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Ford Explorer Sport Trac

How do you replace the instrument panel lights on a '01 Explorer Sport Trac?

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Answered 2011-09-12 21:00:22

The headlight switch instrument panel illumination bulb can be accessed / replaced without removing the dash (on an 01' & possibly other) Explorers, though it is a bit tricky. The bulb is seated in the switch itself, and is removed with a quarter turn counter clockwise. You'll need a small slot screwdriver with a narrow blade (or similar item) to do this. To get to the bulb, you'll need to pull off the fuse panel access door and remove the three (3) screws holding the fuse block. You'll also need to remove the plastic trim panel under the steering wheel, including the hood latch (7mm socket). Underneath that is a metal, wiring cover plate, which also must be removed (9mm socket). Once all are out of the way you can get behind the switch and using a small screwdriver, remove the old bulb and replace. It appears all other instrument panel lights have to be accessed via complete removal of the dash.

If the lights behind your gas gage, mph gage, or etc. are not working, you will have to remove the panels below and above your steering wheel. I'm unsure of the bulb size, but you can go to the auto parts store and tell them what you need and they should give you the correct build. There's 6 total, and i replaced all 6 when i replaced mine because they are so complicated to get to.

1. remove the panel which holds your CD player and heat/air controls. Remove the controls on your heat/air by just pulling them off. Remove the two screws directly above the controls. Pull out on the entire panel and it will snap off.

2. Remove the panel below your steering wheel by taking two screws at the very bottom of the panel out. Pull the panel out and it will snap off.

3. Remove the metal plate behind the panel you just removed by taking the 5 bolts out in the plate.

4. Remove the panel which contains your dimmer and lights on/off switch by removing the 3 screws underneath the dash. Look and the glass panel then look up, you'll see the 3 screws. Pull out on the panel and it will release.

5. Remove the whole instrument panel by taking the 4 bolts out in each of the 4 corners. The instrument panel will come out.

6. Look on the back of the panel. There will be a circuit board. There will be six black bulb holders which will snap out of the circuit board. Twist the black bulb holders counter clockwise about 1/4 turn and they will snap out. The new bulbs will fit in the place of the old bulbs. Put the black bulb holder back in the circuit board and turn clockwise 1/4 turn.

7. Replace all of the panels just like you took them off.

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