Modifying Dash Board Lights Made Easy
Let’s be honest here. We, as a group, love to customize stuff. Car guys and gals have a tendency to change anything and everything they can in their rides, often going as far as changing the color of the accent lights inside their cars for ambience.
YouTuber Kipkay decided he wanted to do away with his white LED backlights and swap them for bright blue lights that give his gauges a nice cool look while maintaining the dimmable functionality. He put together this excellent tutorial that shows step by step exactly how to do this yourself with only basic tools and a little time, but keep in mind that you’ll need at least basic soldering skills to be able to knock this out, but you can see in the video, there really isn’t much to it.
The first thing to do is to pull the dash apart. This is going to be different for every vehicle, so you’ll have to either look for a tutorial online or just start exploring your own ride to see how to disassemble your dash to get to the instrument panel itself. Once you have it apart, you can begin disassembling the panel to get to the circuit board, which houses the LED’s themselves.
With the click of a few tabs and some careful maneuvering, you should be able to have the panel disassembled pretty quickly, but you’ll need to make note of the orientation of the actual gauge needles themselves so you can snap them back into the same spot once you’re finished.
Once you’ve accessed the circuit board and tracked down all of the LED’s you want to change, simply heat the solder to melt it and gently lift the old LED’s from the board. Add a little fresh solder to the pad, drop the new LED’s into place and solder them into place.
After that, all that’s left to do is reassemble, although as Kipkay points out, you may want to grab the dash and test it before completing the reassembly process, just to make sure nothing went wrong. Button everything back up and you have a nice new custom look for your gauges.