Is this seat element repairable?

Nero Morg

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2017
Location
OR
TDI
2003 Jetta wagon, 2001 Jetta TDI, 2014 Passat TDI
I've soldered them back together before then heat shrinked it. Isn't easy, but doable.
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
These wires appear to be something other than metal. They don't feel like metal at all, which made me stop dead in my tracks. I've done repairs on other seats (thermistor wire on my own MKIV; broken wires on a Saab).
 

Windex

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 1, 2006
Location
Cambridge
TDI
05 B5V 01E FRF
They are very fine copper wire last time I checked - very hard to strip to get enough to solder, but it can be done.
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
So, I'm looking at very fine wires that are covered with some sort of insulation/coating that's black?


Wonder if I can't just burn off the coatings?
 

Tdijarhead

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 10, 2013
Location
Lawrenceville PA
TDI
2003 TDI Jetta Daughters Car, 2001 TDI Beetle, Daughters car, 2005 Golf TDI Mine, all 5 spds
There’s a guy who has been long absent from the forum for quite some time. I hope everything has been ok with you.

Regarding the seats it might be easier to scavenge a good seat from the junkyard.
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
Yes, doing well, thanks: I cannot even keep up with myself!


This is the wife's car. It's immaculate. Finding a replacement seat would be like finding a needle in a haystack.
 

Windex

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 1, 2006
Location
Cambridge
TDI
05 B5V 01E FRF
So, I'm looking at very fine wires that are covered with some sort of insulation/coating that's black?


Wonder if I can't just burn off the coatings?



Maybe - used to fix these on Saabs all the time - used to have to do it more often for more rotund drivers...


Very fine wire with very thin insulation - usually not hard to find the break, as there was almost always a small burn mark on the foam to show where the wire had broken and arc'd before it failed.
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
Breaks in the Saab's seats were from the ex kneeling on the seats (I told her to stop doing that).


I can find the breaks in the Golf's seats -yes, burn marks- so no problem there.


Anyone point me in the direction of some patching material that's like the original (insulative properties)?


I'm going to give it a shot at repairing, but I don't have a lot of confidence it's going to turn out OK. Finding a matching seat is going to be extremely hard (I did put out a feeler to car-part.com): whose to say that another seat doesn't have the same issue (broken element but no clear signs of burning through)?
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
Found out what the material of the wire is, it's "nichrome." Not really solderable. Crimps (proper) are the only real way of connecting. Tying together might be a way of reconnecting: might try this, as I don't want lumps in the seat from connectors.
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
Looks like this element is a gonner. Found what more looks like ground zero; further back on the thigh bolster has a fair length of charred element (crispified, vs. just broken at the front corner).


it is doubtful I'm going to find a drop-in replacement for the entire seat. So...


Are these elements the same in both the driver's and passenger seats?


Thinking that my only path is to find a donor, find a (perhaps passenger) seat that I can remove the element out of an install in this seat. I should have looked more closely, but I believe that it'll require some sewing (element pad attaches to seat cover at the rod pockets?).


If VW still sold the cover and element I'd shell out for one. If it was my DD I wouldn't be so sure, but it's the wife's car.
 

wonneber

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 12, 2011
Location
Monroe, NY, USA
TDI
2014 Jetta Sportwagen, 2014 Tiguan,2003 Jetta 261K Sold but not forgotten
Looks like this element is a gonner. Found what more looks like ground zero; further back on the thigh bolster has a fair length of charred element (crispified, vs. just broken at the front corner).
I wonder if the switch was had and it overheated the seat the same as mine did way back.

VW fixed mine with a recall for the issue.
Even put a new cover on for the tiny hole burnt in it. :)
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
Rich,


We don't have much history with this car: bought it for the son up in Canada about three years ago and got it from him about a year ago.


Not sure if a broken wire toward the front resulted in the damage further back (increased resistance).


I found that VW still has the pads available so I ordered one (1stVWparts). Just shy of $170 (tax and shipping incl). Yeah, a few coins, but any other solution would end up being more of a hassle and eating up more time that I don't have available. For what it's worth, the part number for this particular seat (4dr, cloth) is: 1J0-963-555-B (same for either seat/side)
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
Rich, the car's from Canada. I can't seem to locate any site for Canada that will take a VIN (and thus show whether the recall work has been done). At this point it's kind of moot as I already have a new pad on order: it'll be a bit of work to replace, but probably not more than trying to get a dealer to deal with it (doubtful that a US dealer would touch).
 

