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Memory seat ECU failure

Enquiries regarding global seat ecu failure are coming in with increasing regularity. So much so that I have put together here some of the info I have to help you determine the best course of action to take.

For several years now I have been supplying NiMh seat memory batteries to replace the original NiCad batteries that leaked corrosive fluid over the circuit board. Initially this was an easy fix provided there wasn't too much damage caused to the surrounding components. In 2009 I sourced the darlington array drivers from the original manufacturer in the USA.  These, along with the low profile solder sockets supplied, allowed the chips nearest the battery to be replaced as the solder pins for the original chips suffered damage in most cases, especially those nearest the battery.  Corrosion was found to cause a shorting of the pins with the result that driver control of seat and mirror movements became unreliable. Generally, replacing these components solved the majority of problems, once the original chip was removed from the board then damaged tracks could be identified visually or by test meter and then cleaned up and repaired. At this point I would like to mention the fact that if you are fortunate enough to have a fully functionable drivers memory seat then it is imperative you inspect the ecu board within the metal box, the original NiCd battery will leak if it hasn't done so already and we advise that the upgraded NiMh replaces it. It is a very cheap guarantee your ecu will last again at least the lifetime it has already had.

Other problems sometimes misdiagnosed as an ecu failure are the seat or mirror switches not functioning 100%.  Contacts on both switches can become contaminated causing spurious operation, chances are that if some switch functions are working then the ecu may be ok and the problem lays within either of the switches other contacts, but check the ecu board as well. The seat switch itself is serviceable whereas the mirror toggle switch may be ok if saturated with a penetrative switch cleaner. Beware the seat switch self service attempt, there are 16 spring loaded ball bearings, 8 springs under tension, various plastic rockers and 4 rocker contacts to contend with. Any of the 4 plastic lugs on the switch housing lid are easily broken on removal too.

Seat switch servicing

We offer seat switch servicing both driver and passenger, memory or non memory,  at £25 + the cost of return delivery via a signed for service, you would need to send us the switch via a recorded service. In the unlikely event we find the switch is unserviceable we will inform you of this fact and offer you the options we have available. These options vary depending on what parts we have at the time. We will test the switch and ensure it works on one of my own vehicles prior to despatch. If on refitting this switch to your vehicle the system is still found to be not working then the problem must lie elsewhere, for the system to work correctly all functions need to be ok.  We therefore cannot be responsible for subsequent failure after refit. Switches are accepted here on the understanding that failure of the system to function correctly, once replaced, is not our responsibility.  We will however continue to assist you in solving the problem to the best of our ability.

Switch service per switch at £25

UK signed for return rate £7

European signed for return rate 12.50

Rest of world signed for return rate £18.00

All return methods are via a signed for service and full insurance is included.

ECU Inspection & Testing service

Another service we can provide is inspection and then testing of your ecu on a vehicle we have where all the functions are known to work, either my own soft dash or one of my hard dash LSE models. We will perform a basic bench inspection and test prior to this to ensure no damage is likely to occur, either to your ecu or my own vehicle. If it is found the processor is visually damaged, this is normally irreperable, then we will inform you and not test any further. The cost of this service is therefore two tiered-

Bench work is fixed at £25

Real time testing is £35

UK return shipping is £12

European return shipping is £18

Rest of world return shipping is £30

All return methods are via a signed for service and full insurance is included. Returned ECUs are double bubble bagged.

You would be charged the 2 tier rate of £60 + relevant shipping, a refund paid back into your paypal account of the 2nd tier amount if real time testing is not feasible as a result of the bench test.

Replacement non memory ecu

As a last resort we can now offer a replacement ecu to restore full seat/mirror functionality but without the memory facility. We have found that the vast majority of customers are content with just the ability to move the seats and mirrors on the button without memory.  These have been manufactured in the USA for us and have been individually tested and certified before receipt. We would need your ECU complete with harness sent to our workshop where we would mount the replacement board in your box with your harness fitted. We would then real time test to ensure the ecu/harness combination is ok, then seal and certify the box before sending the complete unit back to you. This replacement unit comes with a 2 year manufacturers warranty. This service is £350 + the relevant shipping rate as above.  If you have sent us your ecu for an inspection & test and then decide to take this replacement option we will deduct your original payment from the total. Again, this replacement ecu relies on the rest of the system to function ok. If upon fitting it is found that the system fails to be fully functional then the problem lies elsewhere within the system, any faults must be rectified before this ecu can work properly.