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Replacing Air-Control Lights - Step by Step Guide w/ Photos

Discussion in 'The Cefiro Club Malaysia' started by edgar_raphael, Apr 4, 2007.

  1. edgar_raphael

    edgar_raphael Senior Member
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    This is a general home DIY practice and non-engineer approved. This work guide is to help A32 owners whose air-controller panel lights have busted. It includes a precise step-by-step guide with photos and the subject car is a 1997 Nissan Maxima A32 30G Full-Option, in which other models might have slightly different equipments.

    I am no professional, hence, this is a GUIDE only. I will not be responsible for any damages that might occured during the practice carried out by the reader. So please becareful when working on the panels and if you are unsure if you do it correctly, stop immediately and seek professional help, or, you can come in here and ask more questions and I will try my very best to provide solutions for you.

    Here are the tool(s) required to get the job done:

    [​IMG]


    A set of screwdrivers of good quality brand. Actually, any screwdrivers will do, but as most of you may agree with me, there are significant difference between the good and the normal ones. The Stanley brand I use, will never slip or wreck the screws which is very important.


    [​IMG]
    This is what the dash panel on the subject car looks like.
     
    #1 edgar_raphael, Apr 4, 2007
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2007
  2. edgar_raphael

    edgar_raphael Senior Member
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    Step 1: Remove top panel


    [​IMG]


    The Clock panel and the aircond vent are attached together. So they are one piece, you need to get this whole piece out and it is the hardest panel to remove.


    [​IMG]


    You might be able to peel the bottom part of the panel to slip your fingers in. Otherwise, you might have to do this:


    [​IMG]


    Use a flat-head screwdriver, tuck into the bottom of the panel and peel it up. You have to use cloth before you start poking the head of the screwdriver under the panel to prevent from damaging the plastic panel. In this case, as you can see from the picture, I do not use cloth. This is because I managed to peel the panel hence giving me some gap for me to poke the head in. However, the screw driver I am using comes with a rubber protector on the shaft, which helps to protect the surface it may come in contact with.


    [​IMG]


    See the 2 circles in the picture? These are the 2 clips that must be detached in this process using the screwdriver.


    [​IMG]


    With both hands (in this case I am using my other hand to hold the camera), tuck into where I tucked my hand in to. There is a level for you to hold on to, which could help you to pull out the whole thing out easier.


    [​IMG]


    Pull the whole thing out, towards your direction. Do not pull-out upwards or downwards. Just straight out towards your direction. It requires hell a lot of force and I am not kidding. The other 2 clips (not visible from the picture) holds the whole panel on the side really hard.


    [​IMG]


    Once the whole thing is up, this is what it looks like. There are 3 wiring harness attached to it. One is for the rear-windscreen-heating swtich, the clock, and the hazard light switch.


    [​IMG]


    The circles are the 3 wiring harness you must detach. They are hold on to the adapters by the small clips located on the top of the adapter. Press it and pull it out.


    [​IMG]


    Here is the image of the top panel. And the circle is where the clip on the right side are located.


    [​IMG]


    And this is the left side. So now do you know why it is clips on to the dash so tightly?
     
    #2 edgar_raphael, Apr 4, 2007
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2007
  3. edgar_raphael

    edgar_raphael Senior Member
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    Step 2: Removing Gearshiter covers


    [​IMG]


    This is the easier part. The circles shows where the 4 clips are located. So you know where to pry it out from, using the flat-head screwdriver.


    [​IMG]


    First, pry the covers out from the bottom left hand corner. Using the flat-head screwdriver and cloth, slip in between the gap and pry it out. I do not use cloth, again, because I am experienced enough to do it without the cloth (I have been doing this job hundreds of time).


    [​IMG]


    Do the same to the other side. This time, tuck your fingers in between, it will be easier.


    [​IMG]


    Once both the clips are out, pull 'up' the cover. And the other 2 clips in the middle should come out as well.


    [​IMG]


    Here are the 2 wiring harness you have to detach. One is for the cigarette lighter and the other is for the light.


    [​IMG]


    This picture shows the location of the 4 clips on the gearshifter cover.


    [​IMG]


    The gearshifter cover out.
     
    #3 edgar_raphael, Apr 4, 2007
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2007
  4. edgar_raphael

    edgar_raphael Senior Member
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    Step 3: Removing the ash-tray compartment


    [​IMG]


    The screw on the cirle is the one you should remove first. This screw holds the ash-tray compartment. There is only one screw for it, and the rest is clips.


    [​IMG]


    Open the ash-tray and put your fingers into it and pull it out. It may require a little force to get it out. Like others have suggested, pulling it out with the ash-tray open proves to be easier.


