: 2002 Climate Control Bulbs Replacement

09-11-09, 08:37 AM
Had the dashboard apart last nite to finish my remote start install and fix my key cylinder switch so it turns to ACC position without wisegrips, I decided while being there to start fixing the lights issues in the dashboard. Also need to replace the ones in the power mirror, radio, URPA switch and lights switch. But all of the ones in the climate controls were out, so I decided to go with that one first. Others to follow this week...

First thing is to remove the dash trim piece. Tilt steering wheel down, ignition on, shift lever in 1st gear to give you more space to remove the trim. No screws, just pull it out. Squeeze the tabs at all 4 corners to get the control outta there. Plug was a bit tight in there, only the top lock hook to push and pull to remove. Then remove the 3 control knobs. They are a bit stiff, try to avoid using tools as this will most likely damage the area around.


Next remove 4 1/4 hex bolts in the back to separate the unit in half.


Inside there's 2 more hex screws to remove. You then want to separate the 2 control panels from the white plastic back piece. I managed to do so by gently prying apart the rectangle and using a small screwdriver to pull up on the unit. Once that's out, squeeze the plastic white pins from the PC board side to separate the white control panel where the bulbs are from the other one (pull out on the control plug). You should have this piece by itself as a result.


I used VW dash lights that I modded for this application. I would advise to use the proper bulbs, but I'm cheap and I got a bunch of those on hand and they are brand new. Using long nose pliers to pull out the 2 contacts from the plastic bulb holder, then cutting the metal piece off with good cutters. The bulbs are welded in place, but its a very accessible area, no other critical components are close by so no need to fuss about too much heat or messing up something else by adding too much flux or solder. Its a good practice weld for those of you who don't get to do this often. Finished result ready to reassemble:


Took about 30 minutes to complete, bulb intensity is just a bit less brighter than the dashboard lights. Complexity level is about half 6 pack (easy). :D

09-13-09, 09:57 PM
I realized the next day that the 4 climate controls buttons (AC, RECIRC ON-OFF, DEFROST) also have lights in em! I replaced the bulbs with VW ones again, but those are too big, they won't allow the button to move after install (but they do light up nicely...) Will have to hit the store and buy some smaller bulbs, which will be needed for the radio anyways. Pic of the panel:


Next on the list was the power mirrors bulbs, 2 hiding in there, same procedure, job was a bit more challenging as there's a lot of harware around the weld area, and those bulbs need to be welded over and under the board.


The URPA button was a different story, also 2 bulbs in that one, but in order to unweld them from the board, you have to take apart the switch, which is spring loaded. I've never had much luck with anything involving springs, so I cut the old bulbs off and welded the new ones on. Finished product seen here:


My headlight switch was also not lighted. Taking it apart I noticed that the single bulb in it is removable. At last, all is not lost at GM, this one will be easy to fix.... NOT! Even if the bulb is removeable, it is not available separately!!! Geeezzzz. So I modified that one to and replaced the bulb with a new one (replacement in the picture). OEM one had a blue cover on it, I'll try and stick that one on top (now it shows the light switch is a different color than the others).


09-13-09, 11:31 PM
what size bulbs are in the a/c unit where can i get them?

09-14-09, 06:51 AM
I'll try to post a pic tonight of the 2 models. The ones for the controls you can get by with slightly longer or bigger, there's room to fit, but not so much with the buttons.

09-14-09, 09:10 PM
Pics of the bulbs with and without the plastic holder (which is not needed). I'm gonna get mine at an electronic store where I get my stuff for fixing pinball machines. They got all kinds of 12V bulbs of all sizes. One could even get creative and get a different color?

Larger ones are 0.420" lenght X 0.182" diameter.
Smaller ones are 0.231" X 0.118".



09-15-09, 01:01 AM
I have never seen so many burnt out dash lights in my life!

09-15-09, 08:23 AM
I agree, it would have been faster to mention the ones that are not burnt! 130K miles on the truck.

