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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, loving my 2014 Volt that I bought in May 2016 with only 10,500 miles!

But the dealer did an odd thing before I bought it. The car originally had the cloth seats but for some reason they decided to swap them for leather seats. I like the leather and it looks great but they did not upgrade it to include the heated seats, which can be a pain in the winter.

I was wondering what I'd need to do to get that working. I assume the seats themselves must have the heating elements because I don't think they offered the leather seats WITHOUT the heat. So is it just a matter of adding a button to turn them on and off or is there more to it? Or is my assumption that there are heating elements flawed?

I did buy some aftermarket seat covers for this winter but I'd really prefer to have the seats themselves working since the covers are sometimes a pain in the butt (no pun intended) as they move around a lot.

Any advice from the experts?

Thanks

Steve
 

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If the cloth seats were stained or damaged, the dealer might have gone to a seat upholsterer and just torn out the cloth and replaced it with leather. No heat elements, no change in the seat itself, just a replacement of the cloth with leather.
I was looking at a base model Toyota once, liked the car, hated the seats. So the dealer sold me the car after he made a deal with an upholstery shop to swap in leather seats, front and back. I never had anyone notice that it wasn't Toyota leather.
I am not sure what happened in the case of your Volt, but I think the simpler answer is, "new upholstery on existing seats", not "new seats with leather." But I could easily be wrong.
 

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I'm in exactly the same boat. Just bought a 2014 base model with leather. The carfax report shows that the leather was installed by the dealer about a month after the original sale, so I'm guessing that it was part of the deal that the original lessee made to take the vehicle.

This car spent its life in Florida, so I'm highly doubtful that they actually added heated seats. I haven't checked the wiring under the seat though. As far as I know, the car's wiring supports the heated seats, so you'd need the appropriate center stack with heated seat buttons. The control module for the heater elements is attached to the seats themselves.
 

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Did the original cloth seats have heaters? If so, there will be a heater control button on the dash, and an existing wiring harness under the seats for the heaters to plug into. If those things are there, you could check to see if maybe they just forgot to plug them in for the new seats. If those things aren't there, it is a more involved process to add them, but not impossible (will have to run your own wires and add a switch somewhere, not feasible to add the factory interface). I added heaters to my old car, it wasn't too bad of a project for a novice like me.
 

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It's not unusual to see what Ziv mentions above. There are many custom seat upholsterers that will take out the cloth, and replace it with nice plush leather, as nice (and as expensive) as you want. When I was shopping for my 2014 Volt, I originally was looking at a base model, but liked the leather. The dealer quickly countered that they could "fix" that for me. And led me to a new truck where they had done exactly that. And those seats were Definitely nice, much better, thicker, softer than the GM leather! I almost wanted to buy the base model then just to not have to "waste" the leather in the factory leather models. In the end, I went with a loaded model, with factory leather.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thanks for your input everyone! I guess I'll have to take a look under the seats to see if there are any tell-tale signs that they are actually originally leather or if they were recovered. Is it possible to see any parts for the heated seats by looking underneath and if so what do I look for?

My center stack does not have the buttons for heated seats and the carfax did not list them when I bought it (the dealer also put a "Seats upgraded" official looking sticker on the window when it was on the lot so I know they added them, just not sure if it was a complete seat swap or a re-upholstery (hadn't thought of that possibility)).

I did find a center stack on ebay which has the buttons and is even the right color, I'm tempted to grab it just in case I can make it work.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I actually did buy seat warmers for this winter but I don't love the look and whenever my elderly parents get in the car they have a hard time with them as they can shift and block the seat belts.
 

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Thanks for your input everyone! I guess I'll have to take a look under the seats to see if there are any tell-tale signs that they are actually originally leather or if they were recovered. Is it possible to see any parts for the heated seats by looking underneath and if so what do I look for?

