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Old 09-16-2007, 10:10 AM   #1
sfj642
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Default Help please, lamp behind lighting switch

A simple one I think - but how do I "pull the bulb" (item 7 in http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...61&fg=35&hl=14) that should light up the lighting switch ?

I've tried everything including brute force (broke the bulb) but still I can't "pull" it. Is this a wired-in bulb (doesn't look like it from the drawing) or one that SHOULD pull ? I don't want to apply too much pressure to the remains in case I break something else.

If I need to take it apart to get at it - how easy is it to get the instrument cluster surround out ? Looks like 4 screws but I bet it isn't that simple ! Do I need to take the cluster out first (and the steering wheel and the air bag etc)

Thanks all - should be real easy but it isn't !
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Old 10-02-2007, 02:31 PM   #2
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Wink Stage 1 - get the right bulbs !

Hi - talking to myself again !

No-one in the forum apparently knows - so the initial answer appears to be that the bulbs DON'T pull; they are separate units that plug into the end of fly leads and then clip in place on the switch itself. You have to unclip them from the switches by pulling backwards and then unplug the bulb & holder (all one piece) from the fly lead.

The drawing for item 7 in
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...98&hg=61&fg=35
is misleading as it looks like a simple bulb, however the part number given is correct. It wasn't in stock at my local dealers so had to be ordered.

Although you can see the bulb from the front after taking off the little escutcheons, access is from the back which is fairly easy for the lights switch but it looks like I have to pull out the instrument cluster and the surround for access to the spot/hazard light switch bulb.

Will keep you informed when I can get the whole thing apart again to fit both bulbs.
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Old 10-03-2007, 06:42 PM   #3
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Default Answering my own question .......

Easier than I thought to change the bulbs, but be careful not to drop any bits or you will have to remove the under-dash cover (not difficult but nice if you can avoid having to do so).

The bulb looks like the attachments - what you have to do is to

1. remove the two switch knobs (just unscrew anti-clockwise)
2. remove both escutcheons behind the knobs (just pull off)
3. remove four self-tap screws holding the instrument cluster surround - two behind the escutcheons and the two that secure the instrument cluster
4. pull forward the instrument cluster a little so it is free, don't remove it.
5. the surround complete with lighting switches should now move forward enough to remove & replace the bulbs from the top of each switch.
6. Pull bulb out backwards (ie towards front of car) and unplug the bulb, keeping hold of the wire so it doesn't disappear.
7. check bulbs are working by turning the ignition on (the bulbs blow because they are on all the time the ignition is running, night or day).
8. carefully reassemble

Easy when you know how !
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Old 10-13-2007, 04:52 PM   #4
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Thx.. I thought mine worked... but they don't!
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List of concept vehicles

Last edited by Bozola; 01-31-2011 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 10-13-2007, 06:19 PM   #5
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I have to replace one of these lights again.
Thanks for the write up.
Moved to the knowledge base.
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Old 10-13-2007, 09:05 PM   #6
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I bought just the bulb initially. I couldn't get the bulb out of the socket. Then I bought the bulb and socket, like you show. Replacing that is easy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sfj642 View Post
Easier than I thought to change the bulbs, but be careful not to drop any bits or you will have to remove the under-dash cover (not difficult but nice if you can avoid having to do so).

The bulb looks like the attachments - what you have to do is to

1. remove the two switch knobs (just unscrew anti-clockwise)
2. remove both escutcheons behind the knobs (just pull off)
3. remove four self-tap screws holding the instrument cluster surround - two behind the escutcheons and the two that secure the instrument cluster
4. pull forward the instrument cluster a little so it is free, don't remove it.
5. the surround complete with lighting switches should now move forward enough to remove & replace the bulbs from the top of each switch.
6. Pull bulb out backwards (ie towards front of car) and unplug the bulb, keeping hold of the wire so it doesn't disappear.
7. check bulbs are working by turning the ignition on (the bulbs blow because they are on all the time the ignition is running, night or day).
8. carefully reassemble

Easy when you know how !
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Old 10-14-2007, 12:50 AM   #7
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Easy when you know how - but until you know how you can try all sorts of wrong methods !

Took me a while to sort out - hope this thread is helpful to someone

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Old 05-21-2008, 12:45 PM   #8
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Sorry for resurrecting this thread but I just tried to do mine (its been on my mind since I read this but only just got round to it!)
Im cool till option 4! iv undone the 4 but the cluster doesnt seem to move..Is there nothing else holding it in so its safe to pull abit harder then I am?!
Also number 5..??? What am I pulling forward! Im sure to everyone thats replaced and worked it out urselfs (yes ur all very clever ) it seems easy but im stumped so any pics anyone or more help... Please!!
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Old 05-21-2008, 02:18 PM   #9
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hi there - the instrument cluster is only held in by two Torx screws (T20 ?) at the top. It is a very close fit and there are no obvious bits to pull on and I can understand it may appear tight. But you need to get hold of it somehow to pull it forward (no need to unplug for this exercise).

