Replacing Xantia Instrument Illumination Bulbs

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CitroJim
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Replacing Xantia Instrument Illumination Bulbs

Post by CitroJim » 28 Nov 2016, 10:30

Xantias are shocking for loosing a few of their many instrument pod illumination bulbs...

This guide will show how to replace them. Note that the procedure as described was carried out on an S2 Xantia and all the pictures are from a low-specification S2. I have pointed out S1 differences where appropriate.

First, arm yourself with around 30 R286 capless bulbs.. Buy in bulk from well-known Internet Auction sites ;)

Buy more than you need as some will be found DOA.

The S1 and S2 are slightly different in that the steering wheel needs to be removed on an S1 to allow the top steering wheel cowl to be removed. No need on an S2.

The only tools you need is a T20 Torx driver and maybe a small pair of pliers plus a small 12v battery and leads to enable the new bulbs to be tested.

If an S1 you'll need the tools to remove the airbag and steering wheel. Observe normal airbag precautions like waiting 10 minutes after battery disconnection and treating the removed airbag with great care.

On an S1 be careful to ensure the rotary carrying the airbag and radio remote control wires is correctly aligned on reassembly - line up the arrows when the steering is set straight-ahead.

Start by disconnecting the battery.

Drop the steering wheel to its lowest height setting.

Next, remove the top steering column cowl by removing the securing screws in the bottom section and carefully prising upwards...

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Next, ease the lower cowl down a little and remove the little side panel containing switches...

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To release this panel it will be necessary to drop the fusebox cover a little...

Then remove the radio surround after removing the ashtray...

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Remove the radio...

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The remove the switch panel below the instrument cluster...

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And finally, remove the instrument pod...

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Remove all the bulbs from the panel by twisting their black bulb-holders through 45 degrees. Note that some warning lamps are not used on all models and these unused lamp positions may not have bulb holders fitted. make a note of where all the bulbs came from to ensure all the new ones go back in the right places...

Discard all bulbs that look blackened on their glass. Any bulbs that have been in service as lightly used warning lamps may be kept if they test good and are not discoloured. Replace as a matter of course the headlamp main beam and dip beam warning lamp bulbs, the battery warning and the STOP lamp bulb even if they look OK.

Remove the old bulbs from their holders with a sharp tug. Insert new bulbs in the holders after firstly straightening their leads if need be. Test each and every bulb in its holder on a battery and check it lights before replacing it in the instrument pod. Wiggle it to ensure there are no intermittentencies...

Never re-use any discoloured or blacked bulbs... Replace if in any doubt! Throw away all old dead and suspect bulbs to prevent their reuse in the future...

Reassembly is a reverse of disassembly as the BoL would say...
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Re: Replacing Xantia Instrument Illumination Bulbs

Post by Hell Razor5543 » 28 Nov 2016, 14:48

I would also suggest a couple of bulbs with short captive holders, for the heater panel illumination. I also know that changing the bulb on the cigarette light can be a bit tricky!
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Re: Replacing Xantia Instrument Illumination Bulbs

Post by CitroJim » 28 Nov 2016, 15:13

Hell Razor5543 wrote:I would also suggest a couple of bulbs with short captive holders, for the heater panel illumination. I also know that changing the bulb on the cigarette light can be a bit tricky!


Yes, the heater illumination bulbs are different James and the trickiness of the job warrants a separate 'How To' in my opinion; next time I have to replace one I'll do it...

I've never replaced a fag lighter bulb. Whats involved?

Also, on the subject of bulbs and of interest to James (Elma) will be how to replace the bulb that illuminates the gear selector quadrant in an S1 Xantia V6... His is blown and makes finding gears at night a bit of a thinking game...

P err, R umm, N ahh, There's D!!! :lol:
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Re: Replacing Xantia Instrument Illumination Bulbs

Post by xantiamanic » 28 Nov 2016, 16:44

Quick check on thr Bay and there's loadsa those capless bulbs. Are they much of a muchness? Any recommendations?

