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Volvo Bulb Guide and Cross-Reference

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.
1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
1997 - 2004 C70
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Volvo Repair Database Volvo Bulb Guide and Cross-Reference

Post by QuirkySwede » Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:14 pm

Here are the most common bulbs you’ll need to replace besides headlights and the number they’re sold under (Osram, Sylvania, Eiko, etc.). The ECE designation is often found stamped on the socket, reflector, lens and sometimes the bulb. Do NOT use 1156, 1157, 194, 67, or other “U.S.” bulbs (see LONG VERSION and section 5. for details). Only use bulbs with CLEAR, tint-free glass with the exception of amber-colored bulbs used with clear lenses (versus clear bulbs with amber lenses).
:!: If you don't see a picture table following this, log in or click here for a preview.
NOTE: W1.2W is technically not an ECE designation, but it is commonly referred to as such and follows the same format. The R10W (5008) bulb has been largely phased out of use as a tail light in favor of the R5W (5007) as the greater shift in intensity between tail and brake intensity better communicates “BRAKE” to following motorists. The 1.2W SV5.5 bulb for the vanity mirror is a non-standard special order bulb.

1.Commonly Confused Bulbs
2.Confusion Examples and Avoidance
3.Comparison Tables
A. VOLVO Part Numbers
B. Neo-Wedge Bulbs
C. Festoon Bulbs
D. Side Mirror “Approach” Bulbs
E. 3000-Series Bulbs
4.Older Volvos
5.Common Questions
7.Useful Links

1. Commonly Confused Bulbs

Bulbs that fit the same socket
are no more identical than
tires that fit the same wheel
-- specs can and do vary.

A few examples of bulbs many claim are “the same” but are not, hence manufacturers treating them as different products.
ECEOsram #BaseGlassVoltsWattsAmps Lumens Base Plating
P21W7506BA15sS812 V21 W1.75 A460 lm Nickel
-1156BA15sS812.8 V26.9 W2.1 A402 lm Brass
W3W2821W2.1x9.5dT3-1/412 V3 W0.25 A22 lm n/a
-194W2.1x9.5dT3-1/414 V3.78 W0.27 A25 lm n/a
R5W5007BA15sB612 V5 W0.42 A50 lm Nickel
-67BA15sG613.5 V8 W0.59 A50 lm Brass
See end for difference between volts, amps, candlepower, watts, and more.

2. Confusion Examples and Avoidance
The point here is to highlight the need for correct information by how easily confusion happens and proliferates, and how to avoid repeating them. Hey, we’re all human, right? :)

Owners can get confused... like the differences between 194 versus W3W (2821) bulbs, realizing to get the same wattage, mixing up base names and interchangeability, or mixing SAE with ECE bulbs.

Bulb companies can get confused... such as Sylvania recommending a 1156 bulb for 1998 Volvo S70’s "Center High Mount Stop Light”... which is LED. :roll: Same page also recommends the 5-watt 2827 bulb for the "Front Turn Signal.” For the most part, they just republish info and don’t check the 1,000s of models across dozens of manufacturers going back for decades.

Vendors can get confused... such as picturing a dual-filament bulb (P21/5W) for "Volvo Tail Light Reverse Bulb 5W - Genuine 989788" but tail lights (5W, RED lens) and reverse lights (21W, CLEAR lens) can NOT share the same light source. Worse, "Volvo Fog Light Bulb - Osram 64152" and "Volvo Fog Light Bulb - Osram 64153" are 100W bulbs and should NOT be used in place of the OEM 55W bulbs without upgrading the wiring and components (read why in 5. Common Questions).

And even VOLVO gets confused! One can go to Volvo’s Owners Manual site to look up what bulbs your car uses, BUT even those have some glaring mistakes. Some are obvious like swapping the text "1.2 W SV 5.5" festoon text for the picture of the "5W W2.1x9.5d" wedge bulb, and vice versa. Sometimes it's the sidebar, like this 2003 V70 listing "21/4W, BA 15 s" instead of BAZ15d ("d" is for the double contacts for the dual filaments: 21W and 4W). For a 2007, they skip ahead a couple world conflicts and list "WW5, SV8.5." While there is no "WW5" bulb, there is a W5W but it has a W2.1x9.5d wedge base, not a SV8.5 festoon one. The one for a 2005 S40 has multiple typos like “P21/W5” instead of P21/5W, but even P21/5W is wrong because that's a dual-contact bulb so #4 should be P21W, #6 R5W, and #7 should be C5W. Neither the description, specification, nor picture match in some cases! :roll: At least this one for a 2005 S80 is pretty good. So if you’ve found bulb selection confusing, take heart as you’ve got company. :mrgreen:

