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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well, like most of my great projects, this one seems to be starting on accident. I have a new-to-me 2013 Base that I just picked up CPO with 30k miles. The original owner had someone install leather seat covers, but no heated seats. I *love* heated seats, and find them nearly impossible to survive with on a EV because I live in the great white north and it gets awfully cold here. I've noticed I churn through a lot of heat in the cold weather here becuase its just unbearable with cold leather + 15 degree F temps.

Fast forward to just now: I found what I'd say is a rare part on ebay- the white center control stack without Nav and with the heated seat control buttons, exactly what I needed for my project. I made a way-too-low offer to the recycling yard so that I could get this thing out of my system and tell my cold backside to deal with it because they'd never sell it that cheap. Well, they accepted my offer so now I'm the proud new owner of 1 piece of this puzzle.

I found some other threads about people wanting to start this but I didn't see anyone finish the job. The part should be here next week, I found a set of black leather seats locally, so.. if you're interested in a OEM upgrade for heated seats- follow along!

Can anyone tell me what software I'll need to code the HVAC computer after the seats/panel and heated seat computer are all installed?

Thanks!
 

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Please post pictures of the work in progress!
 

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I love tinkering too but how about just using a small 12 volt DC electric blanket. I do have heated seats but also like to keep may back warm.
 

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Looking forward to seeing how this goes forward. Yes, please keep us posted.
 

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I learned a little about the heated seat system as I just bought a 2011 Volt yesterday (number 2 for us) and the heated seats were not working. While the dealership was poking at it (they're going to fix it after all anyways) I did a bunch of Googling.

There's a module under the drivers side dash that you'll need, and there's also interfaces with a the BCM IIRC. You will without doubt have to have the car reflashed (after you add all the required wiring/relays/etc) to include the proper options in the software for the car to even recognize the addition of the hardware.

If it were me, I'd keep it simple - install the seat heaters themselves in the seats, and then put some tiny toggle switches somewhere to simply supply power to them. Although I know the idea of having them interfaced with the car properly (as well as having the proper buttons on the dash) is intriguing, if you're actually going to install it it's going to be a bit of a process.
 

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I purchased and installed an aftermarket heated seat kit from eBay into my wifes Prius V. While not an exact OEM look, it does the job and it is a lot easier not to have to deal with all of the pieces of the OEM integration.
 

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I love tinkering too but how about just using a small 12 volt DC electric blanket. I do have heated seats but also like to keep may back warm.
Skip the blanket. Sitting on those is a good way to cause a fire if they're folded, and they're too big not to fold and can't be cut. Add-on electric seat covers MADE to be add-on electric seat covers are only like $25. Why even bother with "tinkering" at that price?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I appreciate the input, when I looked at my car before I bought it, the dealer tried to sell me on accessory seat heaters at $250/ea installed, but I declined. I'm a sucker for OEM fit and finish. From my understanding the control computer that is MIA is actually attached to the bottom of the passenger seat on the cars with the heated option. It also seems that the wiring is installed in the car to the seat base already. This should be as simple as aquiring the correct seats, and then coding the computer to recognize and communicate with the module that controls them.

I might need to disassemble the heated seats and remove the wiring and pads and install them in my seats. It looks to me like the leather/pleather they used on my seats has a lot more texture than the smooth seats from the factory, so if I replace the fronts with factory heated seats I'll need the rear seats to make everything match. What I might do instead is search for some cloth heated seats to cannibalize and just install all the bits under my aftermarket leather seats.

The new dash control panel looks like it should arrive right after Christmas, so I guess I was a little too excited in posting this thinking I'd be digging into it next week. I will take photos and do my best to keep track of the steps on how to do this, for anyone who wants to do the OEM seat heaters in the future.

I've been pretty deep into some late model 2014-16 cars, so this shouldn't be too hard. If anyone has some seats with deployed airbags, let me know, I'd be interested in the internal parts! Otherwise a local scrap yard has a good set of seats.

I guess the goal here is to come in under $500 in parts/labor charges since that was my quote for 2 aftermarket heated seats installed. I think I can do that without recouping any value out of my old seats/center stack controller and any other parts I migtht take off and sell in the process.

So far,

Spent:
$75 -New replacement Center Stack w/heated seat KA1 option (GM# 22886687)
 

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The dealership that I bought our second Volt from yesterday called me earlier. The heated seats issue (neither were working) has turned out to be a bigger issue needing the replacement of an unnamed module to fix it - I’ll post the details if I am able to get them when I pick it up. They said it was about $1000 for it.

Hopefully whatever module it is isn’t one you’ll need for the retrofit as this may not end up being the $500 job you envision.

Don’t forget that the BCM will need to be reflashed as well by a tech knowledgeable enough to dig into the config settings and enable things that the original build doesn’t show by VIN lookup.
 

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When shopping for my Volt in Minnesota, I refused to consider non-oem seat warmers, esp. after hearing they'd have to disable the air-bag sensor. We own a loaded '17 Buick Encore and we have to manually turn on the seat warmers on it. I love that my 5 year older Volt's oem seat warmers auto-magically turn on and off as needed.
 
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