Author Topic: How To: Changing the interior and plate lights (picture heavy)  (Read 41576 times)

Offline Jimp

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Yesterday I changed the interior lights and the number plate on my mk5. Took me a good 2 hours, most of which was spent figuring out how to get at different things. Once you know what to do though it should only take a few minutes  :smiley:

Tools needed:
Trim removal tool (I used a butter knife)
T-20 Torx screwdriver
Phillips head screwdriver
Replacement lights

The lights I got were a xenon-look kit that I bought online. I can't honestly remember what site I bought them from since they have been lying around for a while  :undecided:.
Here's a picture of the kit:

The smaller ones are called peanuts and the longer ones are called tubes. The peanuts give off a white light with a slight blueish tinge, much like OEM xenon headlights, while the tubes seem to give off a clear white light without the blue tinge. If there is a blue tinge from them it is very slight and I haven't noticed it.
So, let's get started!

Dome Lights
First of all you must remove the trim around the front and rear dome lights. The rear is easy, just slide in your trim removal tool and the clips will pop off easily. The front is a little trickier since the section holding the light is part of a larger component. Here's how I got it out:
If you pry at this line here, this part should unclip and fold out on a hinge:

When this part folds down you will see 2 torx screws on either side. Remove them and push in a few clips above them and the whole lot should come out easily enough. Then you must unhook the wiring loom attached to it. As with most looms in the mk5 it will come out if you push down on a clip on the loom and then pull out:

Here's a picture of the two dome covers taken out. The one in the middle is from the rear, with the clips circled in red. The one on the right is from the front, with the hinges I mentioned earlier circled in red:

Next step is to change the lights. The rear dome has 3 peanuts, the front dome has 2 peanuts and 1 tube. Let's do the rear first as it's quick and simple.
Here's what you will see once the dome cover is off:

The peanuts in there pull straight out and the new ones slot right in.
WARNING! THE LIGHTS MAY BE HOT! BE CAREFUL!
If they are still hot then leave them cool down a bit before removing them.
Here are some pictures of the peanuts replaced:


Next up is the front dome. The peanuts here are in small black holders that must be removed. If you twist them they will pop out, much like a normal lightbulb at home. They can be pretty tight though. The tube is clearly visible in the middle. To take it out just pop out one side and the other side should come out easily. Here's a picture of what you will see. The small black holders can be seen at either side of the tube. I've marked in the direction I twisted the holders with a red arrow:

Again the peanuts pull straight out and the new ones slot right in. Here's a picture of the new peanut in the small black holder:

Here's a close up of the tube:

All that's left to do is put everything back. Just reverse the steps taken to remove everything  :wink:
Here are some pictures of the finished thing:


Here's a picture of the new front dome lights compared to the light from the sun visor light. You can clearly see the colour difference:

Done!  :smiley:

Sun Visor Lights
These are the lights that come on when you use the mirror in the sun visor. They use 1 tube light. Installation is the same on both sides. To get access to the tubes, slide your trim removal tool in the door facing side of the light and pop it out. Here's a picture of the driver side light out:

Replacing the tube is the same as in the dome lights, just pop out the old one and put in the new one.
Then push the lights back up into place.
Done!  :smiley:

Glove box light
This light comes on when you open the glove box. It uses 1 peanut light. To get access to the peanut is a bit harder than other lights. First you must pop it out by levering it with your trim removal tool from the right side. This is a bit awkward as the owner's manual holder gets in the way and it is in pretty tight. Here's a picture of it taken out. Note the metal casing over the back of the light and the slight groove on the right for you to get your trim removal tool into:

WARNING! BECAUSE THE LIGHT STAYS ON AS LONG AS THE GLOVE BOX IS OPEN, THE METAL CASING WILL BE HOT! BE CAREFUL!

Be careful handling this as the metal WILL be hot! You must remove the wiring loom to continue. Unlike most looms in the mk5, this one is removed by squeezing in two clips on either side. It will then pull off easily. Here's a picture with red arrows pointing to the clips:

Next step is to remove the metal casing. LEAVE IT COOL FIRST! There are notches on the corners holding it on and another part of the casing slides into a spot next to where the wiring loom goes. I removed this by bending the very corners out a bit and then pulling the whole thing up. Here's a picture of what you will see next:

The peanut pulls out as normal, but the angle is a bit awkward. I got it out by putting small allen key behind it and popping it out. Install the new peanut as normal.
Reattach the metal case and wiring loom and push the light back into place. As with removing it, this can be awkward as its a tight fit and the owner's manual holder gets in the way.
Done!  :smiley:

License Plate Lights
I had to replace these anyway as one of the lights went out. There are two of them, both above the license plate. They both use 1 tube.
Here's a picture of what you will see above the license plate:

First, remove the two Phillips head screws. The light will either come straight out or you will have to pop it out with your trim removal tool. Then you just change the tube as normal:

When putting the light back in I had to put in one side and push the other side in, then put the screws back in:

Remember to do the second one!
Here's are some pictures of the new lights on. They don't look blue like on new BWM/Lexus cars, but they are a much clearer white than the OEM bulbs. In the pictures it looks like the light doesn't spread enough, but in reality it does. My camera can't do night shots without flash very well. It can't pick up light well at all :undecided: To reiterate, the light from the new tubes DOES cover the whole license plate.


