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'01 OBW- Bulb replacement question


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9 replies to this topic

#1 Atomic Robot

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Posted 12 December 2003 - 12:58 PM

I found some great references here on the USMB about how to replace the backlight bulb for my cruise control switch, but still need some info about changing the bulb for the autotrans gear shift indicator:

#1- how do I get the woodgrained trim piece off without breaking it; where do I pry it off (it doesn't seem to have any screws)?

#2- where is the bulb located? Do I need to remove anything else?

#3- part number / can I find one at Radio Shack when I pick up the bulb for the cruise control?

Thanks.

#2 alias20035

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Posted 12 December 2003 - 06:54 PM

Originally posted by Atomic Robot
I found some great references here on the USMB about how to replace the backlight bulb for my cruise control switch, but still need some info about changing the bulb for the autotrans gear shift indicator:

#1- how do I get the woodgrained trim piece off without breaking it; where do I pry it off (it doesn't seem to have any screws)?

#2- where is the bulb located? Do I need to remove anything else?

#3- part number / can I find one at Radio Shack when I pick up the bulb for the cruise control?

Thanks.



Here is the info for the cruise control bulb (which you already have, but I am posting it for others):

The wood grain panel should pull off without tools, it will not be easy though. The dash area around the panel can be flexed to help release the panels locking tabs. You can also remove the small storage bin, and reach up and push the panel out.

Once the panel is off, you can release the wiring harnesses from the switches. The switch can then be released from the panel, this may require a flathead screwdriver to pop the switches locking tab.

There are two lights on the switch, one for "Cruise" and the other for the orange indicator. Both are in bulb holders that are removable by unscrewing and pulling out of the switch body.

Radio shack 12v clear bulbs with simple wire leads can be used.

See this web page for more information


Which autotrans indicator light, the dash one or the one in the shift lever console?

#3 Atomic Robot

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Posted 13 December 2003 - 11:19 PM

Thanks, alias- I forgot to ask about the woodgrain around the cruise switch.

The center console light is the one I was wondering about- it looks like I might be able to get the trim off without tools as well, but I'm not sure which direction to pull- toward the driver's side, straight back, or what?

#4 alias20035

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Posted 14 December 2003 - 03:13 AM

Originally posted by Atomic Robot
Thanks, alias- I forgot to ask about the woodgrain around the cruise switch.

The center console light is the one I was wondering about- it looks like I might be able to get the trim off without tools as well, but I'm not sure which direction to pull- toward the driver's side, straight back, or what?



I am fairly sure it pops straight up, and you might need the shift lever in neutral (set the hand brake). If it is like the 5MT you pry the rear (near hand brake) first.

The first time that these come apart is the hardest. Tools are not recommended, but if absolutely necessary use a wide flat prybar and wrap it with masking tape to protect the trim.

I don't know which bulb is under there, but odds are that is the common style like the cruise switch. Be sure to replace ALL bulbs on the panel, since the Radio Shack bulbs tend to be brighter than the Subaru ones (not much brighter, but side by side you will notice it).

#5 Atomic Robot

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Posted 15 December 2003 - 12:59 PM

Thanks again, alias- now I just have to find the time; probably not 'til after the holidays...

BTW- I read the old "Climate Control Backlight" thread from 2001 again and realized that the backlights in the seat heater switches were fried as well. Since neither of them worked, I never knew they WERE backlit.

So... Cruise Control (dead) + Fog Lights & Wiper Heater (to match) + Shifter Console (dead) + 2 x Seat Heater (dead) = 6 total. I also found that one of my 3rd Brake Light bulbs is gone, too. Man- what is it with late-model Subies and light bulbs? I had my '93 for 7 years and never had to replace a single one! :cornfuzz:

#6 Commuter

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Posted 15 December 2003 - 05:57 PM

Man- what is it with late-model Subies and light bulbs? I had my '93 for 7 years and never had to replace a single one!



