In a previous video the customer had me diagnose their instrument cluster in a Buick LeSabre . They also mentioned that the back lighting on the HVAC was not working. In this video we solder on some new bulbs and make it as good as new. -Enjoy!
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46 thoughts on “Buick lesabre: hvac back lighting bulb replacement”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Domenic Scassa says:

    Thank you so much for your knowledge when I have a job I always look you up

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars dummkompf says:

    no link in the description to the bulbs you used?

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars MacGyver 2 says:

    Good video. Your hands are steadier than mine. Lol

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Mark Zinsmeyer says:

    I would love to see Dave Jones in your shop. Maybe one day you can invite him over to the US.

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars John Einberger says:

    Leave it to GM to make you desolder old / solder new bulbs to repair this. So glad my old Civic has much more easily replaceable bulbs for its climate control panel!

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Lynn Peyton says:

    I know you made this video some time ago…. I did this and was pleasantly surprised that I got it to work. However on my first time driving the car after doing this and getting all the climate controls lit up… I was about 20 minutes into my morning commute and lost ALL my dash and climate control lights that are not digital displays. Checked the fuse under the hood… it is still good. What now??? Can you make any suggestions??

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars P Thomson says:

    I'm so impressed with your versatility in tackling this repair. You performed with more finesse than many I've seen in my 45 years in the electronics repair industry

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars P Thomson says:

    Some circuit boards are multi layered and use copper in the holes to connect the layers. Using the drill may remove the copper trace.

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars P Thomson says:

    Using a damp sponge to clean the iron tip preps the solder tip

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Chad Valliere says:

    Any idea of the cluster bulbs are the same bulbs?

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Doug Kubash says:

    Good job!

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Shane Harrison says:

    Yeah and it helps to not shake like a cat pooping razorblades. But awesome job anyway.

  13. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars David Julian says:

    As an Electronic Tech for 40+ years, and an Auto Tech/Tinkerer, I am impressed that you self-learned as well as you did and didn't destroy the PC board. 🙂
    You are an impressive tech and I truly enjoy watching you and your diagnostic methods.
    You got a lot of good soldering/desoldering tips, so I won't go there. The one suggestion I would offer is any time you are re-installing screws in anything fragile that has existing threads, turn the screw backwards until you feel it drop slightly, then turn to tighten. Plastic gets brittle and if the screw is trying to cut a new thread it can break the plastic. I use this technique on cast metal, sheet metal, wood and etc.

  14. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars The Atheist Monk says:

    Louis Rossmann would be proud.

  15. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Gaylen8 says:

    You have a vice Eric

  16. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Len B says:

    Eric, Eric, Eric-I hope I did not get here too late. I can save you. I understand that this is not your forte but “If I can do it, so can you”, sound familiar?

    When I watch you work on printed circuit boards, de-soldering and soldering, I have heart palpitations! What you are working on is like “Rail Road Ties” compared to the very, very small electronic components of today. I am here to help. Hopefully the viewers have not “chewed you up” regarding your soldering techniques. Like John Wayne, “The Duke”, said in the movie North to Alaska, before he K.O’d Ernie Kovacs, I won’t, I won’t, the Hell I won’t and boom down Ernie went. I digress.

    I am a Certified IPC-610 Soldering Specialist and have been working on PC boards for the last 40 years.

    Here is the skinny:

    The boards I’ve seen you work on were double sided, plated through PC boards. That simply means electrical paths run on both sides of the board. When you drill out a hole, you could be destroying the circuit path.

    Make sure your solder tip is about the size of the pads you are working on.

    A forty-watt iron should be sufficient.

    Have a water wet sponge handy to wipe off the tip after it heats up.

    Immediately apply a small amount of solder to the tip and wipe again. Then apply a small amount to the tip and heat the joint, apply a small amount of solder if needed to melt joint.

    Solder wick can be used, just make sure tip has some solder on it then apply tip and wick to joint and watch the capillary action of the solder go into the wick.

    Or once joint is melted, the keep iron on joint and use solder sucker to extract solder.

    After de-soldering place iron back in holder. DO NOT WIPE TIP OFF. Old solder keeps tip clean.

    When soldering, just before using iron, wipe tip on sponge and apply a small amount of solder to tip. Approach joint, place iron on tip for a few seconds to heat joint, apply a small amount of solder to joint. Joint should have a nice fillet and not a ball of built up solder.

    Clean joint with IPA and allow to dry. Cover joint with nail polish or clear spray paint.

    60/40 solder melts around 370F and 63/37 solder melts around 361F and is the preferred solder for PC boards.

    I love the show. I have learned many things from you and answered many unanswered questions.

    I am only a solder strand away if I can offer any more advice.


  17. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Peter Gondolier says:

    Hey Eric. Use a small sewing needle to clear out the holes. Heat the solder, insert the needle give it a few quick turns and quickly remove. To de-solder add some solder to the pads then keep heating and pull the item out.

