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E36 M3 (1992-1999) {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999


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Old Sat, Apr-28-2018, 09:15:42 PM   #1
Ajcanadian
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Default E36 M3 heater vaders not working

HI guys, I picked an e36 m3 that sat for a year or so and ever since buying the car the heated seats haven't worked. What should I look for? The panel with the heated seat button lits up when they are pressed. I have manual vaders
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Old Sat, Apr-28-2018, 09:44:26 PM   #2
Braymond141
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Default Re: E36 M3 heater vaders not working

Continuity test the upper and lower pads. Open circuit = dead heating pads.
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Old Tue, May-22-2018, 07:01:32 AM   #3
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Default Re: E36 M3 heater vaders not working

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Originally Posted by Ajcanadian View Post
HI guys, I picked an e36 m3 that sat for a year or so and ever since buying the car the heated seats haven't worked. What should I look for? The panel with the heated seat button lits up when they are pressed. I have manual vaders
If you come up with a good solution to replacing the heating pads, please post here. I watched a video of a guy pulling the covers off vaders, and the ones with the 3 padded slats in the seat and lower back area are not easy to deal with. Replacing the heating pad looks like a pita to me, not to mention expensive, and getting the cover to fit back on there like factory might be nearly impossible. Ymmv.
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Old Tue, May-22-2018, 09:31:05 AM   #4
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Default Re: E36 M3 heater vaders not working

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Originally Posted by trading10 View Post
If you come up with a good solution to replacing the heating pads, please post here. I watched a video of a guy pulling the covers off vaders, and the ones with the 3 padded slats in the seat and lower back area are not easy to deal with. Replacing the heating pad looks like a pita to me, not to mention expensive, and getting the cover to fit back on there like factory might be nearly impossible. Ymmv.


I bought the replacement heating pads from BMW Parts and took the seats to a local auto upholstery shop. They only charged 1 hr labor to replace the heat pads. Just make sure you have spare attachment pieces for the plastic base of foam to seat pan, they are basically one time use if old and brittle


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Old Tue, May-22-2018, 12:07:45 PM   #5
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Default Re: E36 M3 heater vaders not working

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Originally Posted by bhennrich View Post
I bought the replacement heating pads from BMW Parts and took the seats to a local auto upholstery shop. They only charged 1 hr labor to replace the heat pads. Just make sure you have spare attachment pieces for the plastic base of foam to seat pan, they are basically one time use if old and brittle


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That was super cheap considering you have to remove 4 cushions and covers. I don't think I could've done it much below 2hrs. A tip for the bottom clips is to get a big screw driver to pry up on the rear corners where the clips are. They should pop right out once you know where they are and can apply a decent upward force to them.
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Old Tue, May-22-2018, 06:16:15 PM   #6
bhennrich
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Default Re: E36 M3 heater vaders not working

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Originally Posted by wgknestrick View Post
That was super cheap considering you have to remove 4 cushions and covers. I don't think I could've done it much below 2hrs. A tip for the bottom clips is to get a big screw driver to pry up on the rear corners where the clips are. They should pop right out once you know where they are and can apply a decent upward force to them.


I removed the cushions and just took them with the new heating pads to the shop. When they were done I reinstalled them. But I swapped sides to get the bolster wear to the inside of the car. Looks better and works flawlessly


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Old Fri, May-25-2018, 12:07:23 AM   #7
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Default Re: E36 M3 heater vaders not working

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Originally Posted by bhennrich View Post
I bought the replacement heating pads from BMW Parts and took the seats to a local auto upholstery shop. They only charged 1 hr labor to replace the heat pads. Just make sure you have spare attachment pieces for the plastic base of foam to seat pan, they are basically one time use if old and brittle


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I was already found a local upholstery shop with plans to have them thread some new stitching on the drivers side bolster. I can ask if they would do that and replace the heat pads. Glad to hear you got yours done so inexpensively.

Did you consider aftermarket heat pads? I don't know anything about that, but am curious if non-OE is a good choice.

Last edited by trading10; Fri, May-25-2018 at 12:11:34 AM.
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Old Fri, May-25-2018, 12:09:05 AM   #8
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Default Re: E36 M3 heater vaders not working

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Originally Posted by bhennrich View Post
I removed the cushions and just took them with the new heating pads to the shop. When they were done I reinstalled them. But I swapped sides to get the bolster wear to the inside of the car. Looks better and works flawlessly


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I didn't know swapping cushions was possible. My passenger seat is in great shape - it's just the drivers side that is a hot mess. Both need the heating pads replaced. Thanks for the tip.
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Old Fri, May-25-2018, 12:16:27 AM   #9
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Default Re: E36 M3 heater vaders not working

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I didn't know swapping cushions was possible. My passenger seat is in great shape - it's just the drivers side that is a hot mess. Both need the heating pads replaced. Thanks for the tip.


Backs, bottoms, and headrests are identical. the heating mat for the bottom flips over depending on the side so the power connector is in the correct position.


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Old Thu, May-31-2018, 06:32:43 PM   #10
Ajcanadian
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Default Re: E36 M3 heater vaders not working

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Originally Posted by bhennrich View Post
Backs, bottoms, and headrests are identical. the heating mat for the bottom flips over depending on the side so the power connector is in the correct position.


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I might have had a loose connection or maybe a miracle happened. I used to keep my heated seats on all the time through wintee and one day my bottom end felt like it was on fire. So I guess I lucked out
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Discussing E36 M3 heater vaders not working in the E36 M3 (1992-1999) Forum - {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999 at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)