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Discussion Starter #1
One thing I overlooked when I recently bought our 2003 Town & Country eX, was that the leather seats did not have heated seats. With a tender back, I've grown fond of that option in my wife's car so I want to add it to our minivan now.

My plan is to make this as "factory" as possible. I've already purchased some factory switches from a junkyard and when I wire it in I'll follow the schematic in my service manual and duplicate it as much as possible.

I've got a couple of questions though:

1. Is the wiring harness already pre-wired for the heated seat option, just not connected? The drivers seat is powered, but not the passenger.

2. Should I find the Mopar heating elements or go with aftermarket. Both are available on Ebay. Does anyone have experience with either? Which brand?

The leather is in good shape. I've been using leather conditioner to try to make the leather more supple, in preparation for pealing the covers back on a warm day.

Any advice from others out there who have taken this on?

Hrod
 

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fix it if you can
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if you attempt to go OEM, be aware that the dash switches are just the tip of the iceberg...

FSM said:
HEATED SEAT SYSTEM
DESCRIPTION
Vehicles with the heated seat option can be visu-
ally identified by the two separate heated seat
switches located in the instrument panel center
stack, just above the radio (Fig. 1). The heated seat
system allows the front seat driver and passenger to
select from two different levels of supplemental elec-
trical seat heating (HI/LO), or no seat heating to suit
their individual comfort requirements. The heated
seat system for this vehicle includes the following
major components, which are described in further
detail later in this section:
• Heated Seat Elements - Four heated seat ele-
ments are used per vehicle, two for each front seat.
One heated seat element is integral to each front
seat trim cover, one in the seat back and one in the
seat bottom (cushion). Service replacement heating
elements are available, refer to heated seat elements
later in this section for additional information.
• Heated Seat Modules - Two heated seat mod-
ules are used per vehicle. One module is mounted to
each of the seat cushion pans, located under the for-
ward edge of each front seat. Refer to heated seat
module in the electronic control modules section of
the service manual for additional information.
• Heated Seat Sensors - Two heated seat sen-
sors are used per vehicle, one for each front seat. The
heated seat sensors are integral to each of the heated
seat bottoms (cushions).
• Heated Seat Switch - Two heated seat
switches are used per vehicle, one for the driver and
one for the passenger side front seats. The switches
are mounted in the instrument panel center stack.
Refer to the description of the heated seat switch
later in this section for additional information.
Hard wired circuitry connects the heated seat sys-
tem components to each other through the electrical
system of the vehicle. These hard wired circuits are
integral to several wire harnesses, which are routed
throughout the vehicle and retained by many differ-
ent methods. These circuits may be connected to each
other, to the vehicle electrical system and to the
heated seat system components through the use of a
combination of soldered splices and splice block con-
nectors. Refer to Wiring for complete system wiring
schematics. The wiring information also includes the
proper wire and connector repair procedures, further
details on wire harness routing and retention, as well
as pin-out and location views for the various wire
harness connectors, splices and grounds.
OPERATION
The heated seat system components operate on
battery current received through a fuse in the Inte-
grated Power Module (IPM) on a fused ignition
switch output (run) circuit so that the system will
only operate when the ignition switch is in the On
position. The heated seat system will be turned Off
automatically whenever the ignition switch is turned
to any position except On. Also, the heated seat sys-
tem will not operate when the surface temperature of
the seat cushion cover at either heated seat sensor is
above the designed temperature set points of the sys-
tem. See the owner's manual in the vehicle glove box
for more information on the features, use and opera-
tion of the heated seat system.
 

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If someone came to me asking for that type of installation, I would send them down the road. I doubt any of the wiring is in place. My 1999 F250 Ford is US truck and did not come with DRL. I thought all I would need is a switch or relay. Nope, there is no wiring for them whatsover. I had to buy a Canadian tire DRL kit for older vehicles.
 

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622 Posts
An old thread, but the only one to address AFTERMARKET heated seats.

Help, last winter in Feb, I froze with both the front and rear heaters on full heat and 1/2 the radiator covered. Coolant level is normal and so was the mixture. At -27F plus windchill, it was a very cold ride of 25mins on a 40min drive. It gets very windy in the mid-west with nothing to stop it.

I've searched and read an hours worth on this forum for the 4th gen heated seats. WOW. So many problems with the OE setup. The OE setup enhances the electrical gremlins to be out in full force. Gauge problems, headlight problems, glitches with turn signals, heat will not turn off; kills battery, causes headlamps and gauge lights to dim when activated, etc. The heated seats run thru the BCM to control the power and timer.

