Heater switch light bulb replacement 'How to'

Wingnut

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 10, 2002
Location
Toronto & Whitby
TDI
Silver 2003 Jetta Wagon
Heater switch light bulb replacement \'How to\'

A common problem with these cars is the little light bulb in the heater controls burn out. It is quite easy to change yourself. I did one today, so I thought I would snap some pics for those who want to view them.

The first step is to remove the dial. Its the center dial that needs to be removed. Just get a rag or shop towel to protect the dial from becoming marked by the teeth in the pliers. Using a pair of pliers, just pull it off:


The bulb is quite deep in the hole and unless you have really tiny needle nose pliers, it is tough to get at the bulb. Just use a piece of vacuum tubing to pull it out. just push it over the bulb and it should grip it tight enough to be able to pull it out. If you don't have any vacuum tubing lying around your garage, just pop the hood and borrow some from around the engine.


Now that you have the old bulb out, you can put in the new one. Instalation is reverse of removal.


It can be more difficult to replace the bulb. When pushing it into place, the vacuum tubing can grip the bulb so when you try to pull out the tubing, the bulb comes back out again. The way I get around this is to make a small slit in one end of the tubing and use that end to push it in with. The slit does not allow a firm grip so it can be pulled off more easily.

I am not 100% sure about this, but I think the part # for the bulb is N 017 751 2. Maybe someone can confirm this for me?

Good luck
 

MaxThrust

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2003
Location
Twosun, AZ
TDI
99.5 Jetta
Heater switch light bulb replacement \'How to\'

Nice work Wingnut, and thank you!

YMMV

Mike /images/graemlins/cool.gif
 

MOGolf

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jun 27, 2001
Location
underneath something
TDI
2001 Golf GLS TDI Reflex silver, rough road suspension and steel skid plate, 2004 Passat Variant, Candy White, rough road suspension and geared balanced shaft module, and much, much more. 2016 LR RR HSE TD6, 2019 Jaguar I-PACE
Heater switch light bulb replacement \'How to\'

During installation of the new bulb, turn the tubing to help release it from the bulb. The spade end of the bulb keeps it in place and the tubing twists off.
 

SCDiddy

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2003
Location
SC, USA
TDI
Jetta, 2000, Canyon Red
Heater switch light bulb replacement \'How to\'

I want to add that a common symptom is that the light flickers on and off. I spent many hours tearing apart my dash expecting a loose connection and I found a bulb with a loose element.

Thanks wingnut, these write ups are a great help.
 

CraigSmith

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 25, 2001
Location
Colorado
TDI
NB 01 Techno Blau
Heater switch light bulb replacement \'How to\'

[ QUOTE ]
During installation of the new bulb, turn the tubing to help release it from the bulb. The spade end of the bulb keeps it in place and the tubing twists off.

[/ QUOTE ]
For installation, I seated the bulb with the eraser of a pencil, because the interior of the tubing adhered to the bulb very tightly. YMMV
 

TDILOVE

Veteran Member
Joined
May 31, 2004
Location
Chicago, IL.
TDI
Jetta, 2000, Red
Heater switch light bulb replacement \'How to\'

Thanks Wingnut!!!!

i saw a new one on E-bay for $80 and i was minutes from getting one until i bumped into this thread. i just figured the climate control lights were LED. i will give ti a try.
 

Hope2OwnaTDI

Well-known member
Joined
May 9, 2004
Location
NH
TDI
ALH Golf
Heater switch light bulb replacement \'How to\'

EXCELLENT!

Thank you Wingnut.

Thank you TDIclub.

And thank you Search Function!

This website is worth it's weight in platinum.
 

frugality

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Sep 19, 2003
Location
Spring Lake, Michigan
TDI
none, 2016 GTI
Heater switch light bulb replacement \'How to\'

I agree. This site is the bee's knees. I just had my HVAC light burn out today and thought I'd search to see if anyone else had posted a question on this. To my surprise I found another of Wingnut's awesome How-To's. Thanks, Wing-Ding!
 

goro

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2003
Location
Arlington, VA
TDI
2000 Golf TDI GLS, Arrow Silver
Heater switch light bulb replacement \'How to\'

It's just the one bulb behind the fan speed control that lights up all three dials? Or is the procedure identical for each dial? Mine finally succumbed this morning
 

MeNMikieD

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2004
Location
Ironton, OH
TDI
2013 Jetta Sportwagen, white
Heater switch light bulb replacement \'How to\'

Just 1 little bulb behind the center dial lights all 3. Mine was out when we bought it. Thank goodness for this site! Had it been up to my husband, he would have taken it to the stealership for this little "under 5 minute" fix!
 

