FAQ: Changing light bulbs in 1992-1995 Rear defrost/cruise/foglight switches - Honda-Tech - Honda Forum Discussion


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FAQ: Changing light bulbs in 1992-1995 Rear defrost/cruise/foglight switches

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Old 10-13-2006, 12:43 AM   #1
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Default FAQ: Changing light bulbs in 1992-1995 Rear defrost/cruise/foglight switches

After looking around for a write-up on how to change the bulbs in the rear defrost/cruise/foglight switches in 92-95 Civics, I came to the conclusion that if there was a write-up in existence, it was hopelessly lost. I plodded though tearing my switches out to discover some discouraging results. Not only did each switch have two little bulbs, the only source I could find was the dealer, and pay on the order of $6 for each bulb. I determined after some research that the bulb could be replaced in the holder with good results. I have tried this on switches from all civic models from 92-95, coupes, hatches, sedans, and Del Sols. To my knowledge, this should work for any Honda switch with this style of bulb and holder.

DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING PICTURES AND TEXT ARE PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. I MAKE NO GUARANTEES AS TO THE COMPLETENESS OR ACCURACY OF ANY INFORMATION CONTAINED WITHIN. ALL REASONABLE STEPS HAVE BEEN TAKEN TO PROVIDE ONLY KNOWN ACCURATE INFORMATION, BUT I WILL NOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE OR HARM YOU MAY CAUSE TO YOURSELF OR YOUR VEHICLE BY USING THIS INFORMATION.

That being said, I'll move on to my write-up.

Parts needed:
A flat blade screwdriver to pry with
A knife or another flat blade screwdriver
Tweezers
New bulbs, RadioShack Model: 272-1092
http://www.radioshack.com/prod...80&cp

Note: For optical clarity, I used spare parts I had around. The only difference between the pictures and your vehicle is the absence of a dash board and wiring. It should go without saying, but please remember to unclip the wires from the switch before you attempt to remove the switch from the holder.

As seen on a 1994 Civic Ex Ė


Tools/Parts






Removal:
First off, determine what needs to be removed. Rear defroster is most common, since most all cars have it. So, Iíll start with that.


The principle here is simple. You just pry the switch out. Iíll go ahead and make it look easy:



Then unclip the wire from the switch and youíre good to go.


But wait, you say. I tried that, and it didnít want to come out. Thereís a reason why. Honda didnít want you to pull your switch out. The trick is to know where to pry at. There are two metal tabs with a flat spot. The plastic holder is cut out so you can slip something in and push down on the clip. Iíve never been able to get directly at the clip, but if you know where youíre aiming, you can hit the plastic housing and pry against it. Be careful not to damage your bezel or switch.








Once the switch holder is out, you have to get the switch out of the holder. There are 4 clips holding the switch in. You have to press on all four at the same time to get the switch to slide out. I have only two hands, so I use a screwdriver and a knife to help out.








Once itís past the clips, you can remove your tools.


Go ahead and pull the switch out and look it over.



Weíre looking for the bulbs. There are two:


Youíre probably better off replacing both of them while itís out.

To remove them, give them a bit of a turn counterclockwise until they unlock.



Tweezers come in handy getting them out:





Now for the lights:




If you look at the bulb, youíll see that there are two wires that come out and wrap around the holder. Youíll want to unwrap these wires and pull the bulb out. I recommend you only do one at a time. The reason is that the replacement bulbs sometimes have slightly different dimensions than the original bulb. If you have something to compare the new one to, you can account for this difference in the way you position the new bulb in the holder. If the bulb is not positioned right in the holder in relation to the filament, the light output will be affected, and it can be noticed.








As you can see, the new bulb has quite a bit of extra wire. This will need to be trimmed, but not yet.


Check the way the bulb sits. If it sits just like the old one, then cut the wires off as close to the same length as the old ones as possible. If not, gauge the difference and trim accordingly. I just used the knife to trim the extra off, but scissors work better. Itís easier to remove the bulb again to compare lengths.




Once youíve cut it, then put the bulb in the holder, and wrap the wires back around the holder like they were before you unwrapped them.


Ideally, you wonít see a difference in the bulbs.


Time to put the bulbs back:



Into the holder:



Clip the wires back and install:



For those of you blessed enough to have an Ex or Si, the process is much the same for the cruise control switch. The OEM foglight switch is the same switch as the cruise control switch. Only the face is different. The body of the foglight or cruise control switch is also the same as the rear defroster switch. Only the internal switch and rear cap are different.









If you did everything right, the indicator light should come on when you press the button, and the back light should come on with the park lights and head lights.

Any comments/corrections would be appreciated.

