156- Changing dashboard lights - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Hmmm 156- Changing dashboard lights

Hi all,

A couple of months in and loving my 156- no real problems to report as she had been so well looked after before I picked her up. However, I do have a couple of niggles...

The light behind one of the heater control knobs has kicked the bucket. Also, the top half of the rev counter binnacle is very dark compared to the bottom. So I suspect there is a bulb gone in there too. Although- sometimes the whole unit is in darkness and a sharp thump to the binnacle sorts it out, so it could be a loose connection issue...

Anyway- has anybody here had any experience getting at these units? They look quite difficult to take apart... What kind of tools/time/level of patience would I be looking at?

I could just ignore all this, as they don't affect anything really- I just notice it when it's dark and it kinda bugs me a little bit!

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Hi Ed-the-red,

From memory there are a few (2 I think) bulbs behind the rev counter. I replaced a bulb a few years in our 156... It took literally 15 mins.. it's a very easy job.

There was some tiny screws holding in the round frame around the unit. (Philips type) Better do it in daylight as the plastic frame was black, and the screws were black..

Once that plastic surround was off there was two larger (very visible Philips) screws holding two mounting brackets for the rev counter unit itself facing you. Once unscrewed, the whole unit slides right out of the dashboard. Disconnect the wiring loom at the back and its easy to access the bulbs.

I just had a quick search for photos on the old laptop of the job, but can't find them right now....

As regards the heater control, I never took this part of the dashboard out..... do you do a search of the 156 Tech Lounge by any chance?

Best of luck!

Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili, Guidare come se fosse un Italiano.

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Yeah did my heater controls , I found it easy just to repace the hole unit as it's a pig just to get to the bulbs , I got one off eBay for 5 !

U need to take radio out couple of screws behind that to get the centre console out then there are some screws round the gear leaver as I remember then pop out the console couple of screws to take out the control panel then fit new one put back together job done

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Thanks guys, I think I will change the bulbs in the binnacle this week. I might hold off on changing the one in the heating unit until I get a few spare hours some weekend!
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Edthered, you were hardly in Clonmel over the weekend are you? Saw a an identical 156 to yours and they are not so common!!!
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The rev counter is really easy to do, but the heater controls is a pig of a job.. You must have a ton of patience, especially when trying to remove the heater matrix. Not enough room to move it about because of the wiring loom behind it.
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Hi, all the bulbs are 1.2Watt capless

Does you car have air-con or not?

air-con bulbs cost 15 each form alfa, non air-con cost 1

non- air-con bulbs can be replaced by removing the radio this give you access to the back of the switches. Now pop off the adjuster/s & then the front cover/s, watching for 2 little springs. using a long nosed pliers the bulbs can be turned thro 90 deg's & caught at the back via the radio slot. Fitting is a bit tricky but basically the reverse of removal.

air-con: you need to remove the radio, ash tray & central console. the white controller module is held in place by 4 screws. easy enough to remove. be warned if you drop or hit this unit too much the 'good' bulbs will blow so be prepared to replace all 3, in the past I've soldered in 1.2w bulbs onto the circuit board, much cheaper fix.
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Order bulbs on net...rip out and solder, i hour job max
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Done that job myself on my old 156 and took a while allright but was a long time ago and there's no point remembering annoying things.
Congrats on te 156, went to see it when it was for sale and was immaculate. You got yourself a great car
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