GeWilli

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 6, 1999
Location
lost to new england
TDI
none in the fleet (99.5 Golf RIP, 96 B4V sold)
Heater switch light bulb replacement \'How to\'

how funny - saw this and thought - damn so thats how ya do it.

Pulled the knob off with my hands
(yeah so i'm tough) and dug around and found some silicone hose that fit perfectly and pulled the bulb out - dug out my $3.31 for the dealer's price on that bulb (too lazy busy to go elsewhere since i know they have it in stock) and now i have visible heater controls.

They went all goofy way back in May when Suds came down for Hondo's and well... this weekend they went out for good on the way over to JETahh's place!

Thanks Wingnut... i've been dreading having to pull the whole center of the car apart to check for a loose connection... nope, just the bulb!!!!
 

mag1

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2004
Location
Greenville, Wi
TDI
2014 JSW, MT6, Platinum Grey; 2000 Jetta GLS, Reflex Silver
Heater switch light bulb replacement \'How to\'

dug out my $3.31 for the dealer's price on that bulb (too lazy busy to go elsewhere since i know they have it in stock) and now i have visible heater controls.
Ouch, $3.31 for 1 bulb? I got 2 sylvania's for under $2.00 at Autozone. There the European bulb, I can't remember the pn, but like you said, pretty easy once you try it. I agree, THANKS Wingnut, your cheat sheet page is great.
 

gcsdls

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2004
Location
Arkansas
TDI
selling my 2001
Heater switch light bulb replacement \'How to\'

Is there more of a description available than "the european one"? I'd like to be able to go to Autozone and pick up a couple of them...is there a part number?

thanks,

george
 

20IndigoBlue02

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 22, 2001
Location
Was North NJ, now SoCal
TDI
2002 Golf TDI-- deceased
Heater switch light bulb replacement \'How to\'

the 42DD mini-LED works. www.42draftdesigns.com

The trick is, when you get it (at least with my car)...you reverse the terminals by bending them the other way. Too bad, by the time I realized this, I seriously f'd up the bulb. $4 down the drain...but important lesson.
 

frugality

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Sep 19, 2003
Location
Spring Lake, Michigan
TDI
none, 2016 GTI
Heater switch light bulb replacement \'How to\'

Ouch, $3.31 for 1 bulb? I got 2 sylvania's for under $2.00 at Autozone. There the European bulb, I can't remember the pn, but like you said, pretty easy once you try it. I agree, THANKS Wingnut, your cheat sheet page is great.
I paid $1.40 for one bulb at the stealership -- definitely much less than what I expected.
 

Duck_Toller

Active member
Joined
Mar 11, 2004
Location
Bridgewater NH
TDI
2015 Passat SE
Heater switch light bulb replacement \'How to\'

Is there more of a description available than "the european one"? I'd like to be able to go to Autozone and pick up a couple of them...is there a part number?

thanks,

george
I just replaced the HVAC bulb with Sylvania PN 2721. The package also says "European Lamps". They come in packages of 2. I cannot remember how much they cost as I bought them 2-3 years ago, and used 1 of them for something.

Good thing I save everything.

Anyway, I used needle-nosed pliers, and a shop rag for the whole operation. The rag not only prevents the knob from marring, but also helps in gripping the bulb (be careful).
 

cosmic

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2000
Location
KY, USA
TDI
Jetta, 2001, Silver Arrow
Re: Heater switch light bulb replacement \'How to\'

Great HowTo Wingnut!!!

I was needing to do this myself, and your how to helped me get on this one.

I got my bulbs at the dealer for $1.10 each (bought a couple extra) I fabricated a little tool out of a sheet metal doohicky I had laying in the garage, for getting the bulb out.

So glad to have that light back. :)

Thanks!
 

20IndigoBlue02

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 22, 2001
Location
Was North NJ, now SoCal
TDI
2002 Golf TDI-- deceased
Re: Heater switch light bulb replacement \'How to\'

Some 2 cents....

If you're like me and keep the gauges dimmed down -- and you find the HVAC is way too dim.... Sylvania 2723 is a W2.3W bulb. Brighter with half as much life.

A tip on reinstallation with the slitted vacuum tube....on the other end, if you have an allen key small enough and short enough, you can use it to gently push the bulb in, then follow up with your finger.

Make sure the contacts on the bulb are oriented properly to the bulb connector contacts. I had to bend mine the opposite way to get it to work-- even the OEM one from the dealership.

