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Guest Message by DevFuse
 

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Climate Control Backlight


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75 replies to this topic

#26 Guest_Commuter_*

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Posted 29 December 2001 - 09:30 AM

CincyBuckeye:

I very much suspect that it depends upon the year of the vehicle. As I indicated, I have two different switches in my car. They look identical from the top, but were distinctly different from below. Perhaps Subaru changed the switch a year or two into the model run (96 to 99)? For the most part, my dealer has proven to be competent.

Darn... now you are going to make me tear into my heater switch... another chore. :P <img src=http://www.ezboard.com/intl/aenglish/images/emoticons/ohwell.gif ALT=":\"> :)

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#27 Guest_Commuter_*

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Posted 29 December 2001 - 12:44 PM

CincyBuckeye:

Great work. I just replaced the light in my switch. :)

Upon closer inspection, I'm not sure if either of my switches were replaced (although the tape on the wiring harness is undone and I know I didn't do that. Hmm.) I see now that the two switches are different, most likely for assembly purposes. (Avoiding getting them reversed, be that the arrowhead pointer or which switch operates which side.) And they are color coded. The drivers side switch has a blue coupling and a blue plug. The passenger side switch has white/white. I also discovered that even the plugs are different, making it impossible to connect them in reverse.

On to the guts of the switch. When you spoke of the two bulbs, perhaps I misunderstood you regarding which 'plane' you were describing when you said one was towards the end of the switch and one was more centered. In my switch, the base of the bulbs connected at roughly the 1/3rd and 2/3rds point along the switch. I'm talking in the same plane as that which the slider block operates. However, the rubber boot assemblies are very different. The bulb for the yellow on indicator light is on a stem about 1/2" long or more. The bulb is lifted up into the switch, putting the bulb closer to the rocker cover itself. The bulb for the icon is in a short rubber sheath, less than 1/4" long. This is the bulb that was burned out and I had to change.

The bulb wires are fed through the rubber boot as you indicated. A small needle nose pliers or even a tweezers would be helpful here. I was too lazy to run to Radio Shack just now, so I used a good bulb I had left over from the climate control lights. It is actually slighly longer than the original. I must have pulled too hard on a wire or something, it was burned out when I tried it in the car. I tore the switch apart and had another bulb in and back in the car in about 15 minutes (second time around). It works, but it appears to be dimmer than the other switch. (Aside - I noticed when I changed the icon lights in my foglight, cruise and rear defroster switches that the new bulbs (dealer sourced) were brighter than the originals.) At least I know it is a fairly easy job now if I want to change it out in the future. I used a 9V battery touched to the contracts on the switch to test the second bulb (not sure if this is a good practice or not).

One must be careful opening up the switch. A very small flat screwdriver worked for me. Carefully pop out one side, then do the other. I had also popped the rocker cover off, but it wasn't actually necessary. Lining up the slider block tab to the C socket on the rocker cover wasn't a problem for me. I just centered both of them before snapping the switch back together and that was it. The slider block can move and twist around. Nothing (much) really keeps it in place when it is out of its housing.

Again, great work CincyBuckeye. I tip my hat to you. You are probably right about my dealer. The bulb with rubber assembly/boot may not be a replacement item. They probably didn't go the one extra step of tearing the bulb out of the rubber piece and replacing it. (The info from my dealer is probably close to two years old. I wonder if they know different now.)

Commuter

#28 Guest_Commuter_*

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Posted 31 December 2001 - 12:14 AM

Since this is headed to the archives, I thought I'd add this.

My 97 OB had some burned out bulbs in these switches as well. Again, it was the icon bulb (as I have been calling it), not the orange on indicator bulb that was burned out. When I got the car at 2 years old, one worked, one was intermittent and one was dead.

It turns out that these bulbs are exactly the same as the short climate control backlight bulbs. They have the little round plastic base that twists in 1/4 turn.

Getting the switches out was very easy. One just needs a small flat tipped screwdriver. No need to get inside the dash at all. Wedge the screwdriver in under the switch from inside the car and gently pry up. Be careful not to scratch the dash. The lower edge of the switch will pop free and from there, you can pull the switch straight out of the dash. You don't even need to unhook the wires. Both bulbs (icon and indicator) are mounted on the right side of the switch. Indicator bulb up top, icon bulb below (more centered). Twist out the old one, replace bulb (if you are reusing the base) and twist the new bulb in. Push the switch back into its hole in the dash and snap it in place. Done.

Once I got past my fear of prying on the bottom of the switch to get it out, the entire job (3 switches) took just a few minutes.

Commuter

#29 Guest_EMJR_*

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Posted 01 January 2002 - 10:13 PM

My seat heater switch does not seem to have a bulb in it. Do I need to get a new switch or is there some minibulb inside of the thing?