Last edited by qat727; 02-05-2009 at 05:31 PM. Reason: we-todd ate the pictures
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Old 10-13-2006, 01:19 AM   #2
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Default Re: FAQ: Changing light bulbs in 1992-1995 Rear defrost/cruise/foglight switches (qat727)

i am going to do this sunday. good write-up
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Old 10-13-2006, 01:50 AM   #3
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Default Re: FAQ: Changing light bulbs in 1992-1995 Rear defrost/cruise/foglight switches (resol)

Good idea. I've been wondering what to do about getting new bulbs for those.
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Old 10-13-2006, 02:52 AM   #4
 
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Default Re: FAQ: Changing light bulbs in 1992-1995 Rear defrost/cruise/foglight switches (JDM_Ej)

damn good write up was waiting for someone to do this
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Old 10-13-2006, 03:28 AM   #5
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Default Re: FAQ: Changing light bulbs in 1992-1995 Rear defrost/cruise/foglight switches (GreenEHDriver)

also if you want to change backlight color, you can sharpie the backlight bulb only. 2-3 coats with a 2-3 min dry time between sharpie works best. make sure there are no clear spots left on the bulb. (if you use sharpie it will fade over time and need to be reapplied.) now if your looking for a more permanent color change the front cover of the switch snaps on and off, and can be popped off easily. you can sharpie the backside of the picture on it for a more permanent color change. be sure to do even stroke with no missed streaks. hope this helps, this is how i changed my entire dash to amber, even the clock, and my autometers. and it looks awesome. ive gotten tons of compliments. good write by the way to the op
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Old 10-13-2006, 05:48 AM   #6
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Default Re: FAQ: Changing light bulbs in 1992-1995 Rear defrost/cruise/foglight switches (qat727)

goddamn that looks like a pain in the *** lol

excellent write up though
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Old 10-13-2006, 07:45 AM   #7
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Default Re: FAQ: Changing light bulbs in 1992-1995 Rear defrost/cruise/foglight switches (JSPECSIR)

Quote:
Originally Posted by JSPECSIR
also if you want to change backlight color, you can sharpie the backlight bulb only. 2-3 coats with a 2-3 min dry time between sharpie works best. make sure there are no clear spots left on the bulb. (if you use sharpie it will fade over time and need to be reapplied.) now if your looking for a more permanent color change the front cover of the switch snaps on and off, and can be popped off easily. you can sharpie the backside of the picture on it for a more permanent color change. be sure to do even stroke with no missed streaks. hope this helps, this is how i changed my entire dash to amber, even the clock, and my autometers. and it looks awesome. ive gotten tons of compliments. good write by the way to the op
Thanks for the compliments, everyone. It really isn't that hard, all said and done, just a bit time consuming.

I tried changing the colors. JSPECSIR is correct. Better results can be obtained by coloring the back of the switch, but this still faded out. I believe that if you obtained something along the lines of colored cellophane and pasted it to the back of the switch, it would work even better.
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Old 10-13-2006, 03:46 PM   #8
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good write up, mang. Never thought about changing those before.
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Old 10-13-2006, 03:52 PM   #9
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Default Re: (EgSalad)

nice write up
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Old 10-14-2006, 05:51 AM   #10
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Default Re: (bpkmrtoes)

Thanks for the compliments.

Bumping this up for a few more people to see.
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Old 10-14-2006, 09:02 AM   #11
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Default Re: (qat727)

I just ripped apart my defrost switch yesterday to make it amber. I was thinking about how much of a pain in the *** it would be if I ever had to fix that bulb

Nice write up
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Old 10-14-2006, 10:23 AM   #12
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Nice. now you could change them to mad jdm orange.. lol
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Old 10-14-2006, 10:29 AM   #13
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Default Re: FAQ: Changing light bulbs in 1992-1995 Rear defrost/cruise/foglight switches (qat727)

Do they sell amber bulbs? Or can I just use some model paint and paint them amber?
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Old 10-14-2006, 10:38 AM   #14
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Default Re: FAQ: Changing light bulbs in 1992-1995 Rear defrost/cruise/foglight switches (99FBPSi)

I have been unable to locate any colored bulbs of the correct size and specs. I changed the color of a set of switches to yellow and blue with some degree of success using a sharpie and some goop you use to make fake stained glass. The end result was splotchy, though. I found that coloring the bulbs is entirely futile, as the color burns off in a matter of weeks for most stuff. I obtained better results by using a thick colored cellophane behind the switch.
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Old 10-14-2006, 11:46 AM   #15
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Here's some factory replacements, all Honda part numbers, avaialable at:

http://www.slhondaparts.com
http://www.majestichonda.com
Your local dealership

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eran
Neo-Wedge twist outs. They work for cruise control, OEM foglight buttons (not esuse or depo), hazards, and defog.