09-16-09, 05:00 PM
thanks for the info

09-22-09, 10:03 PM
The next day after doing the power mirror bulbs, gf takes the truck out of the garage and the mirrors don't slide out anymore! The solder ran a bit on the underside and was causing the switch to be non-op! Good news is this didnt break any components on the switch, just a little cleanup and reinstall. Pic of the underside of the power folding mirror switch assembly.


09-26-09, 08:02 PM
would love to change all the bulbs in my 02. A few bulbs have burnt up in my climate control, and a few others.

I would love to do all the dash lights and speedo/tach/gauges with a nice blue color.

I have no idea where I would get those bulbs though

09-26-09, 10:35 PM
I got a bunch of small 12V bulbs and different color LED's this week at my local electronics store, will try to install LEDS in the 4 buttons of the climate control module. $15 for over 25 different models and sizes, pretty cheap! Will post pics of the results.

11-11-09, 01:09 PM
Wow time flies! I finally got around to replacing the bulbs for the 4 buttons in the climate control unit. Instead of using bulbs, I replaced em with led's. Worked out pretty good!


Next on the list was to disable the ABS light from the cluster (since my EBCM is on the permanent disabled list). Taking apart the cluster is a pretty easy job.


Front cover comes off by prying a few tabs, same story for the back.



PC board is taken off by gently prying the contact points of the different guages. Easy does it!


I was happy to see that the bulbs were removable... But not the one for the ABS! Its a soldered in LED, #10 on the pic. Got it out and finally no more lights on from the dashboard while driving!

I also took apart the radio as only one light is still alive in there. I ran out of bulbs!!!! This unit has a lot of em, I replaced 6 and will continue next time around. I also want to replace the lights in the steering wheel controls.


11-11-09, 01:32 PM
Hell it may be easier to fly you in than to ship all the parts out... Looks fun but not really my cup! Great pics and write up.

11-11-09, 04:24 PM
No prob! Next day shipping is pricey! You might want to keep an eye on ebay for a cheap replacement. If the bulbs are ok in it use that one or send it thru regular mail.

11-11-09, 04:32 PM
Sk7 what type are the bulbs on the cluster that are removable? I have one out.

11-11-09, 06:53 PM
I didnt pay much attention to the removeable ones, since it wasnt the ABS light, and they all work! Looking at the pics there's 2 models, bigger for illumination and smaller ones for info lights. I'll bet those are not even available at the stealership... I'm sure I've got some VW bulbs that would screw right in. I'll have a look at that next time around.

11-12-09, 10:19 AM
Are you going to replace any of the bulbs in your steering wheel controls? I have an 02 as well, and my right side steering wheel control lights are out, so i would love the write up if you do that as well. Thanks!

11-12-09, 06:07 PM
Ok guys I pulled apart my cluster and it is way different for the '03 up. I have a 03 ESV. None of the lights are easily serviceable, they are all soldered to the PC board. Anyways I figured out what kind of bulbs they are and I can't find them anywhere in town. When I gave up and put everything back together I now have 5 lamps out instead of just 2!! :bonkers::thepan::alchi:

11-12-09, 07:24 PM
Eldo, you should replace those bulbs with leds. They are cheap and will outlast any bulb. Just make sure to pay attention to polarity, they won't work if connected backwards. I will have a look at the steering wheel controls before end of year. Instructions on how to remove the steering wheel and switches are well covered in the service manual. But I will post pics of the job.

SFX Group
11-12-09, 09:03 PM
replace those bulbs with leds.

LEDS need a resistor as well inline with the power....

11-12-09, 09:42 PM
LEDS need a resistor as well inline with the power....

Yeah I am afraid that it is all over my head now. Plus i want the cluster to match everything else on the dash and not be a different color. SK7 you wanna another little project lol?

SFX Group
11-12-09, 10:09 PM
thats one problem, i personally would do the lot (but then ive done it in the past as well)

11-12-09, 11:17 PM
The leds I added to the 4 buttons on the climate controls didn't require any resistors (the are 12 volts). I learned the hard way that polarity matters as I had to replace the one for the recirc button twice thinking it was dead to realize the polarity is reversed on that one compared to the others. I used green leds and the color does match the oem pretty good. You could go with red for a different look.