Aftermarket Seat Heaters by Rostra
It is late October, but a few downy flakes of snow are blowing past the window, and I am happy to be inside where it is toasty warm. The compulsion to go off-roading, however, does not go into hibernation, so last year, our project Land Cruiser got a shiny new Mojave® heater from Flex-A-Lite. With the full soft top installed and the heater blasting, we can heed the call of the wild and still stay warm in all but the chilliest of temperatures.
The older I get, however, the more I find myself yearning for creature comforts to make my off- and on-road driving experiences more pleasurable. In anticipation of another brutal Midwestern winter, we decided to install a set of after-market seat heaters made by Rostra Precision Controls, Inc. in our project Land Cruiser.
The installation of these seat heaters is fairly straightforward, although-depending upon the types of seats you have-you might find that you need a few special tools. In any case, you will definitely need a fundamental understanding of 12-volt wiring, a pair of pliers, a drill and drill bits, assorted wrenches, sockets, and basic tools-and a certain amount of patience.
It has been several months since we installed our seat heaters, and they have been performing flawlessly. The switches and heaters look and act like OEM equipment, and we are very happy with the setup.
In these last few weeks of December, we have seen temperatures in the single digits, and we find ourselves turning the seat heaters on and off quite often. To be fair, the Rostra seat heaters can get a little too warm, even in the coldest weather, but we will certainly keep them!
Our seats used round, split rings called Hog Nose rings. While we should have used a set of Hog Nose pliers, we were too cheap to spend the money and instead, made do with a couple of pair of regular and needle nose pliers. The outside material on your seats may be secured by a different method, such as Velcro®, zippers, wire ties, or something similar.
We began by removing the seats completely from our vehicle and flipping them upside down. We also detached the upper portion of our seat from the lower portion of our seat to make the installation easier. We made 88 cents on this project by finding loose change in our seats, just enough for a cool beverage at our local convenience store.
As you can see in the picture, the hog nose rings need to be spread open and then threaded back through the seat material. For our seats, we found that we needed to remove the majority-but not all-of our hog nose rings and then roll the seat material back far enough to expose the seat cushion.
Follow the instructions included with your Rostra seat heaters to determine exactly where you should place the flexible heating elements so that you do not encounter any problems. There are instructions related to various types of seats, seat materials, and so on.
Before you slide the heating element between your seat material and the cushion, find a good location to slip the wiring harness through the seat, but make sure in will not be caught, chaffed, or pinched by the movement of the seat.
After you have rolled the seat material back far enough, you can gently slide the heating element and the wiring harness into the seat cushion area. When you have the heating element in place, you can carefully peel away the adhesive backing, so that the element stays secure. Lastly, after you have installed the upper and lower heating elements and routed the wiring harness, you can reattach the seat material to the seat.
You will now need to find a suitable location to mount the seat heater control modules. We chose to mount ours to the bottom of our seat pan, so that it would not be affected by the movement of the seat or be exposed to water and dirt, as it would likely be if it were mounted on the floor.
As you can see in the picture, when we mounted our control module, the case split slightly because the seat pan was not flat. We put super glue on all sides of the control module and then reinstalled it with no problems. Be sure to use short screws so that you do not slice your “buns” when you jump into the seat.
Once the control module was installed, we found a suitable location for the seat heater switch. Drill a hole to mount the switch, feed the wiring back to the control module, and you are almost finished.
The final step is to route power to the seat heater control modules, and your installation will be complete. Make sure to use switched power so you do not drain your battery if you leave the heaters on accidentally.
Rostra Precision Controls, Inc. are makers of automotvie aftermarket systems such as obstacle sentry systems, lumbar support systems, cruiser control, transmission products and more. Contact Rostra Precision Controls, Inc. today to find a distributor near you.
|Rostra Precision Controls|
|2519 Dana Drive
Laurinburg, NC 28352 USA
Toll Free: 1-800-782-3379
web site: www.rostra.com