Volvo’s way versus the right way. (More in “6. Tips!”)
BulbsMVS2DoorLight.JPG (80.5 KiB) Viewed 37354 times
Avoiding Confusion The EASIEST way to avoid using the wrong bulb is to simply inspect where it goes. European vehicles like Volvo are apt to have a ECE designation like R5W, P21W or C5W stamped, printed or cast somewhere on the socket, reflector or lens. Hey, ya' gotta go there to get to the bulb in the first place, right? :D Take note of the depth and location of where the bulb’s pins hook into the socket (compare red and green dots).
BulbsMVS3socket.JPG (83.01 KiB) Viewed 37354 times
Use the same base as BA15s, BA15d, BAY15d, BAU15d, and BAZ15d are each different with good reason and just some of the dozens. Use the same wattage, which is a measure of power used, NOT light produced. However, since Volts x Amps = Watts, you also want to use the same voltage. While 6 V and 24 V are clearly wrong, others are rated at 12, 12.8, 13.5, 14, and ever 14.4 volts and under- OR over-volting a bulb effects both performance and longevity. The history and rationale are mixed, but choice for testing can be: 12 via standard and nominal (ECE; “12-volt system”), 12.8 via battery (6 cells at ~2.1 V each; SAE), ~14.4 via maximum regulated alternator output, 14 via radio or rounded alternator, and 13.5 averaged (battery + alternator / 2). Use the same amperage, as amps are what your wires or fuses are designed to handle or fail at respectively. Lumens, light output, is what most are concerned about, but the voltage a bulb is tested or rated at will affect both it power used (watts) and light given off (lumens). Glass shape and gas type (e.g. halogen, xenon, krypton, ...) also have an effect, the latter often producing much more heat and ultra-violet radiation which can melt and break down plastics in the socket, wiring, reflector and lens over time.

Source: http://sylvaniaautomotivecatalog.wbdev. ... ilamps.gif
Definition: MSCD, Mean Spherical Candela, nearly the same as MSCP (Mean Spherical Candlepower)

If that seems a lot to check, it is, which is why the simplest is to just stick with the ECE bulbs listed here and pictured under the “SHORT VERSION” above as well as making sure both sides are running the same bulb.
ECE Osram Common Location
W1.2W * 2721 dash indicators
W3W 2821 dash illumination
W5W 2825 interior, marker
WY5W 2827 marker (amber)
T4W 3893 interior
R5W 5007 tail
R10W * 5008 * tail
C10W 6411 trunk, dome
C5W 6418 trunk, dome
P21W 7506 brake, turn reverse, or fog
PY21W 7507 turn (amber)
P21/4W 7225 tail (4W) and brake or fog (21W)
P21/5W 7528 tail (5W) and brake or fog (21W)
* See notes in "SHORT VERSION" above.

