BMW E36 Blog

BMW E36 Heated Seats Fixed

6th January 2009

BMW E36 Heated Seats Fixed


Hi Guys,

When I bought my car (it was like 2 years ago), I was taking it for a spin just to test-drive it when I noticed the heated seats buttons. Believe it or not, I didn’t know what these buttons were for at that time as I didn’t have much knowledge about the E36 cars like I do now. I asked the previous owner about the buttons and he said they were for heated seats and pressed them. The funny thing is that he didn’t realize at that time (and I’m sure of it) that the heated seats were not working in his car. After I bought the car, I knew that I have to invest sometime to fix my heated seats as they were not working at all. The weird thing is that the heated seats resistance was indicating that they’re running just fine (I used a multi-meter). I’ve tested the power on the plugs under the car too and they were working fine too. hmmm… that’s odd

I wrote before about Installing BMW E36 Heated Seats and the procedure is straight forward, but it needs some time to accomplish that if you could find the heating elements which everyone said they were not very easy to find. While I was looking for heating elements for my car (thinking it was the reason behind my problem), I’ve found a shop who is ready to give me the heating elements from old BMW E36 seats. I’m sure you can imagine how happy I was after hours and hours of looking.

Anyway, since the guy at the shop seemed to know what he was talking about, I asked him to replace them in my car. Of course he had to remove the seats from the car which is very easy. Then the heating elements replacement process began:

There are 2 heating elements in every seat. One for the back and one inside the seat cushion. The one in the back of the seat was very easy to expose. Simply, he pulled the back leather carefully with a flat screw driver and that was it. To my surprise, I’ve found the heating elements for the back already there and connected. they were also heating just fine. But guess what was the reason why I didn’t feel the heat? Hmmm.. I’m sure you can’t guess because it was the most stupid thing I’ve seen in my entire life. The heating elements were placed behind the sponge. That’s the heating element was heating the sponge instead of heating the leather which I’m supposed to feel. I already know that my seats leather was replaced right before I bought the car, but I didn’t imagine that it was being done by a stupid guy. Damn … stopping heated seats, what were you thinking?!!!

Anyway, the guy at the shop had to separate the leather of the back seat from the sponge and put the heating element there (between them) then make sure that everything returns to its original state.

The cushions were a little bit harder as he needed to remove the knee support part from the cushion, remove 4 screws from the bottom then remove that cushion. After removing the cushion, I was really hoping to find the heating elements in these cushions as well (as in the back), but unfortunately, they were not there. So, he used 2 of the heating elements in the cushions and that was pretty much it. Then put everything together to end up with my heated seats running again… Boy that was fabulous. If your heated seats are not working for some reason, I suggest you fix them right away, you don’t know what you’re missing.


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posted in Electrical, Interior, Technical Info, Tips & Tricks, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

25th December 2007

BMW Options List . . . Continued!


I’ve posted previously about BMW Options List and I said that you can find the list of options that your car is equipped with. In that post, I thought that a sticker should be found on the backseat with a list of numbers that are actually options codes. That was correct, but the location of the sticker was not on the back of the rear seat as I thought. It was actually placed on the back of the rear bench instead. I know that because I went and looked for it and simply didn’t find any until I removed my car’s rear bench and there it was. So, here are some simple photos for it:


Disclaimer: Use this info at your own risk!! I’m not responsible if this didn’t work for you :-).

Pull in the direction of the arrows below to remove the rear bench

After you remove that bench, you will see the sticker in the back of the bench

I took a photo of the sticker itself, I’m sorry for the dirt. I couldn’t remove it because the sticker is actually a normal paper, so using a little water or cleaner on it will simply ruin it

From the list of numbers that you can see (at the bottom of the sticker), I got my car’s list of options

031 ?
055 ?
240 Leather Steering Wheel w/ Airbag
320 Script Name Plate … what is this?
354 Anti-glare Windshield Strip
401 Sliding Sunroof Electrical
415 Sunshade for Package Shelf
423 Velour Floor Mats
428 Warning Triangle/First Aid Kit … this is missing! I’d better go find the previous owner!
440 Non-smoker’s Package
473 Front Armrest
481 Sport Seat – Driver/Passenger
494 Heated Seats Driver/Passenger
510 Headlight Adjustment Low Beam Light
554 On-board Computer V
661 Radio, BMW Business
690 Cassette Box
704 Sport Styling (body and suspension)
801 Order Control … What?
848 Enlarged Cable Harness … excuse me?

This is really awesome to be able to find all the options that came with your car. But unfortunately, I don’t recognize some of the options like 031, 055, 801 and 848. Anyone knows what are these options? Now, I would love to see you guys doing the same thing and lets see if you have any special/rare options on your cars. Try it and let me know.


Are you looking for more do it yourself procedures (DIY) ? I recommend the Bentley BMW 3 series service manual for you. I got it and I think it’s a gold mine for us -BMW E36 Owners-. If you didn’t grab your copy yet, get it right now! I’m sure you’ll find this book worth every penny you’ve paid for. Get the Bentley BMW 3 series service manual

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posted in Do It Yourself, Tips & Tricks, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

17th December 2007

BMW Options List


If you’re reading my blog frequently, you may know that I have discovered recently that my car has heated mirrors LOOOL! 😆 . I’m sure that some of the readers here knew that a car with heated seats should have heated mirrors as well, but still, I think many of you didn’t. The problem is that there are some options that you may not see or even know by just looking at the car’s interior or exterior. This made me think about a better way to determine what are the options installed in my car. To be honest, this information is really hard to get and I spent some time looking until I found the list of BMW options. This list has the options codes and their names. Still, you will need one more thing to determine what the options are for your car. Well, this is no brainer, you should find the list of options codes for your car. I heared from some guys that you should find the list of options codes on the back seat of your car, but I didn’t verify this information yet. I will look at it while I’m going home today and see if I can get the list of options for my car.

This is the complete list of BMW options with codes. Please feel free to download it and keep it for your reference.

BMW Options List


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posted in Technical Info, Tips & Tricks | 2 Comments

11th December 2007

BMW E36 Heated Mirrors


Hi, I’ve been reading about the heated mirrors in BMW E36 cars recently. It seems that heated mirrors come with the winter package, which means that if you have heated seats (like me :-p), it means that you should have heated mirrors as well. The only weird thing that I found out is that almost all the BMW E36 car owners with heated mirrors say that these mirrors stay hot all the time while the car is turned on. I heard one of them saying that it’s connected with the OBC, but I believe this is wishful thinking and that’s far from the truth, because the rest are saying that heated mirrors will feel hot all the time regardless of the exterior temperature. This behavior is really weird, because it means that if the heated mirrors are on all the time, then what is the possible use of that in summer? Also, why I can’t control them? I believe the best setup is to control them with the defrost button, but that’s my humble opinion, not the engineers of BMW. Now, the bad news for me is that I have heated mirrors in my car, but I’ve never seen them in action, so this must mean that I either have a fuse or 2 mirrors to be replaced. I hope that finding heated mirrors for my babe is going to be an easy task.

I suggest you go and check your mirrors to see if you have the heated version or not. If someone else can check this, please try to find out if the mirrors will be heating all the time regardless of the exterior temperature or not.


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posted in Exterior, Technical Info, Tips & Tricks | 10 Comments