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My seat heater doesn't work anymore and I'm thinking it's the element. The passenger side does work so the fuse is not the problem. Since the elements are pricey (about $150 ea on 1stvwparts.com) I was thinking I could find a used drivers seat from a junkyard. It would have to be grey cloth and in very good condition with airbag intact. Are the seats from model years 06-10 interchangeable with my 2005? Any other thoughts? Thanks for any help. The cold weather is settling into Colorado and I would love my heated seat again!
 

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Certainly, a used seat could be an economical approach to restoring the heated-seat functionality of your New Beetle. But, as you've already noted, you'd have to locate a pristine heated front-seat in the appropriate color; that's not terribly likely IMHO. Plus, who's to say the heater elements in a used seat aren't near the end of their lifespan... :D

Purchasing and installing new seat-heater elements is probably the best long-term approach to restoring heated-set functionality. The New Beetle is a premium, entry-level, German car and the legacy of such a purchase is that while you can buy the used car at a greatly depreciated price, the premium parts (and labor costs) to maintain the car never get any cheaper. ;)

There's an entertaining article by Ezra Dyer in Automobile magazine that describes some of the issues with buying and maintaining an older premium car:


My wife and I are in a similar situation; we bought a 2000 New Beetle, knowing full well that we'd have to spend something close to the purchase price of our used Beetle to restore the car to a pristine operational state. It doesn't make economic sense, but we love the goofy grin that our New Beetle brings to our faces whenever we drive Klaus. So, we have to "pay the piper" to maintain Klaus. :cool:

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks I appreciate the feedback. This does seem to be a hard problem to fix on the cheap. I would only consider a used seat if it was from a newer beetle, like you said, the elements could be at the end of their lifespan...but an 06-10 seat might not be compatible. I wonder how much it would cost to replace just the element in the back. I think there are a total of 3 - 1 in the back and 2 in the butt. :p
 

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Failing that and to be really cheap, just goto a motor store and buy a cigar socket heat pad for your seat :D

Get you through the Winter Brrrrrr.. :lol:
 

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Thanks I appreciate the feedback. This does seem to be a hard problem to fix on the cheap. I would only consider a used seat if it was from a newer beetle, like you said, the elements could be at the end of their lifespan...but an 06-10 seat might not be compatible. I wonder how much it would cost to replace just the element in the back. I think there are a total of 3 - 1 in the back and 2 in the butt. :p
Yes, according to the Bentley Maintenance Manual, it looks like you've got the parts identified; three heater elements in the seat-back and two heater elements in the seat-bottom. Also, the same heater element part-numbers apply across the range of 1998-2010 New Beetles. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Failing that and to be really cheap, just goto a motor store and buy a cigar socket heat pad for your seat :D

Get you through the Winter Brrrrrr.. :lol:
Haha :p

Yes, according to the Bentley Maintenance Manual, it looks like you've got the parts identified; three heater elements in the seat-back and two heater elements in the seat-bottom. Also, the same heater element part-numbers apply across the range of 1998-2010 New Beetles. :cool:
Thanks - I talked to a guy from 1stvwparts.com and each element is $142 - ouch. I was kind of hoping to get an entirely new-to-me seat because mine is getting pretty worn. It's really not a big deal, it's not a vital part or anything but it would be nice to have.
 

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My seat heater doesn't work anymore and I'm thinking it's the element. The passenger side does work so the fuse is not the problem. Since the elements are pricey (about $150 ea on 1stvwparts.com) I was thinking I could find a used drivers seat from a junkyard. It would have to be grey cloth and in very good condition with airbag intact. Are the seats from model years 06-10 interchangeable with my 2005? Any other thoughts? Thanks for any help. The cold weather is settling into Colorado and I would love my heated seat again!
Have you done any testing other than supposition that the fuse is not the problem due to the passenger seat working?

After the fuse, within the dash the wiring separates at the switches to control each seat. The switch or wiring after this point are as likely as the elements to be the cause of failure.

Heck, it could be as simple as the plug under the seat becoming loose. You checked that right?

