repairing the backlight
repairing the backlight
A few days ago, as Isaac and I were sitting in the car with the ignition off, the anti-theft chime on the radio started. A quick turn of the key in the ignition stopped it. I remember from the Owner’s Manual that it has something to do with losing power.
Later I noticed that the backlight on the clock is off. I can see – when I look at just the right angle – that it’s keeping time, but the backlight is broken. Here’s how I fixed it.
The data display unit pops out of the dash, top edge first. I started by wiggling a credit card (okay, actually Isaac’s San Francisco Public Library card 🙂 on the top edge while pushing up on the hole on the upper edge of the sunglass nook. (You can see the hole being backlit by the flashlight, several photos down.)
I found it easy to start the top edge, but hard to free the bottom. There are no hooks there, just friction. A bit of wiggling, gritting teeth, and a final push; it’s out.
I pull the unit out, gently forcing it past sticky spots. No hooks; friction. Then it’s completely out. Here you can see the cable bundle which connects the unit to external power and thermometer.
In the following picture you can see the hole on the upper edge of the sunglass nook backlit by the flashlight. (Without the flashlight it’s impossible to see the hole.)
The bundle is disconnected by pushing the bracket on top to the left. It flops over and the connector pops out.
We happened by the dealership to pick up the required replacement bulbs, shown here on the hood roundel, next to the cardboard package. For those of you who will get to this page via a search engine, the package shows
12 V 1,2W BX8,4d
62 13 1 383 311
Made in Germany
The third line – in red – is the BMW part number that you’ll have to tell the dealership (or from whomever you order).
You’ll need a narrow flat-head screwdriver to move the bulbs one-quarter turn. Then they’ll pop out.
I’m familiar with the adage that one should change all the bulbs when having a component open, but I decided to replace only the burnt bulb. As soon as I put the cable back on and turned the ignition key I noticed that the new bulb was burning but the other bulb had burned out. Luckily I was in the dealership parking lot. Back to the parts department.
Once the other bulb was replaced, and both stayed lit (I was worried that there was an electrical short somewhere) I pushed the unit back in, set the date and time, and took the following photo. It’s my first do-it-yourself project on the car. Perhaps it’s not pulling an engine, but each according to their ability. Horray!
Back at the parking lot near our home Isaac poses with the car. Then it was time to go inside and read some books.
I hope this helps.
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