    [​IMG]


    Here is the wiring harness connected to the ash-tray. Remove it, it is for the ash-tray lighting.
     
    #4 edgar_raphael, Apr 4, 2007
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2007
  5. edgar_raphael

    edgar_raphael Senior Member
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    Step 4: Removing the center console panels (air-controller and headunits)

    Now this is the tricky part. Do as I told you, as in the step by step to which screw to remove first. It is very important as the whole panel is very heavy and requires proper knowledge to which screws must be removed first to avoid breaking any parts of the panel.


    [​IMG]


    First, remove the 2 screws holding the bottom part of panel. It is important as they are very fragile and there is nothing for them to hold on to. The only thing that is holding the whole panel (aside the screws) are the 2 small level on the top mountings, beside the screws, here:


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    After removing the 2 screws holding the bottom part of the panel. Move on to remove the top part. These are the 2 screws (in circles). Once you unscrew them, they will still hold on to the dash. As I explained earlier, there are the 2 little leveler that will hold the whole panel while you do the screwing work.


    [​IMG]


    Use your left arm (hand) to hold the bottom part.


    [​IMG]


    While your right hand holds the top part and slowly pull it out towards you.


    [​IMG]


    This is the look from the top part, showing the air-controller panel. There are 4 things to detach from the panel. One is the plastice tube on far left, then the wire harness, followed by 2 harness for the air-cond controller. They are all again, clipped on to the adapters, so press it and pull them out.


    [​IMG]


    Remember that during this process, always do it with the whole panel on your left arm. It is important as you don't want the panel to rest on something else, although you can, it you will end up having the panel to scratch every single surface it rest on.


    [​IMG]


    After that, move on to remove the harness for the stereo. Here is the antenna adaptor.


    [​IMG]


    And remove the harness for the 2 circles. These are the power and speaker output harness. The white wire should not be removed (if you have no intention to remove the head units themselves) as it is the reciever cord for the cd-player.


    [​IMG]


    This is the power harness for the cd player, remove this as well.


    [​IMG]


    Finally, the last piece of harness, the security switch light. Some models may no come equipped with this.


    [​IMG]


    This shows the back of the whole headunits panels. And the circles are the harness you should remove off the headunits.
     
    #5 edgar_raphael, Apr 4, 2007
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2007
  6. edgar_raphael

    edgar_raphael Senior Member
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    Step 5: Remove Air-Controller Panel


    [​IMG]


    It is held on to by 4 screws and 2 levels. Do the unscrewing for both sides.


    [​IMG]


    The air-controller panels out.


    [​IMG]


    This is the look of the top panel, and the circles are the light bulbs for the top part. The tiny bulbs are combined with the screw mounting, that screws to the panel.


    [​IMG]


    The bottom side.
     
    #6 edgar_raphael, Apr 4, 2007
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2007
  7. edgar_raphael

    edgar_raphael Senior Member
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    Step 6: Removing light bulbs from panel


    [​IMG]


    ONLY use flat-head screwdriver. Although the screw pattern is cross-style, using those screw-driver will damaged the head. I was very lucky I didn't damaged the head, which I almost did. With a little force only, it only unscrews just a little bit, then stop.


    [​IMG]


    Afterthat, you have to pry them out. Just becareful as they might 'POP' up instead of just 'come up' and if it does pop, this thing is so light it could fly and you might lost it.


    [​IMG]


    This is how the light-bulb with it's mounting looks like. You can either go to Nissan dealership to order one of these at AUD$20 each. Yes, it's AUD$20 each, and you will need 4 of them. Screw them back and reverse all the dismantling steps to put everything back in again. Then you are done.



    or..........................
     
    #7 edgar_raphael, Apr 4, 2007
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2007
  8. edgar_raphael

    edgar_raphael Senior Member
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    Step 7: Replacing Light Bulbs ONLY


    [​IMG]


    As you can see, it actually, isn't all that hard to get the job done, instead of going to Nissan to get the stupidly ridiculous AUD$20/each bulb with the plastic mounting screw. Which in this case, nothing wrong with the screws, it is the bulbs that were faulty.

    The bulbs are held on together to the plastic mounting screw by just wrapping it's leg around it.


    [​IMG]


    I unwrapped the legs, and pull the whole bulb out.


    [​IMG]

    Now you might need to get this sample bulb to the lighting shop to find the similar bulb. It can be very very very difficult to locate. As these are not LEDs (which is so much easier to get) but it is a LED look-alike 'bulb', which means it is a 2-way, meaning there is no positive or negative terminal, either way will do. You cannot get LEDs as replacement, they don't work (or maybe they could? But I haven't try). It took me 2 days to locate this rare bulbs and I found the one shop in the whole Adelaide that stocks them. The shop is called P.J Lighting.


