When i turn on the heated seat the light comes on for one second and goes right back off, and the seat never heats up. Is this a switch problem or the heating element in the seat and how do I trouble shoot? Aso unsure how much I am getting into taking the seat apart, looking for advice before I take seat out and have the car out of service.
I just repaired one not long ago.It was a 2001 with heated seats.The first thing you can do is switch the switches to see if the problem moves to the other seat.There are at least three little heaters attached to the foam,that is bonded to the leather.One had a broken wire,the other two [that I know of in the base] tested good.Seems they all have to be working,so everyone must be tested for continuity,with out being pluged in to the others.The only way to see whats going on is to somewhat remove the leather from the seat. With extreme care I was able to get more wire out of the heater and soldier it back on.Then used silicone or 3m window welder around[I don't remember wich] to protect it as that is how it kind of it from the factory. It looked like the wire broke at the edge of the protective part due to sitting on the seat too many times. Bad design,to hold up over time.
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Remove the ignition key. Unplug the HSM (heated seat module). It is under the passenger seat. You can easily accomplish this with the seat all the way back. Wait a few seconds they plug it back in. Start the engine. Turn the seats on. If the indicator lights come on for 2 seconds and then go out, further diagnostics is required. Hopefully they'll stay on and the seats will be working fine.
The problem lies in the drivers side seat, the heating element for the back of the seat or the seat heating element has an open or shorted circuit. the part from ford will run you about $150.00 dollars.
Possibly.... the only way I know to diagnosis this issue is with an amp meter in the circuit that heats the seats. Compare LH & RH seat heating current draw. If you find the pass seat is NOT drawing the same amount of current, further troublshooting is required. There are TWO heating elements installed in the seats -- seat bottom & seat back, and they are connected in 'SERIES'... so if either element goes/is 'OPEN', then it's component replacement time. There is a thermostat in the heating elements -- it regulates the seat temperature. One must isolate the two elements & check each one individually (seat bottom - checking resistance... and seat back - checking resistance). whichever one (or possibly both) are 'OPEN'. If you find resistance is normal (3 to 5 ohms), then the problem/cause may be in the switch (or its contacts). Using a test light (12 volt bulb), check for power (battery voltage) at the heating element connector to ground (chassis). If the bulb lights up, you know you have power at the switch and is sending it to the heating elements.
Most likely one of the heater elements in either the seat cushion or seat back is open.It leaves the module and goes to the seat back on the YE/LB wire thru the seat back and leaves there on the GY/LB wire and goes to the seat cushion and leaves there on the VT/LB. An open in either one of these will cause it not to work.Usally its the seat cushion one that goes bad.
You can test them with an ohm meter and you can get the heated element seperate. Just have to remove the cover to replace it.
The most likely failure point is the driver heated seat elements. They probably have excessive resistance and once they warm up a little they short out the module and it defaults to not working. I would recommend replacing both upper and lower driver seat elements.