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Volvo Radio Light Bulb Replacement

For S70/V70/850/960/S90 SC-816 Radio, By Anthony

Overview

Okay, so apparently Volvo dealerships don’t carry these bulbs (which, by the way are the same as the ones in most of the dash switches) and if you’re a little “retentive” like me, a dash light that doesn’t work is really annoying. I just happened to buy an extra bulb when I picked up a replacement one for a clock light on a 2002 Honda Accord at the Honda dealership the other day. When one of my Volvo’s radio lights went out yesterday, it made me wonder.. You may have read on some sites that you can purchase a replacement at Radio Shack, but supposedly it has to be modified and doesn’t match the other bulbs in brightness.

This bulb fits perfectly and is exactly the same brightness as the original Volvo radio bulbs! Just remember to remove the blue rubber gel on the original bulb and install it over the new bulb. Relax and don’t be intimidated! This is actually very easy even for a novice and should only take about 20 minutes total! Purchase a replacement light bulb for a ’98 ’02 model Honda Accord clock from any Honda dealership for approximately $3.50 ea. (See product number in photo of package below.) Other models/years/makes may also offer this type of bulb for sale, but this one works perfectly and I checked with two Honda dealers here and they both had them in stock (no ordering!).

Tools needed

To remove radio:

  • Small tool to press in tabs on side of the front of radio (such as a key, paperclip, small flat-head screwdriver)

To open radio & replace light bulb:

  • Phillips-head screwdriver (small)
  • Flat-head screwdriver (small)
  • Small towel or cloth on work surface to prevent scratching the faceplate

Installation

NOTE: The radio anti-theft code is required any time power is disconnected. Take a moment to ensure you have your radio code, or contact a Volvo dealership or “Volvo connected” independent mechanic to obtain your code. The radio will not operate again without this code! Take note of which area of the radio is not lit before you remove the radio so you can locate the bulb that needs replacing, if you don’t want to replace all five bulbs. For example, mine was the upper left around the Power, FM1 and FM2 buttons). These are very tiny bulbs and it is almost impossible to see if a bulb is blown when it’s removed.

Press in the tabs on each side of the radio with a small instrument, being careful not to scratch. The tabs will click in and then partially slide out. Grasp the tabs and gently pull the rest of the way out until they click into their fully extended position.

Continue pulling toward you until the radio slides out of the dash. The wires behind the radio have plenty of length to allow easy access to the back of the radio to disconnect them. The two black plugs have a release tab, and the antenna and other cable simply pull straight out. If you’re having difficulty with the other cable, it helps to twist gently until it is easier to pull out. Note that these wires only fit into their respective holes and the black plugs only fit one way, so it is not necessary to mark them. Relaxdidn’t I say this is easy? I recommend taking the radio inside to a well-lit area. Remove the volume knob by gently pulling it straight out from the radio. The knob will simply pop off. Remove the Phillips-head screw on the middle plastic tab on the left and right side of the radio, just in front of the plastic slide rails. (Screwdriver pointing to right side plastic tab screw shown below)

Then remove the screw from the metal tab on the right side, just above the plastic tab. There are a total of three (3) screws to remove. (See photo above and below; below shows screws already removed.)

On the top of the radio, at the front, you will need to pull or cut the clear tape back away from these plastic tabs. (See below.) There are similar plastic tabs on each side of the radio. Gently slide a flat-head screwdriver under all the plastic tabs on all four sides and pry up while pulling forward on the faceplate to remove. Use caution and make sure you’ve released all the tabs before forcing the faceplate off.

You can either remove the electronic ribbon by gently pulling it straight out of its connection on the faceplate (relax, it will go back in!), or tilt the faceplate down onto a work surface to access the back side of the faceplate. Here’s where the towel/cloth comes in to keep from scratching it (see below.)

On the backside of the faceplate you will see the underside of the base of the five bulbs, which look like plastic Phillips-head screws with a wire in two of the grooves (see below). Insert a flat-head screwdriver into the slot without the wires and twist counter-clockwise turn, then lift out. Note that in this photo I have already removed the bulb I needed to replace, which was the upper bulb by the volume knob. (See original bulb and gel on left side of photo.)

