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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > General E90 Sedan / E91 Wagon / E92 Coupe / E93 Cabrio > Seat Heater Problem?



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      01-26-2013, 06:58 AM   #1
eogintz
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Seat Heater Problem?

Hi Folks,

I was wondering if anyone has experienced the following with their seat heaters and has any idea about what could be going on.

I own a 2008 328xi coupe which was purchased last winter as a CPO vehicle. The current mileage is just under 60,000.

As you know it has been pretty cold this week so I decided to use my driver seat heater for the first time since owning this vehicle. For several days it was working fine.

Yesterday afternoon and after the car had been sitting in the street for a few hours, I started up and put the driver seat heater on high and received the usual 3 green steady indicator lights showing me that heater was on high. I also put the rear defroster on since there was some snow and ice on back window.

After driving just a few blocks, I noticed that the 3 green indicator lights which had been steady all week started to go on for a few seconds then off for a few seconds. The seat remained warm and this indicator light situation continued all the way home which was just a few miles. The car had cranked and started fine as it has always done.

I pulled into my garage and started checking various forums, etc.. since my owner's manual had nothing. I saw a few similar situations and some answers were; faulty fuse, bad relay, bad seat heater module and even a weak battery.

The car sat in my garage for about an hour and I then went out to give it a try and the seat heaters and indicator lights worked fine. I tried it again this morning and took a lengthy drive and again everything was fine with all 3 indicator lights staying a steady green.

Last night I had also put car battery on BMW Advanced Charger which I do once a week and it charged fully and in the usual amount of time.

I also called my dealer's service department last night and the advisor had almost no idea of what I was talking about but spoke with someone and then told me that I needed to bring car in to be checked. I had received no warning lights or symbols on dash or I Drive.

Have any of you experienced this type of problem and what do you think could have happened to cause this? If it continues to work fine do I need to bring it in to be checked? Would anyone know if this would be covered by CPO warranty ( I don't think that replacing a battery would)?

I greatly appreciate any info you can provide. Thank you. You can reply on forum or write to me directly at eo145@aol.com.

Ed
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      01-26-2013, 12:31 PM   #2
Braumin
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The car will shut off non essential electrical components if there is too much load. A big gripe was the Heated Steering Wheel, which seems to be the first thing shut off.

You said that you put the seat on high and turned on the rear defrost. Sounds like that was just too much load at the time.

Generally, I would guess your battery might be a bit low. If you drove it for a bit and then turned on the heated seat, it would likely be OK.

What was the temperature? I had a pretty bad experience when it was -30 C here at Christmas and my car was parked outside for two days at my in-laws. The car started OK, but the battery was so cold that it wasn't charging at all, and I lost my clock, the actual heater stopped working, and various other things. It wasn't much fun! It was fine though when I got home because I park it in my insulated garage. Next time I will park it in the heated shop or at the very least plug in the battery tender. I didn't know just how sensitive the car actually was.

Batteries don't charge at all when it's really cold out. They need to warm up first, and with our batteries being in the trunk, they don't get the heat from the engine to warm them so it takes a while.
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      01-26-2013, 04:05 PM   #3
eogintz
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Braumin,

Thank you very much for your very logical response.

The temperature at the time was approx. 15 degrees when I put on seat heater and rear defroster.

After having car on battery tender all of last night the seat heaters and indicator lights worked fine today.

I also experienced the clock problem when I owned a 1 series with comfort access. The dealer diagnosis was weak battery because the car was not driven very much. However, they did cover a new battery and suggested that I use the battery tender which I did on my 1 series and never had a problem afterwards. That is why I have continued to use the tender on my E92 and never had any problems with starting, clocks shutting off, etc... In this recent instance, the clock, heater etc. did not shut off and the only problem I had was the shutting on and off of the seat heater indicator lights. This seat heater indicator light thing was the first glitch that I have had and it has been quite cold here in New Jersey for the past week or so. My garage is not insulated. Perhaps my battery was a bit run down from the single digit temps we have been having until I placed it on the tender last night. I usually put it on the tender once a week for 12 hours or so and get indication from tender that battery is fully charged. Maybe during these extreme cold spells I need to use the tender more often.

I have not had my battery checked in several months and I believe that it may be OEM original lead acid based and not AGM. Do you think that since battery is 5 years old I should have it checked now to see if it needs to be replaced, or just let the dealer do a full diagnostics which I scheduled for Tuesday but was thinking of cancelling since my seat heater and indicator lights worked fine all day today. What would your opinion be?

Thanks much,

Ed
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      01-26-2013, 06:06 PM   #4
Braumin
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My opinion is that the battery is likely just getting weak with age - but it's likely not at the point where it needs to be replaced. I would cancel the appointment because they will likely just charge you an arm and a leg and not do anything. Keep it on the tender, and if it's cold out and you do a cold start, turn things on in stages with a few seconds in between to give the electrical system a chance to keep up.
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      01-27-2013, 11:44 AM   #5
eogintz
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Thanks again Braumin.

I have now been driving the car for two days with outside temperatures being under 20 degrees and have not had one problem at all. In fact, just as a test, I have been driving with driver and passenger seat heaters on as well as rear defroster on to see if a high load would trigger any problems but the car has just been fine. No problems.

Don't know why the seat heater and defroster on this past Friday afternoon caused a problem because I would think that the car's electrical system should be able to handle this load which has never been excessive with any other BMW or other brand vehicle I have owned. But apparently it did not handle the load so I think that you must be correct.

I will cancel appointment with dealer as you suggested and turn on electrical components in stages as well as keeping car on tender more often when weather is severely cold.

You have been truly helpful and I sincerely appreciate your input.

Ed
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