E50 How to: Replace Heater Control Bulbs

Karl

Founder
Staff member
E50 Owner
Premium Member
E50 Expert
#1
A common issue with the Elgrand E50 is that the heater control bulbs do not work.

Changing them is an easy, but tricky job. Here's how to do it.

First off, you need FIVE of these. They are T4 LED's (you can get T4 bulbs if you must, but they won't last as long or look as good). The two black ones on the left are the new LED's I fitted, the 5 on the right are the old ones I removed)



First off, you need to remove the dash surround, I do this starting bottom left but other prefer starting on the right. It's personal preference. It can be a bit stiff the first time you take it off, so be careful but firm with it and it will pop off.




Next, you will need to unplug the top switches. I have 3 and a blanking plate which I've used for my USB and external microphone (for head unit). Unplug them, and then you are free to move the dash panel to one side.



Once the centre dash panel is off, you will see the heater control and radio fixings. There are 4 screws holding the heater control in place, 2 either side. Remove them. Do NOT lose them!



As you pull the heater control unit forward, you will see 3 plugs behind. They did not leave much room for manoeuvre here, it's a bit tight. But you need to press the button on the top down with one hand whilst pulling the plug back out of the controller.





Once you have removed the plugs, you are free to take the control panel into the house to work on (makes life easier).

Here is my heater control panel, on my kitchen worktop.



On the back of the controller, there are 4 small copper screws. Two left, and two right. Here are pics of two of them. You can also see here 3 of the 5 bulbs you will be replacing (These are for the buttons, not the LCD screen).





Remove all 4 screws, then you will have to pop the plastic securing brackets on either side. There are three on the top, and two on the bottom (please note there are more plastic securing brackets to remove the front fascia, you don't need to take them off, just pop off the ones that are facing the very rear of the unit.

This is a picture of the 3 at the top (there are 6 in total, ignore the ones closest to the front)



Once the screws are removed and the plastic securing brackets are popped of, the front will pull apart from the back. Be careful though, as they are connected with cables on the left (as you look from the front, opposite side to the heat control knob).

This will give you open access to the 5 T4 LED's that you will be replacing. The two at the top are for the LCD panel, and the three at the bottom are for the buttons. This will be important if you want the LCD panel to be a different colour.



Now, LED's are polar. Meaning you have to put them in the right way round (positive to positive and negative to negative). BUT (here's the tricky part) neither the board nor the LED have a polar indicator (no + or -). So you have to make a guess. Once they are all in, take the unit back to the van and plug it all back in.

When you turn the ignition on, the windscreen blower light will flash on and off for a brief time. Not sure why it does this, but give it a minute and it will stop. Once it has stopped, you can turn the unit on. If your LED's are in the right way around, the panel will light up! If they are not, it won't. You will have to turn your lights on to get the 3x LED's for the buttons to light up.

Check that all 5 are working. If there are any dark spots, then you have one (or more) the wrong way around. Take it back out, turn them round the other way, and re fit.

Once you are happy that all 5 are working. Fix the whole unit back together, put the 4 small copper screws back in, plug it back into the van, put the 4 heater control securing screws back in, plug the 3 or 4 switches from the centre dash panel back in and pop back into place.

Hey presto... working backlit heater control unit :thumbup:

 
S

Spannerdemon

Guest
#2
Decided that I would tackle this today, as since we have had the car, we haven't been able to see the control panel at night. The original bulbs were pretty well shot. Never understand why Nissan cover them with that blue rubber nonsense that almost stops any light getting through?

Anyway. Got hold of some T4 bulbs and followed the tutorial which is very good, so thanks for it.
The ONLY problem that I had with it, is that having removed the five old bulbs, it became immediately obvious that the T4 LED bulbs that I'd got were not going to go through the holes. Are there different types? I have worked with electronics before, and after carefully checking out the 5 holes, and checking that there was nothing under them to damage, I decided to use a fine grinding wheel on my Dremel type tool, (I have a Machine Mart one which is fantastic), to enlarge the circular part of the hole. So long as you leave sufficient of the outer ring for a contact to be made, it's no big deal. Dremel burr 8153 is about right (or equivalent). Keep the speed low, and be really careful that it doesn't skip the hole. You don't want to damage any of the circuit board. Just take your time is my hint.

Anyway, got all 5 new blue LED's in, and checked it out on the car. Had to turn three round, as per instructions.

But here is the result, and I am well pleased. :dance2:

 

Widget

Administrator
Staff member
E50 Owner
E51 Owner
#3
Great how to Karl. Used it to fit my competition prize ;) . Have a blue screen with white buttons. Looks great.
 
S

Spannerdemon

Guest
#4
Just an addition to my post. The reason MY leds were too big for the holes is that they have 2
LED'S rather than one. Still very happy with the results though.
 

Tartan Lady

Active Member
E50 Owner
#5
.
Karl you sell the leds for this in the shop :) if not can you point me to best place to get them I so need my heater panel working if nothing else
 

Harvo

Here for life
E50 Owner
Premium Member
#7
Good on you. You'll be taking the engine out next.

Did you get leds? Did you try turning it around 180 degrees? Other than that the contacts may need a clean by lightly rubbing a small flat head screwdriver over them.
 

Tartan Lady

Active Member
E50 Owner
#8
Good on you. You'll be taking the engine out next.

Did you get leds? Did you try turning it around 180 degrees? Other than that the contacts may need a clean by lightly rubbing a small flat head screwdriver over them.
Yes used the leds did the turn everything all the others work so think it just 1 dud but Karls sorting out a replacement and hahaha on engine your as bad as Karl saying i would do dash next lol