Things to Remember When Buying Instrument Cluster Bulbs
Every seasoned motorist has experienced difficulty in starting the engine at some point in his or her driving life. When your engine won't start, the first thing you'd probably check is your starter motor or your battery. If those seem to be working fine, then the likely culprits could be a faulty distributor cap and rotor. The distributor cap and the rotor are among the most common causes of difficulty in starting the engine. They're also the most overlooked as well.
What They Do
The distributor cap and the rotor are major components of the ignition system. They facilitate the flow of energy from the ignition to the different cylinders in your vehicle. As you know, your engine needs power from various sources-the ignition system included-in order to function. So if the cap and the rotor aren't in good condition, don't count on your engine to start for you anytime you please.
How Do I Know If I Need a New Cap and Rotor?
Difficulty in starting (as mentioned above) - This indicates that you have a cracked or damaged cap.
Irregular shaking - This indicates that the rotor isn't spinning correctly.
High-pitched noise - You'll hear this when starting your engine. This indicates that the cap has a buildup of pollutants or grease. If the unusual noise persists even after cleaning the cap, then you have no choice but to get a new cap and rotor.
What Distributor Cap and Rotor to Get?
You'll find a lot of distributor caps and rotors in the market that come from different brands. However, they're all pretty much the same when it comes to functionality. Yes, there are various cap styles available but none of them really make a considerable difference. What we suggest is to simply get an OEM replacement since they're highly reliable. You also shouldn't encounter any issues in installing an OEM cap and rotor.
If both your distributor cap and rotor are faulty, definitely go for a distributor cap and rotor kit. A cap and rotor kit is cheaper than having to buy them separately. Kits normally contain gaskets, screws, and plug wire retainers.
You can also purchase a cap and a rotor separately. Naturally, they're cheaper than cap and rotor kits. Go for this option if you only have to replace either the cap or the rotor.
How to Replace Instrument Cluster Bulbs in a Ford Explorer
Just like any vehicle, the instrument cluster on your Ford Explorer contains several gauges that provide valuable information. 194LL bulbs are used to illuminate those gauges. If any of the bulbs are broken, the gauges may not be able to tell you if there's something wrong with your Explorer. For instance, you won't see the
check engine warning light if the bulb that's responsible for illuminating that is busted. That could result in you overlooking an issue in your vehicle that's potentially damaging. Obviously, that can be more of a hassle than simply replacing the broken bulb(s).
Once you're aware that any of your instrument cluster bulbs are faulty, don't waste time in getting replacements for them. 194LL bulbs are sold in most automotive parts stores; you certainly won't find it hard to find replacements for your old ones. Installing them is just as easy. We'll guide you step by step on how to do it.
Difficulty level: EasyTools:
Step 1: Before you get to work, make sure that the engine is cool.
Step 2: Pop the hood and disconnect the negative terminal in the battery with your socket wrench.
Step 3: Now, go inside your Explorer and turn your attention to the instrument cluster. There should be three bolts above it. Grab your socket wrench again and remove all of them.
Step 4: There are more bolts to remove so hold on to your socket wrench. Look under your steering wheel and remove the four cross-head screws. There should be one above each pedal. You'll find the rest by pulling the kick panel. You'll need a screwdriver for those.
Step 5: Don't let go of your screwdriver yet as you'll still be using it. Now, pull down the steel plate underneath the steering wheel and remove the two bolts that are holding the trim around the steering wheel in place.
Step 6: Pry off the center console trim and disconnect the HVAC system, the radio, and the lighter. You should now be able to remove the dashboard trim that surrounds the instrument cluster. Afterwards, pull the instrument cluster trim off as well.
Step 7: Do you see the plug behind the gear shifter? Disconnect it.
Step 8: There are four cross-head screws that are holding the instrument cluster in place. Remove all of them and pry off the cluster. Disconnect the three plugs that are under the cluster after that.
Step 9: Now that you've got your hands on the cluster, remove all the screws that are keeping it together. You should now be able to access the bulbs.
Step 10: Take out the busted bulbs and replace them with the new ones. Make sure that they're positioned properly.
Step 11: Put back everything you took out earlier. Don't forget to reconnect the battery as well.