A. VOLVO Part Numbers Use <ctrl+F> to Find your bulb number faster.
Different numbers for the same bulb are included on the right to avoid redundant entries.
FIVE- and SIX-DIGIT VOLVO BULBS (most common)
Volvo#VoltsWattsBaseECE (non) Osram#LumensInfo
1991712 V5 WW2.1x9.5d---X5W (Xenon W5W)
1992624 V5 WSV8.5-8C5W642345 lm41x11mm
18202624 V15 WBA15s-7529--
18203224 V45/50 WBA20d-7359--
18203424 V2 WBA9s-3797--
18204024 V10 WSV8.5-8-6429-41x11mm
18204612 V15 WSV8.5-8-6451-41x15mm
18205924 V3 WBA7s-3899--
19059112 V25 WBA15s-7582--
19209112 V6 WBA9s-6253--
19210524 V18 WSV8.5-8-6480-41x15mm
19220012 V18 WBA15s-7527--
19245512 V45/40 WP45t-41R27951860/675 lm-
27780824 V10 WBA15sR10W5637125 lm-
94208624 V55/50 WP45t-41R279521000/860 lm-
94231012 V18 WSV8.5-8-6475-41x15mm
94232712 V1.2 WW2x4.6dW1.2W27216.4 lm-
94349824 V5 WBA15sR5W562750 lm-
94390424 V70 WP14.5sH1641551900 lm-
94509124 V21 WBA15sP21W7511460 lm-
96318712 V60/55 WP43t-38HB290031590/980 lmDOT version of H4
96476324 V75/70 WP43tH4641961900/1200 lm-
96582612 V21 WBA15sP21W7506460 lm-
96582712 V21 WBA15sP21W7506460 lm-
96583112 V5 WSV7- 641838 lm-
96632612 V1.2 WB8.5d-2721MF6.4 lm-
96771124 V4 WBA9sT4W393035 lm& 182025
97730212 V60/55 WP43tH4641931650/1000 lm& 963187 (DOT)
97770912 V1.2 WW2x4.6dW1.2W27216.4 lm-
97771012 V21/4 WBAZ15dP21/4W7225440/15 lm-
98181512 V1 W----Window switch bulb
98255824 V21 WBAU15sPY21W665201*-*Flosser
98358185 V35 WP32d-2D2S662403200 lmXenon HID
98360912 V51 WP22d (180°)HB4A9006XS1095 lm“55W”
98779012.8 V11 WW2.1x9.5d“W11W”912151 lmsee “Side Mirror Light”
98789612 V35 WPGJ19-1H864212800 lm-
98975012 V65 WPGJ19-5H9642132100 lm-
98975512 V15 WBA15s-7533210 lm& 11489
98975612 V21 WBA15sP21W7506460 lm-
98975712 V21 WBA15sP21W7506460 lmlong life
98975812 V27 WBA15s(SAE)1156402 lm-
98975924 V25 WBA15s-7597430 lm-
98976012 V5 WBA15sR5W500750 lm-
98976112 V10 WBA15sR10W5008125 lm-
98976213.5 V5 WBA15sR5W500750 lm& 946777, 965828
98976313.5 V7 WBA15s(SAE)6750 lm& 965829
98976424 V10 WBA15sR10W5637125 lm-
98976512 V2 WBA9s(DIN)379612.5 lm& 182055
98976612 V3 WBA9s-389428 lm-
98976712 V4 WBA9sT4W389335 lm& 965830
98976812 V5 WBA9s-386050 lm21.5mm
98976924 V2 WBA9s(DIN)379717.5 lm-
98977212 V2 WBA7s-38989.4 lm& 19923, Eiko (A)1272
98977312 V10 WSV8.5-8(DIN)6411100 lm& 12795071, DE3175; 41x11mm
98977412 V15 WSV8.5-8-6451207 lm-
98977524 V10 WSV8.5-8-6429105 lm41x15mm max
98977624 V15 WSV8.5-8-6453220 lm41x15mm max
98977712 V5 WSV8.5-8C5W641845 lm37x11mm; see DE3022
98977912 V3 WSV7-642829 lm& 19925, 966850, ~DE3021
98978012 V1.2 WSV5.5-6-6148*6.3 lm*Flosser 36x6mm
98978112 V3 WSV5.5-6--26 lm33x6.5mm max
98978224 V3 WSV5.5-6-6444*26 lm*SV6-6 37x7mm
98978512 V20 WBA9s-64115450 lm& 968113; center brake
98978712 V20/5 WBAY15d-7241440/35 lm-
98978812 V21/5 WBAY15dP21/5W7528440/35 lm& 182061, 966335
98978912 V21/5 WBAY15dP21/5W7528440/35 lm-
98979012 V27/8 WBAY15d(SAE)1157NA370/20 lm& 949281, no ECE equivalent
98979112 V27/8 WBAY15d(SAE)1157400/38 lm& 989792
98979324 V18/5 WBAY15d-7244230/45 lm-
98979412 V3 WW2.1x9.5dW3W282122 lm& 942571
98979512 V5 WW2.1x9.5dW5W282550 lm& 949671, 3278344
98979612 V5 WW2.1x9.5dWY5W282730 lm& 981184, 987945, 8679781
98979912 V1.2 WW2x4.6dW1.2W2721?6.4 lm& 981671; ashtray lamp
98980012 V1.2 WW2x4.6dW1.2W27216.4 lm& 942327, 1323462; blu hldr
98980512 V1.2 WW2x4.6dW1.2W--blu hldr, 2721MF/2351MFX6?
98980612 V1.2 WW2x4.6dW1.2W27216.4 lm& 12798389
98980912 V3 WB10d-64122MF22 lm& 969032; Brown socket
98981112 V55 WP14.5sH1641501550 lm& 942775, 980163
98981212 V55 WP14.5sH164150L1550 lmlong life
98981412 V55 WPK22sH3641511450 lm& 944265
98982112 V65/45 WP29tHB190041200/700 lm& 1312618
98982312 V21/4 WBAZ15DP21/4W7225440/15 lm-
98982612 V65 WP20d (90°)HB390051860 lm& 978278
98982712 V51 WP22d (90°)HB490061095 lm& 978279; “55”
98982812 V55 WPX26dH7642101500 lm& 980556
98982912 V55 WPX26dH764210L1500 lmlong life
98983012 V27/7 WWX2.5x16qPY27/7W(3757A)475/36 lm& 980557
98983112 V10 WSF6-212-2100 lm& 981445; (211-2 12W)
98983385 V35 WP32d-3D2R662502800 lm& 982452; Xenon HID
98983412 V42 WPY20dH109145850 lm& 983562; “45W”
98983712 V21 WBAY9sH21W64136600 lm& 983584
98983812 V55 WPGJ19-2H11642111350 lm& 983612
98983912 V5 WW2.1x9.5dW5W282550 lm-
98984112 V10 WBA15sR10W5008LL125 lm& 983330; long life
98984212 V21 WBAU15SPY21W7507280 lm& 979623, 983331
98997212 V5 WSV8.5-8-641345lm41x15mm max; see 989777
99955412 V21 WBAU15SPY21W7507280 lm“SV,” Mirrored; see 989842
99957312 V6 WBAX9sH6W64132-(HY6W has BAZ9s base)
Less info available. Often for switch and accessory illumination (see Neo-Wedge table). Some cross to six-digit Volvo numbers.

