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How to change the Heater Control lights on a '95-'99 Legacy


Aczwild
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Well here it is, this is how you change those worn out lights on the older Legacys. Its relatively easy and painless and wont cost you much, like it would if you had a dealer do it. At the present moment I dont have the part numbers for the bulbs, but any Subaru Parts Dept should be able to tell you/ get you them. These bulbs are Subaru Specific, you wont be able to find them at an autoparts store. There are three bulbs that I know of that are part of the control unit and one in the Hazard switch.With that said, lets begin shall we?

 

What you'll need:

  • Philips head screwdriver (magnetized prefreably)
  • Bulbs from Subaru Dealer
  • Needle Nose Pliers
  • Regular Pliers
  • A few 5/16" and 3/16" E-Type Retaining rings beacuse like me, you'll probably drop them and loose them
  • Small box to put the screws and retaining rings in
  • Cold drink of your choice

1. Disconnect the damn battery, you dont want to short anything else out, now do you?

 

2. Alright here we go, hop into your car and remove the cup holder as shown below. I'm sure you all know how to do this, I'm just being thorough.

 

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y272/Aczwild/DSC00902.jpg

 

3. Next remove the two screws on where the cupholder used to be as shown below and take out the metal tray that held the cup holders

 

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y272/Aczwild/DSC00901.jpg

 

4. Now its time to get a little frisky with the car. First did you Disconnect the battery? If you didnt do it now, you dont want to short out any more lights, or anything else. Whenever you mess with anything electrical on your car you should disconnect the battery. Alright, back on track. Remove the plastic faceplate that surrounds the controls and then disconnect the hazard switch, shown below

 

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y272/Aczwild/DSC00890.jpg

 

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y272/Aczwild/DSC00891.jpg

 

5. Next unscrew these 4 screws to loosen the Heater Control Unit, this is where the magnetized screwdriver comes in handy, you dont want to lose these.

 

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y272/Aczwild/DSC00892.jpg

JDM'd All to hell

:cool:

Thanks Jimmy @ Hkc-Speed.com!

RIP Coxx & Thanks

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6. You have to disconnect the heater control now from the wiring, so you have to release the following harnesses, shown below from the back of the unit

 

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y272/Aczwild/DSC00893.jpg

 

7. Now flip over the unit and remove the following E-type retaining rings. If you accidentally loose them, its ok, I told you above what the sizes were, so you'll have some replacements on hand, I lost these 3 times and had to run out to the Hardware store to get more. The cable will then be able to disconnect from the Control Unit and you can remove it from your car and go inside out of the cold to do the rest of the work.

 

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y272/Aczwild/DSC00899.jpg

 

8. Now when you are inside and warm, unscrew the following two screws from the bottom of the Control Unit and remove the slider knob from the front side. The knob should just jiggle off with a little force, just dont go crazy. After the two screws are removed, undo the two clips infront of where the screws were.

 

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y272/Aczwild/DSC00895.jpg

 

9. Now flip over the Unit and undo the clips. READ THIS AND HEED MY WARNING! THE BACK OF THE CONTROL UNIT WILL ONLY PULL OUT ABOUT A 1/4" DUE TO THE WIRING INSIDE THE CONTROL UNIT. BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN YOU PULL THIS OUT AND WHEN IT GETS TO ITS EXTENT, DO NOT REEF ON IT, YOU DONT WANT TO BREAK THIS!!!

 

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y272/Aczwild/DSC00896.jpg

 

JDM'd All to hell

:cool:

Thanks Jimmy @ Hkc-Speed.com!

RIP Coxx & Thanks

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10. Now we finally get to the bulbs in the unit, these bulbs only need about a 1/4 turn at most to free them from the unit. They should turn easily with your fingernail, or the tip of a flathead screwdriver, be gentile, you dont want to damage the electronics. The pic below shows you the location of the bulbs along with how much the back of the unit will separate from the front of the unit.

 

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y272/Aczwild/DSC00898.jpg

 

11. Remove, replace and screw back together. You can now reconnect this to the car, you are done with the lights in the Heater control. WHEN YOU RECONNECT THE HEATER CABLE, MAKE SURE THE SLIDER IS ALL THE WAY TO THE LEFT SO THE CABLE IS IN THE RIGHT PLACE. THE CABLE SHOULD LOOK LIKE THE PICTURE IN STEP 7 BEFORE YOU PUSH THAT RETAINING RING BACK IN. To get that retaining ring back in I used a pair of regular pliers to push it back in. It needs to hold the black plasice sheath in place. Now for the Hazard switch I dont have any pictures, but I can walk you through it.

 

12. On the Plastic cover with the Hazard switch in it, unclip the vents and remove. Unscrew the two screws that hold the hazard switch in and take that out. The silvery heat cover is basically a sticker and can be peeled off the side of the switch to reveal the bulb, remove, replace and congrats, you're all set. Put everything back together and reconnect the battery. The lights should be all set to go.

 

Stay tuned, in a week or so, I'm gonna replace a couple lights in the switches on the dash (ie. the rear window heater and any others that are blown)

JDM'd All to hell

:cool:

Thanks Jimmy @ Hkc-Speed.com!

