Removing Instrument Cluster Lights From Dashboard

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Find the dashboard light that has burned out. Learn about procedures 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 clip I'm going to demonstrate the proper service procedure for changing an instrument cluster light bulb. Now I have the cluster out and in my hands, the lights all plug in on the back side. I'm going go ahead and turn it around for you so you can take a look. All of these little knobs are bulbs for different things. Like this one right here is for your traction control, you have an anti-theft, your check engine, voltage, over drive off light, all of these little ones are for specific label devices. Now the bulb that's burned out on my vehicle, is this bulb right here. This portion the center portion of my tachometer doesn't light up at all. That's going to indicate that it's this large 194 bulb. Every one of these is just going to take and just unscrew in a counter-clockwise direction, I'm going to go ahead and show you that right now. Just like so. Once you unscrew it you can take and remove it from the circuit board and as you can see the bulbs is burned out, it's all dim and nasty looking, that means it's no good. I'm going to take and unplug it and throw it away. I have a new 194, you can see that it's nice and clean and clear, we're going to take and plug it into the terminal, slip it into the instrument cluster circuit board, you can see it's got an alignment tab right there, I'm going to drop it in and rotate it clockwise to engage it. Just like so. Now you're going to want to take and replace all of the bulbs when you have this guy out. Those bulbs are like less than a dollar a piece, and you can see that it's a significant job to get to them. So like I said you're going to take and replace them all. That is the proper service procedure for replacing the actual light bulbs in your instrument cluster.

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