heated seats: factory vs. aftermarket?
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This is a discussion on heated seats: factory vs. aftermarket? within the Interior Mods forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Im l'm thinking there might be a WRX wagon in our future and am wondering about heated seats. I'm not ...

  1. #1
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    heated seats: factory vs. aftermarket?

    Im l'm thinking there might be a WRX wagon in our future and am wondering about heated seats. I'm not actually wondering if we want them. I know we do. Unfortunately Subaru in their infinite wisdom has decided that the "Premium Package" which includes heated front seats should not be available on the wagon.

    I spoke with the dealer and they can install aftermarket heaters for $625 US and I'm wondering how good these are. The dealer claims that they are better because they include both seat and seat back heaters whereas the factory does not heat the seat back. (Is this correct?)

    Has anyone here had experience with either type heated seats and is there any reason why one would be better than the other?

    I wonder if it is possible to purchase and install the factory parts without a great deal of trouble (like replacing the fuse box or wiring harness.)

    thanks,
    hank

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  3. #2
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    hm.... $625?!?!?!

    I just bought a new 03 WRX a month ago. The dealer asked me if I would like to install heated seats (both seat and back). It just cost $400. You know, I can't tell you how good they are coz winter hasn't come yet. But, $625 is really pricy........
    that's just my 2 cents.

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    i wonder what the install intales. sounds like a parts # hunt and DIY job.

  5. #4
    Registered User mroussy's Avatar
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    here in canada (in quebec anyway) heated seats are standard equipment on the car. Only thing the premium package gives here is the moonroof.

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    I just put leather in my 04, which all ready had the heated seats.
    If it is the same as the earlier years, the heater pads are on the seat AND back (but only about 15 inches of the back - starting from the bottom).

    I could see it being a major PIA putting heaters in. I believe you would have to:
    take the seats out
    remove all the plastic parts from the seat
    take the cover off
    install the heater pad
    reinstall the cover and plastic bits
    route the wire/switch (finding power also? there might be plugs

    -john

  7. #6
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    You're correct about what is involved with the install. I should know. I've done it on the wife's Miata and on my '02 WRX wagon. The results are superb.

    Here's the scoop. Cost should be no more than $90-110 per seat. That includes heating elements for both seat and back as well as all wiring/switch for 2-level operation (low/high). What you don't get for your money is installation. That you get to do on your own. The great thing is that you can find loads of resources online (NASIOC and Miata.net come to mind) that provide instructions for how to do the install. One quick suggestion - use nylon zip ties instead of "hog rings" to re-attach the seat covers to the seat frames. Trust me on this. You can find the seat heater kits from a number of leather seat cover suppliers that have done group deals here and on NASIOC.

    Scott

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