Although I have a 210, I thought this might be of use to many owners of late model MBZs with factory seat-heaters.
My driver's side unit (the vertical seat-back element) was replaced just before the warranty expired and it has again failed (less than 2 years). From reading a few other posts it seems to be a common malady (apparently many buyers of previously-owned MBBZs don't even know the back is supposed to heat up...) The seat bottom works fine.
In any event, out of curiousity another post made me look at heatedseatkits.com and after looking at their products (and some great prices) I sent them an e-mail inquiring as to their usefulness as a direct replacement for the factory MBZ ones.
Below is the e-mail I sent to them as well as their response. Bottom line: it's nice to have an alternative. Even if you don't want to DIY, at least you could get this and let your indie do it, at least you'll be paying for labor less frequently, given the apparently short lifespan of the factory units.
I'll be doing this at some point in the future, but where I live it's certainly a luxury, so it's not high on the priority list. Just wanted to share the info.
Take care and enjoy the (heated) ride,
Sent: Thursday, February 15, 2007 4:51 PM
Subject: Question about units
Hi, I have a 2001 Mercedes E320 with stock heated seats. They have the two-heat level as well. In any event the vertical unit (seatback) has failed twice on the drivers' side and they're a little on the pricey side. Would you have any idea whether yours would be compatible? I'm sure there would be some wiring issues, but as far as wattage, etc.?
and their answer:
Yes, we have alot of customers who own the same car as you with the same problem. You can replace your current seat heater elements with ours because your current elements are made of copper and easily break down. Our seat heater elements are made of carbon fiber so it doesn't matter if one wire breaks or twenty wires break, it will still work. Bascially our elements work the same way as an electric stove top element. When you add positive and negative, it will product heat. You will need to purchase H3 seat heater kit. Our solution is much cheaper because it will last longer and you don't need to buy the leather seat cover.
If you wish to purchase our products today, please visit the URL link below...
Seat Heater for Cars and Trucks from HeatedSeatKits.com
Thank you for your interest in our products!
Corporate Sales Manager
"The Future is Warm"