After that, the two hidden screws behind the switch escutcheons can be removed and the instrument cluster surround pulled towards you. That should give you access to the two pilot lamp assemblies.

Hope this helps - be firm but careful with it !
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Old 05-21-2008, 10:54 PM   #10
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Okey dokey chap i'll give it a whirl tomorrow cheers for that, didnt wanna just yank it and break the whole cluster panel!!
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Old 05-22-2008, 11:52 AM   #11
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Just done... Took me under 5 minutes tops!! Cheers people
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Old 05-27-2010, 03:52 AM   #12
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Just a quick thank you to sfj (the OP).

I had my dash apart today (finally got the motivation with two light switch lamps out, airbag light still on, two dark spots on my gauge faces, and a high-RPM rattle behind the cluster), and pulled the two little grey light bulb-socket combos.

I had a hell of a time trying to remove the bulb from the "socket" (actually, I "successfully" removed one...), then couldn't find the part numbers listed anywhere, or a diagram (the part # embossed on the plastic is missing digits, and the diagram is listed under "switches," not "lights").

Finally decided to search 318ti forum and found the answer (and the RealOEM diagram).

Incidental details:

1. I had seen mention of the two screws holding the cluster in in some places, but also seen mention of there being four, with the additional two under the light switch escutcheons.
Naturally I tried removing all 4, then pulling the resulting assembly. I had to remove the airbag, steering wheel, and upper and lower column trim panels to do this (upper panel did not fare well), then I discovered that the cluster and the surround were two separate parts. The cluster comes out with just 2 screws, easy as pie. Duh.

2. I have seen debate regarding whether there is an additional "safety" airbag light as a backup in case the main bulb fails.
There is.
It's not light leakage from some other light, it is an actual hidden light, and it goes out (if only temporarily) when you reset the airbag light.

3. I have two spots on my cluster where it looks as though maybe a tiny internal light is out.
Its not.
There are no tiny internal lights.
The entire cluster is illuminated by three bulbs with green twist-in bases, accessible from the back. Inside there is an elaborate plastic optic system for distributing the light.
When I shine a flashlight into the light bulb areas, sure enough, there are two dark spots on the cluster, but no evidence whatsoever of damage, and no space or way for foreign matter to have gotten in and blocked the light.
Very, very strange.

4. The high beam light has driven me nuts since I got the car.
It's too darn bright on a dark road with the dash lights dimmed - burns right through my retinas.
I took the bulb out, sprayed a little black barbecue heat paint into the spray can cap and dipped the bulb into the paint about halfway up.
Now it's about right.

Thanks again, sfj!

- Eric

Last edited by Eric; 05-27-2010 at 03:54 AM.
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Old 05-27-2010, 07:50 AM   #13
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Thumbs up Thanks for reminding me

Thanks for reminding me how long ago I placed this post !

Almost three years - but it is good to know it has been of some use as there seemed to be little information about at the time. Most didn't seem to know that there ARE those two bulbs in behind the two dash switches.

If it is any help - the bulbs seem to last OK and mine are still OK

Best wishes - sfj642
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Old 08-07-2010, 06:51 PM   #14
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Got round to fixing these on my car today as well.

Went to the dealer to get some ordered and got the "Sorry mate can't find the part number, give us a ring on monday and we can order it for you" from the guy behind the counter (i'd written down the number but left the bit of paper at home.....doh).

That left me with some time on my hands so i pulled the bulb and socket out and had a play. I replaced just the bulb using the existing sockets.

If anyones interested:

1. Using steps above remove bulb and socket combination (Cheers sfj642)

2. To remove the old bulb get a pair of needle nose pliers and pull the silver contacts out from the socket (give them a hard tug) , this will let the bulb pull out easily. When the bulb is out push the contacts back in.

3. Buy yourself a couple of standard wedge style 12v 1.2w bulbs and bend the contacts so that they are straight from the bottom of the bulb.

4. If your bulbs are like mine they fit nicely into the socket but the contacts aren't as long as the stock bulbs and don't make a good connection. To remedy this i cut 2 inserts from a cable tie about 8mm x 2mm and pushed them into the holes with the slits on the socket (you can see the silver contacts and the bulb contacts in the hole and will understand where i mean if you have the socket infront of you). I used cable ties as the teeth on there make sure that the inserts stay in place. To be certain i also wrapped some electrical tape around where i put the inserts so that they wouldn't fall out.

5. Put everything back together (testing it works before obviously).

I know this isn't as good as buying OEM ones but kept me occupied for half an hour and got the job done.

Silverti
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Old 08-07-2010, 09:18 PM   #15
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Pleased to hear my investigation in 2007 has proved helpful - these little indicator bulbs are a pain on other cars too.

Best wishes from Jim Butterworth
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