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///M3 Forum
The BMW E46 ///M3 is the M version E46 and puts out an amazing 333 HP and 262 lb-ft of torque at stock specs! There are an amazing amount of modifications for both the coupe and convertible models so read up and get started modifying your cars today!

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Old 02-20-2011, 12:18 AM   #1
TerraPhantm
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Anyway to make heated seats warmer?

So one thing I notice on the M3 vs my old 330i is that the heated seats kinda suck. The 330 would be burning my ass within 30 seconds, while in the M3 it takes 2-5 minutes before I even notice any warmth... I checked the wiring and nothing really seemed off. I've got a bad back so I could really use more heat
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Old 02-20-2011, 12:19 AM   #2
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Mine can get uncomfortably hot.
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Old 02-20-2011, 12:22 AM   #3
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maybe your elements are dieing?
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Old 02-20-2011, 03:11 AM   #4
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I agree. My '02 325i Sedan had very hot heated seats. My wife's '07 328i Wagon has decent seat heat. However, my new (to me '06 M3 Coupe's heated seats just don't get that hot.

I've wondered too if others have had the same experience with their M3's? If so, I wonder if anyone has perform some sort of DIY to electrically boost the output of the heat elements without, of course, causing other problems?
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Old 02-20-2011, 07:46 AM   #5
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Yeah in High school I had a 323CI and those seats would legit scald you. Now my M3's seats barely get hot enough to notice
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Old 02-20-2011, 08:56 AM   #6
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I usually turn my heated seats on when its cold out. I constantly hear passangers say turn it off! my ass is burning! (or lower it plz!)

...also I say about 2 minutes for a seats to fully heat up on max setting from a cold start
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Old 02-20-2011, 10:54 AM   #7
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i have the same problem, takes ages for it to get warm
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Old 02-20-2011, 02:34 PM   #8
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mine get plenty hot, but not in 30 seconds, it does take a couple minutes
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:47 AM   #9
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How difficult is it to replace the elements? I'm kinda tempted to grab some from a non-M
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:20 PM   #10
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If you do that, please post a DIY!

Cheers!
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Old 02-21-2011, 03:42 PM   #11
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How difficult is it to replace the elements? I'm kinda tempted to grab some from a non-M
it shouldnt be all that hard, usually the seat covers are just attached in the back and bottom with clamps or hooks. i think i actually saw a DIY for something involving removing the seat covers, i cant remember where though
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Old 02-21-2011, 04:00 PM   #12
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i think that this DIY will help a bit:



it's for the Airbag / Seat Occupancy Sensor but it should be the same part that has the seat heater aswell.
http://ausbmw.com/tutorials/occupancysensor.pdf
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Old 02-21-2011, 04:04 PM   #13
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The passenger side seat melted -___-

Don't risk anything that would harm ur seats.
BMW wouldn't even fix it, apparently it's our fault the seat warmer heated up to much
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Old 02-21-2011, 04:12 PM   #14
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I feel like I'm wetting myself when I turn them thangs on
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Old 02-21-2011, 06:36 PM   #15
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For those of you who feel they get too warm... What kind of seats do you have? (which color?) and do you guys have the width and lumbar adjustment? Have you guys ever felt the seats in a non-M? My seats definitely seem to work, but they just don't feel that warm compared to other BMWs
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Old 02-21-2011, 07:50 PM   #16
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For those of you who feel they get too warm... What kind of seats do you have? (which color?) and do you guys have the width and lumbar adjustment? Have you guys ever felt the seats in a non-M? My seats definitely seem to work, but they just don't feel that warm compared to other BMWs
imola red leather, yes to lumbar, and no i havent felt any others. they get plenty warm for me, i usually turn it off once its warm inside the car. it feels weird to me though since you can still feel cold parts of the seat while others are smoldering
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Old 03-15-2011, 06:20 PM   #17
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Update:

Okay so you *can* make them get warmer - at least if you have the right software tools.

First a little background: The heater element isn't just a simple 3 stage element. The center console switch is actually a small computer that has temperature limits programmed for each stage. The default limits are 44, 40, and 37 degrees Celcius. When significantly below that limit, the heater elements are set to 100%. As the seat temperature approaches the limit, the module slowly pulls back the voltage until the system reaches an equilibrium. Theoretically 43 degrees Celcius would be plenty warm, but it wasn't in my case. Maybe my seat's temp sensor is defective.

Anyway, I recoded the module (using pasoft) so that the temperature limits are now 53, 49, and 44 degrees. It now feels much more like my 330 did. I'm not sure if the non-ms are programmed to get warmer, or if my seat temp sensors are faulty somehow.

I don't think this is *too* dangerous. My dad's E60 gets significantly warmer with its default settings. Either way, I just use the top setting to warm up really quick and then move down to the middle or low setting, so it should be fine.
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Old 03-15-2011, 07:56 PM   #18
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Im guessing maybe they dont get as hot as non-Ms because M3s use Nappa leather and could have diffrent material characteristics...
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Old 03-15-2011, 08:09 PM   #19
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Im guessing maybe they dont get as hot as non-Ms because M3s use Nappa leather and could have diffrent material characteristics...
Or maybe they are set not to get as warm because the different type of leather could scorch? That happened in my old car, black lines showing up on the leather where the heating elements were.
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:38 PM   #20
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Im guessing maybe they dont get as hot as non-Ms because M3s use Nappa leather and could have diffrent material characteristics...
True, but the M3s were also available with cloth, and I think one was able to get nappa leather in the non-Ms on European vehicles through the BMW individual program. BMW doesn't have specific part numbers for center console switches that correspond to specific materials... and as far as I can tell, the actual BMW software (GT1, DIS, Progman, NCS Expert) aren't capable of recoding the center console switch, so it's not something that simply gets reconfigured by the dealer.

It would be interesting to see if different build dates had different limits programmed or something like that.

Edit: Did some research, and it seems that the temperature limits are universal across all BMWs (from that era anyway). E38, E39, E53 also had the same limits set. Now I did some research, and it seems that for mini coopers, BMW would add a resistor somewhere to the harness to fool the computer into thinking the temperature is higher than it really is (since people complained about the seats getting too warm). Maybe there was a similar procedure for the BMWs and one of the previous owners had it done? At the stock settings I honestly couldn't feel the heated seats at all. Now that I bumped it up 10 degrees, it does feel more like my 330i did.
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