Done!  :smiley:
Not low enough mk5
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Offline Jimp

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Re: How To: Changing the interior and plate lights (picture heavy)
« Reply #1 on: 22 February 2009, 18:39 »
What I didn't do
I did NOT do the footwell lights because my 1.4 doesn't have them. The kit I got has 3 peanuts and 1 tube left over though, so I'm guessing that they would use peanuts similar to the glove box light.
I also did NOT do the boot light. This is because the tube in the boot light is longer than all the other tubes. Here's a picture of the boot tube next to a normal tube. Note the difference of a few mm:

For those of you who want to try replacing it anyway, here's how:
Here's a picture of where the boot light is located. It's just above and to the right of the 12v socket. It's sticking out in the picture here:

To get access to the tube you slide your trim removal tool in the notch on the right side and pop it out. Here's a picture where you can see the notch on the right side of the light:

Here's a picture of the tube itself in the light. I couldn't stretch the holder enough to fit the replacement tube. You could probably rig something up to make it fit but I didn't want to risk it:


And that's it! I'll try and take some more pictures tonight of how the new lights look, but as I said my camera can't really handle night shots like that. Trust me though, they look amazing. Very cool white with a xenon style blue tinge. Very clear too. I'm delighted with the kit.
Best thing is when you unlock the car from a distance in the night. The lights just look soooooo cool  :cool:
If anybody has any questions feel free to ask  :smiley:
Hope this helps everyone!
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Offline pitch3110

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Re: How To: Changing the interior and plate lights (picture heavy)
« Reply #2 on: 22 February 2009, 19:14 »
top right up mate & you need to start REALLY thinking where they came from.....I would like

ta

Offline stealthwolf

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Re: How To: Changing the interior and plate lights (picture heavy)
« Reply #3 on: 22 February 2009, 19:23 »
Thanks for the walkthrough. Will come in handy when I get some sub (red) lights in.
Will you do the footwell lights at any point?

Offline Jimp

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Re: How To: Changing the interior and plate lights (picture heavy)
« Reply #4 on: 22 February 2009, 19:56 »
top right up mate & you need to start REALLY thinking where they came from.....I would like

ta
I found the company's web site here:
http://www.interiorxenon.com/
I didn't order from them, I got them from some other online shop, but you can buy them direct from that website. Hope that helps  :smiley:
Thanks for the walkthrough. Will come in handy when I get some sub (red) lights in.
Will you do the footwell lights at any point?
I will do the footwell lights the second I get some OEM footwell lights. They can't bee too different from the other light fittings  :smiley:
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Not on the road enough mk3

neo66

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Re: How To: Changing the interior and plate lights (picture heavy)
« Reply #5 on: 22 February 2009, 19:56 »
Great thread, that will help me when my bulbs pop! Thanks.
I think the bulbs you call tubes are named 'FESTOON' bulbs!

Offline Hurdy

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Re: How To: Changing the interior and plate lights (picture heavy)
« Reply #6 on: 22 February 2009, 23:22 »
I'll sticky this in the technical section once everyone has had a gander at it :cool:

Top write up too Jimp :smiley:
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Offline Cooper7

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Offline ub7rm

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Re: How To: Changing the interior and plate lights (picture heavy)
« Reply #8 on: 23 February 2009, 12:28 »
Have you just copied and pasted someone elses guide? :wink:

http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=4261732&postid=55520782

Good pics...

edit, just realised thats probably you...   :embarassed:
« Last Edit: 23 February 2009, 12:34 by ub7rm »
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Offline Jimp

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Re: How To: Changing the interior and plate lights (picture heavy)
« Reply #9 on: 23 February 2009, 13:03 »
Is this not the original thread?

http://www.golfgtiforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=97204.0
Yep that's when I was thinking about doing it.

Have you just copied and pasted someone elses guide? :wink:

http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=4261732&postid=55520782

Good pics...

edit, just realised thats probably you...   :embarassed:
That's me mate :grin:
Not low enough mk5
Not on the road enough mk3