If the car is still under warranty, the radio should be also. A dealer will replace the radio, and send your original one back, so if you go to get it replaced under warranty, be sure to eject the CD or you may never see it again.
If you are out of warranty, there are usually some low cost units on ebay. Swapping a radio is pretty easy, it is covered in a number of other threads, but it's basically pull off the trim piece, disconnect the wires on it, then the radio is held in place with four 10mm screws, pull it out, and disconnect the wires off the back (and a wire tie from one of the brackets)
If you decide you want to replace the lights inside by yourself instead of replacing the whole radio, then first you have to pull the radio out. Once you have the radio out of the car, move to a good work area where you won't lose any screws or other parts.
The first step to disassembling the radio is to pull the two rotary knobs off. Just grab and pull.
I've taken apart a Vibe cd unit (no tape deck, and the rest applies
The connectors are different sizes, so you can't get them crossed when you put it back together. You can see in the picture that there are two holes in the chassis front, one wire bundle comes through each hole. When you put it back together, it will be obvious which goes through which
(since mine is a CD/tape, there are other wires in there, but for the Vibe's 1CD unit, there are just the two marked wire bundles)
You definitely want to be careful prying the tabs, you do not want to break them. Just lift them a little, while pulling on the face plate. I guess you might be able to use eight toothpicks or some such thing, wedge one under each clip, but I didn't do that
Remove the five screws, but when you go to separate the two, have the face plate down, or else all the buttons will fall out of the face plate.
(On mine a couple of the little white bulbs along the bottom row are burned out, but I'm not sure what bulb to put in there.)
In order to remove the LCD to access the backlight bulbs, you have to straighten the six tabs as best as possible. They have to be straight enough to slide through the small slots int he circuit board.
Once you have the tabs bent straight, you have to pry the LCD and metal cover off, pulling these six metal tabs through the circuit board, so the better you can straighten them, the easier it will be. I used a pair of needle nose pliers.
This pic shows the back of the circuit board small with a red box on it, and below that is a larger view of the area in the red box, with the six tabs indicated
This pic shows the front of the circuit board, after the LCD has been removed. There are three bulbs, each soldered to the circuit board. The bulbs themselves are clear glass, but each has a tiny white rubber condom over it. Mine has a small amount of heat discoloration on the circuit board around the bulbs.
Now, the question is what bulb to use to replace them with. I do not know. There is another thread here that says to use a 12V 100mA bulb. The only place near me to get a solder-in bulb like that is radioshack, and they have a 12V bulb about the same size, but it's specs make me think it would not be bright enough.
I did a lot of looking, and so far what I think would be the best match for what is in there is an 8640 bulb. (do a google shopping search for 8640 bulb) I thought about ordering some. I also thought about ordering some 2162 bulbs, which are rated at 10,000 hours.
In the end what I did was go to the local auto parts store and bought two two packs of "74" bulbs. They are a wedge base bulb, but there is enough metal wire in the wedge base to bend it to fit the holes for the stock bulbs. These 74 bulbs are "T 1 3/4" size, a bit bigger than the bulbs I took out, but still fit ok. They were too big to fit the little white rubber bulb condoms on. (I think the 8640 bulbs are the right size, perhaps T1 1/4, the 2162's are the larger T1 3/4 size)
So without embarrassing myself by posting pics of amateur soldering, I'll just say that you can unsolder the failed bulb, and solder in the replacement. You might consider, if one failed, how long till the next one fails. I replaced all three. Then it is a matter of putting it back together, which is
- push the LCD and metal cover back on
- holding it tightly against the circuit board, re-bend the six tabs to lock it in place
- re-attach the circuit board to the front plastic cover with all the buttons by replacing the five screws
- feed the wires through the chassis, and click the face plate back onto the chassis, engaging all eight tabs
- re-attach the two wire bundles to the main board
- if you had a tape unit, screw it back in place
- snap the bottom cover back on
- push the knobs back on the front. They are keyed, so line them up
- reinstall the radio in the car
In the pic above showing the bulbs, it also shows the back of the LCD mount, which has three rectangular holes, one for each bulb. However you attach the bulbs, they have to fit in those holes
Also, if you are careful, after you've soldered on the new bulbs, but before you screw the circuit board back on to the plastic faceplate, you can connect up the two wire bundles to the mother board, plug it back in to the car, and turn it on to verify that the new lights light up. Just be careful not to short anything out.
|Quote, originally posted by Corn1849 »|
Were did you find replacement bulbs?