Then carefully remove the blue rubber gel from the old bulb. Slide the blue gel onto the new bulb and insert into the slot. In my installation, I noticed that the Honda bulb’s base seemed just slightly larger than the original bulb, in that it had to be pressed into the hole rather than just dropping into it. However, it fits perfectly. Tighten by twisting clockwise turn with a flat-head screwdriver. Reinstall the faceplate by simply snapping it onto the radio and ensure the plastic clips are attached to their original positions (don’t forget to attach the electronic ribbon by sliding it back into its slot, if you removed it) and replacing the three (3) screws you removed. Then replace the volume knob by holding it on the metal volume stem and turning the knob until it aligns with its groove on the stem (you will feel the knob start to slip onto the stem when it aligns), then press fully onto the stem.

Take the radio back to the car and attach the cables and plugs. Align with the rails and slide back into the dash until the latches click into place. When you turn on the ignition/radio, “CODE” will display prompting you to enter your four-digit anti-theft code. Use the 1 6 station preset buttons to enter your code. Switch on the lights to see your handiwork.

Note the lights’ brightness and color are even across the panel. All this for $3.50 and just a little work! Comment on this bulb replacement fix

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38 Responses to Volvo Radio Light Bulb Replacement

  1. Pingback: Interior bulb designation, sizes, etc.

  2. Tom says:

    Thanks for the tutorial – I’m going to gove it a try and will report back. TL

  3. Scott says:

    Anthony, thanks for taking the effort to dig into the lights on the radio. The instructions are dead on, and I am able to safely navigate at night with lit radio buttons again. I know that the dealers said they have no numbers on the bulbs, but you hit the nail on the head. By the way, the Volvo part number 30752175 will work as well and they have the little condoms on them already :-)

  4. Gerald Malphrus says:

    Hi,

    I have pulled the radio out because the light on display of radio frequencies does not light up. Does this mean that these 6 bulbs light up this digital display? If not then what can I do to get the lights back on?

    Gerald

  5. Russ says:

    Thanks for the write-up. I sourced the lights from Mouser. They are on the web and oddly, don’t have a minimum order.

    I’ll try to add the link here.
    http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/JKL-Components/CNW1-23/?qs=6YhTptf0WO1dQPp6ZqLy%252bw%3d%3d

    If not, it is mouser P/N 560-CNW123
    JKL lamps P?N CNW1-23

    They are 65 cents each

  6. Pingback: Skalenbeleuchtung Radio SC XXX : Volvo 850, S70, V70/XC70 I, C70 I

  7. George says:

    The instructions were great and worked well with the Honda bulbs you suggested. I also had problems with the LED display when I re-installed the radio. I took the face plate off again and re-attached the white ribbon making sure it was snug. Works great now. – Thankx

  8. frank marinaccio says:

    i used this procedure and replaced all 5 bulbs and the buttons all light up now but the lcd display is still dark . I removed the circuit board and it looks like the display is a sealed soldered unit does anyone know if there is something i am missing to get the display to light .

  9. Tony V says:

    Great write up. I found the bulbs at http://www.allelectronics.com cat # LP-70. The bulbs come with a green silicone sleeve that can be removed. The minimum order is 5 bulbs. Cost is 5 bulbs for a dollar.

  10. aStrongOne says:

    Found replacement bulbs at http://www.allelectronics.com for less. Cost was $0.10 per bulb plus shipping. Refer to part number LP-70.
    I now plan to follow the tutorial and replace the bulbs.

  11. aStrongOne says:

    CORRECTION: The LP-70 bulbs from http://www.allelectronics.com had a larger diameter base & would not fit. Took 30 minutes to run to Honda dealer & get the recommended bulbs, which fit perfectly. It took 30 minutes to remove the radio & replace the bulbs plus the 30 minutes to go to the Honda dealer. Tutorial is excellent. Thank you.

  12. DavidBarnes says:

    How is it so many of us are all suddenly having trouble with the lcds and the display panel ( mine is on a V70)? The Volvo Forum did not give a decent answer to this problem I’m afraid. This tutorial is very useful. DB

  13. thegeeknme says:

    +1 for the RadioShack bulbs… and thanks again to all who contributed here.

    Just finished all 5 bulbs in my sc-816 from my 98 v70 took about 45min.

    The RadioShack bulbs 272-1092 cost me 1.99 for package of 2bulbs. Brightness appears to be the same as the others and the size was perfect. Mind you it takes a lot of patience to carefully unwrap(as to not damage the black holder) the little wire leads of the old bulb and then feed the news ones through and wrap them around… but hey it was worth the $20 to me.

