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How to Replace the Dash Lights on Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

The Volkswagen car has several lights situated on the instrument cluster of the vehicle. These lights are collectively referred to as "dash lights. " The dash lights allow you to see the gauges of the instrument cluster in dark conditions, and they also act as warning indicators whenever your Volkswagen car needs maintenance. If the dash lights burn out, you can easily replace them. As the instrument cluster needs to be removed in order to replace the dash lights, it can take some time to complete the project, but it is a relatively simple task.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace the Dash Lights on a Neon

Accessing Dash Light Bulbs

Disconnect the ground cable from the negative battery terminal. Use a wrench to loosen the retaining bolt. Then pull the clamp off the terminal.

Remove the dash top cover. The dash top cover is the panel that sits above the instrument cluster. Part of this piece also extends below and around the instrument cluster. Use a flat blade screwdriver to carefully pry the dash top cover away from the dash. Then remove it from the vehicle.

Unscrew the four screws that connect the instrument cluster to the housing, using a Phillips screwdriver.

Pull the instrument cluster toward the rear of the vehicle, but do not disconnect the odometer wire. You need to be able to access the back side of the cluster.

Remove the bulbs. The bulbs will be labeled on the back of the instrument cluster. Remove the burned out bulb or bulbs by turning them counter clockwise. Then pull the bulb out.

Insert a new bulb into the appropriate hole in the instrument cluster. Turn it clockwise to secure it.

Reinstalling Instrument Cluster

Push the instrument cluster into position inside the cluster housing.

Screw the four retaining screws through the cluster mounting holes and into the dash, using a Phillips screwdriver.

Lay the dash top cover into position above the instrument cluster. Using the palm of your hand, carefully push down on the retaining clips, to secure the top cover.

Reconnect the ground cable to the negative battery terminal. Slide the clamp over the terminal. Then use a wrench to tighten the retaining bolt.

Items you will need

  • Wrench set

  • Flat blade screwdriver

  • Phillips screwdriver

 How to Replace the Dash Lights on a 2005 Chevy 1500

Adjust the steering column so that the steering wheel is located as low as possible. This will allow you to gain comfortable access to the instrument cluster.

Use the screwdriver to remove the two screws on the bezel that encases the instrument cluster. Pull the bezel out from the dashboard and put it in a safe place.

Remove the three screws that secure the instrument cluster to the dash of the 2005 Chevy 1500. Put the screws in a safe place for reattachment later on.

Unplug the connector and remove the cluster. Unlock the bulb cluster and remove the the worn-out bulbs by turning them counterclockwise and pulling them out. Insert new bulbs and turn them clockwise until they lock.

Insert the instrument cluster back into the dash. Attach the connector and insert the three case screws back in to position. Screw in the bezel to complete the process. Turn on the vehicle to ensure the dash lights are working correctly.

Items you will need

  • Phillips head screwdriver

 How to Replace the Dash Lights on a Sebring

Disconnect the negative ("-") cable from the battery. This will ensure that you don't accidentally set off your airbag when working on your dashboard.

Sit in the driver's seat of the Sebring, and lower the steering wheel to its lowest possible position. This will allow you to gain easy access to the instrument panel.

Remove the screws on the bezel around the instrument panel. Remove the bezel, and place it securely on the passenger seat.

Remove the three mounting screws that attach the instrument panel to the dashboard. Unplug the connector connecting the instrument panel to the battery terminal, and remove the panel from the dash

Unscrew the broken bulbs, and replace them with the new ones. Turn the bulbs tightly in a clockwise position so that they lock in place.

Place the instrument panel back in the dash, and reattach the bezel following the removal instructions in reverse. Turn on the engine to ensure all the lights on the dash of the Sebring are now working correctly.

Items you will need

  • Phillips Screwdriver

 How to Replace Dash Lights on Jettas

Turn the Jetta's engine off and remove the keys from the ignition.

Lift up the upper dash trim from the instrument cluster. Remove its two screws with a Phillips-head screwdriver. Remove the upper dash trim.

Remove the four holding screws from the instrument cluster, using a Phillips-head screwdriver. Pull the instrument cluster out towards you and disconnect its electrical connector.

Reach behind the instrument cluster to locate the bulbs. Remove any burnt-out bulbs by pulling them straight out of the instrument cluster.

Install replacement #161 bulbs, as necessary, by pushing them into the rear of the instrument cluster. Place the cluster back into the Jetta and reattach its electrical connector.

Reattach the four holding screws and the upper dash trim. Reattach the upper dash trim's screws.

Items you will need

  • Phillips-head screwdriver

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.

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