What were they?
I used the "74" bulbs referenced above. Autozone had them on diplay rack. At Napa, they sell them "loose" and you have to ask at the counter.
What's your story?
It's a wonderful thing
Momma always said "Help that is not helpful, is no help at all"
Just fixed mine. ONE good tip: when you remove the faceplate from the circuit board, keep the faceplate DOWN and LIFT the circuit board off. This will keep all of the buttons in place on the faceplate. No big deal to replace them but just makes it easier in the reassembly.
I used the type 73 bulb from advanced auto. They are 1.1 watt vs. 1.4 watt of the 74. There was also an in between 37, I think, that was 1.3w. Anyway, the 73 is plenty bright and the 1.1 watt should last a little longer and not get as hot. I did not like the brown heat spots on the white of the reflective board that the other bulbs caused.
LED's: I tried to hodge-podge together some LED's from old lights and give aways but I overloaded them. They were using 2 each 3V button batteries so I figured they used a 6V bias. I placed to together for each 12V solder connection. It must have been too much because two burned up. So I took them back out and did the bulbs.
I did come across something that may work very well on eBay. A dome light replacement built of LED's. It is about 15mm x 30 mm and is prewired for 12V. It should fit perfectly behind the display, not generate any heat and last as long as the car. I just could not see sending my money to china - all these LED kits seem to come from China.
Let me know if you think the bulbs wont last. They barely fit, so I wouldn't recommend them, as they barely fit inside of the lcd screen area.
My vibe had two bulbs out. I replaced all three with these radio shack bulbs.
Pic of final:
Heres a pic of how it looks now! not sure if its brigher or darker but the dimmer does let you adjust it with the lights on.
|Quote, originally posted by lil red wagon »|
|Just did this fix yesterday, went fairly smoothly |
(though im not the greatest with a soldering iron). Anyone know what
may be causing this problem with the display now?
Maybe try reseating the LCD module against the circuit card?
I didn't want to take chances with off-spec bulbs so I ordered the 2162 bulbs from Bulbtown.
As of this writing the bulbs are US $.70 each with free shipping. I ordered 5 bulbs so I could replace all 3 and screw up a couple times (which I usually do but didn't this time).
These bulbs are very precisely the same size so I very carefully rolled back the little white "condoms" and put them on the new bulbs. The wires are thinner but that makes it easier to position them. I used a 140 watt soldering gun with no problem.
One area of caution. When you remove the mounting screws that hold the radio in there is a possibility you might drop a screw down into the bowels of the instrument panel. I had a neat idea to take a little square of paper towel, fold it double thick, and place it over the 10mm socket. Then I wrapped a little rubber band around it to hold it in place. When you press this onto the lower left and right screws the paper towel will compress and hold them into the socket long enough for you to pull them out.
I continue to be amazed at what you can find on the Internet. I put up with a half-black screen on my radio for months and just on a whim one day did a Google search for "Vibe radio lights" and came across this thread. Ordered the lights, took some time, and got it done - total cost about $11 and a couple of hours. Just amazing!
And thanks again for the time and effort for joatmon who originally posted this technique. Very detailed with good pictures. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Jerry in KC
I did create a small jig to hold the bulbs while soldering. A piece of cardboard with 2 parallel toothpicks(used 1 toothpick broken in 2). The 2 glued toothpicks were gapped so that they created a craddle for the bulb so that I could keep the bulb steady and the leads level. I put the bulb between the toothpicks, set the craddle and bulb on the circuit board, put it where the leads were touching the old wires, and soldered without a problem.
Thanks for providing the info. Made this radio fix very easy.
|Quote, originally posted by bluneon »|
|is there a radio security code to be concerned with during removal?|
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests