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Old 05-28-2010, 09:21 AM   #1
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Issue with heated seats...


I tried using the driver heated seat on my '01 Boxster last night for the first time since buying the car. Pressed the button and the light on the switched flashed red and then went off right away. Holding the switch longer didn't help. Tried the passenger side and it worked as it's supposed to.

Did a quick search and didn't see much information on this topic. Am assuming it could be the switch itself or the heater element in the seat. The Bentley manual didn't seem to have anything about this, although am guessing they may have it listed on the schematic.

Anyone have any experience with a problem like this?


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Old 04-29-2011, 01:43 AM   #2
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Mine (same age) has the exact same problem. I tried swapping switches but it stayed the same. Did you ever find out what was wrong?
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Old 04-29-2011, 02:00 PM   #3
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heated seat

Yes, I did a little debugging and determined that the seat cushion heating element is open circuit. Am guessing it involves having to replace the leather seat cushion (or at least ripping it apart), so haven't gone down that route as yet.

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Old 11-19-2016, 10:37 AM   #4
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Sorry to dust off an old thread here - I think I just encountered this on my 2001 Boxster S.

Lately on my driver's seat when I have the seat heater on there's been a hot spot right at the edge of the seat bottom where it meets the bolster. Today while driving the seat heater was working with the same hot spot and then later I noticed it was off. Now when trying to turn it back on the light will turn red for just a second and then it turns off almost immediately.

I'm guessing the heating element in the seat is damaged resulting in an open circuit. I haven't tried swapping the passenger switch in yet as the hot spot tells me there was something wrong anyway.

Anyone have any experience with this? I saw an article listing a part number for the seat cushion bottom with integrated heater but it does not come up in a search of Pelican or Suncoast. Help please.

Thanks in advance,
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Old 06-11-2017, 05:00 AM   #5
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And... bump! I've just put a deposit down on an 04 S and that was the one fault I could find with the car. Passenger seat works fine. How much of a price haggle is this if the guy can't get it fixed before I collect it next week?
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Old 06-11-2017, 04:24 PM   #6
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My 2004 driver seat is doing the same thing (red light for a second, then off). Passenger seat is a-ok. This is the only non-op on my car.
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#317 550 Spyder Anniversary Edition 2004 Boxster S
The contents of my posts are for entertainment only. As confirmed by my many motor sports fails, I am not qualified to give product endorsements or mechanical advice
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Old 06-11-2017, 05:27 PM   #7
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If you really want to understand how the heated seats in a 986 work, read Dennis Vogel's article on retrofitting them: Dennis Vogel: Projects - Boxster Heated Seats

Based on using the instructions to retrofit seats in my car, the problem is most likely one of the following:

1. Damaged relay under the seat- relatively simple to replace
2. Damaged heating element in the seat - Likely to require removal of the leather seat cover to repair.
3. Damaged wiring.
4. Damaged switch.

You can check whether it is a defective switch or relay by swapping the switch and relay from the side that works into the side that doesn't. Start by swapping the switch since the only way to access the relay is to remove the seat.

If you have to remove the seat, you can check the wiring under the seat when you have it out.

If it turns out to be the heating elements, you have two options. (1) Swap out the heated foam rubber pad. Dennis Vogel provides the part number, but the price has increased since he wrote his instructions. (2) Wire a heating pad element from an aftermarket kit into the Porsche wiring. I have not done this myself, so you are on your own. Removing and replacing the leather seat covers requires skill with "hog rings'. Check YouTube for instructional videos. Dennis states that he used an upholsterer.

Good luck with your repairs.

2000 Arctic Silver/Black, Hard Top, On Board Computer
PNP Rear Speakers, HAES 6-Channel Amp, Avic Z140BH,
Painted Bumperettes, 2004 (OEM) Top, Homelink integrated in dash with Targa switch, 997 Shifter, Carrera Gauge Cluster with silver gauge faces, heated 12-way driver & 8-way passenger seats, Litronics, silver console

Last edited by KevinH1990; 06-11-2017 at 05:34 PM.
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