1994 Lexus ES300 instrument pod


Asked by May 22, 2008 at 11:29 AM about the 1994 Lexus ES 300 Base

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

All the red luminous gage dials have gradually faded to black, making them very difficult to see. Is there any way, short of replacing the entire pod, to fix this?

5 Answers


Nope. The backlighting system requires the pod to be disassembled for repair.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Just to be clear. Does this mean I can or cannot repair the pod? It's not worth it to disassemble and repair? It's more economical to replace the pod?


Getting the pod out is a little tricky, but the steering wheel can remain in place. There are two screws on top, and clips on the bottom and it slides out just enough to carefully remove the connectors - note there is a connector on the bottom for the milage reset buttons. Replacing the bulbs is a trick, since my 1994 bulbs have a special blue covering, but you can get them at the dealer. If the needles are out, this will cost some money. You will have to disassemble the cluster and replace the board with the needles (speedo and tach). Cost, about $300. If the Temp and Gas needles are out, the servo for them has to be replaced with the needle. If you get new ones, keep them at the lowest brightness setting so that you see them, and this will help keep their life. There were companies online that sold replacement needles for the ES, or repaired them, but I didn't have luck with them. If the car radio lights are out, they are soldered in and hard to replace. If the AC LCD backlights are out, the LCD needs to be replaced. My lights started to go out at 10 years and at 13 years old I replaced them all. I had everything apart about three times, and it was very expensive >$600. I tried ebay, and the junk yard, and all the parts I got had the needles burned out. Also, and interesting thing is if you swap the instrument pod, the mileage number is stored in the Pod, so you will get the milage of whatever junk car you had. I also tripped the airbag MIL, and had to reset this using a trick I found on the Internet. If you are comfortable with tools, you can do it. Good luck!

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

what is the trick you found on the internet to reset the airbag light? I have been looking, I found one for the larger 400, but none for the es 300. Thanks for any help!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

There was a sequence to ground a terminal alternating after turning on the car for a couple seconds. I found it on the internet, a guy made a switch to do it, but I managed to do it with a jumper wire. The LS400 description looks very close. I can't find the original post.

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