dash lights not working
i noticed at night when i have my lights on, that the dashboard is only half lit up. the left side of it is dark (behind the temperature and half of the tach). i think it's a burnt out light bulb. how do i access the light bulb and change it?
The bulbs are burned out since only part of the dash is affected. You will have to do some very delicate and tedious disassemply to get to the bulbs. This is a job you shouldn't attempt unless you've seen it successfully done. This is a situation where you can easily create a greater problem than you started with. Find a compentent friend that's installed aftermarket guage faces to help you with this.
You can do this yourself. Honestly if you want to save yourself a couple bucks (labour for this is brutal and i installed aftermarket gauges myself and saved a ton). Ok, if your interested on how to do this your going to need a(preferably a stubby) screwdriver (philips head i believe), a big plastic bag to hold random screws and some massive patience. To actually get to the dash assembly, it will take you anywhere from 20 mins (if your fast and know what your doing) to about an hour. The steps - get your philips, look under the dash liner (there should be 2 screws holding up the inner plastic liner (keep in mind, i did this in my 00 civic si but these cars basically have the same layouts when doing this). Unscrew those, put into the plastic bag (try to keep in mind which screws go where when you put them back in after you put the new bulb in). Now VERY CAREFULLY unhook the dash liner....chances are it'll be on 2 hooks on the lower left and right sides. Now you don't wanna tear apart the plastic here by forcing it out. After its removed, your going to have to take (i think it was 4) the restraing bolts out holding the actual dash assembly in. You'll know which ones they are because they'll be galvinized. Take all those screws out and put them into the plastic bag, after that VERY GENTLY (thats the key here) bring the dash assembly out enough to unhook all of the wiring from the back (don't worry, its color and shaped coded, very simple to unhook and hook back up). Once you have the actual assembly out, its pretty much easy street from here. Your going to have to take off the plastic covering for the gauges (there should be little clear plastic clips that you have to pop out to get it off, best way i foudn was to use slim metal shaving to hold each of them out about 1/4 inch all at once. Then with a moderate amount of force, pull of the plastic piece (again...you have to be careful about the clips, basically every clip has to be taken out at the same time for the covering to come off....don't try to take one out one by one, your just wasting time. Once that plastic piece is off (again i havent' done this in a while, excuse me if my directions may be a touch off) i believe you can get to the actual bulbs from here, there'll be a slot opening at the top thats cylindrical that will host the bulbs. Take whichever is blown out and replace. Start the car and check the dash lights to see if it all worked out. Once that is done, just go through the steps that you did to take out the dash in reverse. So Close back the plastic cover, rehook up all the wiring to the back of it, put back the 4 restraining bolts (galvinized ones), slip in the dash liner first, onto the hooks/holders and put back the 2 dash screws to hold it in place. After everything is done. you would have saved yourself roughly 150-210 worth of labour. It's worth it man. Anymore questions then just msg me back ok? Hope it works out!
Also, forgot to mention - once you go through this, your timing for your speedo might be off a bit. It happened with my civic. It doesn't affect anything really, except that it takes an extra second for the car to react from the engine to the speedo to register it on the dash.
To restate what I advised earlier....UNLESS YOU HAVE SEEN THIS DONE SUCCESSFULLY...GET HELP! The other poster has good information; however, you can EASILY OPEN A BUCKET OF WORMS doing this job!
what you could easiy do is get a 6 inch neon strip to put on top to shine down at night, any color of your choosing. you can buy from ebay, streetglow, etc. wont fix the stock lighting obviously but hey it works.
It depends on your vehicle; some are just plug and play others you have to take apart the cluster. For example I have a 94 integra; i can easily remove my cluster from the dash and replace the bulbs from the back of the cluster. They just turn and click in and out of place. The 3 main bulbs are #194; there are also smaller bulbs for the the other gauges in the cluster. Here is a link to a great walk through with pictures: http://www.clubintegra.com/board/showthread.php?t=56586 That thread does talk about changing out to LED bulbs; however you can get the oem replacements at most auto parts stores.
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