1996 Camry (Gen 3.5): Climate Control (Heater/AC) Bulb Replacement - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
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#1 Old 11-17-2012, 03:31 PM
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1996 Camry (Gen 3.5): Climate Control (Heater/AC) Bulb Replacement

Car: 1996 Camry LE

Hey Everyone,

I recently changed my light bulbs around the Climate Control area. I documented my experience...and decided to do a write up! Hope this will be beneficial to some of you.

I am not an expert...me and toyotanation.com will not be held responsible for any problems that you experience if you follow this guide!!

So this is the area that didn't have any illumination at night:



First, disconnect the negative battery cable. This is important to ensure that the air bags don't deploy on you. After battery is disconnected, wait at least 2 minutes before starting work:



Next, lower the steering column as much as possible:



There are two Philips screws holding the top part of the instrument cluster:



A regular screwdriver wouldn't fit properly:



...so I used a mini-screwdriver:





Once you get these two top screws out, let's have an overview of where the clips are located:




First, we'll take off the "U" shape plastic by the radio. I put some tape on a flat-head screwdriver:



Once you get the two clips disengaged, the top part of the U shape is beveled, it slides in on to the instrument cluster. So to completely remove the U shape plastic, you need to twist it upward and slightly push down:



Now you will see two screws holding the instrument cluster. Remove these two screws:






Now go back to the steering wheel and remove the dimmer cap. I had to use a plier with rag because it was really stuck on there. The dimmer cap just pulls straight off:




Now you will see a 12mm nut that hold the dimmer switch against the cluster. Remove this nut and DON'T LOOSE IT!!




Now start gently prying the cluster:




The cluster should pop off at this time:



Disconnect the clock and hazard warning lights connectors:



For the clock, you need to press in on the tab and then pull the connector off:



Next, go back to the driver's side and disconnect the dimmer mirror control cable:



And then take out the cluster:



When you are taking the cluster out, be careful not to damage the air vents:



Now, go back to the climate control and you will see 4 Philips screws that have been revealed:



Remove the 4 screws:



Pull off the dials. Mine were really stuck, so once again I had to use pliers:




Put the dials and the 4 screws in one location:



Behind the temperature dial, you will see a screw that holds the temperature assembly against the climate control cluster. Remove the screw and unclip the temperature assembly:





Once you did that, now you will be able to pull the climate control cluster a little bit forward....



The top cover of the climate control cluster is held on by several clips. Here is a diagram I made:



Now, take a small flat-head screwdriver and pry the 4 clips at the top of the cluster:



There is a fifth clip by the corner:



The top part of the climate control cluster should come off. You will see two green bulbs:



To take them out, all you have to do is turn them 90 degrees and pull them out:




These are small, wedge bulbs...they just pull out of their connector:



Here is the outer cover..notice the transparent plastic that directs the lights:



Installation is reverse of what you just did above

Hope it's helpful!!

1996 Camry LE, 4 cylinder (5SFE), Auto Transmission, 197100 miles

Last edited by Trioxide1; 11-17-2012 at 07:41 PM. Reason: added a diagram
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#2 Old 11-17-2012, 04:00 PM
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Nicely done
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#3 Old 11-17-2012, 05:29 PM
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Excellent job again, Trioxide1! We have a DIY for this on the Gen 4. Nice to have one for the Gen 3 as well. Stickied.

1992 Camry LE, V6 (3VZ-FE), ABS brakes, dark emerald pearl, owned since new. Replaced HGs @332k, now at 365k miles
1996 Avalon XLS, ABS brakes, super white II, acquired w/ 139k, now at 308k
2001 Yamaha FZ1, Ivan's jet kit, resprung, Ohlins rear shock, Race Tech cartridge emulators in forks, 49k
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#4 Old 11-18-2012, 07:59 PM
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I know the defroster switch is backlit, is the AC button suppose to be backlit? I know when its on there is like a green LED that comes on, but at night you cant see where the switch is... and Im wondering if there is a bulb that is out?
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#5 Old 11-18-2012, 09:27 PM
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The defroster 'module' has two bulbs in it, while the AC 'module' has only one...I am not sure whether or not that single bulbt in the AC module is for backlit light


1996 Camry LE, 4 cylinder (5SFE), Auto Transmission, 197100 miles

Last edited by Trioxide1; 11-18-2012 at 09:28 PM.
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#6 Old 04-03-2013, 02:14 PM
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This information is most useful - Thank you!
We are needing to replace bulbs in the AC/Heater control panel in a '92 V6-LE.
Several other similar job in a 95 wagon in need of the automatic shifter console bulb with the green coating on the dome of the bulb - only guessing it is a 194.
The defroster and AC switches seem to be dealer-only bulbs but the heater/vent control bulbs look like 194 except for the green coating.
Where can I look up bulb part number info?
Thanks again.

