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How do you replace the check engine light bulb?

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Old 08-09-2008, 04:52 PM   #1
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How do you replace the check engine light bulb?

I took my car in for an inspection and it failed for not having a working check engine light. I had a mechanic tell me that in order to have the bulb replaced he might have to take off the dash board to get behind the panel to replace the bulb at a cost of $200. So if I could do this on my own that would be great.

Have any of you had to change one of those indicator bulbs? If so how do you go about changing one of those bulbs. I also looked through the fuses and there isn't one dedicated to the check engine light. The car used to have problems with the coil packs malfunctioning so I got that fixed so I have a feeling that the previous owner somehow disabled the check engine light to pass inspection. The mechanic that previously did my inspection said that in the past people used to disable the check engine light but since he was not an expert on Maximas he wasn't sure how to replace the bulb.

If you need any other information just let me know. Thanks.
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Old 08-10-2008, 04:41 AM   #2
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You sure its out? Does it come on when you first turn the key?

You can pull the cluster using this write up. Im not sure if you need to do all steps between 1 and 9 but its not hard to do. http://maxima.theowensfamily.com/viper791xv/

Bulbs should be on the back somewhere.
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Old 08-10-2008, 04:47 AM   #3
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Once you have the cluster out, the bulbs are really easy to access, twist & remove. They also are labeled on the circuit board, shouldn't be to bad. The bulb might not be there (likely) or blown, or one of the harness' that plugs into the bag of the cluster could have a cut wire (unlikely)
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Old 08-10-2008, 03:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reizy View Post
You sure its out? Does it come on when you first turn the key?

You can pull the cluster using this write up. Im not sure if you need to do all steps between 1 and 9 but its not hard to do. http://maxima.theowensfamily.com/viper791xv/

Bulbs should be on the back somewhere.

I'm not 100% sure whether or not the bulb is burnt out. When I turn the key the check engine light does not come on. The inspection people told me it's supposed to come on when you turn the key like you mentioned and it doesn't light up at all.

Thanks for that write up you posted. Love the pictures and detail it shows. Hopefully I don't accidentally deploy the airbag while going through the procedure.


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Originally Posted by KRRZ350 View Post
Once you have the cluster out, the bulbs are really easy to access, twist & remove. They also are labeled on the circuit board, shouldn't be to bad. The bulb might not be there (likely) or blown, or one of the harness' that plugs into the bag of the cluster could have a cut wire (unlikely)

Cool.....I'll probably get a replacement bulb from the dealer or from a car parts online store. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 08-10-2008, 07:11 PM   #5
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that bulb is not one of the 6 bulbs that you can gain access to on the back of the cluster. It may not even be a user serviceable bulb. I've had my cluster out 3 or 4 times to do led's and the SES light is on a different circuit. I'm pretty sure it is an led which will require desoldering the old one and soldering in the new one. If you attempt this make sure you keep the correct polarity. You will have to remove the needles on the speedo and the tach to remove the overlay and gain access to it.
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Old 08-10-2008, 09:03 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by knight_yyz View Post
that bulb is not one of the 6 bulbs that you can gain access to on the back of the cluster. It may not even be a user serviceable bulb. I've had my cluster out 3 or 4 times to do led's and the SES light is on a different circuit. I'm pretty sure it is an led which will require desoldering the old one and soldering in the new one. If you attempt this make sure you keep the correct polarity. You will have to remove the needles on the speedo and the tach to remove the overlay and gain access to it.

same here....and you are right....there are 5 bulbs that can be twisted for the cluster.....#74 bulbs i believe

anyway, there is one for the left signal, right signal, highbeam, and two for the actual gauge lights......THE SES is completely different
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Old 08-11-2008, 06:21 AM   #7
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same here....and you are right....there are 5 bulbs that can be twisted for the cluster.....#74 bulbs i believe

anyway, there is one for the left signal, right signal, highbeam, and two for the actual gauge lights......THE SES is completely different

what year is you max, i got a 03 and you cannot change the lcd, unless you desolder the circuit board.
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Old 08-11-2008, 07:40 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by knight_yyz View Post
that bulb is not one of the 6 bulbs that you can gain access to on the back of the cluster. It may not even be a user serviceable bulb. I've had my cluster out 3 or 4 times to do led's and the SES light is on a different circuit. I'm pretty sure it is an led which will require desoldering the old one and soldering in the new one. If you attempt this make sure you keep the correct polarity. You will have to remove the needles on the speedo and the tach to remove the overlay and gain access to it.
This is true, but it all depends on the year of the car. The early 2k max's all had bulbs behind the clusters, except for the air bag light which had an LED. It wasn't until late 2k1 and later models, Nissan changed the "dummy" lights to all LED's.
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Old 08-12-2008, 07:30 PM   #9
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i would like to change the color of my .. cluster .. but i dont have the tools anyidea where i can get them plz?
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Old 04-17-2016, 03:12 PM   #10
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Check engine light is burnt out. As the op said. Doesnt light once you start up. So I'm not good at soddering(sp). Is there a better way to get around this? Just get a new cluster, and attach?

Last edited by beechmon; 04-17-2016 at 03:13 PM. Reason: Adding
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Old 04-17-2016, 08:14 PM   #11
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You can replace just the bulb. The check engine light (actually Service Engine Soon) is in a quarter twist socket. Three screws to remove the trim from around the cluster and another 3 screws to remove the cluster. Lay a towel on the steering column (so you don't scratch the face of the cluster) and you lay the cluster down on it.

See page 113 in this link - http://boredmder.com/FSMs/Nissan/Maxima/2001/EL.pdf

Look at the 2nd drawing, it is the back side of the instrument cluster. The check engine (SES) light is towards the top right corner.
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Old 04-21-2016, 01:58 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by DennisMik View Post
You can replace just the bulb. The check engine light (actually Service Engine Soon) is in a quarter twist socket. Three screws to remove the trim from around the cluster and another 3 screws to remove the cluster. Lay a towel on the steering column (so you don't scratch the face of the cluster) and you lay the cluster down on it.

See page 113 in this link - http://boredmder.com/FSMs/Nissan/Maxima/2001/EL.pdf

Look at the 2nd drawing, it is the back side of the instrument cluster. The check engine (SES) light is towards the top right corner.
Unfortunately this is not true. It's a small bulb and it looks like the old owner snipped it.
Click the image to open in full size.


Between the 2 bulbs is the ses or check engine light.
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Old 04-24-2016, 11:27 PM   #13
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Its in the back bro,,,ur opening it up wrong....unless modded by old owner different.
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