    A possible ‘manufactor p/n’ is CNW1-7219

    according to what appears to be the vendor for these little bulb/holders http://www.jkllamps.com/index.cfm?action=fam&tid=1&fID=19 you can see the volts, amps, and MSCP match the RadioShack specs so I’m feeling confident.

    other sources:
    Grainger Supply
    http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/LUMAPRO-Miniature-Lamps-2FMX4?Pid=search
    as of today pkg of 10 for approx $8 + possibly s/h

    DigiKey.com (i’ve used these guys for years… always free shipping… usually no min. order)
    search for CM7219-ND

    As others have noted, the same manufacturer produced radios for Honda so you can find the same bulbs and holders there as well. Check out http://www.thehondapartsstore.com and look for p/n 35505-S84-N01 BULB, NEO-WEDGE

    Note that if you decide to purchase the bulb and holder combo… for me at least.. the rocker switches on the dash have ‘tall’ bulb holders.. almost 30mm long. vs. the short ones in the radio and seat heater switches. If you just change out the glass bulbs with leads… you can use them on any size holder. Hope that makes sense. :-)

    fwiw… hope it helps

  14. Mike Vigneau says:

    Great Job! I went to the Honda Dealer and they had the bulbs in stock. 5 Bulbs was $9.10. And I didn’t have to pay shipping!

    They worked great! I had this done in 10 min!

    I replaced all of the bulbs so I wouldn’t have to do this anytime soon :)

  15. Randy John says:

    Nuts – I’ve done this before but now I can’t get the antenna loose. Any ideas?

  16. John says:

    Thanks for this post. My radio is now lit up like new. If you can wait for parts to be delivered, I highly recommend getting lights preassembled on their holders. Assembling the radioshack lights onto the old holders was a real pain.

  17. Iain says:

    Just followed this guide last night, worked very well! I don’t think you missed a single detail.

    I didn’t bother with sourcing out new bulbs (with a base) instead I just cut the wiring unwrapped the wiring from each bulb, removed them from each base, and replaced the burnt out incans with new ones… Found them at active electronics for a dollar each. Took about half an hour to do 4 lamps.

    Same bulb size for the dash switches by the way…

  18. Iain says:

    I used Part number ML-0227, 12 volt .040 amp panel bulbs made by GC electronics for the dash switchs and the radio. Just unwrap the wire from the base and put in the new lamps.

  19. DPLarson says:

    Something about the driver’s side of this radio, both bulbs on the driver’s side were dead. For whatever reason, it seems like that side dies first. No light on the left 1/3rd of the radio. I am new to the car and drive alot at night so very annoying. I knew from the good circuit board pics that I needed two over on that side. Picked up two of the Honda bulbs no problem from the local dealer. Got two for under $5. Repair done in about 1/2 hour. Be careful taking the old colored bulb covers off of the old bulbs. Mine were tough to get off and felt like they were about to tear. Thanks for the awesome writeup!

  20. Scott Anderson says:

    Will these bulbs also work to replace dash switch lights?

  21. Jerry says:

    Excellent! Additionally, I’d like to note; no need to disconnect from power source plug but make sure the key is off and no power is going to the radio. Leave the radio connected as there is ample room to pull out from the console. Also, once the faceplace is disconnected,slide back into the console to hold in place then gently lay the faceplate downward. This will expose the connecting ribbon for the selector buttons. Again, no need to disconnect here. Simply remove the 5 lights. Once you have the lights in hand,the colored covers may not come right off. Use a small screwdriver and pry up from the bottom to assist removal and not tear the gel cover. Check to make sure the lights are working before by turning ignition key to the #II position. Total time with cleaning around the counsole ect was about 35 minutes.

  22. Ejaz Syed says:

    1997 Volvo 850 – SC-815. Started out with RadioShack bulbs 272-1092 but gave up when the bulb holder started to crack. Return all bulbs to RadioShack. Picked up 35505-S84-N01 BULB, NEO-WEDGE from the local Honda Parts. Anthony’s instructions are close, SC-815 needed three additional steps for removing the board and accessing the five bulbs.

    The first repair lit up everything but it would NOT take the input for code. Uninstalled and re-attached the ribbon connector and re-installed. Now radio controls have lit up, code input worked, but LED display is NOT coming on. Could it be because the ribbon-connector bent a bit during the re-attaching. ANYONE OUT THERE WITH SIMILAR OUTCOME?

  23. TSnyder says:

    After I replaced all the bulbs in my 2000 S70 using the Radio Shack bulbs I ran across this website

    http://autolumination.com/74.htm

    They list NEO-WEDGE T3 bulbs for $1.49 and they come in all different colors. Anybody try these yet?

