Article by: Winston Fong
Article applies to: early e34 models (pre-11/90).
Start by removing the small panel on the left side of the center console next to the radio.
Open the tiny left and right panels on the outer edges of the radio.
Using the special five sided screwdriver remove the two screws.
If you don’t have one and the screws are not too tight you may be able use an allen wrench to loosen the screws to remove the radio.
Pull the radio straight out after loosening the screws.
Disconnect the 9 wires in the back (nine with CD player) allowing you to remove the radio.
Reach inside the opening and push the HVAC button switch out you may have to push the release button on the top.
Disconnect the switches wire connector and remove.
Thanks to Stewart Ebrat who e-mailed me that e34’s with build dates after 11/90 have a bulb for the panel in the front and can be pulled in and out of socket without removing panel.
The part number is 07 50 0 063 579. His had 3 Bowden cables rather than 2 on mine and A/C harness plugs are different.
On left side of the HVAC panel is a release lever push this to the left while pulling the left side of the panel out.
Squeeze the cable release levers in back of the HVAC panel and remove the cables.
You will have to move the levers around to remove cables.
On the right side remove and disconnect the temperature control plug by pulling the black release handle straight back.
Now pull the plug out.
Remove the other electrical connectors on the back of panel.
Using a small bladed screwdriver, release the back HVAC panel by depressing the 4 tabs and carefully prying the panel out.
Now unscrew the old bulb and replace it with your new bulb. Your now half done.
You may wish to check the new bulb with an ohmmeter before putting it back together.
Now push the back panel back on carefully and reconnect the wiring plugs.
Put the rest of the switches, plugs, panels, etc back in and your done.
Now you don’t have to fumble in the dark to adjust temperature or turn the wrong knob because you couldn’t see.