BobnOH

not-a-mechanic
Joined
May 29, 2004
Location
central Ohio
TDI
New Beetle 2003 manual
Any dealer should perform any outstanding covered recalls. Other than the fact they can be sh!tty about anything
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
Hi, Bob!


I am not so certain that they wouldn't have a leg to stand on to side step this one given it's a Canadian car. VW has, it appears, separate databases. VW USA could state that it's not in their database so they won't touch it.


Not a fan of doing these sort of repairs, but, in general I want no one other than myself touching these cars.


Not sure what all the recall does. I'm hoping that I don't find myself back in this same situation (burnt element) later on. I figure that as long as the wife doesn't crank it up to 5 and keep it there (it's cloth seats, so I cannot, if it's anything like my 2000 car, see how anyone could run this way without setting their arse on fire [with a non-faulty element]!).
 

BobnOH

not-a-mechanic
Joined
May 29, 2004
Location
central Ohio
TDI
New Beetle 2003 manual
You may be right, but I'd check further. I read too much on here and never heard of Canadian car. There must hundreds or more cars sold new in Canada, used to US. The other option is to dig up the technical data, it may be something you can take care of.
 

wonneber

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 12, 2011
Location
Monroe, NY, USA
TDI
2014 Jetta Sportwagen, 2014 Tiguan,2003 Jetta 261K Sold but not forgotten
I figure that as long as the wife doesn't crank it up to 5 and keep it there (it's cloth seats, so I cannot, if it's anything like my 2000 car, see how anyone could run this way without setting their arse on fire [with a non-faulty element]!).
Even at 5 the sensor should tell the switch if it's to hot.
Mine was not at 5 when the seat overheated.
The recall only replaced the 2 switches unless the seat cover was also burnt.
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
Update

Been kind of busy...


I ended up installing the new seat pad: took about 2 1/2 hours, which included cutting out the old element from the seat cover. And... Nothing!


Today I did some checking and found that the resistance is tenfold higher than a working seat: 77.3 ohms for the bad seat vs 7.7 ohms for working seats. So, it appears that the element in the backrest has issues, or that mixing the two types (as there appears to be comments about issues with this, but sounds more like issues with overheating than out and out not working) shouldn't be done.


I have now ordered a new pad for the backrest: part number 1J0-963-557-C.


BTW - Here's an excellent writeup on doing this work:


http://vwgolfr32.co.uk/fitting-guides/heated-seat-element-guide.htm
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
Got a new seat back pad. The stupid connector on it is male! The original is female. The seat bottom pad is male. Two brand new seat pads and BOTH have the same connector when they're supposed to connector TOGETHER! Looks like I'll have to cut and splice connectors: I paid good money and I have to hack the stupid pad! Grr...


Does anyone know how best to remove the headrest supports? According to the link above you just "give a good pull." I've pulled and cannot get them to come out. I'm afraid that, given how everything else has gone, that these seats are going to be different and that I'll end up breaking something if I apply too much force. Here's the picture from the article/link above (headrests in this car use a button on the headrest instead of the on the support as this picture shows):


 
Last edited:

mr.loops

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2010
Location
Kelowna
TDI
2002 jetta, 2003 Bora 1.8T
In order to remove the head rest supports (without breaking them) I pulled up and unclipped the back portion of the seat cover. Now with the bare frame exposed at the back, you'll see two small tabs that lock the plastic support to the seat body. Press them both in while pulling up on the support
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
OK... connection mystery solved. There's an intermediate connection toward the base of the seat back. So, that's all good (wish that the article/link above had shown the connector, but it didn't).


The headrest supports can only really be removed with the cover peeled up. Glad that I opted to not force things. [I didn't catch mr.loops' reply, but I figure it out; thanks for responding though.]


The new set of pads comes out to 2 ohms. And, the important thing, is that they're working and not, yet, catching fire!


No way that it would be cost effective if not for using one's own labor.


Thanks to all for putting up with my adventures. Anyone else who embarks on this kind of project (cloth seats- I think leather is different) can message me (personal e-mail best).
 

sriracha

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2014
Location
805
TDI
2005 Jetta Wagon 5mt, 1982 Rabbit truck (gas)
You can easily remove the headrest base without removing the sear cover. If you push the fabric down on the back side, you can expose the clip. Push in on the clip with a small flathead then you should be able to pull up and remove the headrest base.

See this picture, I’ve been collecting the bases for my Beetle headrests:

 
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