Can I replace dashboard light bulbs on a '97 Ford Windstar myself?
October 14, 2004 12:32 AM   Subscribe

Can I replace dashboard light bulbs on a '97 Ford Windstar myself? If so, how?

About a month ago I successfully replaced the headlamps on my own. Which I'm sure is not particularly impressive to anyone who's spent more than 2 minutes working on cars, but I was pretty proud of myself since my previous experience in car repairs was exactly zero.

So now I'm feeling all empowered. I've got a few light bulbs behind the dashboard that are burned out. (Just the usual lights that illuminate the speedometer, fuel gauge, etc., not the warning lights.) Is it feasible for me to replace these on my own? If so, how? Googling has turned up vague references that the instrument panel has to be removed, but not the detailed instructions that I need. Unlike the headlamps, the owner's manual doesn't address these. The Chilton repair manual at the public library, on the other hand, doesn't deign to describe something as simple as a light bulb replacement.
posted by DevilsAdvocate to Travel & Transportation (4 answers total)
This was the best description I could find. Removing an instrument cluster is usually not a difficult job-- first you carefully pull the cover off to expose the screws, then you remove the screws, then you pull the cluster out part-way to remove the wiring harnesses from the cluster's backside.
posted by Kwantsar at 8:18 AM on October 14, 2004

If you do it on your own, there'll be a lot of prying of snapped-together pieces, some unscrewing, and then the easy part, actually replacing the bulb. If changing a headlight left you feeling empowered, I'd say that the dashboard lights are out of your league. I worked as a mechanic for a year and a half, and I don't fuck with dashboard lights unless there's something else back there I need to fix, like a speedo cable or the radio antenna.
posted by notsnot at 8:22 AM on October 14, 2004

Have you looked at the Haynes Manual? I once managed to replace the lightbulb in the radio of my Ford Probe with their guidance. You can likely pick up a copy at your local chain auto store.
posted by LeiaS at 8:45 AM on October 14, 2004


Hoping to see paradise?
posted by jonmc at 9:27 AM on October 14, 2004

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