My center stack does not have the buttons for heated seats and the carfax did not list them when I bought it (the dealer also put a "Seats upgraded" official looking sticker on the window when it was on the lot so I know they added them, just not sure if it was a complete seat swap or a re-upholstery (hadn't thought of that possibility)).

I did find a center stack on ebay which has the buttons and is even the right color, I'm tempted to grab it just in case I can make it work.
There would be some sort of pigtail hanging down from underneath the seats if they are heated (though they could have zip-tied such a pigtail up and out of the way if they knew there was nothing to connect to on the car). Get a small mirror and flashlight and see if there any wires/connectors not connected to anything (IIRC, there should already be some wires for airbags, but they should be connected already).

I don't think swapping face plates will help much... the seat control is somehow tied into the car's computer, so you'd probably need a reprogramming to make it all work. Maybe it's possible, just will be added cost. You might be better off adding your own heaters and switches separately
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yeah, that was my main concern, even if I have the seats and the buttons, is there some unknown (at least to me) element that I'm missing to make it all work. I'll take a look under the seats to see if there are any unused wires hanging out up there. But even if there are, would there we any place to plug them in? I assume there may not be. There must be some link between the buttons and the seat to make it all work, just not sure if they included everything you needed even if you didn't get the heated seats or if they added additional "works" when you got the heated leather seat option.

Thanks again!
 

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Since your car doesn't have the buttons on the faceplate, there will be no body harness under the seats to plug into. The switch on the faceplate doesn't attach directly to the heaters, it goes into a BCM somewhere that then links to relays somewhere to trigger the heaters. That's why I think your best bet is running separate wires/switches yourself.
 

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Many times manufacturers use common main wire harnesses that will accept what ever options are spec' by the customers. Unused connectors are just stowed in the bundle. Chances are the wire infrastructure is in the car just waiting to be connected to the optional equipment. I have a 2005 base model Prius, I discovered many areas where upgrade options (standard on deluxe trim) were ready for hardware components to be connected. The harness connections were stowed at the point where electronic boxes would be mounted.


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Many times manufacturers use common main wire harnesses that will accept what ever options are spec' by the customers. Unused connectors are just stowed in the bundle. Chances are the wire infrastructure is in the car just waiting to be connected to the optional equipment. I have a 2005 base model Prius, I discovered many areas where upgrade options (standard on deluxe trim) were ready for hardware components to be connected. The harness connections were stowed at the point where electronic boxes would be mounted.


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True, there is a chance it's there. I just know I had a similar hope when I added a backup camera, and came away disappointed. Good idea to look, though, might get lucky!

Edit: Posting link for wmutnate below, here's the thread about it. Sounds like it was not too hard for 2011-2012 (harness was there, just needed seats, faceplate, and programming), unclear if something changed for 2013+.
 

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Somebody here confirmed that the car harness supports heated seats, regardless if they were equipped from the factory or not. I'd post a link, but my low post count won't let me. Search for "Request: 2014 heated seat wiring diagram/pinout chart"
 

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My question is WHY did the dealer change the seat covers? Could the car have been a flood victim? (Hope not)
Grease, paint, tear/rip, customer wanted leather...
 

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I looked at this previously. You need the heat pads (back and cushion), the harness that goes from the heat to the control module, the control module, the harness that goes from the module to the bezel, and the bezel itself. Then you need the dealer to flash in the software to make it all work.

Also, be aware there are four configurations of bezel. Verify the nav buttons, not just the heat.

See: http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?206018-Request-2014-heated-seat-wiring-diagram-pinout-chart
 

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When I was shopping for my used Volt, since I live in ND, heated seats was a requirement. There were several available without that option and they offered to install aftermarket heaters, but I was told it would disable the air bag sensor.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Some encouraging information here! Looks like it might be difficult but not impossible! Good project to undertake over the summer I think (assuming my house projects don't take up all my free time)

Seems like the hardest part may be getting a dealer to do the programming necessary as they do not tend to have an abundance of knowledge on the Volt.
 
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