Now, looking at a few of the AFTERMARKET installs, the Champion Heated Seats are sized and energy minded for our minivans. http://www.championseatheaters.com/products/heated-seats However, per their page, it states the Caravans have GLUED down seat covers. Contact them for details for an install. hmmmm

Champion™ Carbon Fiber Heated Seat Kit : $89.00 Per Kit*
Product#: CSS-SHC15

Each Seat Heater Kit Includes:
  • FREE Shipping within the U.S.
  • FREE Technical Support
  • 1x Seat-back Element (18″L x 10.5″W)
  • 1x Seat-bottom Element (18″L x 10.5″W)
  • 1x Illuminated, 3-Position Rocker Switch (Settings: High/Low/Off)
  • Quick-Connect Harness with Detachable Relay
  • Heat-transfer Tape
  • Fuse holder
  • Zip ties
  • 3-Year Product Warranty (*)

I've searched YT vids and found nothing to install in Caravan seats. :unsure:

My question out to the forum community is, Anyone done an AFTERMARKET install? If so, would it be possible to share the install experience and how well it works overall.
 

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Latent car nut
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8,842 Posts
An old thread, but the only one to address AFTERMARKET heated seats.

Help, last winter in Feb, I froze with both the front and rear heaters on full heat and 1/2 the radiator covered. Coolant level is normal and so was the mixture. At -27F plus windchill, it was a very cold ride of 25mins on a 40min drive. It gets very windy in the mid-west with nothing to stop it.
What does windchill have to do with anything? Answer: Nothing.

I've driven two of our Gen3 vans as well as our Gen4 van in temperatures down in the -20°F range and never had any issue with keeping the inside of the van nice and toasty (without heat-seaters, which I hate). I'm thinking you should address your cooling system issues regardless of whether you play with the heaters for your seats.
 

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What does windchill have to do with anything? Answer: Nothing.

I've driven two of our Gen3 vans as well as our Gen4 van in temperatures down in the -20°F range and never had any issue with keeping the inside of the van nice and toasty (without heat-seaters, which I hate). I'm thinking you should address your cooling system issues regardless of whether you play with the heaters for your seats.
Glad you can speak with experience with the 3.8L in your van. My 2005 w/ 3.8L never had heating issues either. As for this 3.3L, getting up to temp takes way longer.

Yes, I've had the cooling system looked over professionally. All functioning as it should. Even looked at the T-stat to verify it's the correct temp rating.

I'll have to totally disagree with your windchill opinion. Science says otherwise.

I'll still proceed towards the heated seats. Wife needs them more than I do. Getting to the local clinic for visits is night and day with heated seats. Our RAM 2500HD heated seats are a real blessing in chilled weather. BUT, in snow drifts and icy roads, it's not practical with RWD to be driving safely. Thus, we use the van.

We've tried the so-called 12V space heater on the dash trick last year for $20. It was a $20 failure.
 

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Latent car nut
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I'll have to totally disagree with your windchill opinion. Science says otherwise.
Seriously? How does wind chill impact what a person feels inside of a vehicle? Answer: It doesn't. Please point me to your science.
 

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Seriously? How does wind chill impact what a person feels inside of a vehicle? Answer: It doesn't. Please point me to your science.
Personally, I don't want another negative debate thread going here. Should you have POSITIVE replies to help a guy out for having AFTERMARKET heated seats in the vehicle, then great, else please hold back the negativeness towards heated seating in a vehicle.

For some odd reason, this forum site has much more debating than other Dodge forum sites out there. I don't like wasting time on a rabbit hole debate vs getting help.

As for the WC effect ... I’ll let Team O’Neil Rally School explain ...

Here’s the key thing to think about: when your car is moving through air that’s, say, zero degrees Fahrenheit at 60 miles an hour, the effective wind chill is -33 degrees.

Now, this doesn’t mean the car and all of its cold, cold metal bits will drop to -33 degrees— the temperature is still just zero degrees, but the the warm parts of your car will drop to zero degrees as fast as it would if it was actually -33 degrees.

And that's the problem with WC. It sucks the heat away FASTER. Thus, trying to keep the heat in the vehicle is far more difficult, especially driving into the chilled winds. The 3.3L just can't keep up the engine heat. The WC pulls the heat away so fast, the coolant can't retain it. Thus, even a partial blocking off of the radiator face area is needed. BUT, too much blockage could have negative adverse effects to compromise the cooling system.

Back in the days, the 1984 2.6L Caravan/Voyagers had issues retaining heat as well. My Pa used a a radiator cover across the grill and an engine oil pan heater back in those days. Of course now, synthetic oil is plentiful, the pan heater isn't really needed.

And from here:
https://www.minus40.info/ice/frozentruck.html
"... The labeling on the winter windshield washer jugs does not seem to take into consideration and warn you that the windshield washer fluid will freeze due to the wind chill effect that the front of your vehicle experiences as it is traveling down a road in cold temperatures. "


ANYWAY, I want to do heated seats. That's the subject here, not whether or not to debate it.
 

