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Discussion Starter #1
When you start the car in the cold, the seat heaters (sometimes just the driver, sometimes the passenger too) automatically come on -- not a new concept, but certainly a good one. (And why it took Chevy until 2018 to figure out that the steering wheel heater should come on at the same time is ridiculous). But then the system continues to "refine" (i.e. back off) the heaters based on some secret algorithm. At least for me, I would prefer that once they turn on, they stay on until I turn them down. But the algorithm is even worse. Again, my taste, but the heater always winds up at one level below where I would like it to be. And so it takes three pushes to get it back where I want it. In that regard, it would actually be better if the seat heater didn't come on at all. Then I could just set it and forget it, rather than having to pay attention to something else as my bottom cools while driving.
 

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I had the same frustration with that, so I ended up turning off the auto control of the seat heaters. Much easier to push it once when I get in instead of the constant triple click when it prematurely turns them down. I believe it still comes on during a precondition (or it's a separate setting), so it works well.
 

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I prefer to be in control of the seat heater anyway, so I use it manually. Seems like that's a simple and easy solution to what sounds like a very frustrating experience for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I prefer to be in control of the seat heater anyway, so I use it manually. Seems like that's a simple and easy solution to what sounds like a very frustrating experience for you.
LOL! Indeed, a very frustrating experience for my tush.

It's beyond me why something so simply should be made so complicated.
 

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You can set them to be automatic while preconditioning, and at the same time, have them be manual when the car is on and HVAC is set to automatic. I think that will give you the behavior you want.
 

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I almost always find I want to turn it down FASTER than it turns down automatically. I agree it would be nice to have a setting to disable autoheating auto adjust, but this has been a nonissue for me.
 

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Using the Volt's automatic setting for the front seat heaters is definitely a Forrest Gump box of chocolates sort of experience. You never know what you'll get. Sometimes the driver's seat heater comes on, other times the unoccupied passenger seat heater comes on. Starts out on high, drops down to medium, switches back up to high. Do the seat heaters come on during preconditioning; sometimes yes other times I'm not sure.
 

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I'm still trying to figure out all the permutations for the seat heaters on our new 2018.

This is definitely a first world problem. For this to be an issue, we've got it pretty good.
 

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I just wish they had not been so cheap and heated the seat all the way across. the side bolsters on the bottom are cold
 

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I very rarely use heated seats. I precondition the cabin and the seats get warm. Once I start the car then I usually do not need to turn them on (they are set to manual). The wife uses them all the time.
 

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Even without the side bolsters heated, my arthritic hip LOVES the seat heater so I'm not gonna complain about them at all, no way, no how. LOL.
 

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I dont have auto set but mine come on just driver when i pre condition. cold winter tho and just got car Jan 2nd.... it may change to off when it warms up and pushing precondition.
 

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I'm like Jemez, I like to turn the seat heater down, sooner, than the algorithm.
 

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I have to admit, I've never had to futz with any cars heater controls more than Volt!
During the first winter, I brought the car back to the dealer; "this thing blows cold air, the AC turns on!" They showed me "working as designed".

After the second winter, I was ready to trade it in for a gen 2. But I'm in TX, I lived in New England for 20 yrs. I can do this.

By the third winter, I was getting the hang of it, this car really does have plenty of heat (EV too).

Now in the fourth winter, it's like, ok, been there done that, conquered Volt heat/EV range tradeoffs, "yeah it's got great heat". But I'm still always considering, gaming it; "do I have the EV miles for that?", and looking at my wife's Bolt, and thinking; "she never worries about EV range and heat". Hmmm.
 

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By the third winter, I was getting the hang of it
Ha, right, that tells you something - it takes roughly 2 years of daily Volt driving to thoroughly learn how the climate controls work. In my case, it also required one or two complaints posted to this forum about how I couldn't get the behavior I wanted out of the system. The responses taught me about certain facets of the system that are not described clearly in the manual and are very counterintuitive.

There has GOT to be a better design.
 

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I think if you have something in the passenger seat that weighs a certain amount the passenger seat heat will come on. I would prefer that when you push the control button the heat level go up, not down. Mine always sets it at 2 unless it's way below freezing. Then I have to push the button three times to get to maximum. Something I've wondered is do the seats actually heat faster at higher levels or is that the just the maximum temp?
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
I think if you have something in the passenger seat that weighs a certain amount the passenger seat heat will come on.
This is not my experience at all. Whether the passenger seat heater comes on at startup seems completely arbitrary in my car.

I would prefer that when you push the control button the heat level go up, not down. Mine always sets it at 2 unless it's way below freezing. Then I have to push the button three times to get to maximum.
While this is a different view of the problem, the easy solution would be the same as I originally proposed. Have the thing start at max when the outside temp is below a certain threshold, and then let the user adjust it as they warm up. Imagine for a minute if the climate control worked similarly. You set the temperature at 72, but then in GM's infinite wisdom their algorithm determines that 72 is now too hot for the car, and the temperature is turned down to 70 or 68. That would be totally unacceptable. Yet for the seat heaters, apparently GM knows best.

Something I've wondered is do the seats actually heat faster at higher levels or is that the just the maximum temp?
I've never taken one apart, but I imagine it's just like an electric stove. More resistance is added at the highest level, so it gets hotter, but the speed at which it reachs the #1 or #2 setting's temperatures would be about the same. And to get to reach the hottest temperature, it would certainly take a little longer than getting to 1 or 2.
 

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Now in the fourth winter, it's like, ok, been there done that, conquered Volt heat/EV range tradeoffs, "yeah it's got great heat". But I'm still always considering, gaming it; "do I have the EV miles for that?", and looking at my wife's Bolt, and thinking; "she never worries about EV range and heat". Hmmm.
Can't help but wonder if it's just a matter of training one's expectations. I'm just a "73F and full Auto" kind of fellow, and I end up never fussing with the climate control at all. If the car was outside in summer, it starts off warm and cools down. If it was outside in winter, it starts off cold and warms up. In either case, I can tell something is going on in two minutes, in five I can tell it's making progress, and in ten it's pretty comfortable. Maybe not 73 yet, but in summer I'm wearing shorts, and in winter I'm wearing flannel-lined jeans, so it's fine.
 
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