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DIY Instrument cluster lights

Hi all,

The car is a 99 Accord and I was just wondering how complicated it is to remove the instrument cluster from this car and replace some bulbs ?

The fan speed selector knob, clock, and Hazard Light switch lights are burned out.

Is this something that me & my shade tree mechanic friend can do or is it best left to the pros ?

My indy mechanic said he would have to charge about 1 hour of labor + the new bulbs, does that sound reasonable ?


I’d want a service manual for this job. When you start taking the dashboard apart it helps to know where all the hidden fasteners and attachment points are. You may or may not have to remove the steering wheel, but in case you do, knowing how to disarm the airbag will be worth WAY more than the cost of a manual.

Get a manual, read through the procedure, then decide whether or not it’s something you want to tackle.

Try for inexpensive used manuals.

I’m not sure about your specific car, but the button lights are sometimes very easy to change-- it may be a simple matter of popping out the button or knob. As for the clock, you’ll probably have to replace the whole thing. For as nice as everything else on them is, the clocks on Hondas are utter junk and seem to break all the time, but they’re usually easy to change. Usually you just snap out the bezel and there’s two screws right there.

A generic service manual will probably show you how to change the lights behind the instrument cluster, but you’ll probably need a factory manual for what you’re looking at and even it may not be all that helpful. It’s just a matter of feeling it out and I would say there is a risk of snapping little plastic thingees that will then rattle and annoy you for weeks to come. If it really bothers you enough to want to change the lights, I’d say your mechanic’s estimate is very fair.

Doesn’t look all that hard to me.



About the clocks, the one on my old 87 Accord was the original but the one on my mom’s 99 CRV just totally went out one day. The one in my car works just can’t see it at night, of course.

Are you saying that the clock light is inside the clock itself rather than behind it ?