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390 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The red luminance indicator for air vent control dial from the center air condition vents went out. I suspected a blown bulb inside.

So with courage to venture into the unknown I've removed the center a/c vent trim and disconnected the wires for the lamps. w/out damages.

However; to my surprise I've discovered the fuckin bulb appears to be integrated with the air vent in a permanent factory assembly. ( I.E. the vent control luminance on the a/c center vent trim was not designed for bulb changing if bulb is blown. )

So, My question is has anyone out there gone through the same thing and can share any knowledge in how to disassemble the bulb assembly on the center vent trim. If not .. I guess i'll just venture a call to VW parts and bust the bank to buy a new center a/c trim ... the cost of parts are ridiculous!!!!!!! I know i'm gonna be hurting cuz one little trim screw for the engine dress up covers cost $1.96 ITS JUSTS A LITTLE PLASTIC FASTNER FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!!! I thought the parts guy was gonna just let me have it for free. Anyway any feed back on this from someone who knows how to change this bulb would be much appreciated.

_Mil P.S. someday i'll invest in a digi cam so i can post the most uncommon repairs that I've done so far on a B5.5

390 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
TheJezter said:
Related topic, does anyone know if all 4 vent controls have bulbs? If so, I need 3 of the 4 (these bulbs are crap!)


Chris, I can confirm for you that the center a/c vent trim has 2 bulbs, one for each vent dial control ... My assumption would be that the other vents driver side and passenger side ends have only one bulb per side.???? if nobody knows way to know for sure is pull out and observe... ?

Here's the VW part number for the bulbs I just replaced: 3B0 919 243 B
(This is for a 2001.5 New Passat to '04)

Part number from the info forum right up is the same except for the alpha letter ending in A instead of B .. this maybe for a 99 or 01 B5 passat.. but you can confirm this with your local VW parts dept dealer.

:D Fellas that write up for this surgical operation was helpful although the pics weren't there. I went and purchased the bulbs at the dealer. They were $11.59 each for me. Chris here's the link to the info forum topic: ( If that URL doesn't work for some reason its under the heading ( vent bulb replacement)

Here's Blurb for the center vent trim I hope will help you get started.

Tools: I used a flat metal, black hair pin to release the bulb from the fiber optic casing. ( this step is last after you remove the vent trim from the dash) This part will hopefully all make sense once you've carefully removed the vent from the dash and disconnected the electrical connector from the vent trim.

My personally additional
Hints for center vent trim:
Careful you don't yank on the trim to remove as you will risk breaking the wires. Pry off slowly from the top of the vent trim. It has 3 plastic molded on top tabs that allows it to snap into place in the dash.. and 3 on the bottom. you may find that you only need to release only the top 3 tabs and carefully pryand pull out from the top side of the vent trim .. however the method from the info forum write up sounds very good. depending on your particular situation.. for me i found it easier and less of a risk to crack the vent trim from just releasing the top tabs and carefully pulling and prying it out from the top then putting tension on both upper and lower sides .

(Butter knife sounds better than a flat head screw driver but anyhow which ever you feel most confident using!!! I used flat head screw drivers.
The tabs are located on the center a/c vent trim as such: one on the top left end , one on the top center and one on the top right side of trim. Use electrical tape to rap the tip of a wide flat head screw driver. Carefully pry where the tabs are located from one end and jam another taped flat head screw driver into place to keep the tab from snapping back in .... then with another flat head work your way to the center tab at the same time carefully prying out the vent from the top first and finally continue release the tab to the next end.
Once you've got the top side of the trim pry'd out you will see the connector plugged into the lights on both right and left side air controller.

very carefully use a electronic flathead or small flat head screw driver to pry the connector off from its plastic casing. Becareful you don't break the wire steady hand and patience required!!!! the right side maybe a bitch as the wire maybe shorter ..this may vary depending on your own car.. so you'll need to use a long flat head screw driver to reach in and pull off the connector by prying from the connector casing ( hopefully this will be intuitive once you get into it) Additionally you may require or will find it additionaly helpful to use a long nosed needle nosed plyer for this task .. especially for reinserting the connector for the right side or the wire that is the shortest and difficult to reach to plug back the connector into the new bulb plastic casing.

(hint: don't work from the center first it will be a P.I.T.A. !!!!!! to keep the tabs from snapping back into place!.. when prying out the vent trim! )

GOOD LUCK!!!!!! (Disclaimer: These are my tips as to how I managed to do my bulb replacement. You follow at your own risk! and are free to use your own ideas. This is only my experience that i hope you will find helpful if you find your self scratching your head and knuckles and not sure how to approach the task. Its my opinion that only those who have the confidence to DIY to chance any repairs on your own...

_ Mil
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