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...change a burnt out instrument panel bulb in a...


Question by Cam
Submitted on 4/7/2004
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How do you change a burnt out instrument panel bulb in a 1994 Jetta. I guess the real question is how do you gain access to the bulb without taking the whole car apart ?

Answer by Lews_Therin
Submitted on 8/25/2004
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First off it's easier to see what to do if you buy the Haynes Manual ($20 CAN) or the official Service Guide from Volkswagen ($100 CAN)!!

I bought a 94 Jetta that had both dash lights out do was forced to replace them or not see how fast I was going at night =(

Tools Required:  One standard Phillips (X shaped) and two smaller Flathead (/ shaped)

Parts:  Replacement bulbs - just tell the VW parts guy which ones are out and he will be able to give you the right ones
Step by Step:

1) Carefully pry off the plastic piece beside the headlight switch

2) Next pry out the headlight switch itself by depressing the plastic piece on the side of it that you just uncovered (take a look at the part of the switch inside the dash and you will see it.  I used a small flathead screwdriver to push it in while I pulled) You will then see one of the two bolts holding the "shroud" in place

3) Pry off the plastic piece (again - carefully) on the other side of the shroud at the same spot.  I found that taking the piece off that was right next to it made it easier.  This will expose the other bolt holing the shroud on.

4) Remove both bolts from the shroud

5) Make sure your tilt steering is as low as it will go to ensure lots of space to remove the shroud

6) There are three plastic tabs holding the top of the shroud in place.  Take a smallish flathead screwdriver and carefully pry the three tabs out.

7) Stick the screwdriver in between the shroud and the dash to ensure they don't go back into place. (I almost broke them trying to get this off before figuring this out)

8) Take our other flathead screwdriver and insert it behind the shroud - in between the clear plastic of the instrument panel and the back of the shroud on one side (doesn't matter which side you start with) and carefully pull it towards you.  That side should slide partway out.

9) Repeat step 8 for the other side and remove the shroud

10) You will now see the bolts holding the instrument panel in place.  Remove them carefully so that you don't lose them in the dash!!!

11) Tilt panel forward and remove bottom hinges of the panel from the slots they are in.  

12) Remove both wire harnesses from the back of the panel.  There are plastic tabs on the sides to press in.  They are also color coded so you should no trouble putting them back in.

13) It will take some wiggling but it should come out at a 90 degree angle or so.

14) With the panel face down in your lap you will see the backs of all the lights.  The red ones are 1.1v and the green ones are 2.0v.  You WILL need to get replacement bulbs from VW but they are $2.50 each.

15) You can now replace any bulbs that are burnt out.  The green ones at the top are the dash lights themselves.  If you haven't gotten the bulbs by now then you can drive over to a VW dealer and pick them up.  You don't need the panel to drive - trust me =D

16) Once all the burnt bulbs are replaced, it's time to re-install the panel.  Before you do make sure that the little metal clips are still in place to hold the panel in place - mine almost fell off during removal.  If you don't then you won't be able to secure the panel properly

17) Replace panel using these instructions in reversed order and voila!  Let there be Light =D


Answer by gunner1202
Submitted on 4/25/2007
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Disconnect negative battery contact and make sure ignition is in off position.

1. Carefully pop off the cover to the left of the light switch.
2. Push the metal button holding the light switch in place and remove.
3. Carefully pop off the cover on the right side of the instrument panel.
4. Remove the screws holding instrument cluster cover.
5. Pull down on the top of the instrument cluster cover to release.  

** NOTE: I removed the entire instrument panel cover for easier access.  The screws are located behind the vent covers.  The vents will pop off if pressure is placed on either side.

6. Tilt top of instrument cluster downward and remove the two electrical connectors in back.

7. Remove instrument cluster.


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