used a light gauge wire (about four inches). I tried to use a wire that closely matched the one that was originally there.
17. I taped the soldered connections and put the seat back together following these same steps in reverse.
Be careful when moving the seat. It is very easy to scratch other parts of the car.
Make sure you don’t forget to reattach the wire harnesses; there are a lot of them. You will probably have to reset your memory seat positions after you have finished this repair.
Keep in mind that your owners manual says to only keep your seat heaters on high for a short period of time. Switch to low after the seats have heated up.
This is a great time to clean hard to reach areas of the car. I vacuumed underneath the seat and cleaned the plastic pieces that are too difficult to reach when assembled.
I am not a mechanic so this repair isn’t gospel. Follow these steps at your own risk.
For more great information about Acura, visit Acurazine.com.
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