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Dodge Repair/'03 durango: heated driver seat problem


QUESTION: How can I diagnose the problem with my seats indicated light flashing but not heating up. I found a broken wire underneath the seat and so I reconnected it and it still does not work please help.

ANSWER: Hi John,
Does the passenger seat heat properly? If not then I would verify that fuse #5 (50 amp) is not blown, located in the power distribution center in the engine compartment.
If that fuse 5 is good, then I would take a look at the light green/brown wire at the seat and check that it is connected properly there, and if you have a voltmeter check that it is putting 12v into the seat pad, using the other probe of the meter on a shiny metal chassis surface nearby. Then visually check the black wire at that same seat pad plug, and use the meter again to measure the 12v being present by using one probe on light green/violet and the other probe of the meter on the black wire. Let me know what you find from doing these checks. It is a simple circuit, and if the seat heat indicating light is behaving as it normally does, then I would believe that there is a break in the power circuit that goes from the heated seat control module to the seat pad and then to ground. The ground wire attaches to the body just below the rear power outlet in the midline of the cabin. The heated seat control module is located there as well.
Please read the PS below and respond to it.

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QUESTION: Yes the passenger seat works fine so now what do I need to do?

ANSWER: Hi John,
Then you have to check the voltages on the wires to the driver seat and let me know what you find to be the status of that. Once that is known we'll be able to probe further into the exact cause.
Basically, assuming that you indeed found the place where the disconnect occurred then the possibilities are:
The re-connection was not successful and needs to be done in a better manner or there is another disconnection that you didn't notice or is hidden or there is a another failure in the circuit such as the heating element in the seat was also damaged. The only efficient way to find out which of these is the cause is with a voltmeter (or you can purchase a simple 12 volt neon glow light). So that is why I suggested that you first verify that the 12v is present at the light green/violet at the seat plug when you have requested heat to the seat, and basically verified that the black ground wire from the other end of the seat heater is indeed grounded. If both those were shown to be true, that would focus us toward the seat cushion heating element as the cause. So let me know where the break occurred, how you effected the repair, and what you find from checking the voltage readings as I described.
Thanks for the rating, nomination and kind remarks. By the way you can do another rating and nomination for this answer if you would care to.

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QUESTION: OK I tested both of the two wires and got 11.2 volts on both so now what?

Hi John,
I am not certain what you mean by 'both of those two wires' but if you saw 11.2 while the meter leads were attached to the light green/violet and the black wires of the plug that attaches to the seat pad, then I would suspect that the seat pad internal wire itself is either 'open' somewhere inside the pad, or more likely that one or both of the seat pad's wires that are attached to the plug-in's socket have been disconnected at that point. So try measuring the resistance (ohms) between the two pin of pad's socket. If it a few ohms, then the pad is OK, if it reads infinite ohms then there is a break either at the socket or inside the pad. Given the history you mentioned of a disconnected wire it sounds to me like some mechanical pulling force separated that wire from its plug and so there may well be another broken wire at that same point but at the socket that the plug joins with. You may be able to repair that disconnection as well.
Please be so kind as to give me another "nomination" for expert of the month.

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Roland Finston


Get a Free Fast answer to your repair question about a Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth car, minivan, SUV, or truck. Problems with electronically controlled engines and transmissions as well as body wiring problems are my specialty. This free troubleshoot advice forum helps you diagnose faults, minimize repair costs or do-it-yourself.

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