A panel-type bulbholder
Now look for securing screws around the cluster casing. If you see them, you
can remove the cluster simply by undoing them. But first disconnect the battery
terminals and the wiring to the bulbholders. Then release the securing screws
and the unit should now lift out with the bulbs and their holders in place.
If you cannot see any fixings, or if you cannot at this stage disconnect the
wiring, then you will have to dismantle the unit further before you can remove
it. The procedure for doing this is the same as for the more complex type of
If you have removed your lens because it was dirty, or if you need to
clean up a second-hand replacement item, you can do this with soapy water
and an old soft toothbrush.
Gently scrub out all dirt and grime from the lens. The silver backing
around the bulbs can also be carefully cleaned in the same way. But take
care not to scrub this too hard or you may find the silvering will start to
Before reassembly make sure the inside of the lens and bulbholders is
The more complex type of cluster unit has its lens cover attached to the
casing from the rear. There are no exposed screw heads on this type and the
entire cluster unit will need to be removed from the car before the lens can be
removed or the cluster checked.
Open the tailgate or boot lid so you can see where the rear of the cluster
sticks out. The cluster will often be covered by a trim panel. Remove this
first to gain access to the rear of the unit. The covers are often held by one
or more simple wing nuts or turn buttons and can usually be removed by hand.
The section in your car handbook on changing the bulbs should tell you how to
Start by disconnecting the battery earth terminal as a safety precaution.
Look at how the wiring is attached to the cluster unit.
Older style units have individual Wires running to each bulbholder. You may
be able to pull out the bulbholders without having to disconnect the wiring. If
this is not possible label the wires as you disconnect them so they don’t
become muddled on reassembly.
Later units use multi-plug connectors. These may be a tight push-fit and
simply pull off. Others engage positively on to the cluster casing and you have
to press in the small thumb tabs on each end of the connector to release
If the rear of the unit is not accessible, the wiring can only be
disconnected once you have unbolted and partially removed the unit from the
Find where the main cluster fixings are located. Vertical units usually have
a fixing at the top and bottom while horizontal ones have them at each end and
may also have one located at the top and bottom. The fixing may be a bolt or
screw which threads into the cluster unit or it may be small nuts which tighten
on to studs fixed into the cluster casing.
Remove the fixings and carefully withdraw the cluster from the car. You may
have to twist it to get it to come out of its aperture. Take care not to damage
the seal between the cluster unit and the body as you withdraw the unit.
Disconnect the wiring at this stage if you couldn’t do so before.
With the cluster now removed look at the back of the unit to find the
fixings that secure the lens. Undo them, noting if they are of differing
lengths, and if so note where they fit. The lens can now be separated from the
Drilling a drain hole
If the problem with your light unit was that it was filling up with
water you may be able to prevent the problem occurring again by making
extra drain holes in the lens.
With the casing removed, very carefully drill extra holes into the lower
edge of the lens with a Vl2in (2mm) drill bit. Make a mark in the drilling
position before you start to prevent the drill from slipping.
It is a good idea to check the holes are clear using a pin every six