Best bet is to get them from honda because the 10mm neo-wedges they have on autolumination are too big. They come in four different colors from honda:

Amber (white condom) - on/off indication for defrost + jdm foglight on/off indication
BULB - 35850-SV4-981

99-00 Climate Control Neo-Wedges:
BULB, NEO-WEDGE - 79609-S02-A01 (blue condom)
BULB, NEO-WEDGE - 79609-S02-A11 (amber condom)


Greenish-White (blue condom) - defrost illumination for 96-98 civic cx/dx/lx/ex
BULB (BLUE) - 35850-S04-003

Green (green condom) - oem foglight on/off indication + cruise control
BULB (G) - 35852-ST3-G01

Clear (no condom) - hazard illumination
BULB, NEO-WEDGE (CLEAR)(TEC) - 35851-SM4-003
Also, this how-to works with 1mm LED's. I've only been able to locate clear, red, yellow, and green though.
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Old 10-14-2006, 12:01 PM   #16
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Default Re: FAQ: Changing light bulbs in 1992-1995 Rear defrost/cruise/foglight switches (qat727)

Quote:
Originally Posted by qat727
A flat blade screwdriver to pry with
A knife or another flat blade screwdriver
I like your write up. BUT, why use a screwdriver to get the button out? If u are too hard, you will damage the paint.
Just push the button out from behind of the panel..

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Old 10-14-2006, 12:14 PM   #17
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Default Re: FAQ: Changing light bulbs in 1992-1995 Rear defrost/cruise/foglight switches (StalX)

If you leave the dash piece in place then I could see using the screwdriver to get the button out.
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Old 10-14-2006, 02:57 PM   #18
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Default Re: FAQ: Changing light bulbs in 1992-1995 Rear defrost/cruise/foglight switches (Seahawk)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seahawk
If you leave the dash piece in place then I could see using the screwdriver to get the button out.
Ok.. When the hole dash is in place, and u only take the piece out, thats is above your legs and under the steering wheel, i can still get it out from behind, only using my hand..

Maybe its only me, that has too long fingers
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Old 10-14-2006, 06:25 PM   #19
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Default Re: FAQ: Changing light bulbs in 1992-1995 Rear defrost/cruise/foglight switches (StalX)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Eran
Here's some factory replacements, all Honda part numbers, avaialable at:

http://www.slhondaparts.com
http://www.majestichonda.com
Your local dealership

Also, this how-to works with 1mm LED's. I've only been able to locate clear, red, yellow, and green though.
Worth looking into. However, if you'll notice, these bulbs don't use bulb condoms. Only the larger wedge style bulbs utilize the bulb condoms. These bulbs are too small for most condoms. LED's may work, but I'd check the voltage/current before trying to wire in an LED. Also, remember that these bulbs are subject to the dimming circuit. From my understanding of it, a rheostat is not an LED's best friend.

I'm not sure how many of you all have taken the front cover off of one of these switches. If you do, you'll notice that the front cover is painted. The blue color that the wedge bulbs have for condoms is painted on the back of the switch. Take this into consideration in your color changing endeavors. I had to scrape the blue paint off the back of the switch to get the color to change.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StalX
I like your write up. BUT, why use a screwdriver to get the button out? If u are too hard, you will damage the paint.
Just push the button out from behind of the panel..
\/
\/

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seahawk
If you leave the dash piece in place then I could see using the screwdriver to get the button out.
In order to get the trim bezel out properly, you have to remove the dash to get to the screws. I have yet to be able to contort my hands enough to push the switches out from the back, and seeing as how this write-up was intended for people that were actually removing these from the car, I didn't figure I ought to cheat and push it out from the back. I would hope most people would have enough sense to be careful with a piece of metal around their trim bezel.
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Old 10-15-2006, 05:55 PM   #20
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Default Re: FAQ: Changing light bulbs in 1992-1995 Rear defrost/cruise/foglight switches (qat727)

Those part #'s aren't the condoms, they're the entire twist-out neo-wedge bulb.
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Old 06-06-2007, 10:50 PM   #21
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Default Re: FAQ: Changing light bulbs in 1992-1995 Rear defrost/cruise/foglight switches (Eran)

so someone here said not to use LED's for the buttons, but then how come new cars have them and can be dimmed? Also would it affect it if you don't dim them because I never do.
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Old 03-07-2008, 08:16 AM   #22
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Default Re: FAQ: Changing light bulbs in 1992-1995 Rear defrost/cruise/foglight switches (95jdmcivic)

ima do that
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Old 03-07-2008, 08:27 AM   #23
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Default Re: FAQ: Changing light bulbs in 1992-1995 Rear defrost/cruise/foglight switches (qat727)

thats pretty tyte... i'mma go now and get some haha... i think this should be stickied or put in the faqs
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Old 03-10-2008, 08:50 AM   #24
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Default Re: FAQ: Changing light bulbs in 1992-1995 Rear defrost/cruise/foglight switches (Joon Joon)

I tried to get it added to the FAQ, but nobody seemed to care. If someone wants to add it now, that would be great.
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:17 PM   #25
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Default Re: FAQ: Changing light bulbs in 1992-1995 Rear defrost/cruise/foglight switches

Syndacate pointed out that all the pics are down since we-todd died. I have rehosted them and will be updating the writeup as time is available with the new links.
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