Skip to content

Overhauling a light cluster

Here you can get Overhauling a light cluster and problems. Here we provide light cluster Removing an old type and new-style cluster ect.

Many modern cars are now designed so that their lights are built as a one-piece unit referred to as a cluster. These are easier for the manufacturer to supply than the older sort of light unit, which is fitted separately to the car. However, removing, dismantling and repairing these units is usually harder , and really often more expensive, than on the older sort of light unit.

Possible problems

The most obvious reason for removing the light clusters is that if they need been damaged after an accident . Light clusters are almost exclusively used for the taillights and are during a vulnerable position within the event of an accident. You may also got to remove the light cluster if condensation or water has built up on the within of the lens. this will be caused by water seeping past the sealing weatherstrip or gasket . Alternatively, the tiny holes built into the units to permit water to empty out may became blocked, trapping water inside.

If the light unit is left during this condition the water can soon become a green slime which may hamper the brilliance of the light unit. The water may also come into contact with the electrical connections within the light unit. this may cause corrosion and eventually the contact are going to be lost and therefore the light will leave. Before starting work on the cluster unit determine which sort you’ve got fitted, because this determines how you set about removing the light cluster from the car.

Replacement parts

New replacement lenses are often very expensive so it’s worth checking an area scrapyard for an old one. Remember, however, to buy the correct lens because some may only fit on the left- or right-hand side of the car. If you discover that just the bulbholder is at fault this will often be bought separately if it’s the detachable type.

Removing an old type cluster

  • Start by carefully releasing the lens fixing screws. If the screws are tight, spray them first with penetrating oil.
  • Lift the lens away. On most cars there is a seal behind the lens. If your car has one, be careful not to tear it while you do this.
  • Find how the cluster casing is fixed to the car body. Slacken and remove the fixings. Make sure you do not lose any washers or seals fitted behind them.
  • If the wiring is still connected at this stage, pull the unit out far enough so you can pull the wires off their connectors, then remove the unit completely.

Old and new types of cluster unit

The older type of cluster unit (right) often has its lens secured by external screws and may be removed separately. These units are often wired so each individual bulbholder has its own connector, and you’ll be ready to remove the bulbholders from the unit without disconnecting the wiring.

The later type of cluster units (left) are a little more complicated to remove. The lens cover can often be removed only from the rear of the unit which can require that the whole cluster be removed from the car. In some cases the lens is integral with the cluster casing, and if it breaks you’ll need to fit a whole new unit.

Removing a new-style cluster

Remove any trim panels covering the rear of the cluster units within the boot or tailgate. Disconnect the battery then the multi-plug from the light unit. Find and take away the fixing screws, bolts or nuts from the cluster unit (3), noting if they’re different lengths. Then carefully pull the unit out of its aperture within the car body.

Simpler types

The most simple type of cluster has the lens cover held to the cluster casing by small screws which pass through the lens. to remove the lens you simply unscrew the fastenings. However it’s worth taking a few precautions first. The securing screws are invariably of the cross-headed type but they’ll be either Pozidriv or Phillips. So confirm that you simply use the correct type and size of screwdriver to remove them. they’ll became corroded due to their exposed location and if you use an incorrect screwdriver it’s easy to strip or maybe break off the screw.

If you discover the screws are really tight, soak them with penetrating oil , allowing time for it to work in before trying the screws again. Once the screws are removed the lens are often lifted away. Now look for securing screws round the cluster casing. If you see them, you’ll remove the cluster just by undoing them. But first disconnect the battery terminals and therefore the wiring to the bulbholders. Then release the securing screws and therefore the unit should now lift out with the bulbs and their holders in place.

If you can’t see any fixings, or if you can’t at this stage disconnect the wiring, then you’ll need to dismantle the unit further before you’ll remove it. The procedure for doing this is often an equivalent as for the more complex type of light cluster.

Cleaning lenses

If you have removed your lens because it was dirty, or if you would like to wash up a second-hand replacement item, you’ll do that with soapy water and an old soft toothbrush. Gently scrub out all dirt and grime from the lens.

The silver backing round the bulbs also can be carefully cleaned within the same way. But lookout to not scrub this too hard otherwise you may find the silvering will start to lift off. Before reassembly confirm the within of the lens and bulbholders is completely dry.

Complex types

The more complex type of cluster unit has its lens cap attached to the casing from the rear. There are not any exposed screw heads on this sort and therefore the entire cluster unit will got to be removed from the car before the lens are often removed or the cluster checked.

Open the tailgate or boot lid so you’ll see where the rear of the cluster sticks out. The cluster will often be covered by a trim panel. Remove this first to realize access to the rear of the unit. The covers are often held by one or more simple wing nuts or turn buttons and may usually be removed by hand. The section in your car handbook on changing the bulbs should tell you ways to remove them.


Start by disconnecting the battery earth terminal as a security precaution. look at how the wiring is attached to the cluster unit. Older style units have individual Wires running to every bulbholder. you’ll be ready to pull out the bulbholders without having to disconnect the wiring. If this is often impossible label the wires as you disconnect them in order that they don’t become muddled on reassembly.

Later units use multi-plug connectors. These may be a tight push-fit and easily achieve . Others engage positively on to the cluster casing and you’ve got to press within the small thumb tabs on each end of the connector to release them. If the rear of the unit isn’t accessible, the wiring can only be disconnected once you’ve got unbolted and partially removed the unit from the car.

Sealing gaskets

Take care when lifting the lens cover away from the cluster unit. it may not are moved for a few time (possibly never before) and should be tight on its mounting. Gently tap it together with your hand to break any bond which will have formed between the lens and sealing gasket. Then lift the lens up gently, ensuring that you simply don’t tear the gasket behind as you are doing so.

If you discover the gasket has become torn or perished you’ll need to buy a replacement for reassembly. New gaskets should be available from your dealer but if you’ll not find one you can use a sealing mastic carefully applied in its place (see sideline overleaf).


The light units are reassembled in basically reverse order to dismantling. Remember to not overtighten the lens or cluster securing fixings as they usually screw into plastic, which easily cracks.

Leave a Reply