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Discussion Starter #1
I had to have the seat heat element pad replaced in my drivers seat. I had a KIA dealer do this and I am under warranty. However, I am surprised and disappointed to discover that I can feel and hear the new pad under my leather upholstery. It feels and sounds like the pad is made of fine shredded straw for lack of a better description. I went back and asked my mechanic why this was and why it wasn't like a factory install. He said they never are the same as the original install because of all the layers within the seat and having to pull the old one off.
My question to anyone out there is...is this the case or am I being fed a line. I have such a pretty car with a beautiful leather interior and this just feels so cheap !
 

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As usual, they always seem to enjoy making up stories to get the customer off their back. It may be they got lazy and didn't reinstall the pad assembly, or if it was damaged, just didn't get a new pad to install. The pad assembly goes between the element and the cover. If you didn't have the problem before, you shouldn't have it after the replacement.

Another poor quality dealership, but it seems to be the trend nowadays, if not done correctly just lie to the costomer. I have many, and I mean many horror stories concerning dealerships, and it's not only Kia dealerships. So far I've dealt with 5 different Kia dealerships and only one I can say has been exemplary...........and that one closed it's doors a couple years ago.
 

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As usual, they always seem to enjoy making up stories to get the customer off their back. It may be they got lazy and didn't reinstall the pad assembly, or if it was damaged, just didn't get a new pad to install. The pad assembly goes between the element and the cover. If you didn't have the problem before, you shouldn't have it after the replacement.

Another poor quality dealership, but it seems to be the trend nowadays, if not done correctly just lie to the costomer. I have many, and I mean many horror stories concerning dealerships, and it's not only Kia dealerships. So far I've dealt with 5 different Kia dealerships and only one I can say has been exemplary...........and that one closed it's doors a couple years ago.


Thank you for your reply, I have had a very good experience with this dealership in the past but I have noticed now that actually talking with a tech face to face is getting almost impossible. My seat, if I press on it, sounds like it has one of those padded mailing envelopes under the fabric. I have watched videos on line as to how the element is replaced and it looks like the pad has thin coils built with in it. I am able to hear this pad now where there was never any noise before so I know they have put a new one in. Do you think it would do me any good to get another opinion at another dealership? Does KIA sell replacement foam cushions with the heating assembly built in as it would be from the factory?
 

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The pad is a separate part. Might want to go to a car upholstery shop and see what they say as they have various padding sizes (thickness) in stock. I've changed many heating elements and have also added heating elements to non heated seats, and always tried to maintain the comfort level as before it was changed/added. Should be a simple job to make the seat comfortable again.

Are the seats heated & cooled?

Just wanted to add, if you back to the dealership, tell them that you want the same comfort as when the car was new, and the comfort as felt when sitting in the passenger seat.
 

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My guess is the proper procedure wasn't followed. The service manual specifically warns against the risk of wrinkling if you don't follow procedure

I'm guessing the procesure wasn't followed and you got the "wrinkling" issue that the manual warns the tech not to do.

Please see attached excerpt showing how the proper procedure should have been done, and how you can install those little hog rings and be careful not to separate the wire from the sponge pad.

I'm guessing they failed to follow both precautions and just threw it all back together so you have wrinkles that cause noise and interfere with efficient heat transfer.
 

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Hi and thank you for your reply. Nothing feels bunched up rather it is the entire surface underneath the leather fabric that makes that noise much like a very thin layer of plastic bubble wrap. It is most prevalent in the front section of the seat cushion. That entire panel makes the noise when pressed down. It is as if the pad had packaging around it that wasn't removed but I know that is not the case. I spoke to someone a bit ago at another dealership and he told me the same thing that the unit just doesn't fit the same after the defective one is removed. I for the life of me don't understand why! I have watched some videos on how they are installed and I will watch the one you have included.
Thank you so much!
 

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Hi and thank you for your reply. Nothing feels bunched up rather it is the entire surface underneath the leather fabric that makes that noise much like a very thin layer of plastic bubble wrap. It is most prevalent in the front section of the seat cushion. That entire panel makes the noise when pressed down. It is as if the pad had packaging around it that wasn't removed but I know that is not the case. I spoke to someone a bit ago at another dealership and he told me the same thing that the unit just doesn't fit the same after the defective one is removed. I for the life of me don't understand why! I have watched some videos on how they are installed and I will watch the one you have included.
Thank you so much!
My guess is the proper procedure wasn't followed. The service manual specifically warns against the risk of wrinkling if you don't follow procedure

I'm guessing the procesure wasn't followed and you got the "wrinkling" issue that the manual warns the tech not to do.

Please see attached excerpt showing how the proper procedure should have been done, and how you can install those little hog rings and be careful not to separate the wire from the sponge pad.

I'm guessing they failed to follow both precautions and just threw it all back together so you have wrinkles that cause noise and interfere with efficient heat transfer.
I looked at the diagram and it looks like the front part of diagram #9 is where I am hearing it the worst. Is that the part that fits on the front edge of the seat cushion?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The pad is a separate part. Might want to go to a car upholstery shop and see what they say as they have various padding sizes (thickness) in stock. I've changed many heating elements and have also added heating elements to non heated seats, and always tried to maintain the comfort level as before it was changed/added. Should be a simple job to make the seat comfortable again.