:!: Seven-, Eight-, And Nine-Digit Volvo bulb table

BulbsMVSneowedge.JPG (46.7 KiB) Viewed 37354 times
3. B. Neo-Wedge Bulbs
Sorted by volts, base, then wattage for ease of comparison.

:!: Neo Wedge bulb table

* Bases: NW4.6, NW6, NW8
** As far back as 2001, many have suggested using Radio Shack 272-1092 "12V Microlamps" or any 7219 bulb and carefully re-wiring it into the old base. Others have suggested just buying Honda 35505-S84-N01 which already has the base attached. For even brightness, best to replace all at the same time on the radio and ECC, keeping working ones as spares.

3. C. Festoon Bulbs Use <ctrl+F> to Find your bulb number faster.
These Double-Ended (DE) devils often vary by base (cap size), length and diameter even among same voltage and wattage. Even with SAE, DIN, and ECE variations, this should help narrow things down* and rule out numbers for other voltages. The 1.2W vanity mirror bulb is conspicuously absent and non-standard.

:!: Festoon bulb table

* Length descriptions can vary by 4mm or more due to some measuring tip to tip, others like ECE use mid-tip-to-mid-tip where the bulb holder contacts rest, some listing what the bulb actually measures where as others list the MOL and MOD though the actual bulb may be smaller. Recommend taking old bulb in with a metric ruler into store for comparison when buying replacement.

3. D. Side Mirror “Approach” Bulbs Use <ctrl+F> to Find your bulb number faster.
Volvo describes the bulb for the side mirror or “Approach” light as “12.8 V, 11 W.” Aftermarket show others (e.g. 6W and 10W) some with 10mm glass, some with 16mm, but all with a W2.1x9.5d base (unknown if the 16mm will fit all housings). What ever is used, keep it below 11w. A W5W (2825) will work fine. Others one may encounter also shown for comparison. This photo shows the trick to getting access to them.

:!: Side Mirror “Approach” bulb table

3. E. 3000-Series Bulbs
There is likely a good story behind the some of the redundancy for 3#5# bulbs, but I don’t have it. Some manufacturers list THREE different numbers on the same package in addition to A(mber) and K(rypton) variations. Double check the base and socket as noted below. (See Volvo table for bulbs in the 3000 range without a plastic wedge base, i.e. 3893 BA9s.)

:!: 3000-Series bulb table

Look at the bottom of this page for a comparison of W2.5x16d, W2.5x16q, and WX2.5x16q bases that the 3000-series bulbs use which may prevent one type from being installed in another.
Note: The manual for a 1998 S70 also lists 3357 NA, but due to Recall ID # 6397 - EXTERIOR LIGHTING:TURN SIGNAL Recall Date: DEC 06, 2000 "There could be inadequate contact between the bulb and socket which could cause the front turn signal not to function as designed. … Dealers will replace the left and right front turn signal [+ park light] bulb and socket.", one might encounter BAY15d sockets and 1157NA bulbs instead. I suspect a Volvo bean counter tried replacing two single-filament bulbs (front park and turn) and their sockets with one dual-filament. Since there was no dual-intensity amber ECE bulb, they tried an Ford-like amber 3#57 style bulb, but the cheaper plastic base didn't hold up under continuous use (night and DRL), began to give, and contacts got dodgy. The quick fix for the one-hole lens was for dealers to retrofit metal-base 1157NA (SAE) bulbs and sockets while going with two separate bulbs in the future. By contrast, Japanese automakers went with large all-glass wedge bulbs like the 7443NA (dual-filament, amber, and sometimes referred to as "WY21/5W" though not an ECE designation).

