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Old 01-20-2013, 03:30 AM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 344172
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Seattle, WA
2013 Impreza 2.0i

Default Has anyone installed seat heaters into a 2012+ Impreza?

I recently got a 2013 Impreza without any options. My better half fiercely wants a seat heater in the passenger seat, which is understandable as we drive in the mountains frequently. Unfortunately, I just realized upon calling a local auto trim place that installs seat heaters that there is of course a passenger sensor for the airbag in the seat. That place won't install a heater in the passenger seat due to the sensor, and my guess is that it is to avoid any liability involving airbags. Annoying but kind of understandable.

Installing seat heaters oneself looks like an interesting project. Has anyone been able to get an aftermarket heating element to coexist happily with the passenger sensor(s?) in the passenger seat? Since you can get a winter package on this car, I'm sure it's possible, I just don't know if there is anything special about the OEM heating element that doesn't cause problems with the sensor. One would think that the sensor is just a scale of some sort and that a thin heating element on top of it wouldn't do a bit of harm, but what do I know.
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Old 01-20-2013, 04:47 AM   #2
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 334451
Join Date: Oct 2012
Chapter/Region: VIC
Location: YVR
2013 Impreza2.0i CVT
DGM (sedan)


Have you considered a 12V seat heater that you could just slap onto the top of the passenger seat and power using one of the 12V outlets? Saves you the fuss and muss of having to worry about airbag sensor issues (although fit and trim might be a major trade-off).

A quick search on google showed at least a couple of options.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:51 AM   #3
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 340728
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Milwaukee, WI
2013 Impreza 5-spd


If you don't mind spending some money, you could kill two birds with one stone and order Wet Okole seat covers with the seat heater option. Not exactly inexpensive though...
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:13 PM   #4
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 320973
Join Date: May 2012
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Andrews AFB, MD
2012 WRX
Ice Silver Metallic


Hello, I just installed two sets of heated seats. Both cars had the passenger air bag sensors. My 2012 WRX and a 2010 Mustang. The heating element did not affect the function of the sensor. They still say "airbag off" when unoccupied, and "airbag on" when someone is seated.
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