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Old 01-01-2009, 04:42 PM   #1
sesmith
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Drives: 08 Yaris hatchback
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Central NY
Posts: 1
Rostra seat heater and lumbar support

Hi all,

I thought I'd join the forum to put a post on the web concerning installing a seat heater and lumbar support in a Yaris. I gave my wife both for her car for Christmas this year (with installation included, of course). Before I ordered the kits from M&R electronics, I scoured the web for some sign that someone had successfully installed the seat heater in a Yaris, as I suspected that the seat fabric was glued to the foam. No luck in any of my searches, so I ordered them anyhow. Both M&R and Rostra both listed kits for a Yaris so how bad can it be anyhow, right?

The bottom line is that the seat fabric IS glued to the foam. When I figured that out, I was committed to the cause, anyhow. I figured the positives of having a "happy wife" with a seat heater and lumbar support in her car would outweigh any cosmetic damage I inflicted on the seat.

I found that I could carefully peal the fabric from the foam and reglue it with spray trim adhesive after the heater was installed. The lumbar support is made to go behind the foam, so that one wasn't a big deal. Regluing the fabric was a real pain because the fabric is thin enough that the spray adhesive tends to saturate it quickly. Allowing the adhesive to tack up and partially dry before putting the fabric back in place is essential to prevent a gluey mess on the seat fabric. Also, any areas where even a little foam gets pulled up when removing the seat fabric initially, will be noticeable after things are reglued. The outlne of the seat heater pads will also be noticeable. Even with all the care I took in gluing, I had to remove some excess glue from the nap of the fabric after things dried (I used a little mineral spirits/paint thinner, which didn't hurt the fabric).

Trying to find good places to tap into battery power and ignition power in the Yaris is difficult especially without a good wiring diagram. There are no instructions specific to the Yaris in either kit. For battery power, I went directly off the battery through a 10A fuse and split it to both the seat heater and the lumbar support. The only good way through the firewall with the wire is to route it through the existing grommet for the hood release cable and along the cable behind the left inner fender. For ignition power, I tapped into the wiring I previously installed for the Rostra cruise control kit that I put in a couple of months ago. That kit had good instructions on where to tap in for ignition power.

So the bottom line is, both kits are installed and work well. Rostra does a really good, professional job with all their kits. The installation is not easy, though and do not believe Rostra's claims that the seat doesn't have to be removed (it does) and that the installation will only take an hour and a half (good luck there). I wouldn't recommend anyone who doesn't have some experience with auto upholstery attempt this (I've got lots). Also, no matter how good you are, don't expect the seat to look exactly the same when you're done. If you keep this in mind going into the job, you'll be happier with the results. Besides, there's always aftermarket seat covers, right?

Hope this info helps someone else out who's also thinking of putting seat heaters in. By the way, the lumbar support makes the seat a lot more comfortable.
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Old 01-03-2009, 08:51 AM   #2
sanforj
 
Drives: 2008 Yaris LB
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: York, PA
Posts: 5
Thanks for the write-up. I've been contemplating this and will hold off for now.
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