#30 Guest_CincyBuckeye_*

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Posted 01 January 2002 - 11:23 PM

Based on what Commuter says about the 97 switches, they are different from those in our 98 if they use the same 1/8 turn to insert lights with the green or brown plastic bases (same as behind climate control switches). The 98 has a white rubber base that is pretty long. The 98 does still have two different types of plugs connecting each switch (one blue, one clear plastic) depending on which seat the switch connects to.

For EMJR, what model year are you trying to fix the switches on? If it is a 97 or 98, you must open the housing of the switch to get to the mini-bulbs, as described in Commuter's & my above posts.

#31 Guest_EMJR_*

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Posted 03 January 2002 - 11:00 PM

I bought a '97 OBW last Friday. Its climate control bulbs and seat heater bulbs are burned out.

#32 Guest_Commuter_*

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Posted 04 January 2002 - 12:12 AM

Cincy:

Which switch are you talking about? My seat heater switch is "exactly" as you described. My other post concerned the dash switches for foglight, rear defrost and cruise. They use the same bulbs as the climate control backlighting (little round quarter turn plastic base).

EMJR - just read carefully thru the posts here. Sounds like you have the exact same car as Cincy and I. See the instructions that Cincy or SmashPDX have regarding the climate control back lighting. Follow the other posts for the seat heater switches.

Commuter

#33 Guest_Legacy777_*

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Posted 08 January 2002 - 09:28 PM

Russ.....this is your friendly archiving reminder ;)

#34 Dr Farco

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Posted 03 January 2004 - 10:06 PM

Well, I was roaming around in "searchland" about dashboard lighting
and as reported here, all of my 98OB's
lights were toast. I replaced the HVAC and hazard lightbulbs. Now I found that the cruise and companion switches are supposed to be backlit also...back for more bulbs. As this thread originated in '01, has anyone noted if the Radio Shack bulbs last longer?

Jest wunderin'!:confused:

Dr F.

#35 sdderr

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Posted 09 January 2004 - 10:02 PM

Bought my 95 Legacy and couldn't figure out if the heater buttons were burned out or non-existent. Thanks for all the info! Now, how about lighting for the shifter on an automatic? I have no lights on the console and there are no indicators on the dash. Is the way is it is supposed to be? And if not, how to change those bulbs?

#36 Dr Farco

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Posted 10 January 2004 - 11:24 AM

sdderr: I found some info here:
http://www.ultimates...=console lights

#37 PAezb

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Posted 10 January 2004 - 11:38 AM

In my 96 OBW, I have replaced bulbs in the climate control (including A/C indicator), the cruise, defroster, fog, seat heater switches (both indicator and icons). Used the same RS bulbs #7219 for all of them and all work great. No big deal to do any of them yourself.

Paul

#38 tracedog67

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Posted 10 January 2004 - 08:46 PM

So,

Are you saying for a '97 OBW the buttons to light up the function for the climate control can be replaced without removing the dash? This would be great if so. My '97 OBW climate control buttons work when you push them and the bottom light then come on, but you cannot tell which button you have pushed.

thanks

Tdog

#39 Dr Farco

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Posted 10 January 2004 - 08:53 PM

Trace: This was posted here in another thread. It's not to hard to replace the lights. I just did mine.
http://www.scoobymod...php?threadid=91

#40 WANTONSOUPGUY

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Posted 16 November 2004 - 11:31 PM

I'd like to thank everyone who posted here for bulb replacement. When I realized bulbs in my car were burning out all over I went to 2 Suby dealers and they both told me they didn't sell bulbs and it was a sealed unit. They said I would have to replace my fog light, cruise, rear defrost and drivers heated seat switches....(Isn't that like $500?!?) I went here and found very different, getting 10 bulbs from radio shack for $15 (some are back-ups) saved the day. It is sad that Subaru doesn't allow their technicians that work for them to show their true skill...saving money and resources for their customers and the environment. Thanks again all for the good advice..keep up the good posts!!

#41 SubeeTed

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 04:44 PM

Hi!

I JUST did this this weekend! Took me about an hour. Best tools to have are needle noose pliers and the marnet he talks about.


http://www.scoobymod...php?threadid=91

Just take your time. The "C" clips are a pain!!!

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#42 Arcody

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Posted 12 June 2005 - 11:08 AM

This has been an absolutely wonderful thread and I am coming in a bit late on it but, there is one thing that I've had a problem with and want to mention it here. I have a '96 Legacy LS Wagon.

While I had the climate control assembly out of the dash and was replacing the three bulbs shown at:

http://www.scoobymod...php?threadid=91

I needed to replace the bulb inside of the A/C actuator switch, that engages the compressor, located on the lower left hand side of the climate control assembly. The nice thing was that the switch comes out through the front of the console without having to remove the entire assembly, as is necessary for the other bulbs. Just detach the one small harness that is shown in the middle of photo number six, at the link above, push down on the lock lever and slide the entire switch out through the front of the climate control assembly.

