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Thread: DIY Seat Heater Light Bulb Replacement

  1. #1
    SLi Lurker nepbug's Avatar
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    DIY Seat Heater Light Bulb Replacement

    DIY Heated Seat Switch Bulb Replacement

    This is a DIY for replacing the illumination bulbs (power or general illumination) in the Gen 1 and 2 Outback (Gen 2 and 3 Legacy). The first and second gen Forester and Impreza switches would be similar, but they only have a power bulb, no illumination.

    Note that I use the Legacy/Outback switches in my Forester and Impreza as I like the illumination, but they sit up higher than the Forester/Impreza switches.

    1. Gather your parts. Switches, wire cutters, replacement bulbs (RadioShack part number 272-1092), tweezers, needle nose pliers and various flat blade screwdrivers for gentle prying.
      [/*:m:3vt9ly63]
    2. If you are not sure if you illumination bulbs are working you need to put a multimeter (set to read resistance/ohms) between the bottom two pins in this photo. If you get infinite resistance your bulb is dead, if you get 15-40 ohmns or so, your bulb is good.
      [/*:m:3vt9ly63]
    3. There are two ways to get to the bulbs, you can gently pry the switch top off or gently pry off the switch body by the connector. I prefer prying off the body. The shorter bulb is the illumination bulb, the taller one is the power light bulb.
      [/*:m:3vt9ly63]
    4. Once you have access to the bulb you can pull it off by grabbing it with your fingers or the needle nose pliers as necessary.
      [/*:m:3vt9ly63]
    5. The bulb wires are routed throughout the silicone holder. They go through the holder bottom, back up top and then back to the bottom again.
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    6. Using your tweezers or a sharp pick tool carefully pull the bulb leads out and remove the bulb. Get ready to install your new bulb.
      [/*:m:3vt9ly63]
    7. One thing to watch for when first inserting the new bulb, make sure you don't twist the wires, you want them to stay separated.
      [/*:m:3vt9ly63]
    8. Route the new bulb leads through the same path as the old. You can do a better job than my picture shows, I fixed that later. Trim off the excess lead with your wire cutters (scissors or nail clippers could cut through those tiny leads too)
      [/*:m:3vt9ly63]
    9. Reinstall the bulb. If you only took off the switch top this will be a challenge, do something like this with your needle nose pliers to give you a chance at getting it on. This is why I prefer to open up the switch body.
      [/*:m:3vt9ly63]
    10. Now repeat for the power illumination bulb, if necessary. If you are unsure if that bulb is working you will have to pull the bulb out and put your multimeter (set to read resistance/ohms) across the leads to test it.[/*:m:3vt9ly63]
    11. Enjoy
      [/*:m:3vt9ly63]


    Final note: The replacement bulbs are a little brighter than OEM, so if you only replace bulbs in one switch you may find yourself wanting to switch the other switch's bulb so they are even.

  2. #2
    "Proby" dynonacht's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Seat Heater Light Bulb Replacement

    Good write-up! Now to find purple leds that fit.

  3. #3
    SLi Lurker LeggyxPower's Avatar
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    I was curious about this one of my lights are gone and would love to replace with less...I know the micro lamps are 12v 60ma

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