4. Older Volvos
For you older Volvo owners that see 67 and 1073 listed in your manual, you can safely swap them out with 5007 (R5W) and 7506 (P21W) which draw less power (Volts x Amps = Watts), put out the same or more light (lumens), and whose plated bases better resist corrosion. Here are other old designations one might find:
Old --> Current, P25-1 --> P21W , P25-2 --> P21/5W , R19/5 --> R5W , R19/10 --> R10W , C11 --> C5W, C15 --> C21W, T8/4 --> T4W, W10/5 --> W5W, and W10/3 --> W3W.

5. Common Questions

Why does Volvo sometimes list "1156" as a replacement bulb?
Some Europeans still think the buffalo freely roam the American plains, indians shoot arrows at people in the middle of their ten-hour drive from New York to Los Angeles, all our restaurants start with "Mc," and we do not have ready access to the correct ECE bulbs (P21W, R5W, P21/5W, 7506, 5007, 7528, etc.) despite the fact that European vehicles have been sold, serviced, and part of the aftermarket part supply chain for over half a century, and thus Volvo lists "US No." (SAE) bulbs in some owners manuals should we ever need one along the Oregon Trail to avoid dying of dysentery. Yet as shown in above sections, Volvo has made a LOT of mistakes in those manuals and 1156 is not the same as P21W (7506). Just think if Volvo also listed SAE nuts and screws (8-32, 1/4"-20, 1/2"-13, etc.) as metric replacements! :shock:

Can I use a higher wattage bulb?
Not recommended, and here’s why...
Increasing wattage (power) not only increases light (lumens) but also the infra-red (IR, radiant heat), ultra-violet (UV), and conducted heat (transmitted through the bulb from the glowing filament to the socket) that all filament bulbs produce leading to hazing, crazing, melting, discoloring, and or embrittlement of the surrounding plastics with time. It also puts the circuit in a state of overcurrent. Going from a W3W to a W5W increases the load by 40%, so if the FoS and effects of age or conditions put it around 140%, the circuit’s ampacity will be exceeded leading to “immediate or progressive deterioration.” By the time that +40% over-watt bulb fails, the condition of surrounding components are seldom as good as when the OEM bulb was removed.

Telltale pointy tip on halogen bulbs.
BulbsMVSba9sHalogen.JPG (30.9 KiB) Viewed 37354 times
Can I “upgrade” to a mini-halogen bulb?
By taking advantage of the halogen cycle, these bulbs give off considerably more heat which damages components not designed to handle it. If the wattage is the same, the lens glass, reflector metal, and socket metal or other high-temperature non-plastic material, it might be fine. Feel the lens when it’s first turned on, after a minute, again after five minutes, then turn it off and feel the reflector and socket. Compare it those results to the stock bulb, but even then halogen damage can take months to detect.

Any downsides to brighter tail lights?
In addition to the above, it can make it more difficult for following drivers to detect when you’re braking, especially if they can’t see all your lights (e.g. two cars behind).

Are blue-tint bulbs better?
No, they are always worse.
Bulbs produce a spectrum of light, the average of which we perceive as its “color.” Any tint always reduces output because to change the “color” it has to filter out part of that spectrum thereby reducing overall output (lumens). Mimicking color never mimics output no more than your red Check Engine Light is as “bright” as your red brake light. Daniel Stern has more on blue bulbs and how tinting can drop output from “1,550 lumens to 1,380 lm” by switch from a standard clear glass to a “Super White” bulb.

How did blue-tint bulbs get started?
Tinting bulbs is a cheap way to make a cheap bulb have the color, but not the output (lumens), of over-watt halogen, xenon, HID, or other more expensive bulbs. PIAA is blatantly the worst at this with claims like “55w=100w,” but as watt is a SI unit, that’s just as impossible as saying the same with a different unit like “55 meters = 100 meters,” “55 seconds = 100 seconds,” or “55 kilograms = 100 kilograms.” If you stare at a color then look at a white wall, the after image will appear in the opposite color. If you’ve been viewing the road via the slightly yellow color that halogens have and then see a whiter light such as a fluorescent or HID bulb, it will appear as if it is tinted blue (and conversely halogens will look “yellow” from an HID perspective), even though it is not. You may have noticed that even halogen lights appear bluish if your prior frame of reference has been a sodium vapor street light. Some manufacturers then cashed in on false association between “blue” and higher performing bulbs with “Super White” versions of regular bulbs. Some then took "blue" to all new levels :roll: (not the color you want authorities to see you running).