And finally...mini-LED wedge bulb from 42 Draft Designs fits, but it is too dim -- even dimmer than the 1.2W bulb
 

Faster

Veteran Member
Joined
May 5, 2001
Location
Monument, CO
TDI
1999 Jetta ALH, 2007 Specialized Roubaix
Re: Heater switch light bulb replacement \'How to\'

To add to Wingnut's ingenious vacuum tubing light puller - To install the new bulb use the same section of tubing but push a piece of small diameter nylon stock through the tubing to release the bulb.

Cheers
 

Werner1950

Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2005
Location
Toronto, Ontario
TDI
Passat Wagon, 1996, White
Re: Heater switch light bulb replacement \'How to\'

I've only had my 96 Passat for 2 weeks, and at night while driving, I noticed the heater controls couldn't be seen in the dark. "Hmmpph", I says to myself, "with all that hype about German engineering, and they neglected to light up the heater controls! What an oversight"

Now I learn there actually is a light bulb in there! Thanks..
 

Jhook05

New member
Joined
Jun 22, 2006
Saved me some big bucks

This is a very useful post. I took my car to the dealer for this problem and since I am out of warranty, they wanted 150 bucks to fix it. They said it was a very difficult process to take the dash apart ext. and that it would take some time. Typical VW service BS. I told them thanks, but no thanks. I don't know about where you are from but here in Phoenix, the dealerships are all con men (and women in this case) They once actually tried to sell me a new battery (for $165) saying that mine was dead. The battery had worked fine when I brought the car in, but they said it mysteriously died. I took it to Sears and they tested it and said it was fine and that the connector was loose and a bit dirty. So, anyway, the moral of the story here is to check these posts and don't listen to the dealership which will almost always in my experience try to rip you off!!! My hvac lighting has been out for the last 2 years and I am so happy to have been able to fix it myself with minimum effort and cost. Thank you again!
 

PDJetta

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 6, 2003
Location
Northern Virginia
TDI
'04 Jetta GLS TDI Pumpe Duce Platinum Grey w/ Leather
***, $150:confused::eek:. $2.75 for a package of two of those little lights, four inches of vacuum hose, pliers and five minutes is all it takes to replace that bulb.

--Nate
 

paramedick

TDIClub Enthusiast, Vendor
Joined
Jul 29, 2001
Location
Versailles, Kentucky
TDI
2015 Audi Q5 TDI, 2000 New Beetle
PDJetta said:
***, $150:confused::eek:. $2.75 for a package of two of those little lights, four inches of vacuum hose, pliers and five minutes is all it takes to replace that bulb.--Nate
Yeah, but $2.75 won't make this month's boat payment for the dealer.
 

dqa

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2002
Location
Alabama
TDI
RIP: 1999½ New Golf GL TDI satin silver
Please verify this for me - if the light goes out intermittently, it means the little metal bits aren't sticking out properly to make contact with the socket?

When my car was still under warranty, back around the turn of the century, the dealer "fixed" this on SIX different occasions. But it continues to this day. Now I'm about to replace the whole switch for other reasons, but I thought I should look this up while the dash panel is dismembered.
 

lycord2

New member
Joined
Feb 16, 2004
Works like a charm .I used a screw inside the hose to seat and eject the bulb sort of like you would use a hypodermic needle.and the hose came off easily.SYLVANIA BULB P/N IS 2721 got mine at advance auto parts.2.68 FOR A 2PACK. Thanks to all for making the job easy. ED.M.
 

paix247

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2006
Location
Minneapolis, MN
TDI
2010 VW Golf 4-Door in Shark Blue
Had this same problem in my '02 NB
I too tried LEDs and found that they didn't light up the controls well enough. Which was weird because the LEDs themselves were really really bright, but the light wouldn't go through the red plastic that was around the bulb area, so I tore that out with a need nose & used a red LED. It worked nicely, but I liked the way the Blue LED looks, so I stuck with that one. The LEDs are only a $1 and some change at superbrightleds.com.
 
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Kaderabek

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 11, 2006
Location
Fairview, NC
TDI
none yet
Funny, I just assumed this was a design flaw, as in, there's no light back there. I'm such an idiot.... :D

Thanks!

TJK
 

TDavId

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 25, 2002
Location
Minneapolis, MN
TDI
2002 Jetta TDI - Reflex Silver
Just fixed mine in under a minute. Sylvania 2721 (W1.2W) European Lamp was in stock at my local Big Wheel Rossi auto parts store for $2.39. The 1.2 W is bright enough for my needs- heck, I drove for almost 5 yrs without the knobs lit up (I drove it off the lot wondering about German engineering). Should have sought out the answer on this site earlier. I used a needle nose pliers with grooved teeth to carefully grab and reset the bulb. Thanks tdiclub for the help.
 
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