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Re: Replacing Xantia Instrument Illumination Bulbs

Post by Hell Razor5543 » 28 Nov 2016, 16:49

Get a named brand, make sure the wires are not touching (this can sometimes happen), and I would give the wires a clean with proper contact cleaner before fitting (I have seen bulbs that were NOS, but with tarnished wires). Then (as Jim said) test them before fitting. You do not want to find you have a dud bulb after all the work (especially if it is a S1 Xantia, and you had to take off the steering wheel AGAIN!).
Last edited by Hell Razor5543 on 28 Nov 2016, 17:13, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Replacing Xantia Instrument Illumination Bulbs

Post by CitroJim » 28 Nov 2016, 17:00

'Ring' brand seems OK Mike... Perhaps don't go for the cheapest on the 'bay...
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Re: Replacing Xantia Instrument Illumination Bulbs

Post by white exec » 28 Nov 2016, 17:46

And go for bulbs rated at 14v, not 12v. This will give significantly longer life (on a good quality bulb).
Also avoid running the dash illumination at Full (unless you really have to). Even slight dimmed use extends bulb life considerably.
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Re: Replacing Xantia Instrument Illumination Bulbs

Post by CitroJim » 28 Nov 2016, 17:50

I always run mine dimmed Chris, I find them far too bright and distracting at full brilliance...

Good tip about using 14v bulbs :)

What car was it where you could turn off all dash illumination bar the speedo and fuel gauge? I always thought that was a good idea...

Was it a Volvo or a Saab?
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Re: Replacing Xantia Instrument Illumination Bulbs

Post by white exec » 28 Nov 2016, 17:53

CitroJim wrote:What car was it where you could turn off all dash illumination bar the speedo and fuel gauge? I always thought that was a good idea...

Old Mini and Morris 1000 spring to mind. That's all they had! :rofl2:
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Re: Replacing Xantia Instrument Illumination Bulbs

Post by Stickyfinger » 28 Nov 2016, 18:00

SAAB 900 had "night illumination"

That said, I can do the same with my C5x7, all off except for the digital speed readout....cool
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Re: Replacing Xantia Instrument Illumination Bulbs

Post by myglaren » 28 Nov 2016, 18:04

SAAB have the "Black Panel"
So does my C5 - when it feels like it :roll:
Sometimes it blacks out everything but the speedo (relevant lights come back on briefly if you alter the heating or radio controls)
It is a lucky dip though, often leaves random lights lit. Rarely the same twice. I only use it for amusement, the lights don't bother me.
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Re: Replacing Xantia Instrument Illumination Bulbs

Post by CitroJim » 28 Nov 2016, 18:41

white exec wrote:
CitroJim wrote:What car was it where you could turn off all dash illumination bar the speedo and fuel gauge? I always thought that was a good idea...

Old Mini and Morris 1000 spring to mind. That's all they had! :rofl2:


Just like my erstwhile C1 then :lol:

Deluxe Minis had a temperature and oil pressure gauge in the oval bezel; it was the real poverty-spec. ones and vans that had just the speedo and fuel gauge...

Loved the 'jewel' warning light lenses on the old BMC (Smiths) instruments...

Thanks all for the information on the night lighting... Didn't realise the X7 had it too...
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Re: Replacing Xantia Instrument Illumination Bulbs

Post by Stickyfinger » 28 Nov 2016, 18:55

X7 Exclusives have everything Jim :)
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Re: Replacing Xantia Instrument Illumination Bulbs

Post by xantiamanic » 28 Nov 2016, 20:03

14v sounds like a good idea for long life but has anyone seen these anywhere? Can only find 12v capless.

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Re: Replacing Xantia Instrument Illumination Bulbs

Post by bobins » 28 Nov 2016, 21:14

CitroJim wrote:
Hell Razor5543 wrote:I would also suggest a couple of bulbs with short captive holders, for the heater panel illumination. I also know that changing the bulb on the cigarette light can be a bit tricky!


Yes, the heater illumination bulbs are different James and the trickiness of the job warrants a separate 'How To' in my opinion; next time I have to replace one I'll do it...


It's been a mighty long time since I've changes an S1 heater panel lamp but, IIRC, last time I managed it quite easily by accessing it through the radio aperture and removed - and fitted - the new lamp with the aid of a small socket on the end of a small ¼" extension bar. You wedge the end of the captive lamp in the socket and feel around for where it goes !

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