  18. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Louis B canadatransistor says:

    soldering / desoldering tip: always pre-tin your iron. This transfers heat more efficiently and has less chance ruining traces on the circuit boards. same thing… pre-tin and use solder sucker… you'll have a much easier experience. Good job with repair

  19. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars James Kent says:

    To open up the holes after you remove the old bulb. Use a stainless steel pin. Heat up the hole, stick the pin in it. Remove the heat, and let to cool. The stainless steel pin will not will stick to the solder, and you can pull it back out. Now you have a hole the size of the pin.

  20. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Peter says:

    A 2006 Hyundai elantra I had bought needed some bulbs replacing but luckily they were the old fashioned kind with sockets that twist in but they had green silicone covers which either had fused to the bulbs or were shrink wrapped on, they just ripped when I tried to remove them so I thought, what would Mckyver so, so I bought a pack of permanent magic markers at Wal-Mart for buck fifty or something and used the green one to color the bulbs, 3 years later they still look great you can't tell the difference the original and the new ones.

  21. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Reg Harrington says:

    The best way to remove solder off a pcb is solder wick. Worked in electronics for many years.

  22. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Gnaus76 says:

    Anyone else waiting for him to burn his “3 hand” ?

  23. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Richard Melville says:

    1. Use the solder sucker. 2. Solder then cut. 3. Google how to solder on PC boards.

  24. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Ranchu Goldfish says:

    I was loosing my mind watching this. A drill bit, really.
    But it was good clean fun. His skillset as a mechanic is beyond mine. So it is unfair to hold him to a standard he was trained to.

  25. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Shadowz Edge says:

    Just call you Butter cause you're on a Roll 🤣

  26. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars kiggsia says:

    Thanks much for sharing your successful repair experience here! When I did a backlight replacement on my 2000 Buick Century HVAC control panel, I didn't have an efficient solder removal tool. All I have is a red rubber Radio Shack squeeze bulb with the beveled nylon tip. I have used this successfully on projects that weren't so tiny. After unsoldering the bad bulb, I tried, tried, and tried again to suck out that solder from those printboard holes, and got nowhere. I wished I could just blow the solder out but figured that wouldn't work, would just harden the solder immediately, but finally I tried anyway. To my surprise and relief, it worked perfectly. I would put the tip of the iron on the center of the hole for a second, then move the tip slightly off-center, then send a quick burst of air from the bulb into the molten hole, and the hole opened up beautifully.
    And when it came time to slip the blue rubber bulb cover on the bulb, I sprayed silicone lube on a Q-tip, and applied silicone inside the bulb cover. I let it air dry just a bit to evaporate the propellant & leave a silicone film. Of course the bulb slid on nicely, but I hope the silicone doesn't harm the rubber. I wanted to put a drop of hot melt glue on the base of the bulb to secure it, but was afraid to, if a bulb burns out before I junk the car, it would seem hard to get the bad bulb out then, especially since I don't know how I could make sure the hot melt glue doesn't go up on that rubber bulb cover. So I'm chancing that there will be no vibration damage issues. I haven't tested the unit yet, just wanted to share the idea of blowing out solder from the holes when it can't be sucked out, but no doubt everyone but me already knew that…..

  27. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Pascal Högström says:

    Blue tac to hold it in place =)

  28. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Pascal Högström says:

    A tip from a solderer from sweden, get a weller ws 81 station. Its a professional tool. You wont regret it.

  29. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars michael shampine says:

    ok I cant help it! a dab of fresh solder will help removing old components! a solder sucker would be a big help! I had to edit this good video!

  30. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars andytus says:


  31. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars ace1usmc says:

    Solder Wick works perfectly to extract the solder out of PC boards.

  32. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars George Crouch says:

    good job well done

  33. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Mark Horton says:

    You could have just spit on it. 🤮

  34. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Semi Interesting says:

    louis rossman is in your neighborhood… learned alot about soldering watching his videos. you should check him out.

  35. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars John Pilgrim says:

    Those cheap bulb desoldering irons work great for through hole stuff like this and cluster stepped motors. That’s about all they work good for though lol

  36. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Papi4l2 says:

    Lol Eric! Watch some soldering videos man

  37. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars markam campbell says:

    how much do you pay your third arm?

  38. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars markam campbell says:

    just a little lube and ribbed for your pleasure

  39. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jusb1066 says:

    smurf condoms, gonna be hard to find…

  40. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars mike akridge says:

    Use a solder pump, not a drill. The multi sided boards have "via's" installed in holes to attach the board's layers one to the other. The only drilling on a PCB occurs at the board's manufacture. Then, board layers are aligned, via's are installed, followed by components and finally, wave solder. Clean oxidized surfaces gently with a clean pencil eraser before soldering.

  41. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars line10cls says:

    Please Please watch some soldering videos

  42. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Maurice Leach says:

    Tin The joint with solder before trying to remove it, Can you get a bigger soldering iron

  43. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars The O.T., OTHER Tony says:

    “That damn compressor”… lol 😆

  44. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars 1666cac says:

    Cool, thanks for the vid. I have a GMC truck that needs that done to the heater controls . Saves me a 150