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Old 12-18-2007, 09:33 PM   #1
GReeder
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Default '03 instrument lighting

My wife’s Vue has had the instrument panel backlighting slowly dying, bulb-by-bulb. I finally took the time to replace them, 5 bulbs at $8.50 each! OUCH! The Saturn part number is 21019274 for these bulbs. See attached picture for a look at the part. Does anyone know of a better source for these? other than the dealership? I went to all three of the local auto part stores to no avail. I looked at every Web site I could come up with, and could not find these.
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File Type: jpg vue instrument lamp.jpg (14.3 KB, 81 views)

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Old 12-18-2007, 09:41 PM   #2
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Default Re: '03 instrument lighting

I went through the same thing. Dealer is the only place. I scoured the internet as well, there appears to be ZERO aftermarket bulbs. It must be a proprietary bulb design to certain GM cars.

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Old 12-18-2007, 10:46 PM   #3
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Default Re: '03 instrument lighting

Proprietary bulb design, no, base - yes. Try and look for another number other than Saturn's part number such as the generic bulb number equivalent (without the GM/Saturn specific bulb base). There's a strong possibility that such a bulb exists, silk-screened on the bulb(?), and some clever disassembling of the burned out bulb replaced with the bare bulb and wiring may save you $$$ if you are inclined.

I wouldn't post the suggestion if I hadn't gone through the same non-sense with the third brake light lamps for the L-series. They are similar bulbs-in-the-plastic base arrangement but different since they are greater output lamps. Have a look; http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=109104

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Old 12-19-2007, 05:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: '03 instrument lighting

How hard is it to change the dash bulbs?

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Old 12-19-2007, 08:19 PM   #5
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Default Re: '03 instrument lighting

Not hard at all. MAKE SURE THE LIGHTS AND ALL POWER IS OFF BEFORE DOING THIS!

1st remove the two screws on the underside of the glare shroud (over the gauges)

2nd, the lower portion of the shroud is held in with clips, lower the steering wheeel as far as it will go and pull the shroud straight toward you. (a little force is necessary)

3rd, remove the four bolts that hold the cluster in place.

4th, pull the cluster out.

The tan colored hexogonal bases are the lamps, the white one is the lighting for the odomoter numbers.

to test the lamp filiments: take the lamps out (1/2 turn ccw) using an ohm meter across the leads the lamp should read almost 0 ohms. An open is a bad lamp.

When you install the lamps make sure to turn them fully to the stops or the tabs will not make contact and not light. I did this with the two 'opera' lamps on the top so the needles did not light up, and had to take it apart a second time just to turn the lamps 1/1000 of an inch.


Hope this helps.

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Old 12-21-2007, 01:24 AM   #6
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Default Re: '03 instrument lighting

I know you have a Vue, but I've managed to do the Ion and S-series replacement hassle-free. Read thru here for a list of aftermarket bulbs, even in color! IDK offhand which bulbs you would need though; I've never dealt with swapping a Vue's dashlight, sorry. However, I've got nothing bad to say about dealiing with superbrightleds.com so I'm sure they'd be happy to help.

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Old 12-21-2007, 03:17 AM   #7
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Default Re: '03 instrument lighting

Oh, wow. I think the ION/Vue use the same cluster bulbs...

If these work I think I love you.

I'm about to buy these.... soooo I'll have some pictures up soon.

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Last edited by burnout; 12-21-2007 at 03:31 AM..

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Old 12-21-2007, 03:34 AM   #8
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Idea Re: '03 instrument lighting

There is a Sylvania lighting Bulb Guide
if that doesn't work, try this link

If it is referring to the same bulb [instrument-general] as you replaced, I'm sorry to say that you paid $7-8 more than they would have cost you at NAPA or equivalent.

If it is 194 bulbs you need, get a handful of extras. Sometimes the ones from the bin are duds, but it isn't a crisis at $0.78 per bulb. Also, the 194 bulb can be tested with a 9V battery before you install to prevent the "Oh crap, the bulb isn't the problem" panic.

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Old 12-21-2007, 03:39 AM   #9
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Default Re: '03 instrument lighting

Nope, unfortunately there aren't really many 194 bulbs in the vue at all. The shifter lighting is one of them, and I think the license plate bulbs are the other ones.

The cluster ones are DEFINITELY this B8.5D spec bulb. It's funny that its actually cheaper to play around with the color and go the LED route, than get the stock bulbs from the dealer!

