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96 LS400 adding heated seats?

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Old 12-03-13, 08:10 AM   #1
jscoda
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Default 96 LS400 adding heated seats?

My 96 does not have heated seats. I found a used 96 with heated seats being sold cheap because of engine problems. Is it hard to take the headed seats and install them in my 96?

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Old 12-03-13, 09:09 AM   #2
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No, it should not be too hard. Don't know if your car has existing wiring and control to make the heater elements work.

Why not just get this:

AmazonBasics 12-Volt Black Heated Seat Cushion with 3-way Temperature Controller : Amazon.com : Automotive AmazonBasics 12-Volt Black Heated Seat Cushion with 3-way Temperature Controller : Amazon.com : Automotive
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Old 12-03-13, 10:29 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by jscoda View Post
My 96 does not have heated seats. I found a used 96 with heated seats being sold cheap because of engine problems. Is it hard to take the headed seats and install them in my 96?

Thanks.
you would have to install a switch, if they didn't work, you would still have to take the seat apart, and you are back to upholstery work! - be sure to test the seats first with an ohmmeter - some of the wiring might be already in place, I would get a genuine Lexus wiring diagram for your year. They are around $40 on ebay.

Last edited by LScowboyLS; 12-03-13 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 12-03-13, 08:48 PM   #4
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My 96 does not have heated seats. I found a used 96 with heated seats being sold cheap because of engine problems. Is it hard to take the headed seats and install them in my 96?
Yes, it is a difficult task. There is absolutely no infrastructure for heated seats in LS400's that did not have them installed at the factory. There is no wiring or connectors for them either at the seat or where the switches for them would be installed. There is no existing connection to the fuse box.

On LS400's with heated seats, the wiring for them is part of the larger interior electrical harness - not separate. It is not like you can just strip a separate heated seat harness out of an LS400 with heated seats and install it and the connectors in a car that does not have heated seats. Even if you were going to fabricate the harness, you would still need all the necessary connectors from the car with heated seats ... and the console wood panel that has the switches. And you would have to have the electrical diagrams and knowledge to wire them up.

On top of all that, heated seats from a 1996, 18 model year old car may have broken heating elements or elements that may not last for very long.

Sure it can be done - anything can be done with knowledge, time and money - but it is far from an easy task.
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Old 12-04-13, 09:34 AM   #5
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Thanks all for the reply. I was hoping for an easy swap but looks like its more work and risk and the car is 18 years old. If it aint broke, don't fix it.
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Old 12-04-13, 10:02 AM   #6
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the real question is whether the seats you found are in better shape than the ones you have now, cosmetically, and whether they are cheap to acquire. You can easily test the internal portion (the heating elements- 2 per seat) with an ohmmeter to see if they are good - each heating element should be around 1 ohm, but half or double that amount is fine. - just not zero or infinity - also check for shorts vs. the seat frame (continuity)

then it is just a matter of running a fused circuit and a switch, which, if you are electrically inclined, is not that tough of a job - these guys that run all new sound systems in their cars are facing 20 times as much work!

so, no - it's not a 10 minute project, but it wouldn't take a month, either!

Last edited by LScowboyLS; 12-04-13 at 11:31 PM.
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Old 12-04-13, 07:44 PM   #7
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Could do aftermarket, I had a aftermarket setup in my Cadillac with a high and low setting.
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Old 12-04-13, 07:56 PM   #8
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+1 on aftermarket if LScowboyLS's suggestions about the seat don't apply. My parents have one in their Corolla they put in with the new upholstery. you could roast an egg on those if you truly wanted too, or have it low for just a little warmth
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Old 12-05-13, 05:00 AM   #9
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+1 on aftermarket if LScowboyLS's suggestions about the seat don't apply. My parents have one in their Corolla they put in with the new upholstery. you could roast an egg on those if you truly wanted too, or have it low for just a little warmth
I agree. Aftermarket is by far the best route including that it would be much easier to install and connect up.
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Old 12-05-13, 09:43 AM   #10
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Pretty sure I have broken elements in my seats as they barely heat up and even then only heat up in patches.

I found system, but I misplaced the link, that can be installed INTO the seats if you pull the cover and then has a couple of settings including "Arizona summer buttsweatingly hot!"
It had a little rheostat and you could wire it into your stock seat heater switch if you were creative so you could mount the dials somewhere hidden and preset them and then just use the factory switch to turn them on and off.
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Old 12-05-13, 11:46 AM   #11
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Pretty sure I have broken elements in my seats as they barely heat up and even then only heat up in patches.

I found system, but I misplaced the link, that can be installed INTO the seats if you pull the cover and then has a couple of settings including "Arizona summer buttsweatingly hot!"
It had a little rheostat and you could wire it into your stock seat heater switch if you were creative so you could mount the dials somewhere hidden and preset them and then just use the factory switch to turn them on and off.
like in the lower center console box.

Anyone know if the factory seat heater button is a momentary or latching switch?
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Old 12-05-13, 11:55 AM   #12
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Mine is latching. If I leave it in/on when I get out, the switch will still be in/on when I get back in later...
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Old 12-26-14, 01:10 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kansas View Post
Yes, it is a difficult task. There is absolutely no infrastructure for heated seats in LS400's that did not have them installed at the factory. There is no wiring or connectors for them either at the seat or where the switches for them would be installed. There is no existing connection to the fuse box.

On LS400's with heated seats, the wiring for them is part of the larger interior electrical harness - not separate. It is not like you can just strip a separate heated seat harness out of an LS400 with heated seats and install it and the connectors in a car that does not have heated seats. Even if you were going to fabricate the harness, you would still need all the necessary connectors from the car with heated seats ... and the console wood panel that has the switches. And you would have to have the electrical diagrams and knowledge to wire them up.

On top of all that, heated seats from a 1996, 18 model year old car may have broken heating elements or elements that may not last for very long.

Sure it can be done - anything can be done with knowledge, time and money - but it is far from an easy task.

My 92 LS400 has the fuse for heated seats and wiring/plugs behind ash tray. Though my car did not come with the switches on ash tray. Why would it have the wiring and not the heated elements in seat? I'm curious
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Old 12-26-14, 04:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike524 View Post
My 92 LS400 has the fuse for heated seats and wiring/plugs behind ash tray. Though my car did not come with the switches on ash tray. Why would it have the wiring and not the heated elements in seat? I'm curious
My 1990 LS400 was not pre-wired for heated seats but maybe it changed by the 1992 model year. Or as people have said in other threads, maybe you have heated seats and your ashtray panel is not the original one that had the heated seat switches.
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Old 12-28-14, 10:09 PM   #15
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