I haven't owned that many cars in my time, but I agree. Headlight bulbs, brakelight bulbs, yes. Interior lights? NO!

I drive about 3 hours per day. My lights (and hence all the interior backlights, switch lights, etc.) are always on. I've change them 3 times now over 5 years. This would probably be once in 5 years for an average driver.

Crazy. One of those things about being a Subaru-ite I guess. :-)

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#7 Atomic Robot

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 01:17 PM

I had some free time at lunch today, so I took apart the center console; the woodgrain trim came off easily, just as you described- thanks, alias. Popped it up from the back and sort of gently worked each side free.

It took a little work to get the bulb socket unscrewed- very awkward to get to, but i was able to twist it out with my index fingers. When I got it apart, I saw that it was much different from the Radio Shack micro-bulbs I got for the switches; this is a much bigger bulb that is flat at the bottom where the contacts are. RS didn't have anything that even remotely resembled it, so I drove down the street to the dealer.

The parts guy was really helpful- he looked it up in the book and (no surprise) Subaru only sells the bulb+socket assembly for the bargain price of $10.99. He said that seemed pretty stupid, took a look at the bulb and determined that it was a universal type. We couldn't read anything on it, but he handed me a 3W replacement and said to give it a try- no charge. :headbang:

I plugged it in and it seems to work fine although I'm not sure if it's exactly the same as the original. Under better light I can see that it says "S14V", but I can't read what's written underneath.

That's one down...

#8 Atomic Robot

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 02:28 PM

Forgot to add this important information:

Quotes from dealer service department...

Replace Lamp in 3rd Brake Light: $27 :(

Replace Shifter Console Bulb: $50 :eek:

Replace Cruise Switch Assy: $100 :slobber:

Didn't get a price on the Seat Heater Switches, but think that it's safe to assume another $100 apiece for a grand total of $377 :madder:

DIY price = less than $10 and maybe a couple hours of work, tops. Did I mention how happy I was to find all this how-to info here on USMB? :-)

#9 Atomic Robot

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Posted 23 December 2003 - 01:02 AM

Fixed the dead bulb in the 3rd brake light the other day- the easiest one I've ever replaced; pry off 2 small covers, remove two screws, pop out old bulb and push in a new one. Five minutes + $1 for the replacement bulb.

Today I was getting anxious to fix the cruise control switch, so when I got home from work I tried to get the trim panel apart. It was looking like I might have to use something to pry it off, but I realized that I could get a finger between the steering column and the trim piece. I sort of pulled it up and toward me, and it popped right out, no problem. Disconnected the 3 switches and brought the whole thing inside to work on.

Fixing the mini bulbs was easier than I thought- see the link that alias posted for reference. The first one took 5 minutes. I re-connected the switches and everything was working, but the new bulb was noticeably brighter than the others so I replaced them as well- only took about 2 minutes apiece this time around.

Last thing left to tackle are the seat heater switches which are a bit more intimidating since I understand they must be disassembled to get to the bulbs. At some point I'll take them out and have a look to see if I think I can rebuild them.

#10 katmai

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Posted 23 December 2003 - 08:02 PM

These are quite easy to fix. Generally when the bulb fails the seat heaters do not work.

To remove these switches undo the screws holding the plastic console the switches are located in. These screws are under the centre console arm rest

Once you have the console out disconnect
the 2 wiring harness's. They have different plugs so you cannot mix them up.

Pop out the switches so you can work on them. I used a small flathead screwdriver to pry out the rocker switch body. Do this over a container in case you the springs pop out. Note the way in which the rocker body is orientated for when you re assemble the switch.

The bulb is located in a plastic fitting with the wires threaded is a S. It is easy to remove.
I replaced both mine with the radio shack 12v bulb shown in the previous thread. Just cut off the excess wire when you have finished putting the new bulb in the plastic holder.
Then reassemble. Usually it is a good time to clean out all the grunge that collects under the swich console as well.




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