Seat heater switch bulb replacement on a 1999 Saab 9-5. With several dozen bulbs illuminating dashboard switches and instruments, it's inevitable that some will burn off and require a replacement. On my car, they go at a rate of 2-3 per year, and with new bulbs priced up to $15 at the dealer, I had to find a more cost-effective alternative.
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Seat heater switch

This document shows how to replace the seat heater switch bulbs, but many others can be fixed in a similar fashion.
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Blank

Pop the blank knob next to the switch. If your car has ventilated seats, there would be no blank, and you'll have to figure out another way to pry the switch out.
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Pushed out

Push the switch out from behind and disconnect it from the harness.
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Unplugged

Don't worry about mixing the harnesses up, they are all in different colors.
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Switch

Locate a small white cover on the side of the switch.
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Cover

Open it, and you will see two bulbs inside.
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Thumbwheel bulb

Use a flat screwdriver to take out the thumbwheel bulb.
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Panel bulb

The bulb that lights up the panel is accessible from the other side.
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New bulbs

New bulbs are $10-15 each at the Saab dealer. I've found these 12V lamps at Radio Shack for $3/pair.
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Leads unbent

Straighten the leads. On older bulbs they are soldered to contact studs. If that's the case, cut the wire and discard the studs.
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Bulb out

Remove the bulb from the plastic socket.
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Cap off

Take off the transparent green cap.
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New bulb

Put the cap on the new bulb.
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Back into socket

Insert the bulb into the socket.
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Wire loop

On the old style socket, pull the wire through a hole in the socket...
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Old style

...make a loop and bend it to form a contact patch.
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Bent wire

Newer sockets have a groove for the wires.
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New style

It makes for a better fit.
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Testing

Install the switch and see now nicely it lights up ;).

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