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Replacing the Switch Bulbs


Tungsten
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Very nice! Someone knows how to use the macro mode of there camera! :aok: I didn't even know the cruise control switch had a light that came on with the dash lights until the other day, and then it went out again. probably just a bad connection.

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It's not a bad connection. Sometimes the bulb goes bad in such a way where it would work one minute and go off the next.

That would be a broken filament and not a blown one, broken causing an intermittent connection.

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RadioShack or BulbTown.com

Do you have a code or reference number of the lamps in question please. I need to order some of these to be shipped to New Zealand and am having difficulty in sourcing the correct ones. Many thanks.

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Awesome post. I have this issue with the switch for one of my seat heater switches. How do you get that assembly out of the dash to begin with? Is it just thin screwdriver to the side and just wedge/pop it out? Thanks!

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

Finally getting closer to tackling the many switches that have lost their backlights in the dash of my '97. These include: both seat heaters, hazard switch, rear defrost, wiper, directionals, mirror control, and many in the Bose stereo. This thread is likely to be a huge help. But what I'm a bit stuck on is how to get to some of the switches to either replace the bulb..or if that fails...replace the whole switch.

 

First, How do I pop out the hazard and rear defrost switches? They are quite different than the seat heaters which appear more straightforward to get out.

 

Second, the directional and wiper switches seem to be part of what's called a combination switch within the steering column. How hard is this to get at and how to do it??

 

Lastly, with the stereo ones...as best I can tell there isn't an option to replace anything but the whole unit and that is not happening. And of all the ones that have lost their backlighting...the stereo ones I care least about getting fixed.

 

I have a FSM but can't quite get enough detail on how to accomplish the above.

 

Lastly, Interestingly all of the switches noted above work in terms of performing their intended functions...it's just that they aren't backlit when driving at night...so that's not a HUGE deal..but it is annoying...and they are dropping like flies so at some point I'll have a totally dark dash!!! Is it typical for so many switches to continue functioning but simply lose their backlighting??

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why do you need to get the turn signal switch out?

 

 

and the defrost switch just screws into the back of the trim

 

Well...depends...Aren't the turn signal arm and wiper arm suppose to be illuiminated? If not then done. But if so, then ..wouldn't the lack of such illumination require replacement of the switch? if so..then that's why need to replace the switch. IF not so..then done.

 

And thanks for the note on the defrost switch. I subsequently checked the FSM and realized that whole front trim piece around the hazard switch and rear defrost switch comes out with a few screws.

 

ALL of my switches perform their intended function ....there is not a single one that does not....but MANY of them have lost their night time illuimination after 13+ years. It's costly to replace an entire switch just to get the backlighting feature returned...so hoping I can use the info in this thread to repair existing switches....I'm not that picky so that a few of them out doesn't bother me...but at the rate mine are going I'll have an entirely dark dash before long!!

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@piste:

 

The wiper/lighting stalks do not have lights.

 

To access the hazard/rear defrost switches, follow this guide to the third picture. Disconnect the two switches from their harnesses, then use a precision flathead screwdriver to undo the clips so you can pull the switch apart. These switches are damn near impossible to reassemble (unless I've been doing it wrong somehow). If you damage the hazard switch's internal metal contacts, it will result in your turn signals not being functional, so be extremely careful with that switch.

 

The mirror control knob thing does not have any lighting. I wouldn't know about the Bose system since mine was ripped out years ago before I inherited my PF.

 

There is a decent guide with pictures on how to replace your heated seat bulbs with LEDs here, or you can simply follow the guide to replace the bulbs with new 12v microbulbs as well.

 

Are your A/C button bulbs functioning (assuming manual A/C controls)? One of mine died recently so I decided to replace them both. I believe I have pictures of the teardown process to access the bulbs somewhere if you need them.

Edited by Towncivilian
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@piste:

 

The wiper/lighting stalks do not have lights.

 

To access the hazard/rear defrost switches, follow this guide to the third picture. Disconnect the two switches from their harnesses, then use a precision flathead screwdriver to undo the clips so you can pull the switch apart. These switches are damn near impossible to reassemble (unless I've been doing it wrong somehow). If you damage the hazard switch's internal metal contacts, it will result in your turn signals not being functional, so be extremely careful with that switch.

 

The mirror control knob thing does not have any lighting. I wouldn't know about the Bose system since mine was ripped out years ago before I inherited my PF.

 

There is a decent guide with pictures on how to replace your heated seat bulbs with LEDs here, or you can simply follow the guide to replace the bulbs with new 12v microbulbs as well.

 

Are your A/C button bulbs functioning (assuming manual A/C controls)? One of mine died recently so I decided to replace them both. I believe I have pictures of the teardown process to access the bulbs somewhere if you need them.

 

Thank you very much. This is most helpful. So many of the dash switches have lost their back illumination that I can't remember which ones originally had it or did not....like the stalks and mirror control knob for instance...so thanks for that. Ones like the hazard and rear defrost are important to me...so the approach to attempt to repair them looks clear...and if I DO mess it up...worse case is I have to buy a new switch and put that in. Ditto for the seat heaters. As for the stereo...dont' care quite so much about those. It's interesting to me that so many switches lose their backlighting yet continue to perform their primary function.

 

Regarding the A/C...I have the auto temp control...so don't think I have any bulbs there...unless you mean the recirculation and A/C buttons that are underneath the temp control dial??

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I am referring to those recirculation and A/C buttons, yes. Those found in the auto climate control unit can be swapped with LEDs if you so desire (LEDs are brighter and should last longer than the lifetime of the vehicle). There are some details in this forum thread if you want to use LEDs; otherwise you would use standard 12v microbulbs as in other switches, etc. I wasted some cash trying to swap in LEDs for my manual A/C control unit, and nothing worked; it's not even possible to solder LEDs in since the electrical contacts are basically plastic with some electrically conductive material painted on top. I did notice that new 12v microbulbs from Radio Shack were pleasantly brighter, though they are slightly too long and rubbed on the button's internals at first and some resistance was encountered with a button press, but after some use became smoother.

 

If you happen to mess up a switch, make sure to check the local junkyard first, since the hazard switch and rear defroster switch are around $30 new from Courtesy Parts.

Edited by Towncivilian
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I am referring to those recirculation and A/C buttons, yes. Those found in the auto climate control unit can be swapped with LEDs if you so desire (LEDs are brighter and should last longer than the lifetime of the vehicle). There are some details in this forum thread if you want to use LEDs; otherwise you would use standard 12v microbulbs as in other switches, etc. I wasted some cash trying to swap in LEDs for my manual A/C control unit, and nothing worked; it's not even possible to solder LEDs in since the electrical contacts are basically plastic with some electrically conductive material painted on top. I did notice that new 12v microbulbs from Radio Shack were pleasantly brighter, though they are slightly too long and rubbed on the button's internals at first and some resistance was encountered with a button press, but after some use became smoother.

 

If you happen to mess up a switch, make sure to check the local junkyard first, since the hazard switch and rear defroster switch are around $30 new from Courtesy Parts.

 

Hey,

I guess I haven't used the A/C and recirc buttons much over the years...the lights still work on those...for now. Thanks for sharing all the info.

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  • 1 year later...

*thread bump*

 

Can a mod pin this and move to the HowTo section? I am getting requests for this thread like crazy. :lol:

Edited by Tungsten
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