Why Does My Seat Warmer Keep Turning Off?

In this chilled weather, going on a drive may feel like trespassing onto private property. But car seat warmers or heated seats reduce these complexities. These components run an electric current through a heating element to warm up the seat. Surprisingly, I have seen many people complaining, “Why does my seat warmer keep turning off?”

Yes, these warmers sometimes malfunction for several reasons. Mostly, they are a blown fuse, a break in the wire leading to the heater, a loose connection, or a burnt heating element. Even this problem can also be model-specific as some car models have reported more frequent issues with seat warmers.

For sure, the primary benefit of seat warmers is comfort in the winter. They work quicker than the car’s primary heat source and supply warmth directly to your body. So, when they keep turning off, the warmth goes away and makes driving tough. In this discussion, I will explain the reasons for seat warmers malfunctioning.

A Glimpse to Car Seat Warmers

You may call them heated seats, as many of us know by this name. These seats are a crucial feature in modern vehicles that provide comfort and convenience (1). Cadillac introduced these warmers in 1966 to help with backaches (2).

Whatever you call them, they generate heat to help us drive at ease, especially in cold climates. Besides these, some common uses of car seat warmers include during winter months and long trips. Your body won’t feel numb again if these things are fine.

Overall, car seat warmers are a system that involves warmed coils (heating element) beneath the seat cushion (3). When you turn them on, an electric current runs through the heating element. Slowly, the passengers and the person sitting on the seat feel warmth (4).

Let me explain it in detail. Heated seats have an internal thermostat. It maintains the seat’s heat and limits how hot it gets during use (5). Now, here is an answer to “Why does my seat warmer keep turning off?”

Suppose the seat cushion reaches a specific temperature. Then, the thermostat sends a signal that turns off the heater (6). Many seat cushions also have “high” and “low” settings. It allows the driver to control the temperature of the seat cushions (7).

Thus, this feature is more common than cooled or ventilated seats. Some cars even include memory settings for how you like the seats to be heated.

Why Seat Warmers Turn Off: The Causes

Wait, you do not need to freak out yet. There are some positive reasons why heated seats turn off automatically. Let me discuss them first.

Overheating Prevention

Engineers design seat warmers like other technologies with safety measures to prevent overheating. Think about the thermostat in our refrigerator. It intellectually controls the cooling process by monitoring the temperature. Then, upon need, it turns off the compressor (and on). Similarly, when the seat warmers get too hot, they turn off automatically.

This feature protects the seats from damage and ensures your safety (8). If it does not turn off, overheating may cause severe burns. Particularly, if you have an issue like you cannot detect temperature change or pain in the skin, it may become severe.

Energy Conservation

Any electrical feature we enjoy in our vehicles requires electricity, doesn’t it? So, it is advised to lower the interior temperature and use the seat and steering wheel heater to stay warm while using the least power (9). More precisely, if you have electric vehicles, you must save energy for long-term performance. In this way, seat warmers may be turned off to keep a lot of energy.

The question remains: what if seat warmers keep turning off unnecessarily? What could be those reasons? I am explaining them, too.

Loose Connection

A metal strip under the hood carries electrical current from the battery to the seat warmer. Suppose a loose connection or something else is preventing proper electrical contact between the strip and heated seats. Then, your seat heater will stop working (10).


It is not such a tough job! You need to tighten up any loose connections. Also, ensure that everything is plugged in correctly.

Heating Element Failure

It is another common reason why your car seat warmer keeps turning off. Thus, the heating element may fail due to several reasons. For example, normal wear and tear, a manufacturing defect, or damage from a spill or other incidents (11).


You cannot repair the decayed heating element as it does not work this way. So, I suggest you consult an expert for a proper diagnosis and replace it with a new ones.

A Blown or Faulty Fuse

If your vehicle has defective fuses, they can indeed cause seat warmers to turn off unexpectedly. They can disrupt the electrical connection (12). For sure, a fuse is an essential part of the electrical system of heated seats.


You should replace the blown fuse. If you cannot do it alone, call someone professional about doing these things.

Sensor Malfunction

Your car’s heated seat may unexpectedly turn off due to a sensor malfunction. For instance, the temperature sensor detects the internal temperature. It may not detect how warm it is inside the car when it becomes faulty. In that case, it may cause the seat to turn off prematurely or not turn on at all.


Again, you need to call the mechanic. They will check the sensor’s condition and suggest the best they need to do.

Low Car Battery

A battery powers multiple electrical components of our cars. However, it works on a priority basis, such as which component needs more electricity or power. The battery may not provide sufficient power to the seat warmers to balance it. Besides balancing, if your car’s battery is low, it may fail to keep the warmers on after a specific time.


Check the battery level with a multimeter. If you find it low, you may need to recharge it soon. Still, if it fails to turn on the heated seats at full charge, then the problem lies with other components.

Control Module Glitches

The control module (or ECU) is a crucial component of the seat warmer’s electrical system. It receives the request to turn on the seat heaters. Then, it tells the control module under the seat to switch on the power. But unfortunately, it may have glitches. When glitches appear, it fails to regulate the power properly. As a result, your seat warmer will keep turning off.


You may need to reset the computer module that controls the heated seats (13). For more assistance, I suggest you search and check YouTube videos on resetting the ECU.

Low Response

A low response in the memory seat control can also cause malfunctioning seat warmers. Well, this system remembers the settings of the seat warmer (including its temperature and duration). It may not send the correct signals to the seat warmer when defective. And your warmer will once again keep turning off (10).


This is, I guess, a technical issue that you may not solve without proper knowledge. So, you can get help from a mechanic to sort out the response timing issue.

How to Replace a Consistently Turning-Off Seat Warmer

If all the above reasons are not valid, you may need to change the current seats precisely for your heated seats. I will explain how to replace a malfunctioning seat warmer in this part.

Usually, these are the steps to replace a heated seat (14) :

  • First, you need to move the seat forward.
  • Next, remove the bolts holding the seat bottom on the front.
  • Now, disconnect the electrical connector from the carpet with a trim tool.
  • Wait for 5 minutes to reset the module.
  • Remove the cushion and leather on the base to access the heater elements.
  • Then, detach any wires from the seat.
  • Remove the heated seat from the car.
  • Next, disassemble the seat, separating the back and base.
  • Replace all heated seat parts, including the heating element and the wiring.

After following the above steps, you must assemble the seat again and reconnect the wiring. That’s it!

Final Words

Why does my seat warmer keep turning off – So, what have you found? Is it being turned off for your safety or the reasons I have explained that require attention?

You can quickly identify the correct reasons if you have read the whole article. Thus, I suggest you follow the recommendations I have made. It won’t take much time, for sure.

Still, if you have any doubts, leave your comments. Thanks again.

Leave a Comment