    [​IMG]


    This the replacement bulb. The larger one is the replacement, the smaller one is the original one. I couldn't locate the exact same size, but found out that the larger one will still slot into the mounting screw (the most important thing), and the rubber 'condom' slipped in without any problems as well. Hence I got them.


    [​IMG]


    Here, newly replaced bulbs. Looks like OEM and cost me only AUD$1/each.


    AUD$4 DIY For the Win
    AUD$80 From Nissan For the Loser



    Regards
    Ed
     
    #8 edgar_raphael, Apr 4, 2007
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2007
  9. edgar_raphael

    edgar_raphael Senior Member
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    Next one, getting the HU in :)
     
  10. weikee

    weikee Senior Member
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    Thank you for the detail guide. Very usefull
     
  11. defcon1

    defcon1 Senior Member
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    Great work, Edgar. Can Ong please sticky this? It would be a waste to lose it in the hundreds of less useful, albeit more entertaining posts we clowns tend to come up with.
     
  12. ongteckweng

    ongteckweng Senior Member
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    no prob. done...
     
  13. edgar_raphael

    edgar_raphael Senior Member
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    Thanks for reading and appreciating.

    There are a lot of guides out there, but no come as detailed as mine I believed.

    The reason why I made it so detailed in my explanation is because I learnt from mistakes :) and I don't want to see you guys doing the same mistakes that I did.

    Small little procedures like which screws to loosen first, how to hold the panels, are all very important and made a lot of difference, or it could cause problems.

    I broke one of the screw hole at the bottom of the panel, because I loosen the top screws first, hence, putting all the weight of the panels at the bottom, where it is so fragile.

    Then I made some scratches on the other dash panels (although can be deleted with polish buff) because I didn't know what is the most comfortable position to hold the panel while removing the harness.

    All these detailed little information is for your own comfort and benefits. I am pretty sure if you read and see the photos properly, you can dismantle the panels just like an expert :)
     
  14. defcon1

    defcon1 Senior Member
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    Heh...usually, I get my local accessories guy to do it. My fingers are like bananas...not good at all for delicate work... :sad_smile:
     
  15. ongteckweng

    ongteckweng Senior Member
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    deffy...its much cheaper here compare to australia. our charges r cheap compare to them...thats is why most of they DIY for small stuffs. but its gr8 that we know how to do it @ home...if we need to. save couple of bucks for meal. :biggrin:
     
  16. edgar_raphael

    edgar_raphael Senior Member
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    In Malaysia, they charge labour per job.

    Over here, they charge labour per hour. I was quoted AUD$30 per hour :)
     
  17. ongteckweng

    ongteckweng Senior Member
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    yeah...used to stay in wagga wagga, nsw for 3 yrs n its really expensive to mod cars...even servicing also they charge per hour.
     
  18. weikee

    weikee Senior Member
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    I change all the A/C bulb (one bulb burn, must as well change all 4), the hazard light switch bulb (my was burn also).

    For Malaysia (KL especially), if you buy the bulb in pasar road, please bring along a sample. Cause in pasar road they got only 2 size, i.e. small and big. Don't have the medium that we need. Like Edgar say, the bigger one can fit.

    not many shop selling the big one, got to look around, i only found one shop selling it after asking more than 10 shops. Price RM 1.50 per bulb, i brought 4 x big bulb and 2 x small bulb RM 1.20 each (for the hazard light siwtch).

    Total its RM 8.40, fitting the A/C bulb its easy. but the Hazard light its a pain in the Azz.. you need to dismantle the switch cause the tiny bulb its inside the switch, once the switch open please remember how it look and connected.. cause once take out its a puzzle to put back. The bulb its right in the middle of the switch. Change bulb only 5 mins, puzzle solving its 30mins.

    I guess the rear defog switch its also the same, maybe more complicated cause it got two bulb.. If i am free, will try to change that also since i got one set spare from the 1/2 cut.
     
  19. abuahmad

    abuahmad 15 Year | Platinum

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    wow. thanz give me more ...bump.
     
  20. edgar_raphael

    edgar_raphael Senior Member
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    oh yeah the hazard light and the rear defroster switches are pain in the arse. I did them as well but forget to take photos.

    And yes, you need to dismantle the plastic moulding on them to access the tiny bulbs. However the holder for the bulbs are rubber, not plastic as on the air control panels. Same theory applies, just unwrap and wrap on the new bulbs. But they are extremely tiny and can be difficult to do for those of you with larger fingers. So patience is your medicine :)

    like he said, when putting things back, it can get very frustrating and dirty (read: grease all over), and make sure you don't shoot and loose the spring, otherwise, too bad, you gotta get a new switch.
     

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