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Subject: Seat heater elements
Phil: I fixed the driver's side base a couple years back on an alcantra-cloth
4000q. The wires attach to the seat element at the rear of the seat base,
about where the seatback hits. Leaves a little lump in the seat. That was my
failure area; I did some resoldering (actual broken wire; fatigue at the
solder joint) and it worked great for years. Didn't have to fully strip the
seat cover, just back to that point.
Also, here's an old quattro list post from my archives that goes into more
HTH, Chris Miller, Windham NH, email@example.com
'91 200q => http://members.aol.com/c1j1miller/index.html
Ah, the old broken heating element problem. Yes, I've fixed my drivers side
heated seat at least 4 times. I have a 5000, but I assume the design is
on a 4000.
There are 2 things that can go wrong:
-the heat sensor buried in the seat
-the heating element itself
I've had both things break, but the heating element dies most of the time.
Most likely (I bet $1), the element is broken on the left side of the seat.
This is where most of the flex occurs.
There is no need to remove the seat to fix this. Slide the seat all the way
back to make room. Then, under the front of the seat, undo the upholstery
clips (usually wire loopie things). Lift up the seat cushion and remove the
"cross wires" underneath (easy). Peel the seat cover back about half way
toward the backrest. At this point you'll probably find the cover retained by
more clips. With strong needle nose pliers, undo the clip on each end and in
the center of the retaining rod (you'll see it when you're in there). When
that's free, peel the top of the seat cover mostly off the cushion. At his
point you'll see a grey felt material. The heater wire is woven into this. If
you are real lucky, you'll see a brown spot where the element fused. Look
carefully. If you find it easily, carefully cut (scalp) the felt pad away from
the cushion to expose the blue element wires. You can strip and reconnect
them, but they are VERY delicate to work with. They will not solder because of
the nichrome composition. But twisting them and sealing with small heat shrink
tubing works well (from Radio Shack). Sew your splice to the felt pad with
thread. Glue the felt back to the foam cushion and put everything back
If you can't see a small burned area, you'll have to carefully cut the entire
felt pad off the cushion and "ohm-it-out" a piece at a time. Luckily, all of
my breaks have been near the front left area of the seat and were semi-easy to
All of this sounds like brain surgery. It's not that hard, but you have to be
careful. Since I've done it, it takes me less than an hour to fix. The first
time, I went gaa-gaa and removed the whole seat. There is no need to do that.
Have fun. Seat heaters are wonderful, but if they don't work, it "bums" me
From: Bill Samaras DTN 223-7322 17-Feb-1994 1009
<firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com
Apparently-To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Subject: RE: Audi seat heater won't go
Minor chores #17: The passenger seat heater doesn't work.
True. The lower element has gone open circuit - the seatback element
is fine, as is the thermostat in the lower element.
So - given that (thank to the list) I'm expert at the "hawg ring lunge"
- - how do I tackle this? I can get the seat to bits easily enough - are
the elements repairable in list experience, or should I order a new one
before I start the teardown?