  24. rukon says:

    Excellent instructions with the pictures
    dealer or garage would probably charge you 100$ for the job
    just have to put radio back in now see if it works.

    by the way anyone know how to change lightbulb for ashtray v70 98 with pictures would be nice don’t want to break the light cover

    thanks in advance

  25. Eric says:

    My SC-816 faceplate (98 S70) did not have the circuit board attached to it. It is attached somehow to the radio. Anyone know how to get the circuit board off so I can replace the lights?

  26. Joe Phoebus says:

    very helpful

  27. Ezra E Theys says:

    Thanks for the uotstanding in struction,in how th change the radio bulbs
    it works!!!And simple,provided that you have a good understanding and a little bit technical inclined.

  28. Robert Horton says:

    thank you much for that info. I was in the dark until reading this.

  29. Bob Sisson says:

    Any chance you have the same thing for the Station selection buttons, my 1-3 buttons are dark.

  30. Steve says:

    The repair worked great on my 1999 S70 with the Honda bulbs. All 5 for $12.19. If Volvo ever catches on this will be a $100 repair. Thanks again to Anthony for great instructions.

  31. Pingback: Let there be light! | Matt's Blarg

  32. John says:

    I just replaced all five and still it isn’t lit up, what a let down!

    Any ideas? Thanks

  33. Mark says:

    Make sure you rotated the lamp holders adequately after inserting them. Flip the board over and look at the back to make sure the contacts made it to the circuit pads.

  34. E says:

    I managed to get the front panel off.. but for those that do not have it attached to face plate, you have to look for 4 twisted square metal pieces. You have to untwist them with pliers, and then the front circuit slides off. They are super small, one in each corner about 1/4 inside. It will make sense once you spot them.

    But does anyone know how to fix the LCD panel light not working. It shows the fm station or cd playing.. but the backlight does not come on which is super annoying as i cant see it at night driving.

    Any suggestions.. Ive already tried to reinsert the ribbon but to no avail.

  35. deepsouth says:

    From another MVS thread:

    Question: Will replacing all the bulbs cause the digital display to light or is there a bulb hidden below the face plate board?

    No replacing the 5 won’t and Yes, unfortunately there is one single light bulb under the aluminum housing that surrounds the LCD display. I replaced mine but it is a bit of work. You need to know how to solder small electronic items. Take your time and you can do it.
    Here goes:
    1) You have to remove the circuit board that has the 5 light bulbs. There are about 10 screws. This is show in the step where it mentions disconnecting the connector
    2) Remove the 3 slider controls with pliers covered with cloth to prevent scratches.
    3) Hard part 1 – you have to unsolder the two top corner holders that hold the silver frame around the LCD to the circuit board. You can then pry up the metal housing, Dont worry if you bend it. It will go back. Be careful not to break any of the tiny switches. There are also two twisty aluminum holders at the top that you have to loosen.
    4) Hard part 2 – you can see the blue light on the side. You have un-solder the light from the circuit board. It comes out pretty easy. Leave two holes open after you remove it.
    5) Remove the light bulb but keep the black housing and the blue cover.
    6) You can use the Radio Shack 272-1092 bulb. Run the leads through the black housing and put back the blue cover. Carefully solder the two thin wires back. Dont over heat them. Just a tiny bit of solder to close the hole and then blow air on to cool it so you dont damage the bulb.
    7) Now push the metal housing back and resolder the two corner connectors.
    8) If you have never replaced the bulbs before, this is a good time to replace them with the 5 mentioned in the article.
    9) Put back screws and sliders and you’re done!

    Bad design by Volvo to solder it in instead of making it removable, but it can be replaced.

  36. deepsouth says:

    I should add that I did this a few months ago and a desoldering pump was necessary to remove the old solder. Other than that, it was a piece of cake and only took about 20 minutes. Same radio shack bulbs as the rest of the cd player.

  37. Pat says:

    you can now buy these bulbs on ebay for .99 each ( factory volvo )

  38. Barbershop Tenor says:

    I just followed the instructions in this thread , and they worked great , everything was easy enough to do , all 5 of my radio lights were apparently burnt out , I will see when it gets dark tonight.
    I bought 10 of these bulbs off of Ebay for .99 cents each with free shipping , came in 1 day , I replace all the radio bulbs and the switch bulbs that were burnt out as well….thanks for the great tutorial.
    my 1998 V70 XC thanks you as well.

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