Duetto Motors Seat heaters

[1/23/2002] Reviewed by: Benjamin Kennedy - brkennedy@hotmail.com

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter

A set of heating elements which lie under the seat fabric and heat the seats to about 110 degrees.

The seat heater installation was pretty straightforward. Once again I decided to do the work myself rather than pay for someone else to do it. Once the seats were removed from the car, I removed the covers, applied the self adhesive heating elements, and connected all the wires as per the instructions. Yes, the instructions are intended for people with experience installing these types of things, however I was able to complete the installation fairly easily despite my lack of experience. I purchased the single temp heaters, and therefore did not have to find room for the control box that comes with the dual temp model. The wiring was straightforward, and I easily fed the wires under the carpet to the center console where I installed the switches and hid the fuses. Rather than tapping two separate fuses for each seat, I tapped the input side of the cigarette lighter fuse as the directions suggested, and fed both heaters with one fuse.

Tapping the fuse was the most difficult part of installation, due to its location underneath the dash and the lack of slack in the wires. I mounted the switches towards the front of the center console since I have power windows. It is important, as the instructions note, to be sure to tie up the excess wire to the seat so that it doesn't get snagged as the seat moves forward and back. Re-installing the seat covers is FAR FAR easier if you replace the hog ties with zip-ties, as another consumer suggested. I cannot emphasize how easy it made the whole process. The seat heaters are absolutely wonderful, and even work through the recently installed thicker leather seats. They heat up rather quickly, and definitely extend top-down weather by several weeks.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

Reviewed by: Ian Robertson - ibr@silk.net

Seat heaters for the Miata

Excellent. They heat up quickly and regulate their temperature exactly as the sales information suggested.

Paid $60 Canadian to have the element portions professionally installed in both seats. Mounted the switches inside the compartment between the seats (where the drink holder is). Did all wiring and switch mounting in 2~3 hours.

Over 30 minutes to remove completely

Reviewed by: Donald H. Wood III - rche3@hotmail.com

The Duetto seat Heater inserts are very well made. They are attached to the foam under the seatcover. You must remove the seats for installation. Installation took me about 5 hours to install to both seats. They seem to heat up in about 2 minutes, great for northern climates and loosing up the back on those extended rides.

The only time consuming process is removing the ringlets that hold the seat covers to the seat. The electrical is very easy, I don't have power windows so I installed the switches on the center console where the power window switches would be placed, very conveint.

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

Reviewed by: Greg Maiser - SoMental@aol.com

Electric seat heaters

These are the best thing since sliced bread. Or maybe even better!

These thermostatically controlled seat heaters are built by Check Corporation, and available (I think) through Duetto Motors.

Heat pads: Each seat has a pad in the seat cushion, and in the lumbar area of the back rest. The heater cycles between 100 and 110 degrees Farenheit. (Switch controlled on/off.)

Installation requires removing the seat skins, and slight trimming of cushion foam. Use a professional upholsterer if you're not comfortable doing such work yourself. (Approx $100) (Requires some special tools, available at most large auto part stores)

Wiring: Not terribly complicated, and pretty much all the parts needed are included with kit.

The instructions are not great. The manufacturer presumes installation by an upholsterer. (Which may be your best bet.) Wiring connectors only fit together in the intended configuration, which is really nice when you finally get the seats put all back together, and there are several wires sticking out from each cushion. The kit has plenty of excess wire, and you may need to stuff some of it up into the rear of the backrest.

Overall - an excellent value, an excellent product.

These heaters are a godsend. You can keep the top down, and stay toasty warm. (Especially when used in conjunction with the old roadster standby of a wool lap blanket!) We used to freeze our buns off when we'd take wintertime Miata runs in the mountains after dark. The buns now stays nice and warm, courtesy of the seat heaters. I refuse to put the top up, except for the worst of rainstorms, and until now that has meant enduring a little chill on occasion. Chill no more! Between the car's built in heater, and the new seat heaters, shivers are a thing of the past.

I don't give glowing reviews to many products, but these deserve my warmest praise. (No pun intended...) ;)

Difficult to remove without leaving damage

Reviewed by: Jason Lammers - jlammers@aol.com

Duetto Motors Seat Heaters. Thin, heating pad type element which installs underneath the seat covers.

I have a 91 BRG and it doesn't leave the garage unless the top is down. Unfortunately, I live in Northern California where it is chilly most nights. I have longed for additional heat and have always wanted heated seats in my Miata. Duetto Motors answered my prayer with their heated seat kit. Basically, the kit is a thin heating pad element with a lighted switch and all necessary wiring. I found the kit complete but the instructions were generic. I attempted installation but found the leather seat covers just too difficult for me to handle. I took the car to a local upholstery shop where they fitted the heating elements under my leather covers. They charged me $110 labor. Once I had the heating elements installed, the wiring was fairly easy. I mounted the two switches out of site in the armrest cubby (on the opposite side of the gas release). Cutting a perfect rectangular hole was really the only hard part. I ran the wiring under the console and tapped a fuse for power. The system runs great. The seats heat up to 115 degrees before the thermostat kicks in an turns them down. After installing the heaters, I have found that the regular heater is not really needed any longer. My girlfriend (who gets cold easily and then bitches) loves them. We have found ourselves driving around the block just a little longer to enjoy the soothing heat. I highly recommend them to anyone who loves to be cozy. Duetto provided great service and recommend them as well.

Back to Product Reviews 17 April, 1999