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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Subaru seat heaters-good or bad?

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5 replies to this topic

#1 Algrande


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Posted 29 October 2003 - 11:50 AM

I have 2002 Legacy GT wagon, The seat heaters suck, they work intermittent. They don't warm up at all when idling. The dealer has replaced the heating elements. No difference.
The dealer says that they check out okay.

Do all Subaru seat heaters suck????

Thanks, Algrande

#2 forester2002s


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Posted 29 October 2003 - 12:34 PM

My seat heaters work fine. I don't use them a lot, except on really cold mornings, and then only for 10-minutes or so.

However, the way that they are wired is problematic:

- The toggle switches that operate the seat heaters are just that, simple switches. Once switched on, they stay on for ever. Even if accidently switched on by an errant elbow, they stay on. Even if the car is parked overnight, and then restarted, the switches are still on.

- The seat-heaters work on both the IGN and ACC ignition-switch circuits. That means that if you stop for a while (e.g. waiting for a ferry), with the engine off but the ignition set to ACC (to listen to the radio), then the seat-heaters are still on, and will drain the battery in time.

A better wiring arrangement would be to control the seat-heaters by means of a timer-switch (similar to the timer-switch used on the rear-window defogger). When timed-out (say after 10 minutes), the circuit would switch off, and would not re-energise until the switch is reactivated. That way, one couldn't forget about the heaters being on, nor would it matter if they were accidently switched-on, or left on from the day before.

Subaru, are you listening?

#3 HB_Dad


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Posted 29 October 2003 - 12:42 PM

I,m on my third Outback, and I've NEVER had trouble with the ol' "butt-warmers" on any of them. In fact, my wife uses them religiously in those "oh so cold" Southern California nights (she gets cold easily). One thing to try is that there are two modes of heating depending on which way you flip the switch. One is high, one is low. Low doesn't do much, but high does. Unfortunetely, due to design "genius" of the switch, it is unclear which way is supposed to be high and which way is supposed to be low.

#4 cookie


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Posted 29 October 2003 - 02:30 PM

It goes from very hot to warm after warming up and goes off when the car is shut off.
No reason Subaru could not do this.

#5 theotherskip


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Posted 29 October 2003 - 05:25 PM

the seat heaters do have their problems. the butt element on my driver's seat is burned out. i guess it is hard to notice when you are buying a car when it is 90 degrees out.

they are wired in a series and parallel arrangement. when they are switched on hi, they are in parallel, with each element getting 12V. when switched to low, 12V is applied across the two elements in series, passing approximately half the current through each. in my car, forward is hi, and back is low (low doesn't work because the one element is open). i've been meaning to switch the seat element out of the passenger's seat... i usually drive alone...

#6 cookie


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Posted 29 October 2003 - 05:36 PM

them to my forester as they are the only thing my wife likes in a car besides a roof.
It seems pretty wimpy to be considering them around here.

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