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HomeTips & GuidesHow To Wire Auto Seat Heater: Benefits and Installation Steps

How To Wire Auto Seat Heater: Benefits and Installation Steps

We will look at how to wire auto seat heater in vehicles without this feature below.

Most people think auto seat heaters are only convenient for cold days. But they are also ideal for therapy, helping alleviate pain from sore muscles in the back and legs.

However, installing this feature can be tricky, so let’s look at the installation and wiring process to make it easier for DIYers.

Table of Contents

Benefits of Auto Seat Heaters

You should consider installing auto seat heaters for these reasons.

Cold Weather Comfort

Heated seats primarily warm your body when driving during the cold winter days. 

Unlike the climate control system, seat heating provides direct and consistent warmth to make driving more comfortable.

Relieves Muscle Tension

Seat heaters provide therapy to persons with medical conditions such as chronic pain and arthritis. 

The warmth gives soothing relief from stiffness and muscle tension, enabling you to alleviate discomfort by easing leg and back muscles.

Quick Warm-Up

Perforated black leather seats with a heating function

Seat heaters warm you up faster than the climate control heating system, meaning more efficient heat therapy. 

So, seat heaters are handy if it is frigid outside or you drive through a short stretch to get to work.

Customizable Temperature Controls

Heated seats usually have a 3-setting temperature control system and a switch for adjusting to off, low, or high. 

So you can set the required warmth level separately for the driver and passenger side.

Improved Blood Circulation

Direct car seat heating reduces the risk of numbness and frostbite by enhancing blood circulation.

Better Driving Experience

Frigid weather can cause distractions when driving because of discomfort. 

But heated seats get the temperature up quickly, enabling you to sit comfortably almost immediately after turning on the feature.

Relatively Simple Installation

Fixing aftermarket seat pads is relatively easy if your car does not have built-in heated seats. These kits provide a cost-effective way to add this feature to your vehicle.

Increased Resale Value

Cars with stock heated seats or aftermarket systems have a higher resale value because this feature is highly desirable, especially in countries far from the tropics.

Heated seat control switches in a vehicle

Two workers removing a car seat for detailing

How To Wire Auto Seat Heaters

Before getting into the wiring, install the heating elements in the seats using these steps.

How To Wire Auto Seat Heater: How To Install the Heating Pad

Step 1: Remove the Seat

You have to fix the heating pads or elements inside the seat upholstery, so first remove the seats for easy installation. 

Disconnect the battery if the seat has other electrical connections, such as position adjusters.

Two workers removing a car seat for detailing

Two workers removing a car seat for detailing

After cutting the power supply, loosen the four retaining nuts. Remove the four nuts, unmount the seat, then transfer it to your workstation.

Step 2: Separate the Seat Back and Bottom

Remove the seat side shield trim to access the seat back pivot pins. Find the lynchpins and remove them to separate the seat bottom and back.

If doing it as a DIY project, we recommend taking pictures through every step to help you reassemble the seat after heater installation.

Step 3: Remove the Seat Upholstery

Undo the fabric or leather upholstery from the seat using hand tools, such as a hog ring cutter or pliers. 

Depending on the vehicle, you might have to remove the side plastics to access the attachment pins or hog rings.

A car’s seat upholstery was removed for repairs.

A car’s seat upholstery was removed for repairs.

You might not have to remove the entire upholstery’s attachment pins. It depends on how you want to install the element and the seat design.

Step 4: Determine the Heating Pad Placement

Depending on the seat pattern, some upholstery listing attachments might remain covered when determining the heating pad’s installation surface.

You can float part of the attachment if the section installation is unnecessary. But ensure the wire harness’s heating element is under the seatback.

Step 5: Modify the Pad for Fitment

Some seat pads allow modification to fit by cutting them horizontally to match the seat cushion. 

You can also cut holes through the pad to access the seat’s cover listing attachments.

But follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and installation instructions to avoid damaging the pad or reducing its heating effectiveness.

Step 6: Adhere the Heating Pad to the Seat Foam

In some installations, you only have to lift the upholstery from the cushion to get enough space to slide in the heating pad. So, center its position and stick it using adhesive tape.

Once inserted, apply pressure to the upholstery using your hand to stick the heating pad to the seat foam using the adhesive edges.

But if you had removed the upholstery to access the foam, stick the pad in place one section at a time using an adhesive strip or spray.

This step is vital because it ensures the pad covers the required surface area throughout its operational life. 

Otherwise, it might fold inside the seat, meaning you’ll have to remove it and undo the upholstery again to stretch the heating area.

Step 7: Reinstall the Upholstery

Fit the upholstery back onto the seat foam cushion, but you can upgrade it to leather or another fabric during this step, then pin this material on the attachment points.

It is vital to note that you should avoid installing these heater pads under seat upholstery in poor condition. 

Torn gray leather car seats

Torn gray leather car seats

Also, avoid installing the pad above the occupancy position or detection sensors on the seats.

If you had taken pictures earlier, use them as guides to help you put the pieces back together. 

And remember to leave the electrical connection cord for the heating element sticking out under the car seat or seat back section.

How To Wire Auto Seat Heater: How To Wire the Heating Pad

Once the heating pad or element is in place, proceed to its wiring, starting with the switch.

Switch Installation

Find a suitable location to mount the heated seat kit switch for heating level adjustment in the seat. 

This area varies depending on the interior, but most cars have some space near the gear selector.

Switches for activating the heating function in seats

Switches for activating the heating function in seats

Cut hole switches to match the size of the switch body or its mounting bracket. And make the hole cut neat to avoid damaging the interior’s look.

Switch and Heating Pad Wiring

Route the wires from the seat warmer to the switch and make the appropriate electrical connections for temperature control. 

Follow the user manual to make correct switch connections.

If you hadn’t disconnected the battery earlier, cut off the power supply to link the heating pad to the battery.

First, connect the thick, red positive wire from the pad’s cable to a 12V constant power source from the battery.

Check the user manual to determine the appropriate amperage for this connection. 

And remember to install an inline fuse along this line to safeguard the system from electrical faults.

Next, link the 12V trigger wire (usually a red-colored wire) to an ignition-switched power source. 

This connection ensures the seating heating system can only turn on when you turn the vehicle on.

The final connection is the black wire to the chassis ground

Find a bare metal surface on the car frame, mount this wire using a self-tapping screw, then apply dielectric grease to prevent corrosion.

Reconnect the battery and test the system with the key turned on in the ignition.


Wiring an auto seat heater is relatively easy, but the upholstery removal task can be challenging. 

Another tricky section is the switch installation process, which might require drilling to cut a hole to fit the device. 

But the rest of the process is relatively easy, even for DIYers.

You can combine this process with wiring your vehicle’s roof dome lights using this guide

Share your thoughts in the comments below, and let’s meet in the next article.

I am Lillian Yang, having been a sales manager for over 10 years.

I have received many positive reviews from customers. They have praised our excellent service, on-time delivery, and high-quality cable assemblies.

For your projects, please provide cable assembly files/images/smples, etc., so that I can send you a quotation within 24 hours.

Contact me now and let’s get started on building your wire harnesses!

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