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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This applies to a 2001 RL:

1. To replace the bulbs in the seat heater switches, first unscrew the shift knob [at first, it didn’t seem like it was coming off, but after about a dozen rotations, it was off]

2. Remove the black bezel around the shifter by pulling up [the seat heater switches are mounted in the black bezel; I was able to use my fingernails around the outside of the bezel to lift it up]

3. Disconnect the shift indicator light (twist) and the two seat heater switches (there is a tab on the bottom of the connector that you press to disconnect it from the seat heater switches; this might be unfamiliar if you are new to working on Honda cars).

4. You DO have to remove the switches from the black trim bezel in order to get at the sockets, which contain the bulbs. You have to squeeze on each side of the switch (see picture), near the underside of the bezel, to release the switch and push it up through the black trim bezel.

5. Since the switches are so close together, you can't get a finger in between them, so you have to use a small flat blade screwdriver on one side while squeezing with your thumb on the other. Note: you do not need to remove the lower section of the seat heater switch from the upper section of the switch in order to change out the bulbs.

6. Use a medium flat-blade screwdriver to turn the bulb socket counter-clockwise about a quarter turn. A small pic tool, or even a tooth pick, might come in handy to get the socket out.

7. Put the new socket and bulb in the hole, turn clockwise (gently) a quarter turn to lock it in, snap the switch back into the black bezel, reconnect the electrical connector (remember the connector for the shift indicator light on the left side of the sift knob) and snap the black bezel back into place. Done!

NOTES:

A. This will probably take you about 15 minutes, total (if I had known it would be this quick and easy, I would have done it a LONG time ago!).

B. The teeny-tiny bulb/socket for the backlight to the seat heater switches is number 35851–SZ3–A01 (I think it was less than $4 through Tim at OEMAcuraParts.com)

C. The bulb for the backlight for the shift position indicator is #35505–TA5–A51

8. If you need to replace the backlight bulb for the defroster switch (located in the radio/climate unit), you may need to also remove the wood trim around the shifter (after you have removed the black bezel with the seat heater switches in it and set it aside).

9. The defroster switch has clips on both sides, like the seat heater switches. You can probably get it out by reaching up under the bottom of the face of the radio/climate unit and squeezing and pushing switch out.

10. On my car, there was a switch cover (dead switch) in the center, next to the defroster switch. You might want to pop that out (from behind) to give yourself a little more access.

11. Use a medium flat-blade screwdriver to turn the bulb socket counter-clockwise about a quarter turn. There are two bulb sockets, one is for the orange light that indicates the defroster is ON. A small pic tool, or even a tooth pick, might come in handy to get the socket out.

12. Put the new socket and bulb in the hole, turn clockwise (gently) a quarter turn to lock it in, snap the switch back into the audio/climate unit bezel, reinstall the wood trim bezel around the shifter and you're done!

NOTE:

C: The teeny-tiny bulb/socket for the backlight for the defroster switch is #35851–SP0–506

D. When reinstalling the wood trim around the shift knob, you may have to pull the wood trim horizontally, toward the back of the car, to get the clips to fit into the holes.
 

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