Thank you.
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#7 Old 07-28-2013, 12:46 PM
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Great writeup - These instructions were perfect for replacing the heater control light on a 94 4cyl Camry LE. On my car, the front panel of the heater control assembly was not held on by the same clips as the 96 Camry in the photos. I didn't figure out how to remove the front panel of the heater control assembly, but then I realized that I didn't have to remove it. I just removed the bulb connector from the back side and was able to replace the bulb. In hindsight, to replace the heater control bulbs illuminating the knobs, only the temperature control knob (and screw) needs to be removed so that the control assembly can be pulled out far enough to access the bulbs from the back.

The Toyota part number for the bulb was 90981-11014. Dealer charged a very reasonable $2.00 for the bulb.

I had problems getting the 12mm nut back onto the console gauge dimmer switch on the left side. Looking at the threads, the nut had been placed on last time at an angle thus messing up the threads to some degree. The metal looks to be pretty soft. I did the best I could to put it on OK. Luckily it's not a critical fastener.
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#8 Old 07-29-2013, 04:34 PM
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Very good pics. This will be helpful when I put a new bulb in the "R" in the cluster. I have not taken one out in 4 years.
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#9 Old 11-09-2013, 06:52 PM
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3rd Generation Almost, but not quite ......done

Thanks Trioxide 1 ! Great tutorial, photos, etc. this helped me dig into my climate control also. I found that I didn't need to remove the dimmer switch before removing instrument cluster bezel. I just unplugged it.




I didn't see that I could remove the face of the panel, but noticed the wires leading to the bulb sockets at the back:




Here's the two bulbs in sockets:


My problem now is that I bought 194 bulbs to replace these burned out ones, but as you can see they are smaller! The one on the right is a 194:

I'm thankful my wife is taking her 97 Corolla back to the dealer on Monday since it appears that they installed a bad A/C compressor about a month ago now. I'm hoping they'll have a couple of the correct bulbs for my car.
I should be able to remove the dash bezel blindfolded before too long.I've taken it apart two weekends in a row now.

1994 Camry LE, 4 cylinder (5SFE), Auto Transmission, 162,000 miles
1997 Corolla CE, 4 cylinder (1.6 Ltr), Auto Transmission, 142,000
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#10 Old 11-13-2013, 04:19 PM
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Tnx A lot Trioxide1. I really needed this. i have speedometer bulb not working, and it's very annoying at night, i can't see nothing under 100 kmh. and two weeks ago the A/C control bulbs are gone also, so i'll be doing some work this weekend.
i just have one question, i really want to know the power output on the bulbs (i think 1.2W, but i'm not sure) i want to be ready before i start working. and also i think all dashboard bulbs are the same, right?
best regards
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#11 Old 11-13-2013, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kacar View Post
Tnx A lot Trioxide1. I really needed this. i have speedometer bulb not working, and it's very annoying at night, i can't see nothing under 100 kmh. and two weeks ago the A/C control bulbs are gone also, so i'll be doing some work this weekend.
i just have one question, i really want to know the power output on the bulbs (i think 1.2W, but i'm not sure) i want to be ready before i start working. and also i think all dashboard bulbs are the same, right?
best regards
The 194LL bulbs I bought are 4.6 w

The smaller bulbs for the climate control are 1.4w

No. They are not all the same bulbs.

I bought 4 each 194LL (Long Life) Sylvania bulbs at Auto Zone for $4.99 for 2 each. They light up my whole instrument cluster, speedometer,tach,fuel. Here's link:How to replace bulb on the instrument panel ( toyota corolla 97)?

I just bought 4 of these (only needed 2 for now) for my climate control panel.The photo shows one of the new bulbs with a new cap I purchased separately.


They were $4.84 at dealer here in Portland,OR.
I was able to very carefully roll one of the green caps off of one of the old bulbs, but not the second one.


I bought 3 new caps at $2.47 each.


Here's a video that I'd watched before doing any of this stuff:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLRCRuR8QCs
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