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Hey my first time on this site - very informative. I need help with wifes 03 durango slt plus. Heated seat on driver side does not heat. It is getting cold in Nebraska and she is starting to gripe! When I push the button to turn on, the orange indicator light "flashes" (when it is working it is on steady) I checked the fuse - 20A in slot #24 and it is good. Any ideas where to start looking for repairs. I am the original owner, and durango has 40K for miles. The passenger side is working properly, so my thinking is in the wiring harness under the driver seat?? It is wifes primary vehicle so the power seat does not go back and forth very often, but is that a posibility? Before I tear into it myself any help would be appreciated! thanks, Brad
 

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Read the owner's manual. The lamps have two fault indications that are listed in the manual. I don't remember what flashing indicates.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
heated seats

Yeah - the manual says on pg 59 is the indicator lamp does not light or it blinks, or if the seat does not operate the system should be serviced by a qualified technician! Any suggestions on what the problem might be that I can look into myself? thanks, Brad
 

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I am guessing that you may have a bad heated seat module which is a little electrical controller located under the switch (if you have a 2002 Durango).

You should purchase a copy of the Factory Service Manual from www.techauthority.com. There is quite a bit of diagnosing info on the heated seat module system.

It would be challenging to walk you thru the process since there are many steps detailed in the troubleshooting area for this system. I would strongly encourage you to get the FSM.
 

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Here you go.
If both the high and low lamps are flashing the heated seat element is shorted.
If only the high lamp flashes, then the heated seat element is open.
If only the low lamp flashes, then the heated seat sensor is out of range.

Most likely its the heated seat element is open. There is a break in it. Its a flexible heating pad and the constant flexing, bending from sitting in and out of the driver's seat causes the wire within it to break. This is why the driver's side is the one that almost always will fail. You'll need to break down the seat and replace the heating element under the cover if this is your problem.
 

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That's the info I have seen posted before. Sorry if I was incorrect believing it was out of the owners manual. Mine is a 99. Heated seats were not available.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
EXCELLENT INFO!!! Thanks for the help. Has anyone removed one of these before? I will have no problems removing the seat and disassembling it myself. Would it be possible to see the break and repair it by soldering the wire? Has anyone priced a new one yet? ALso, at 40,000 miles the leather still looks great, and my wife is not that fat... I would not expect to see this type of failure at this point. Should I have bought a Chevy??? Now, Maybe if it was me and my big butt getting in and out every day I could see we might have a problem...LOL! Brad
 

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bigredbrad said:
and my wife is not that fat...
omfg, :thatfunny

I hope your wife doesn't read this forum.
 

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I have a Town & Country Limited and the heated seats went out at 38K miles. The materials they use are junk. In my case, the whole seats would need replacing because they have side airbags and you can't disassemble them to replace the heating elements.

The elements themselves are plastic with metal in it-- which is why constant bending when people sit on it breaks it. I don't think repair would be possible, but maybe you can be creative.

I added aftermarket elements to my 99 Durango made with carbon fiber strands that will never break.
 

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I have a Town & Country Limited and the heated seats went out at 38K miles. The materials they use are junk. In my case, the whole seats would need replacing because they have side airbags and you can't disassemble them to replace the heating elements.

The elements themselves are plastic with metal in it-- which is why constant bending when people sit on it breaks it. I don't think repair would be possible, but maybe you can be creative.

I added aftermarket elements to my 99 Durango made with carbon fiber strands that will never break.
 

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bigredbrad said:
EXCELLENT INFO!!! Thanks for the help. Has anyone removed one of these before? I will have no problems removing the seat and disassembling it myself. Would it be possible to see the break and repair it by soldering the wire? Has anyone priced a new one yet? ALso, at 40,000 miles the leather still looks great, and my wife is not that fat... I would not expect to see this type of failure at this point. Should I have bought a Chevy??? Now, Maybe if it was me and my big butt getting in and out every day I could see we might have a problem...LOL! Brad
Mine went out earlier this year..basically 5 1/2 yrs and 125K miles since new, so yours seems to have failed early...especially since you say your wife is not fat!
But its not a Dodge design problem, its the supplier of the heater. I haven't messed with it yet since the truck is now my daily driver and not the wife. Aftermarket would probably be less expensive but I prefer the OEM look. I'll dig into it soon once I have some other projects out of the way, as its starting to get cool here. Let us know what you find out if you dig into it. Having seen these type of heaters before, I don't see anyway one could repair it.
 

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yeah the heating elements in those pads are molded right into the plastic in most cases. No real good way to find the short or fix them.
 

