What’s In A Seat: Heated And Cooled

As vehicles are becoming more advanced, we are finding technology where it never was before. Sometimes it is in plain sight, such as infotainment systems, GPS, and a head-up display. However, sometimes it is concealed in places one may not expect.

Let’s take a look at automotive seats, they do far more now than just provide a comfortable place to sit. Seats now may have an occupant classification system (OCS), airbags, haptic feedback (vibrating seats), or heated and cooled seats. These systems typically go beyond simple switches and relays and rely on control modules and computers to make them function.

Seat heaters, while not new, are becoming more common on a wide range of vehicles. An added feature would be the combination of heated and cooled seats. Some of these systems use a heating element to warm and a separate fan to help cool the seat. These types of seats usually have a control module involved, which may need to be diagnosed if there are any issues.

A newer feature is seats that use a single component to heat and cool the seat. Due to the complexity of the system, all of the functions are computer controlled. This means that diagnostics and repairs are more in depth. However, this also means that DTCs may be set if there are any malfunctions. A scan tool will be required to pull these trouble codes and diagnose any issues.

It is important to know if a vehicle is equipped with these features, what parts are used in the system, and where they are located. This will enable you to check for proper operation to ensure a complete, safe, and quality repair.

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