Disconnecting Battery to Change Dashboard Lights

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Move shifter out of the way and disconnect battery to change dashboard lights. Learn about steps for installing dashboard lights in a 1996 Ford Explorer in this free auto repair series from a master mechanic.

Part of the Video Series: How to Replace Dashboard Lights
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Video Transcript

Today we're changing instrument cluster lights on a '96 Ford Explorer. In this step I'm going to demonstrate the proper service procedure for dropping our shifter handle out of the way, chalking of the rear wheels, and unhooking of the battery. First thing we're going to do is turn the key on, just like so you can hear the vehicle systems power up. I'm going to apply the brake and actually shift all the way down into low gear. Now we're not going to be going anywhere or doing anything with the vehicle, but the shifter handle is in the way of the instrument cluster, so you're going to want to shift it all the way down and then shut your key off. What we're going to do from there is step out of the vehicle and slip this wheel chalk behind the back tire, I'm going to do that now. Just like so, slip it in there; give it a kick so it's in place. What that will do is keep the vehicle from rolling away while we're servicing it. From there we're going to step up front and unhook the negative battery terminal. Again we're going to unhook the negative battery terminal; we're going to do that because we're going to be inside the electronics of the dash pretty heavy. Anytime you get into that kind of circuitry you're going to want to de-energize the vehicles electrical systems. You're going to do that by unhooking the negative terminal. I have my quarter inch ratchet, and an eight millimeter socket we're just going to unhook the connector from the battery. Give her a little wiggle, just like so. We're going to take it and tuck it out of the way so it doesn't maintain any kind of contact with the battery. That is the proper service procedure for dropping your shifter lever out of the way, chalking the rear wheels, and unhooking your negative battery terminal.

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