How do heated seats work? Are they safe?

A heated blanket or sofa keeps us warm and active when we are in our house. How to keep yourself warm while driving? The answer is a heated car seat.

A heated car seat is powered by a heating element that works like a resistor. When we turn on the power, it converts energy into heat. As a result, the car sear remains warm and comfortable for you.

How do heated seats work?

The mechanism of a heated seat is similar to heated jackets, blankets, socks, and gloves. 

The heating element in heated seats functions as a resistor, a long strip of material. In the electrical circuit, a resistor resists current flow. It converts the energy flowing through it into heat, which circulates through the seat. As a result, it warms the rider.

Turning on a heated seat

A relay controls the heated seats. With it, a small power produces a much bigger effect. A small current flows through the coil in the relay when you turn on the switch by flipping it. 

An open switch is located near this coil. In current-driven coils, a magnetic field is created as current flows through them. As a result, the seat cushion heating element receives electricity from the battery. When you turn on the seat heater in some cars, you can hear a click as the relay closes.

You can change the heat settings too. (high, mid, and low)

What happens when a heated seat is kept on for a longer time?

When the seat cushion is left on for a long time, it gets hotter. Leaving it on too long would result in it becoming too hot to sit in. Further, the cushion may even catch fire.

A thermostat prevents this from happening. The thermostat measures the temperature in the cushion. The thermostat sends a signal when it reaches a certain temperature, shutting down the relay until the seat cools down. Once the car seat cools down, the thermostat starts the relay again.

Are heated eyelash curlers safe?

Does a heated car seat drain the battery?

Yes, it drains the car battery. The amount and extent vary according to the battery, coil design, and charging system condition.

How to install heated car seats?

Heated seats can be installed in almost any vehicle. The kits are straightforward to install, and the installation costs are affordable. Dealerships also install seat heaters for a reasonable fee if you live in a cold climate.

How do heated seats work

DIY heated car seat installation

Taking off the seat cover

Seats and backrests are the two standard parts of a car seat. The covers of both parts need to be removed for the heating elements to be integrated. If the upholstery isn’t glued, this is only possible. To remove the covers and then reassemble them in their original form would require a garage’s services.

All other models have removable fabric or leather covers. Once you have removed the central filling from the seats, you can see where the heating mats lay.

Seat heating installation and wiring

Manufacturers make seat heating elements for a variety of seat sizes. It might be necessary to cut them to size. If the heating elements are seated exactly along the seating seam, then the marking of the cutting must be precise. During cutting, be sure not to cut through the side strips since they act as the poles for the seat heating.

Many manufacturers also provide two-sided tape for the application of heating mats. Insulation tape must first be placed on the seating seam before it is glued. Seating seams should be shortened whenever the rod is in place to make no contact with the poles. 

Moreover, an additional layer of insulation is needed if shortening cannot be achieved. This is how does a heated seat works.


Backrest heating elements are usually connected to seat heating mats. The battery supplies electricity at a rate of 5 to 10 amps. Direct and relay connections are available depending on the model. Furthermore, heating elements also come with a matching electric diagram.

Wiring and corresponding switches in the dashboard are technically more complex. The cables of heating cushions are concealed. For a neat, concealed connection, the supplied cable may need to be extended.

If you’ve connected the seat heater correctly, you can test it. To generate a heating effect, you must be seated in the seat during the test period. A running engine is the only way to experience full performance. Check the electronics and seat warming by taking a short drive.

DIY heated seat installation

Benefits of a warming seat

Following are the benefits f heating seat:

  • Heated seats provide warmth, which is the most obvious benefit.
  • Those with chronic lower back pain may also find heated seats helpful. Since heat is known for relieving muscle pain, heated car seats would be a great solution.
  • It allows you to warm up faster because it is near your body. A heated seat in your car is an excellent way to warm up if you’re on the go and need to warm up fast.

Aare heated seats dangerous?

Heated seats aren’t dangerous at all. However, when your body adapts to remain in contact with heat for hours, it can result in erythema ab igne. There may be a rash as well as mild burning or itching in this condition.

Are heated seats worth it?

The worth of heated seats depends on where your location. It’s worth it if you have prolonged periods of freezing weather in your area.

We discussed how do heated seats work, DIY installation, and their benefits. If you plan to buy a heated seat, don’t forget to check the material, warranty, and ease of installation. The material should be breathable (that allows enough ventilation). If it snows a lot in your area, you can also read how a heated driveway works.

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