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Old 11-20-2012, 03:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Anyone have experience with aftermarket heated seat kits?

Winter is coming and I'm looking for ways to stay warm. On my daily commute even with the block heater and coolant thermos on the Prius I still don't get up to temperature some days on the way in to work. This makes me very stingy with my use of heat which also tends to make me a bit uncomfortable on those sub-zero days.

So, today I was thinking about this and was reminded of Ben Nelson's Prius which we picked up together. He has one of these kits on his driver's seat. But, I am just looking for more feedback. I don't think I've seen these seat kits discussed before. Its basically what the EVs are using for heat. Is it alone enough? Does it change the feel of the seat?

example:
Dorman 628-040 Universal Seat Heater Kit : Amazon.com : Automotive

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Old 11-20-2012, 03:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Don't forget pre-heating the cabin while plugged in to AC (if it's an option). That's still nicer than waiting for a seat heater to warm up.

Last winter I used an AC remote plugged in to both my coolant heater + a hair dryer to warm the cabin: Latest Firefly mod: remote control block heater + cabin warmer

OK, we now return to your topic...
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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That is a great recommendation. I do actually do that with my wife's car because her commute is even shorter and the engine never gets a chance to warm up.
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Fyi to consider:
an aftermarket will dry out the upholstry/leather/plastic faster.
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hi Daox,
I have this which is a little hassle to unwrap when you get warm. But it is warm enough for sleeping in the car.
-mort
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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"Stranded wire is insulated to increase durability and improve electrical safety"

In what country should this be expected to be a "product feature"?
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Another avenue you might explore is heated motor cycle gear.
Such as a heated jacket that you plug into a cigarette lighter.
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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My parents electric VW Golf has heated seats from the factory, same with my bosses car and I kind of like them when it's cold out, I've been thinking about getting a slip over heated seat cover but I really like the idea of having it hidden under the stock covering.

I've started using a 1,200 watt space heater in my electric car, turning it on before I start scraping the windows and it warms it up a bit but that 5 minutes is not enough! There are a few nice timers that the time is kept by a battery so it doesn't matter if the timer is plugged in or not, at that point my plan is to have the heater on the same plug as the charger, by morning the batteries are fully charged and the timer is off so having the heater click on isn't going to trip the breaker and the timer stays in the car connected to the heater.
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:47 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Most of the junkyards I've been to sell seats for around $35 each or less... buy heated seats from something, pull the heating elements and controls, set up your own wiring and relays and you can still come in cheaper for both seats sometimes than you'd pay for a kit for a single seat.

Then you can have a comfortable passenger when necessary, too.
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Old 11-22-2012, 12:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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ROSTRA makes electric seat heat kits. Am considering it for mine (along with upgrade to passenger-side 8-way power seat) as seat covers/cushions are in need of replacement.

Why not a circulating coolant heater? (KIMM Hotstart).

.

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