Here is a bit of blurb on changing bulbs in the aircon and multifunction
displays. I was told by Asquith & Johnstone service that the bulbs were
integral with the A/C PCB assembly and the whole thing would need to be
changed at $769. Well of course they would say that once you're out of
warranty... In fact the bulbs are designed to be changed and it's quite
easy once you know how to get the centre console apart. I suspect similar
bulbs might be used elsewhere but I haven't had to tackle that.
The air conditioning and multifunction (clock/temp etc) displays use a
liquid-crystal display with conventional incandescent bulbs for
backlighting. This generates the orange "high visibility" display which
dims when the lights are turned on.
Failure of one or more of the bulbs will cause uneven or "shadowed"
illumination. In my case both bulbs on the A/C display failed just short of
3 years old. You could still faintly read the display because it was lit by
ambient light, and of course all the controls still worked.
There is a separate bulb for the A/C control buttons - if this fails the
buttons won't light up at night.
I used standard 12V 1.2W T-5mm "wedge" bulbs, which I got from an auto-parts
supplier (Repco). They are commonly used for instrument lighting. I don't
know if the original ones are special "long life" bulbs, (since these
displays are illuminated whenever the ignition is on) but the replacements
are working OK so far. I got Narva brand bulbs, part no. 47286BL at around
To replace the bulbs, I followed Van's description of dismantling the dash
at http://206gti.net/phone-console/ with the following variations:
Step 1 - I used four 3.15mmx75mm bright nails to remove the stereo. Pushing
the nails slightly outwards towards the sides of the car will lever the
internal clips inwards and help them disengage; you can then start to pull
the whole unit out.
Step 2 - for those with the original Eurovox stereo (Australian 1999-2000
models) the remote connection is hardwired, making the removal quite messy.
There is a connector, accessible by removing the fuse cover beneath the
steering wheel, but in my case it was wrapped in insulation tape and one of
the wires came loose from its pin. Reconnecting this was the ugliest part
of the whole exercise.
Step 3 - you don't need to disconnect the hazard switch wiring.
Once the top cover is removed you have access to the multifunction display
(MFD). Looking through the windscreen you will notice four square plastic
lugs on the top of the MFD assembly. These are the bulb holders, which
twist 90 degrees anti-clockwise then lift out. If you have trouble
extracting the bulb holders, the MFD can be removed by undoing the Torx T-20
screws (just visible under the edge of the MFD in Van's photo). The bulbs
are a push fit into the holders, just pull them out and push in the new one,
reinsert the bulb holder and turn it 90 degrees clockwise to clip it in.
For the A/C display, follow Steps 4 & 5 to remove the fascia. Now skip to
The GTi A/C control unit is a little different to the one pictured. Undo
the two Torx T-20 screws which hold it in, then push the unit backwards (ie
into the cavity behind the dash) to unhook it at the base. Now twist it
around until you can pull it out through the opening. There are three
cables attached to the unit, two on the back which are easily unclipped and
one on the bottom left side which you may not need to remove.
You now can access the back of the A/C control unit. The bulb holders are
the three square plastic lugs recessed into the back of the unit. The two
upper ones provide the display backlighting and the lower illuminates the
buttons when the lights are on. Rotate 90 degrees anticlockwise to unclip,
then lift out. You should be able to do this using thin-nosed pliers, or
you can remove the back cover by undoing the 6 small Torx T-9 screws (a
1/16" Allen key might just do it too). The bulbs are a push fit into the
Putting it back together is pretty straighforward (apart from the Eurovox
remote, if you are so blessed).