RIP Coxx & Thanks

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Sticky this please.

 

 

Aczwild, is you car an Auto? also how come there is no pics of you?

Yea the damn thing is an Auto, not by my choice though. There are no pics of me because I dont need no photochops of me :lol: and yea, please sticky this mods

JDM'd All to hell

:cool:

Thanks Jimmy @ Hkc-Speed.com!

RIP Coxx & Thanks

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  • 4 weeks later...
No prob it was a PITA to figure it out myself and since there were a coupla people that had asked in the past I figured it was time for a writeup. Coming up next will be the foglight/ rear defroster switches and how to change the bulbs in them and what not. And hopefully a coilover install this summer to replace my busted ass struts

JDM'd All to hell

:cool:

Thanks Jimmy @ Hkc-Speed.com!

RIP Coxx & Thanks

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  • 4 weeks later...
ACZ, I'm not sure if my bulbs are blown. Are the little symbols(ie dude sitting or whatever) usually backlit?
Yup it is, that was one of the bulbs that had gone in mine, so I couldnt tell at night which button I was trying to push

JDM'd All to hell

:cool:

Thanks Jimmy @ Hkc-Speed.com!

RIP Coxx & Thanks

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ACZ, I'm not sure if my bulbs are blown. Are the little symbols(ie dude sitting or whatever) usually backlit?

 

Yup it is, that was one of the bulbs that had gone in mine, so I couldnt tell at night which button I was trying to push

 

 

Really ? On my 97 GT it looks like there's only bulbs for the green lights and the buttons themselves look very solid, thus I didn't think they were backlit. Currently all the green bulbs light up but none of the buttons themselves are backlit. The car came like this when I bought it last fall.

 

Can you provide a "night shot" of what the controls look like all lit up so I can see if its worth the effort ? Thnx !

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ACZ, I'm not sure if my bulbs are blown. Are the little symbols(ie dude sitting or whatever) usually backlit?

 

 

 

 

Really ? On my 97 GT it looks like there's only bulbs for the green lights and the buttons themselves look very solid, thus I didn't think they were backlit. Currently all the green bulbs light up but none of the buttons themselves are backlit. The car came like this when I bought it last fall.

 

Can you provide a "night shot" of what the controls look like all lit up so I can see if its worth the effort ? Thnx !

Yes sir I will do that tonight

 

-10 for my dumb ass not taking before and after pictures (sorry)

JDM'd All to hell

:cool:

Thanks Jimmy @ Hkc-Speed.com!

RIP Coxx & Thanks

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Yes sir I will do that tonight

 

-10 for my dumb ass not taking before and after pictures (sorry)

 

LOL ! I can always provide the "before" pictures since mine do not work. All I have are the green lights and I thought it was stupid of Subaru not to have included backlighting. Great write-up , Can't wait to see the improvement !!

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The picture is great, it shows me its worth doing rather than feeling around in the dark as I drive. There's no point of a "before" picture, we all know what the controls look like without lights !!

 

How difficult is it to put everything back together ? I would guess getting those cables on can be rather difficult. Do you have a rough "start to finish" time ?

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Hmmmm them bastards, looking through my parts number catalog they dont list the bulb parts numbers, or even the control unit....

 

I stupidly didnt write down the parts numbers from the boxes when I did the install and I kicked myself in the ass when I did the write up and realized that I hadnt wrote them down.

 

You have to go to a Subaru dealer to get the bulbs because they are Subaru specific and not parts you can just pick up at an Autozone or some place like that.

 

With that said, you can all call me a dumbass for not writing down the parts numbers. When I go home again and finally get around to replacing the Hazard switch bulb and the rear defroster button bulb (there will be another write up too on how to remove those switches and replace the bulbs), I'll get all the part numbers (if I can remember to do so)

 

Oh and for anyone doubting wether or not to do this yourself. I think it only cost me $5 for the bulbs (if that) and if I had let the dealer do the fix they would have had to charge me labor and all that shit, so do yourself a favor, save some money, and get to learn your car better :D

JDM'd All to hell

:cool:

Thanks Jimmy @ Hkc-Speed.com!

RIP Coxx & Thanks

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hey no problem, i was just going to go over and get the bulbs before i took everything apart. thanks again for the info though
If you just go over and tell them that you need the bulbs for the heater control unit in your year's Legacy, they should give them to you before you tear everything apart

JDM'd All to hell

:cool:

Thanks Jimmy @ Hkc-Speed.com!

RIP Coxx & Thanks

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, mine decides to get stuck in whatever mode it wants sometimes, and none of the lights work then.

The way I have been temporary fixing it is to punch the heater controls; then they work for a couple of days or weeks. It works for now.

Was there ever a better climate control system available, or something that would fit?

Oh. by the way, very well written. :)

'99 Legacy 2.2L 30th.

(Stage 1 Exedy clutch, ACT flywheel, Custom Intake, JSPEC Hood, GT-B bumper, 17" SportMax Wheels, Premier DEH-P780MP, 40GB iPod)

 

- Jason

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