2000 Buick Regal Repair a Heated Seat

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Heated seats sometimes malfunction in vehicles. If your 2000 Buick Regal heated seat has stopped working, you will need to diagnose the problem before beginning any type of repair. Diagnosing and repairing a heated seat is not difficult if you have the correct tools and take the appropriate actions. There are a few issues that can cause malfunction in a heated seat, all of which can be repaired.

[edit] Tools Used

Tools
Socket set
Ratchet (1/2 inch drive)
Screwdrivers
Multimeter
Upholstery remover tool
Upholstery adhesive
Needle nose pliers
Replacement wiring connectors
Replacement parts (if needed)
Spare fuses (if needed)

[edit] Repair a Heated Seat

  • Prepare your project by gathering the required tools and removing the negative battery cable from your vehicles battery. When experiencing problems with your heated seat, you will first need to do some basic diagnosing. Removing the cable from the battery will help to ensure the safety of your vehicle's electrical system during repairs and diagnostic testing. Locate the fuse box in the dash panel and read the corresponding fuse map. If there is a fuse associated with your seats check and replace fuse if needed. If the fuse is not blown, go on to Step 2.
  • Locate the heated seat switch. You will need to determine if the heated seat switch is faulty. The switch is on the inside edge of the driver's door panel. Reattach your battery cable and depress the switch. If the switch illuminates when depressed it is not likely to be the cause of your malfunction. If the switch fails to illuminate when in the "On" position it will need to be replaced. If the switch is faulty, order a replacement switch and wire it in the same way the faulty one is currently wired. This will only require a screwdriver to remove the switch from the switch panel cluster and snapping the old switch out, to snap the new one in.
  • Test the heating element wiring for voltage. To do this you will need to locate both elements and the wiring that runs from the switch to them. There is a heating element below the bottom of the seat and another one in the seat's back. If both heating elements are failing to become warm, it is most likely a wiring issue. Remove the cosmetic trim around the base of the seat with your screwdriver. Locate the wiring that leads into the base of the bottom heating element. If you can not reach the wiring well enough then you will need to remove the seat using your socket set and ratchet.
  • Check for voltage at the position nearest the element on the lead wire with your multimeter. To check voltage turn your multimeter to 20 volts and probe the red wire while keeping the black probe on your multimeter grounded. Press the heated seat switch to "On" while checking voltage. If you get a reading between 4v and 12v, your wiring is fine up to this test point. Check a couple more test points between the switch and element. If all readings are above 4v then your element is probably getting sufficient power and is therefore faulty. If any of the wiring shows zero voltage you will need to replace the wiring. Remember to buy vehicle wiring from your parts store that is the same gauge size as your current wiring. If all wiring shows proper voltage then proceed to Step 5.
  • Remove the bottom heating element to test for continuity. Continuity is uninterrupted flow of electricity. Start with the one below the seat, as this does not require cutting upholstery. Unbolt the element, and detach all wiring. Turn your multimeter to the continuity setting and hold one probe to each end of the element. You should hear a beeping sound, or see a working symbol if the element is not faulty. If you are having trouble deciding if the test was done properly test continuity on something metal such as a screwdriver to hear what the beeping should sound like. If there is no continuity on the element then it is burnt out and faulty.
  • Test the second (back) element for continuity with your multimeter. This second element is located in between the upholstery of the seat and will require removing the back upholstery with your upholstery removal tool. Once accessing the back element, test it in the same way as you tested the bottom element. If both elements are faulty, you need two replacement elements which can be found in parts stores, junk yards, online or at your car dealership.
  • Dismantle the heating element bolts and appropriate wiring on both faulty elements, paying careful attention to wiring order and bolt placement. Simply bolt in the new elements and attach the two wires back into place on each end of each element. Spray some adhesive glue on the loose upholstery to prepare for reattachment. If you have trouble getting the upholstery stitched back in, there is always the option of having an upholstery shop mend your project. Upholstery work can take skill and practice so if you are up to the task then complete it yourself, otherwise taking the seat to an upholstery shop is probably a good choice.

[edit] Tips & Warnings

  • Do not remove upholstery unless you have to, it can be tricky to reattach if you are not experienced. If both the bottom and back elements are failing at the same time, you most likely have a switch or wiring issue.
  • Remove both battery cables before doing any electrical work on your car. When you need to check voltage for diagnostic readings you will need to put the cables back on, and remove them again when you are finished with the readings. When purchasing parts from anywhere other than a dealer be sure to check for counterfeits, you can tell a counterfeit part by a low quality manufacturing or packaging.
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