Are the seats heated & cooled?

Just wanted to add, if you back to the dealership, tell them that you want the same comfort as when the car was new, and the comfort as felt when sitting in the passenger seat.
They are heated and cooled and I did go back to the dealership and expressed that I wasn't content with the way the seat now felt and sounded. I asked why isn't it the same as it was and pointed out the difference in the passenger seat. I was told it is the best I am going to get because it is a replacement unit. This was done under warranty so I don't know if KIA would back me on this or agree with the service dept.. On top of that, now I have a KIA sales rep wanting to buy back my car because it has such low mileage and is in pristine shape (or it was) Ha I tried to load a short video of the sound in the seat but this site won't let me post it for some reason.
 

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when you press the button would light up.. and then turn off within 1 second (most of the time). You can then turn it on again where it mostly repeats and shuts off within 1 second.

Except, Sometimes it's longer than 1 second, i've experienced 2, 3 seconds. I've experienced it on rare occasions to stay on, and actually function. And my Parent's have claimed that once even when the lights turned off the heating Sarkari Result Pnr Status 192.168.1.1 element stayed on until the car was restarted. This and the Passenger side heated seat works perfectly.

Car is a 2013 Kia optima Lx with 88500km. The car is still technically under warranty, So ill take it to a dealer when I have some free time. But anyone here have an idea. It's just the most bizarre kind of failure I've seen.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
My guess is the proper procedure wasn't followed. The service manual specifically warns against the risk of wrinkling if you don't follow procedure

I'm guessing the procesure wasn't followed and you got the "wrinkling" issue that the manual warns the tech not to do.

Please see attached excerpt showing how the proper procedure should have been done, and how you can install those little hog rings and be careful not to separate the wire from the sponge pad.

I'm guessing they failed to follow both precautions and just threw it all back together so you have wrinkles that cause noise and interfere with efficient heat transfer.
Hi, I am going to another dealer tomorrow for a second opinion on my seat situation. If you get this this evening, I was wondering if you can educate me as to what to ask of them. I am under warranty and when I went back to the dealer that installed the heating pad, I was told that it never fits the same as a factory install and that is all the further they would take it. I couldn't even talk to the mechanic directly. They have been a good service department for the most part but then again they have different people managing the intake area now and they seem to do a very good job at keeping the public from the mechanics!
Thank you
 

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Sit in the passenger seat. Is it the same as the driver's seat that had the element replaced?
If not the same, have the somebody from the stealership sit in both, show them the difference, now you want the seat corrected.

If they have a used car on the lot with heated/cooled seats, same year as yours, try that one out also.
 

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If you can get your hands on a handheld IR temp reader, you could use it measure the surface temperature of the seats and compare between the two.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Sit in the passenger seat. Is it the same as the driver's seat that had the element replaced?
If not the same, have the somebody from the stealership sit in both, show them the difference, now you want the seat corrected.

If they have a used car on the lot with heated/cooled seats, same year as yours, try that one out also.
Thank you, the passenger seat definitely doesn't make the noise and it doesn't feel lumpy either. I think the installed heating pad works fine it is esthetically a disappointment !
 

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Thank you, the passenger seat definitely doesn't make the noise and it doesn't feel lumpy either. I think the installed heating pad works fine it is esthetically a disappointment !
Thank you, the passenger seat definitely doesn't make the noise and it doesn't feel lumpy either. I think the installed heating pad works fine it is esthetically a disappointment !
I took my car to another dealer. I had to pay $119 diagnostic charge to have them remove the seat cover and discover that the foam had been ripped while removing the tie hog rings (or whatever they are called) when the heating element was replaced by the first dealership. This mechanic thinks it needs a new foam insert. A new foam insert is over $2,000 dollars (Say What!) It was suggested by the second dealership that I contact KIA consumer affairs and let them negotiate this issue. I noticed that I was starting to get lumps under the leather towards the front section of the seat cushion along with the sound the pad makes when pressed upon. If I understand this mechanic correctly, because of the tear the pad can't lay properly and it shifts. Long story short, the tear is not covered under warranty because it is a workmanship issue. I did speak to KIA and they are going to mediate the matter. I will let you know how it goes. The service dept. I went to today, took pictures and documented everything. Honestly, the first dealership has always treated me fantastically, so this is most unfortunate! I suppose the mechanic who tore the foam assumed no one would ever know and it wouldn't be a problem. UGH!
Thank you once again for your input, it is most appreciated!
 

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Great news.

I wanted to mention, in a worst-case scenario, I wonder if you can ask to take the foam home. Then, you will repair the foam yourself, and bring it back and ask them to re-assemble it.

The recurring risk is that the new dealership could similarly mess up the install. But since that dealership is handling this as a special situation, they might take more care not to mess it up, unlike the first dealership that just wanted to replace the heater as quickly as possible.

Use upholstery foam spray adhesive: 3M Super Trim Spray Adhesive - Gluing Foam
 

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You probably know by now that the pad comes with the cushion, hence to cost.
Actually the first dealer should take care of the problem as it was part of a warranty repair that they failed to do properly. In warranty booklet, there is some jargon about a dealer that fails to do a warranty repair correctly, Kia should be notified and they will make a determination as to the correction, and that has happened.
Good luck
 
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