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Discussion Starter #1
I know there's a million topics on this specific issue. I've read through almost all of them but my hope is that someone else could lend me some specific advice before I go tearing up my seat.

I've had my 01 M5 for a few weeks. Since I got it the heated seats worked fine. Yesterday morning I got in the car and noticed the heated seat light shuts off immediately, for both the drivers and passenger side. Came home from work and replaced the #32 fuse which indeed was blown. After replacing the fuse, I tested the seats and they heated up and stayed on perfectly.

This morning I get in the car and try the driver's side heated seat, the light shuts off. After about 10 minutes of driving, I try it again and it stays on for about 10 minutes and then it shut off. From that point on I couldn't get it to stay on at all. At this point, the passenger side still does work though so I'm assuming the fuse hasn't blown yet.

Obviously the issue is isolated to the driver's side seat. I'm looking for advice on the easier things to check on without having to remove the seat. Today I'll inspect the wiring under the seat for any visible damage and I'll try and remove the control unit in the dash to check and probe the wires there too. Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated. It's warm in sunny California but I intend to fix every problem with this car.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
i vaguely recall reading a thread once about a guy having the same issue. fuses kept blowing nonstop. I think he narrowed it down to a short in the heating element, inside the seat.

edit: found it!

http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/e39-m5-e52-z8-discussion/196645-heated-seat-repair-pics.html

good luck!
Hope this is not the case. I consider myself a decent mechanic but I don't think I can tear down and put back together a perfectly good leather seat without ruining something. That looks like a nightmare to me.

For what it's worth, I fiddled with things a little bit on my lunch break. Confirmed that the fuse is still intact, but the driver's seat was still shutting down right away. I do notice that the interior lights flicker when the heated seat lights go away (this is with the motor off).

I raised the driver's seat up and took a look at the wires underneath. There's a whole bunch of them. I wiggled em around and inspected for any visible damage but I couldn't see any. The heated seats still weren't working... but when I returned the seat back to it's normal position and sat back down it worked again.

Sounds to me like a loose or frayed connection somewhere, whether inside the seat or the wires underneath. Does anyone know which specific harness/wires under the seat are connected to the heat panels? There are so many down there.

Thanks.
 

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Well to confirm it's something inside the driver seat I'd disconnect all electrics to the driver seat and then confirm that the passenger seat heater stays on indefinitely as it should.
Then reverse it.
Disconnect everything to the passenger seat and confirm the driver seat still won't stay on for more than 10 minutes.

If that's the case I'd remove the seat and look for frays like you said, but since it works a full ten minutes I suspect the element is damaged and drawing too much power. Something in the control unit eventually senses this (or excess heat) and shuts it down. When it can't react fast enough you lose the fuse.
 

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I was excited when I first saw the title, as I have the issue of the fuse blowing when I turn on my heated seat...then I read the DIY nightmare and now Im just wondering if this is something I even want to get into although them not working is driving me nuts.

I drove the car for one year with no issues, heaters worked like a champ. About 8 months ago the 3 lights flash on the seat heater button and then go out. I had to take the car in for inspection so I asked the dealership to take a look at it for me. Well that was a silly idea on my part as they charged me $156 to change a .10 fuse. Said they had to hook it up to the machine first. Yea right. Well the genius just put in a higher amp fuse which of course just irritated me even more as I thought well now we can just burn up the wiring instead of just blowing the fuse. Needless to say not 10 mins later the fuse blew again.

I have not touched it since as I can live without heated seats but as mentioned, the fact that it doesn't work is just eating away at me.

Im hoping its just something with the drivers seat as its just always me in the car.

Once I get my suspension back on, I think this will be a winter project to track down the issue. Maybe I can find an electrical genius in my area to help me figure it out since I am horrible with electronics.

Hopefully in the mean time, you will figure out your issue and can get it fixed. Its very frustrating, like a needle in a haystack.
 
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