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Repair Guide: Replacing H/AC bulbs "for dummies"

Old 01-30-2011, 01:26 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 6
Default Replacing H/AC bulbs "for dummies"

Thanks to all the info I found on this site I took the plunge and replaced my blown out bulbs. It really wasn't difficult at all. Being somewhat of a novice in the fix-it category maybe I can help other amateurs with a step-by-step explanation.

I am assuming the dashboard is opened up and ready to remove the heater control assembly.

1. Remove the 2 screws holding the H/AC ***'y in place.
2. Pull out ***'y slightly and unplug the harness in the rear. Take the unit to a well lit work area.
3. With the face down, remove the 3 silver screws keeping the face and black box together. Be careful not to yank on the wires connecting them. These wires are soldered to each part so you will have to work with them connected. Keep the seperated face part "face down" so the plastic controls don't spill out.
4. It uses 6 bulbs Radio Shack part #272-1154, about 2 bucks each. The temp control bulbs look different than the **** bulbs but I was told they're the same rating.
5. There is a blue plastic sleeve over the 4 **** control bulbs. Carefully remove these to put on the new ones. They rip pretty easily so patience.
6. Remove the bad bulbs with the iron and replace with the new ones. There's no polarity issues with the wires so just put 'em in. If you've never soldered before I'd strongly recommend you get someone to do it. You can mess up your board with the heat and then you'll be spending $300 bucks to replace the board.
7. I heated the old solder while sticking a needle through a few times to get rid of the old solder and opening up the holes. It seemed to work well because they use just a tiny drop of solder when making the board.
8. Having another person to hold the board steady when soldering is ideal. A vise would be an alternate. I had neither and it was pretty clumsy while soldering.
9. Replace the blue sleeves on the **** controls and you're done.
10. Put everything back in the dash and marvel that it actually works! If you are fairly efficient in soldering the whole job can take an hour at most. The dasboard opens up in literally 3 minutes.

When the weather gets warmer I'm gonna buy some colored cellophane and put that behind the ***** and see if that will give me color options.
Old 02-02-2011, 06:06 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: West Michigan
Posts: 16

Just saw this tonight, great write-up. I had been wondering what a suitable bulb would be. My drivers side is totally dead.

Old 07-04-2011, 02:34 AM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Cleveland Ohio 216
Posts: 161

If i use a led bulb do i need a resistor on it?
Old 09-18-2011, 12:09 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 74

Originally Posted by shotime105 View Post
If i use a led bulb do i need a resistor on it?
i think you do. also, i think imma measure the forward voltage coming from different pcb spots in the vehicle and make a list and post it.

i checked my alarm receiver tonight and it was reading like 11.77 mV - i might have had it on the wrong thing, but im pretty sure 12 mV isn't enough to run any LED that i currently own.
Old 12-10-2011, 09:13 AM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 163

Any pics of this?
Old 12-10-2011, 10:40 AM
red04montels's Avatar
Monte Of The Month -- September 2010
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 9,356

you will need a resistor, the hardest part of this is the soldering, if you melt the board it more than likely won't work anymore so then you'll have to start from scratch.

this is a steering wheel button but the same thing

Old 12-25-2011, 10:53 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Posts: 392

I need to do this and have soldered wiring harnesses and speaker wire but that's it. I have an instant heat gun. Kinda scared to do it though honestly!
Old 01-25-2012, 06:54 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Johnston, IA
Posts: 48

Hey I am having trouble with the process. I got the back off and am having trouble with getting the circuit board off of the face plate. It feels like the ***** are holding it tight in. Are there any tricks? Gotta hate the thought of prying it up and cracking the circuit board.
Old 01-25-2012, 07:15 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Johnston, IA
Posts: 48

Here is some added information - before you pull the back off of the HVAC unit, you must remove the two round ***** and the two slider ends. They pry off with a screwdriver. If you don't do that, the circuit board will not come off.
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