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Personally, I don't want another negative debate thread going here. Should you have POSITIVE replies to help a guy out for having AFTERMARKET heated seats in the vehicle, then great, else please hold back the negativeness towards heated seating in a vehicle.

For some odd reason, this forum site has much more debating than other Dodge forum sites out there.
I don't like wasting time on a rabbit hole debate vs getting help.
shipo, that's what you get for being an Undercover Moderator, some guys only agree with moderators.

Look who's talking

You are more than welcome to move to the other site.
 

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Latent car nut
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shipo, that's what you get for being an Undercover Moderator, some guys only agree with moderators.

Look who's talking

You are more than welcome to move to the other site.
LOL! :D
 

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That sure is easier and for less than $20... I just hate those balled up lumpy loose things on my car seat.
Agreed. Thus, I read and read and read reviews on this. Why do some of these become rolled up balls on the seat?

The answer is, the seat is leather or vinyl. Thus, there is nothing for the pads to grip onto. Well, there are folks out there with a clever method to solve just that. They use the shelf liners that are anti-slip type. The same stuff folks use in their roller drawer tool cabinet drawers. This prevents the heated pads from moving on those slippery seats.
 

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Took your advice and read and read and read reviews. Thus, I had gotten 2 of these ...
https://www.walmart.com/ip/HealthMate-12V-Auto-Soft-Velour-Heated-Seat-Cushion-with-Lumbar-Support-Gray-Products-by-Wagan/19714440?comm-msg-vehicle=EMAIL&comm-msg-id=eb64bee2-b551-4ecc-a752-15a1cbae0d21

Since my Caravan has the cloth seats, the velour will not slide into a rolled up ball. It's basically the same brand as your link, but the better option. Thanks!

So, the package arrived via FedEx today.

56686


When opening the smaller boxes, I'm glad not to use a box cutter or a knife to plunge into it. As you can see the heated pad cushions are packed right to the max in the box.

56687


Out of the box and onto the kitchen adult chair, it's actually a good size.

56688


The power cord is very long, I'll not miss gettig to the power outlet in the van. :D

The manual is written surprisingly well in English. It gives multiple ways to mount the heated pad cover on the vehicle seat. The straps are durable.

The gray color will go well with the van's gray interior too. This weekend I'll have a chance to hook up and turn each one on for testing the heated pads out.

Some folks got 2 years out of the cheap brands. On average, this model did much better with 6 years or more.
These pads will only hold up well enough if you are a person who will not drag their body in and out of the vehicle. Instead, rise up and hop out will then keep then looking like new.

DSCF7299sm.jpg DSCF7303sm.jpg DSCF7304sm.jpg
 

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3rd Gen Plebeian
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415 Posts
I swapped the T&C heated leather seats on my 97 GV, I had to run one extra wire to the driver seat, then splice into the driver seat power connector and snake 3 wires under the carpet to the passenger seat. Easy.
If you have a high-line van, it should be plug and play as the wiring is already in place.

I also added 2-4 layers of insulation underneath every piece of trim in the vehicle, even the A and B pillars. Asphalt onto all the bare metal and plastic, then closed cell foam, heavy rubber mat, 1 inch thick cotton batting, and frost-king insulation all sandwiched aunder the trim.

56693



56694

56695

56696



I will be, so warm, if we have any days below freezing in Dallas this year.:LOL::cool::coffee:
 

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I also added 2-4 layers of insulation underneath every piece of trim in the vehicle, even the A and B pillars. Asphalt onto all the bare metal and plastic, then closed cell foam, heavy rubber mat, 1 inch thick cotton batting, and frost-king insulation all sandwiched under the trim.

I will be, so warm, if we have any days below freezing in Dallas this year.:LOL::cool::coffee:
DANG Edy, Just before finishing the post, I was getting the notion you lived up in the arctic circle or in Edmonton Canada. But Texas ???? ⭐

Hopefully, the added foam is FMVSS 302 rated, else you would be liable to any personal injury IF an event up-folds or IF the next owners have issues. Both 3M and Freudenberg have the right stuff for the foams. They meet or exceed the FMVSS 302 by being UL-900 rated. It's basically paint booth filter media.
 

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3rd Gen Plebeian
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I'm 99% sure that all of it is flammable, luckily it's all protected behind the highly flammable ABS trim manufactured by Chrysler. The leather and vinyl are flammable, everything plastic is flammable, most of the fluids are flammable. I have a 65lb MDF enclosure for my 18" sub in the back that's flammable...
I do keep a 10lb ABC fire extinguisher in the trunk, my van has already caught fire once when a power steering line burst and sprayed onto the exhaust. I put it out before it caused any collateral damage, so I recommend to anyone to carry an ABC.
 
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