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95 legacy- I have the unit out of dash but cannot see or find a bulb that can be replaced. Am I outdated with technology? appreciate help there

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I went to the dealer and they said they can't find the part number for the AC button.

 

I replaced my lights with LED's

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The bulb/ light for the AC button itself is not serviceable, if that bulb goes out you have to buy another heater control head...I have had numerous ones apart and have never found a way to remove everything so that it will go back together properly to replace that bulb, it actually just went out again in my 96 Legacy the other day...

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wow really? That's stupid.. but it does have a bulb behind the switch?[/quote

Ill bet there is a bulb behind there, why Subaru didnt make it serviceable is beyond me, though I do work for them...:lol:

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The bulb/ light for the AC button itself is not serviceable, if that bulb goes out you have to buy another heater control head...I have had numerous ones apart and have never found a way to remove everything so that it will go back together properly to replace that bulb, it actually just went out again in my 96 Legacy the other day...

 

As others have found, I think, this is not a true statement.

 

The A/C button slides out of the control unit.  You lift a tab on the back of the unit and push the A/C button out.  There is one bulb on there with the 1/4 turn base just like the other dash bulbs.  In my 95 Legacy LS, this bulb was even a bit shorter than the OEM bulbs in the control button bulbs.  I used a Radio Shack #7219, sku 272-1092, $1.99 for a pair) bulb just like the others and there was no colored sleeve (or "bulb rubber) on the A/C bulb.

 

I did encounter a minor issue: the RS bulb is just a smidge longer than the bulb in there so when you go to push the A/C button in and out it still engages/disengages, but it is a bit sticky like it is getting hung up slightly on the longer bulb.  Upon inspection, I saw in area beneath where the bulb sits there is a slight mount of plastic (the opposite of a dimple).  It looked like just enough to rub against the longer RS bulb and cause the stickiness.

 

I removed a cover on the A/C switch body to access: there are four tabs that you gently pry open and the switch comes apart.

NOTE: be careful as there is a spring in there that assists with the switch return.  It isn't super strong, but it did fly out a few inches (onto the towel I had down to catch any small parts).  Once I had that cover off, I could get at the bottom half of the switch body and closer to that little nub of plastic that was interfering with the RS bulb.  I hit it with a dremel bit for just a few seconds and removed a mm or two of plastic.

 

I reassembled the switch (with the spring back in the little tubular channel and the back edge of the switch behind the metal clip you see) and this eliminated the hangup created by the RS bulb.

 

I just installed and tested it and my A/C button is back in the world of illumination (blue)...and moves freely.

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Are there really drop-in LED units that come in that size (the size of the RadioShack bulb referenced above)?

Edited by avk

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I applied the Subaru Radio Shack bulb wisdom to my 2001 Civic.  The recirc, A/C, rear defrost buttons are lit up with little base bulbs just like the Legacy.  Same deal, the dealer charges a crazy amount for the replacement (which includes a new plastic base).

Another $1.99 for a 2-pack from Radio Shack, a few screws and my rear defrost button lights up again.

 

When searching for Honda threads on this with pictures on how to get at the bulbs, I was surprised that no one in any of the forums I came across mentioned using the Radio Shack bulb.  Those Honda guys all go for the OEM replacement I guess!

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I wonder they goes for OEM because the Radio Shack ones are intended for Stable volts / amperes of 12V current, found usually on appliances; while a car develops around 13.5V with fluctuating volts / amperes; so I bet that those Radio Shack's bulbs will not last much longer...

 

While, in the other hand, Automotive bulbs usually has thicker filaments to bear with extra voltage / amperage, and automotive LEDs (usually) comes with a resistor welded in one of their contacts, to help stabilize the input current.

 

Kind Regards.

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