How Do I Remove the Dash Cluster From a Mazda 626 to Replace the Dash Bulbs?

Written by marion cobretti
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How Do I Remove the Dash Cluster From a Mazda 626 to Replace the Dash Bulbs?
Dash cluster (speedometer image by Joy Fera from

As your 626 ages, so do numerous components within it, including the vehicle's lighting. Each of the light bulbs, as well as the ones in the dash cluster, are designed to burn for a specific amount of kilowatt hours; after that time interval, the bulbs burn out naturally, unless prematurely affected by an electrical short circuit. You can remove and replace the defective dash bulbs on your Mazda 626 right at home, with a few minor tools. The job should take 25 minutes to complete.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Electrical tape
  • Socket wrench set
  • Phillips screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Open the driver's door on your 626 and sit in the driver's seat. Insert the ignition key and turn it forward to power up the accessory lighting in the dash cluster.

  2. 2

    Identify which of the bulbs in the cluster are burnt-out. Rip off a small piece of electrical tape and place it on the dash cluster, above each burnt-out bulb. Turn the ignition off and remove the key.

  3. 3

    Raise and support your car's bonnet. Remove the negative cable from its post on the battery, using a socket wrench. Position the cable down along the front of the battery, away from all other metal that it may contact.

  4. 4

    Remove the four bolts that hold the trim in place (they are located around the dash cluster) with your socket wrench. Lower the steering wheel, and just below the trim you will see two bolts; on the far left side of the dashboard, you should see two more bolts.

  5. 5

    Pull the dash cluster trim away from its mounting position. Set the trim, along with the four bolts, on the passenger's seat.

  6. 6

    Remove the two Phillips screws from the left and right retaining tabs at the bottom of the dash cluster, using the screwdriver. At the top of the dash cluster, you should see two small holes--each hole has a Phillips screw recessed into it. Remove each of the screws with the screwdriver. Place all four of the dash cluster's screws in the cup holder.

  7. 7

    Grasp the dash cluster on its left and right side, using both hands. Slowly pull the cluster forward 6 inches, just enough to get your hand behind it. Unplug the three wiring harness plugs connected to the back of the dash cluster. Carefully manoeuvre the cluster from behind the steering wheel.

  8. 8

    Set the dash cluster down on a flat working area. Identify which bulbs at the rear of the cluster correspond with your pieces of electrical tape, then remove them from the dash cluster.

Tips and warnings

  • Before you handle the new dash cluster bulbs, put on a pair of latex gloves. This will prevent the bulbs from being contaminated by dirt and oil from your hands, which will otherwise cause them to burn out prematurely.

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