Can I swap out a halogen headlight bulb with a “HID conversion” bulb?
No. HID conversions must include the bulb, lens, and reflector because the halogen light-source is a straight line (filament) whereas a the HID’s is a curve (electric arc that rises in the middle due to heat). More about “HID conversions” here.

Are HID lights better?
Well, better at what? There are many factors. Reduced power consumption (watts)? Yes. Cost to service or replace a bulb? No. Gross output of light (lumens)? Yes. Quality of light for the human eye? Considering that spectral sensitivity of the human eye is between 555nm (day) and 507nm (night) depending on conditions, yellow-ish light may actually be better (think thousands of generations adapting to campfire light at night). And as lights produce not just one color, but a spectrum of light (the average of which is the perceived color) one has to consider the color rendering index (more here). Yet, instead of discussing wavelength nanometers, CRI, spectral sensitivity, and human eye anatomy, it sure is easier for a salesman to say HID is “like the color of DAYLIGHT! Who can beat the sun!” despite the fact that headlights are needed for NIGHTTIME lighting conditions.

Should I switch to LEDs?
In short, no. Save your time and money for now. In addition to the factors mentioned for HID, especially the need for the lens and reflector to be designed around the type of light source, remember that LEDs are “narrow” -- narrow spectrum and narrow focus. Their directional light does not radiate in all directions like incandescent bulbs, as seen when comparing LED and incandescent brake lights from the side. Interior LEDs can have a poor CRI for reading maps. Note how auto makers have to pepper the area behind a tail light lens with multiple LEDs to cover the same area one bulb can do along with a reflector. Some LED vendors have responded with LED “bulbs” where the LEDs are mounted at different angles to shoot light off the reflector, but this is like trying to replicate the even “fur” of reflected incandescent light with a lot of spikes. Note how no auto maker who has to meet DOT, SAE, or ECE standards uses LED “bulbs” in incandescent reflectors, only arrays. Though maturing in the OEM market, the aftermarket is still in the unregulated and non-standardized “Wild West” phase. Note how bulb manufacturers are tooling up for LED bulb-retrofits without a ECE, SAE, DIN, DOT, ANSI, ISO, or other standard to go by, which insures that a “bulb” type 123 sold by one vendor will operate the same as a 123 sold by another. The aftermarket thus tries to coattail or piggyback off an existing specification to label the LED (i.e. "194 type") despite that one can't replicate the specs of the other. Referring to sockets or bases by a bulb ("194 base") versus W2.1x9.5d is another red flag, just as if a vendor described a 15" wheel using a tire size ("205/70R15").

Do fog lights (front) and fog lamps (rear) really do anything?
Fog lights are designed to shoot under the fog to illuminate the road while driving at a slower speed... because the visibility is reduced. Fog lamps are the same intensity as brake lights to be spotted from farther behind but are closer to the vehicle’s centerline. Volvos usually have just a left fog lamp for left-hand drive vehicles (right-side of road) and vice versa. As Volvo notes, please use them only under reduced visibility conditions, like when it’s harder to see the cars in front of you. Otherwise, they’re as “cool” as driving for miles with the turn signal on, can be mistaken with a brake light, and might make police think you have a “defective (brake light) equipment.” Bookmarking that page in your owners manual may prove handy. Check out these two pages on front fog lights and rear fog lamps.

What do “SV” and “DC” mean after some Volvo bulb descriptions?
Both Philips and Osram/Sylvania have offered amber bulbs with a mirrored, silver, or chrome finish through their Silver Vision (SV) and Diadem Chrome (DC) lines respectively. The idea was to eliminate the “fried egg” look of an unlit amber bulb behind a clear lens. The challenge is making sure they are as bright as standard amber bulbs when illuminated and some have noted other versions are noticeably dimmer. Osram/Sylvania also has a Diadem line that has an “opal” or oyster-shell appearance when off.

6. Tips!

No bulb costs more than a “defective equipment” ticket and court costs, nor should take longer to change than a traffic stop.