Someone with better electrical testing qualifications than myself may be along and give you some ideas on some hopefully quick tests to determine which part is actually failing.
 

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Fuse and switch are both ok. I did look under the seat and everything seems to be secure. Would you happen to know which plug is for the elements? I think there's a green one and a white one. I did some research on tdiclub and vortex. Unfortunately our seats are different than other mk4 dubs so I can't pull the cushion to check the wiring there unless I remove the seat completely.

Would anyone know which part of the dash I would remove to check the wiring?
 

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Fuse and switch are both ok. I did look under the seat and everything seems to be secure. Would you happen to know which plug is for the elements? I think there's a green one and a white one. I did some research on tdiclub and vortex. Unfortunately our seats are different than other mk4 dubs so I can't pull the cushion to check the wiring there unless I remove the seat completely.

Would anyone know which part of the dash I would remove to check the wiring?
Are you saying you can't get to the wiring harness plug with the seat in place? I find that strange, as the body harness with the plug was installed long before the seats were. Or can't get to the elements with the upholstery on the seat? Also, are all three elements out in the back or just one of them. And it's just the back and not the butt elements? You're not clear on that either.

Very unlikely all five of the elements would go out, so it is most likely a power to the seat issue, so replacing the seat would accomplish nothing.

I'll get you the plug info from the Bentley so you can check for power at the seat before you go ripping into the dash. But after the seat plug, the next place to check for power would be at the switch, and I have the R&R for that also I believe, or can find it.

M.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm saying I can't get to the elements with the seat in place. Someone on TDI Club fixed his elements by using electrical tape to secure the wires. He pulled up the seat cushion to reveal the wires going directly into the elements but our seats are different.

All 3 of the elements are definitely not working.

Thanks for your help!:)
 

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Looking at the wiring diagram in the bentley, the green is the heated seats. The white is going to be the air bag.

Going over this diagram there does seem to be a few wiring points within the seat itself that would account for the failure, without it actually being the element. If any element fails then the entire system will fail, or any wire connecting the elements. The way they appear to be wired, the hot connects to the bottom, which routes to the back, then returns to ground to complete the circuit.

There is also a temperature sensor to shut it down if it gets too hot risking a fire, I bet if that goes the system goes.

If you really want to know what is wrong and needs replacing, you'll have to get someone to check all the wiring to find out where there is a break.
 

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I'm saying I can't get to the elements with the seat in place. Someone on TDI Club fixed his elements by using electrical tape to secure the wires. He pulled up the seat cushion to reveal the wires going directly into the elements but our seats are different.

All 3 of the elements are definitely not working.

Thanks for your help!:)
I have now looked at the wiring diagram (why tf didn't I just do this to start?), and I concur with what janz has posted, however, I get the impression this is something you want to try to diagnose your self, and repair. I also have to amend my last post. I'm not sure where the two elements in the butt and three elements in the back rest came from. There is one element in the butt and one element it the back as serviceable components. There may in fact be multiple units within each element but there is only one element in each. They are in fact wired in series (If a heater wire in one breaks neither element will work.

Here is what I we know is good and can be eliminated:
1) switched power (ignition switch) with
2) fuse (S244) protection (these are common to both) and
3) wiring between the two and from fuse panel to D & P Heated Seat Control Modules
4) fuse (S1) protection (common to both) and
wiring to and from fuse panel and between D & P Heated Seat Control Modules

The easiest and fastest test to determine whether the failure issue is with the seat components or within the console controls is this -

Obtain a T6a plug, both the male and female portions, with a few inches of wire from each, from a donor car. Couple people arong here doing part-outs that should be nice enough to mail you this set-up if their seats are too bad to sell, or go to a Dealer or Reseller and obtain a T6a replacement pair. With these, make up a jumper harness and cross-over from the plug feeding the passenger seat to the plug serving the driver seat, if the seat heats up, it's the console control half of the equation, if not it's the seat half. To confirm reverse the procedure to the opposite seat. This will tell you quickly where you need to concentrate your diagnostic efforts.

From there I can walk you through the rest of the diagnostics if your interested.

M.
 
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