Once I removed the bulb holder (the same way with a 1/4 turn and out) I replaced the bulb with the same Radio Shack #7219 bulb and reassembled the switch. When I engaged the switch, it stuck in the "on" position and wouldn't come out without some force and manipulation. I pulled the bulb holder out and put the switch back together. Worked fine; smooth on/off action. Only when the new bulb was in the switch did it bind. Turns out that the original bulb is just a tad shorter than the Radio Shack bulb, and so rubs up against the top of a low spot in the switch cylinder when engaged.

Radio Shack doesn't have a similar bulb (12v/60mA) that is smaller so I'll have to go to a local electronics store or to Subaru dealership for that one.

This has been a pretty inclusive thread on this subject and I may be the only one that has had this problem, or maybe I'm doing something wrong since this has not been brought up in this thread so far.

Anybody else had this problem or know what I'm talking about? Or am I doing something wrong and over-thinking a simple answer?

thanks
Arcody

#43 Commuter

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Posted 12 June 2005 - 11:43 AM

Just thought I'd add a note.

I've changed the bulbs 3 times in my 97 OB. I do about 2 to 3 times the driving of an average person, and I always turn my lights on (despite the DRL, I like to have the tailights on too). This means that my dash lights are always on.

Regarding lifespan...

I got about 1.5 years (each time) out of the Subaru bulbs I used the first 2 times. The last time, I used the RS 7219 bulbs. That was about 3 years ago and they are still going. So to answer an earlier question, I say yes, the RS bulbs do last longer.

Side note...

I wasn't able to put the green condom on the 7219 bulbs as they are considerably smaller than the prior Subaru bulbs. (If memory serves me, the second Subaru set of bulbs were bigger than the first and/or original bulbs). So, I have a white backlight instead of green, but no matter.

I just noticed that one of my dash switch icon bulbs (foglight) has gone out. The others (cruise and rear defrost) will probably follow soon. I'm not sure if I have Subaru bulbs (I think so) or 7219 bulbs in there. It it several years since I changed them though. At least they are very simple to get at.

Commuter

#44 okcjohn

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Posted 21 October 2005 - 12:47 PM

I have a 2003 Forester, the climate control is three knobs (temperature, blower, and vents). After getting a stereo installed, the backlight behind the temperature knob is out. The stereo store is working with me to replace it, agreeing to order the light kit wholesale, split the cost with me, and install it.

The part number Subaru gave me is 72350SA000, differenent from part numbers referenced in previous postings. The price from 2 different dealers was $47 and $55. It's described as a 3 light assembly. The blown bulb pulled out has a white plastic base, flat on the bottom with a slot to twist it into place.

Does anyone know how to pull the climate control unit on the '03 Forester? It seems easy, the installer does it in no time, but I didn't see him do it and I think it's a trade secret.

thanks,
john

#45 chef_tim

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Posted 30 October 2005 - 08:41 AM

Before I tear into this project, I have a question. Do the pictograms of the little dude light up or is it just the indicator lights under the buttons that light???? 97 OBW. Thanks, Tim

#46 Commuter

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Posted 30 October 2005 - 11:04 AM

Before I tear into this project, I have a question. Do the pictograms of the little dude light up or is it just the indicator lights under the buttons that light???? 97 OBW. Thanks, Tim

The pictograms of the little "dude" light up if you change the burned out bulbs. As well as the blue/red strips under the temperature slide lever, etc.

The lights under the buttons (LED's I believe) typically always work. They are not the issue.

Commuter

#47 Cougar

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Posted 30 October 2005 - 12:31 PM

I haven't needed to replace any of my bulbs yet so I haven't really looked at one of these yet but I assume you are talking about a miniature bulb with leads on it. There has been mention of different colors for these bulbs. I see there are also red, blue, and green ones available from Radio Shack along with the clear ones. Here is a link to them.

http://www.radioshac...kw=12 volt bulb

#48 jkrz

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 02:48 PM

good day
this message board communication is new to me
so please, if i mess it up, let me know
so i can correct my ways
you speak of LED technology and soldering that would be an excellent alternative!!
but would a current limiting resistor be necessary in this circuit?
Please help us!!
thanks again
joe

They use these little green rubber covers that are prone to tearing if you're overly aggressive. If you're familiar with soldering and LED technology, high-intensity LED's work too. You'd need to scrape the faces for less focused light beam, tho. And they come in blue.

Meep



#49 lekmedm

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 03:25 PM

Thank you to all who contributed to this thread. I just fixed my climate control lights yesterday with Radio Shack bulbs, and everything works great now!


:banana:

#50 IvanDashSmith

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 05:29 PM

hey everyone, I think I MIGHT be having the same problem, but I am not sure ( I got my 97 outback on friday). The lights under the buttons for vent mode (floor vents, dash vents, etc.), and the AC light comes on. Does anything else light up on unit?

Does anyone have any pictures of the unit turned on? (maybe a picture at night with no flash.)




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