Make a routine of checking your bulbs. Multi-task them into other regular activities like unloading groceries or talking on your phone in a parking lot so you spot bad bulbs before the fuzz does.

Use glass storefronts at night as a big mirror to check your brake and reverse lights while in your car.

Look low, not high. The correct ECE bulbs for common uses have FOUR digits, start ABOVE 2700 and thus will be LOWER on numerically-ordered racks at parts stores and supercenters. Gas stations and grocery stores seldom carry more than a couple types, so buy spares before a road trip.

Don't start at the top left of a dizzying 15 x 8 display like this looking for a visual "match." That P21/W5 (7528) that will be the 120th and LAST one! Avoid a string of misses before you get a hit by using the cheat sheet numbers at the top or tables. Headlight bulbs (9000-on and H-codes) get their own section.
BulbsMVS120bulbsDisplay.JPG (50.6 KiB) Viewed 37261 times
Don’t mix bulbs. If you replace one SAE tail light bulb with the correct R5W (5007) one, check the other ones too. Unbalanced electrical loads can have strange symptoms or appearances.

Search the socket, lens, or reflector for a ECE bulb designation so you get the right bulb (see “SHORT VERSION” and “2. Confusion Examples and Avoidance” above).

Replace bulbs in pairs. Bulbs dim with age. If one side went, the other is probably close and can look dimmer than the new one on the other side. The used one can always be put back in the package, marked as “used spare,” and kept in the trunk.

Don’t let spare bulbs rattle in the package. Crumple a piece of paper towel or plastic bag behind them so you don’t find the filament broken or amber paint flaked off when you need them.

Smear a little di-electric grease lightly on the bulb contacts, especially if you spot any corrosion. It is non-conductivity prevents the grease from creating a short while providing an oxygen barrier to reduce corrosion that inhibits performance. Corroded sockets and connections are best cleaned with Caig DeoxIT®, though a pencil eraser or the finest sandpaper may help in a pinch.

Keep your fingers off the glass. Use a paper towel or plastic bag to hold the bulb glass and wipe clean of fingerprints, dirt, or grease afterward. Wipe halogen and headlight bulb’s glass clean with rubbing alcohol if touched to avoid hot spots that shorten its life.

Learn how to get to and replace bulbs while you have light and warmth. Do NOT resort to twisting screwdrivers as levers. If you’re reading this, you are likely disregarding Volvo’s admonition of: “The following bulbs should only be replaced by a trained and qualified Volvo service technician: Dome lighting, Glove compartment ... Footwell lighting ... Turn signals in the door mirrors ... Approach lighting in the door mirrors ... Brake lights/rear fog light/taillights, Rear parking light.” Ea$y money for the dealer$! Hour’$ labor for minute’s work. :roll: :evil: So, look for telltale cut outs for catch tabs that indicate where you should press in, go on-line, and ask others. Use a tool to unhook then PULL the lens out gently instead of damaging the area around by twisting and levering screwdrivers. A plastic bone tool is even better. Volvo’s mantra of “insert a screwdriver and pry, turn” guarantees dealers a steady stream of replacement lens sales. For example, the red lights on the end of the doors are often broken via this method when they actually slide up just a bit (“VOLVO” logo on top) against the plastic spring, before the bottom can be pulled free with a fingernail. On padded door ends, they clip into a plastic piece versus the metal frame and often flex into the inside of the door preventing the light from catching, leaving them to get smashed when you close it. The trick is to use a tiny screwdriver or pinpoint tool to hold the top catch until you can hook the sprung “VOLVO” end, then do the same with the bottom one. By doing the top first, the spring gives a little more wiggle room to get the bottom one hooked. If padded door panels are ever removed, look into securing the clips better.
BulbsMVS2DoorLight.JPG (80.5 KiB) Viewed 37354 times
Inspecting and replacing bulbs before you “need” to.
Working bulbs needing replacement because...
A: corrosion prone brass base and wrong # (1156, not a P21W)
B: brass base, melted on plastic, smoked glass (dying filament), wrong # (12W 1003, not a R5W)
C: smoked glass
D: heavily smoked glass, reduced light output and soon to fail
Failed bulbs needing replacement because...
E: broken glass, sharps hazard, use gloves or tool to remove
F: broken filament
G: internal failure, open circuit (opposite of a "short")
H: similar to B above but failed
I: glass rotates in socket, open circuit
J: similar to D above but failed
Note: E, F, and G are R5W (5007) bulbs. See how the sides of the glass are straight like a beaker tube versus a sphere or balloon shape.
BulbsMVSbadbulbs.JPG (101.17 KiB) Viewed 37354 times