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Hercules said:
Mine went out earlier this year..basically 5 1/2 yrs and 125K miles since new, so yours seems to have failed early...especially since you say your wife is not THAT fat!
But its not a Dodge design problem, its the supplier of the heater. I haven't messed with it yet since the truck is now my daily driver and not the wife. Aftermarket would probably be less expensive but I prefer the OEM look. I'll dig into it soon once I have some other projects out of the way, as its starting to get cool here. Let us know what you find out if you dig into it. Having seen these type of heaters before, I don't see anyway one could repair it.
ha ha ha ha if she ever sees this ur not gettin any
 

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Discussion Starter #14
more seat questions from freezing bigredbrad

I thought you all might get a bang out of that! I appreciate the help, now I will not send the Durango into the dealer for two days just to have them charge me $85 and tell me what I found out here. I guess I am going to have to bite the bullet and spend some serious money now. Are you guys saying that the heater is attached or "glued" to the inside of the leather? Am I going to have to purchase an entire leather seat cover, or is just the heating element removeable and replaceable? Has anyone priced one out yet from the friendly Dog Dealer? Also is the seat back and seat bottom heaters seperatable (do they have a connector that I can seperate the top from the bottom), or are they one continuous wire through the bottom to the top? Thanks again for all your help, (now deleting all history of this site from my computer to protect the innocent!) bigredbrad
 

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I haven't looked at how the D is set up, but I sure its not attached to where you'd have to buy another leather cover. You have to pull up the bottom leather cover, remove and replace the heater, then reinstall the seat cover and put the seat back together. Problem is the Service manual doesn't show the heater pad, or show how to remove it. Actually the Factory Service Manual is pretty poor in my opinion. The seat cover is held on by hog rings, which are small metal loops. You remove them by using plyers. You can buy hog rings and hog plyers to reinstall hog rings at your local hardward store. I think if I didn't want to do this job, I'd buy the heater pad from the dealer, but find a interior shop who would be much more experienced and I'm sure less expensive than the dealer at taking the seat apart and putting it back together right.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for all this info - I have no problem with taking the seat cover off. I have done several on old Corvettes that I have owned. I actually own a set of hog ring pliers and a box of the rings, so that part does not scare me too much. What I was concerned most with is if the heating element is seperate from the leather, and if the seat bottom heater is able to be seperated from the seat back heater. I had one go bad on an audi a few years back, and there was a plug that connected the bottom to the back. That way I would have only needed to replace one section of it. That one I was able to repair, and then an ugly and expensive trip to the audi parts dept was avoided. (You thing parts for a Dog are expensive -- try AUDI -- the worst four letter word that I know)!! Sorry about using the "C" word earlier in my post, I am sure that I have offended many of you, and my membership to this site is probably infront of some review board or committee at this point. oh well, thanks again, Brad p.s. has anyone ever priced one of these heaters, I can't get up the nerve to call myself...
 

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Look it up at makeitmopar.com, it's probably a lot cheaper there anyway.

BTW, there are no hog rings on my 99 and I doubt later models went back to them. They have plastic clips that flip around the seat frame and lock on-- you'll see what I mean-- it wasn't too hard to figure out.
 

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Rick99 said:
Look it up at makeitmopar.com, it's probably a lot cheaper there anyway.

BTW, there are no hog rings on my 99 and I doubt later models went back to them. They have plastic clips that flip around the seat frame and lock on-- you'll see what I mean-- it wasn't too hard to figure out.
Ahhh, plastic clips, great! That's much easier to work with than hog clips.
A tip working with leather, heat it up using steam..a home portable steamer works great. Use it to heat it up..don't worry you can't burn it or get it too hot, and then you can stretch it which makes getting the clips back on much easier.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I looked up on the makeitmopar.com and they do not list anything other than the switches and the controller. I am trying to muster up all my courage to call my Dog dealer tomorrow and ask the price. ALso, I have read on some other forums that 02 03 Grand Cherokee have major problems with these seat heaters. Wanna bet that they use the same seat heaters in a Jeep seat that they use on the Dodge? There are multiple lawsuits filed by burn victims and settled by D/C for the seats catching on fire. HMMMMMMM.................
 

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Well, if you wanted to get creative, maybe you could rig something up with a better quality aftermarket carbon fiber heating element. That's what I installed on my 99, but I have no idea if you could get it to work with the OEM controls. The kit for bottom and back of each seat was $75, so it's a good value.

I makeitmopar.com has a feature where you can type a description of the part you want and they'll email a quote to you. You should do that because they're usually 30% off of list, as compared to your dealer which will likely charge 15-20% above list to the suckers that walk in off the street.

I used internet prices to cut a discount deal at my local Dodge dealer, so now I have an account and a discount that gets applied when I buy parts from them.

Another thing I noticed is that when I buy from the parts desk, my local dodge dealer has me sign a receipt that they keep. That receipt shows the dealer wholesale price next to the part name, but it's "encoded" by removing the decimal point. (In case you want to know how much they pay for the parts.)
 
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