How to Remove the Check Engine Light Bulb in an Altima

by Daniel Valladares

The "check engine" light in your Nissan Altima is one of the many lights found on the vehicle's instrument cluster. Unlike most vehicles, the Nissan Altima uses LED lights for its cluster lights. Accessing the cluster lights involves removing the gauge cluster. Replacing the lights is slightly more complicated, as you have to solder on the lights. Disconnect the battery before proceeding so you don't take the chance of setting off the air bags while removing the gauge cluster.

Turn off the Altima's engine. Open the hood.

Disconnect the negative cable from the battery.

Remove the four holding screws from the dash bezel with a Phillips screwdriver. There are two on the upper bezel and two on the lower bezel. Remove the bezel from the vehicle.

Remove the two retaining screws from the gauge cluster with a Phillips screwdriver. Disconnect the electric cable from the rear of the gauge cluster. Pull the gauge cluster out of the Altima.

Remove the front cover from the gauge cluster by disengaging the two snap clips on each side of the cluster.

Heat the "check engine" bulb with the soldering iron to remove it. Solder the new bulb onto the underside of the gauge cluster to install it. Be sure not to burn the circuit board.

Reassemble the gauge cluster and place it back into the vehicle. Reconnect the electrical cable and reinstall the two screws.

Reinstall the dash bezel and its four screws. Reconnect the battery and close the hood.

Items you will need


About the Author

Daniel Valladares began his career as a medical writer in 2008. He has written patient education brochures for several pharmaceutical companies and has worked as an auto mechanic at Kim's Speedy Auto Service since 2007. Valladares holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Rice University and is currently studying to become a personal trainer.