Turn signals are getting whiter? The paint is going. Address it while it's still a legal color. Stained glass has used cadmium for amber, but bulbs are painted now due to toxicity. They could be wiped clean with thinner before re-painting with Krylon "Stained Glass", Granville "Amber Light", or Tamiya TS73 "Clear Orange", but end color, resulting lumens, and longevity are unknown. Unless you'll use them for other things, it's cheaper and faster to just buy new PY21W (7507, note pins) and WY5W (2827) bulbs.
BulbsMVS_PY21W.JPG (52.66 KiB) Viewed 37261 times
7. Useful Links
Tip of the Hat: is very good at listing many of the specs for bulbs.
Links to electrical terms: What are amps, watts, volts and ohms?
Volts (V), electric "force":
Amps (A), electric current:
Watts (W), electric power (e.g. power used, not light produced):
Ohms (Ω), electrical resistance:
Candlepower (cp), light's intensity:
Lumens (lm), perceived light:

Abbreviated Trivia: V, A, and W are capitalized because they were named in honor of Alessandro Volta, André-Marie Ampère, and James Watt respectively. :mrgreen: :roll:

Edits: Typos, formatting, links, better pictures, and more that only someone who would write this would notice.
Last edited by matthew1 on Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:03 pm, edited 9 times in total.
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Re: Volvo Bulb Guide and Cross-Reference

Post by matthew1 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:37 pm

Oh my God. (In a good way, to answer QS's private message :-).) This is the epitome of helpful posts. The paradigm.

If you reply to QuirkySwede's post, please don't quote the whole thing. ;-)
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Re: Volvo Bulb Guide and Cross-Reference

Post by BEJinFbk » Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:49 pm

I'm sure that this is being added to the DB,
but I'm STIILL book marking this! Very nice... ;)

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Re: Volvo Bulb Guide and Cross-Reference

Post by cn90 » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:41 am

I am writing the MCQs (multiple-choice questions) very soon to test you guys knowledge lol...(j/k)

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Re: Volvo Bulb Guide and Cross-Reference

Post by mfagus » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:51 am

Awesome reference guide!



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Re: Volvo Bulb Guide and Cross-Reference

Post by xHeart » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:55 am

OMG! See what cold weather does to human soul.

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Re: Volvo Bulb Guide and Cross-Reference

Post by QuirkySwede » Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:24 pm

xHeart wrote:OMG! See what cold weather does to human soul.

Was more like a productive alternative to doing sokudo, crossword puzzles, or such. :idea: And no gojo needed afterward! :mrgreen:

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Re: Volvo Bulb Guide and Cross-Reference

Post by cn90 » Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:36 pm

Over the years, I have this simple guide by Sylvania, plug in your year, model to find the bulbs: ... gmain.aspx

However, I have to admit that when a bulb is burned, I either:

1. Head to local auto parts store and look up the catalog, then buy the bulbs and move on...or

2. Look in my garage for old bulbs. As long as:
- You have the correct base,
- Correct wattage,
---> then it is likely OK.

I have mixed and matched bulbs in the past, as long as they have the right base/wattage, it is fine.
Don't over-think on the bulb issue.

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Re: Volvo Bulb Guide and Cross-Reference

Post by jimmy57 » Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:07 pm

This is a great post. Thank you so much for spending the time writing this.

I have one comment on LED bulbs.
LED bulbs have one great place on Volvos: license plate lighting. A good quality LED bulb for the two license lamps stands to be a one time replacement. Those enclosed plastic bulb bases crack and disintegrate from the heat. Daytime running lights means the tailgate and trunk lid carrying these bulbs will get closed while lights are on and the shock decreases the life significantly even for supported filament bulbs. Most other places where LED bulbs can be used, without going to a lot of trouble to defeat or trick the bulb failure checking system, the effect is personal. "New" stuff always appeals to us humans.

Also: replace in pairs. The same function bulb on the other side has seen the same use and if you buy the pair in a package and replace both then you won't be fussing with it again in 2-3 weeks only to discover you can't find that other bulb left in that blister pack you put somewhere.

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Re: Volvo Bulb Guide and Cross-Reference

Post by xHeart » Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:22 pm

QuirkySwede wrote:
xHeart wrote:OMG! See what cold weather does to human soul.

Was more like a productive alternative to doing sokudo, crossword puzzles, or such. :idea: And no gojo needed afterward! :mrgreen:
Masterfully composed, formatted and presented, making it joyful Qs.
Informative and class.

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