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Old 08-18-2010, 05:18 PM   #10
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Default Re: Vue 06 instrument lighting

Just purchased 10 8.5d led lights from superbright led's. Unfortunately, I believe the bulbs in the cluster are 8.4d's and not 8.5d's. There's 30 bucks in the toilet.

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Old 08-19-2010, 12:29 AM   #11
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Default Re: Vue 06 instrument lighting

Quote:
Originally Posted by ouananiche View Post
Just purchased 10 8.5d led lights from superbright led's. Unfortunately, I believe the bulbs in the cluster are 8.4d's and not 8.5d's. There's 30 bucks in the toilet.
Yes, they are 8.4d bulbs NOT 8.5d. I recently discovered that the 2005-2006 Chevy Equinox uses the same bulbs as the Vue/L-Series/3rd gen S-Series in the instrument cluster. The Chevy p/n is 22695949 and the stealerships around here are selling them for about $3/ea.

The PC118 number that many of the aftermarket cataologs have listed do not work.

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Old 08-19-2010, 07:05 AM   #12
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Default Re: Vue 06 instrument lighting

With sales tax you are right around $45. For that kind of money you could get yourself a complete used cluster out of an 04-05 VUE, Equinox or Torrent. Then you have extra bulbs and something more aesthetically pleasing.

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Old 08-19-2010, 08:39 AM   #13
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Default Re: '03 instrument lighting

Is your sales tax about 35%? $3 x 11 bulbs x $1.10 (assuming a ridiculously high 10% sales tax) = $36.30. If you have a 2004-2007 Vue then you only need 9 bulbs because they don't have the front gauge lights.

Regardless, I see the point you are trying to get across: these bulbs are stupidly high priced. There are plenty of "more valuable" things you can get for the same amount of money.

You can get LEDs for about the same price.

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Old 08-19-2010, 06:05 PM   #14
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Default Re: Vue 06 instrument lighting

Quote:
Originally Posted by PortugalFocus View Post
With sales tax you are right around $45. For that kind of money you could get yourself a complete used cluster out of an 04-05 VUE, Equinox or Torrent. Then you have extra bulbs and something more aesthetically pleasing.
I kinda like the faces better on the older clusters- its certainly more readable, the only nice thing about the newer VUE one is the cheap chrome bezel.

I'd look around for one of these:


Its clearly a Theta dash, but the fuel and temp gauges are in the center- not sure if the harness would stretch enough.

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Old 08-19-2010, 06:18 PM   #15
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Default Re: '03 instrument lighting

Or the pontiac one, which is just the 05 Vue with different paint and fonts on the bezels

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Old 08-19-2010, 07:52 PM   #16
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Default Re: Vue 06 instrument lighting

Quote:
Originally Posted by youknowme View Post
I kinda like the faces better on the older clusters- its certainly more readable, the only nice thing about the newer VUE one is the cheap chrome bezel.

I'd look around for one of these:


Its clearly a Theta dash, but the fuel and temp gauges are in the center- not sure if the harness would stretch enough.
That cluster most likely won't work...it's too new. I can tell because it has the shifter position indicator and the black portion under that is the Driver Information Center display that is only used on the newer Theta-based vehicles. I do agree it would look nice though. It has a similar layout to the cluster in our 2007 Chevy Equinox.

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Old 08-31-2010, 07:56 AM   #17
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Question Re: '03 instrument lighting

I have an 04 vue cluster in my l series, and for the life of me i cannot figure this out:

Are the needles just colored red? Or are the led's in the step motors actually red.

I want green needles with my white led backlighting and green odo cuz my footwell lights are white and green.

I was just wondering if anyone knew about these specifics.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 09-01-2010, 12:00 AM   #18
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Default Re: '03 instrument lighting

Quote:
Originally Posted by youknowme View Post
Or the pontiac one, which is just the 05 Vue with different paint and fonts on the bezels

I actually like the Pontiac version better. It's hard to see the K/ph scale at night which can be a problem when I visit our neighbors to the North. You guys are giving me waaaayy too many ideas to do to the VUE to make it a bit different.

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Old 09-02-2010, 10:45 AM   #19
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Default Re: '03 instrument lighting

Quote:
Originally Posted by scottysxc View Post
I have an 04 vue cluster in my l series, and for the life of me i cannot figure this out:

Are the needles just colored red? Or are the led's in the step motors actually red.

I want green needles with my white led backlighting and green odo cuz my footwell lights are white and green.

I was just wondering if anyone knew about these specifics.

Thanks in advance.
The needles are red.

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Old 09-02-2010, 04:13 PM   #20
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Default Re: '03 instrument lighting

thank you very much now i might try to get the red off and make them green!

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