the light behind my tachometer went out, I found it difficult to find a
complete reference of how to do this - so here goes!
guide is for my right-hand drive 986 Boxster S - not sure how well it
applies to the 987 or a left-hand drive! I did the job with the battery
connected - if you have any doubts, disconnect it. As always, this is a
guide and I take no responsibility for you damaging your car. It worked
for me, should work for you - but don't blame me if it doesn't! On that
note, let's crack on!
fact, you will notice my tachometer (rev counter) pointing downwards to
6 o'clock in some of the photos. Proof you need to make sure you don't
twist the needles or worse, snap them! It would also be beneficial to
do this job on a dry day or in the garage. You need to look through the
windscreen to disconnect the wiring!
Removing The Instrument Cluster
The cluster is held in with just two Torx T-20 screws.
The first is hidden behind the "microphone cover" - simply pry it off
with a very small screwdriver.
The second behind the hazard
warning lights switch - turn on the lights so you can get the
screwdriver behind it and pry it off. With both screws removed, you now
need to remove the hazard warning relay itself. This is simply done by
squeezing the grey plastic tabs either side of the relay and grabbing
the white of the relay with some long nosed pliers and pulling towards
you to remove.
Remember this when refitting:
underside of the removed relay, clearly showing the part number - part number should be down
towards the floor.
The multi-plug the relay is plugged into must now be removed. Simply
use a flathead screwdriver to push it from the top down towards the
floor. It just slides right out - there are no clips that hold it
tightly - so don't worry about using a little force.
cluster can now be lifted straight up and will unclip. Start from the
left side and work towards the right. The clips that hold it in aren't
particularly tight and you won't break anything by pulling it straight
up (in fact I'd rather call them lugs than clips). The lugs do have
some sharp edges on and I marked my dash covering slightly with one of
them - so have a cloth handy to rest the loosened cluster on - I used
an old box protecting the area I found likely to get damaged.
that you need to do now to remove the cluster is to remove 3 plugs off
of the rear. Start with the black plug (nearest the door), then remove
the white plug (center), then the blue (nearest the passenger side).
The only hard part about this is you'll be looking through the
windscreen with your arms inside the cabin doing the work! This will be
your view. With the stubby screwdriver, push
in the tab on the plug and slide the white clip over the top of it.
the three plugs removed, the cluster will lift straight out. Remember
those sharp lugs!
the Cluster From the Dashboard Cover
First thing is to remove the instrument cluster from the dashboard
cover. Just remove the two T-20 screws.
Before continuing, it is worth
appreciating where the bulbs are located so you don't end up doing more
than you need to!
The 3 slots labeled "LCD" and the 2 slots labeled "CEL and CRUISE" are
the same bulbs: 12v/1.5W (3-way bulb in a beige plastic holder). They
cost about $1 each from Pelican Parts.
The LCD bulbs are backlighting for the digital displays in the cluster
(trip, digital speedometer, clock).
The "Bottom Row" in the photo are the other warning/information lights.
These are 12v/1.2W (3-way bulb in black plastic holder). All of the
above bulbs can be removed with a screwdriver or (easier), a 6mm hex
replacing, put the bulb in so the screw line is vertical and twist through 90 degrees to lock.
If you have bulbs out that illuminate the analogue displays,
unfortunately you need to disassemble the cluster - so continue below.
I found out how to remove this unnecessarily! However, there are two
tiny bulbs to the left and right of the analogue speedometer and fuel
gauge. They really are tiny bulbs and doubt these will be your problem
- but just in case, or if you need to remove needles etc. Remove the
"clock" and "brightness" rotary switches. They just pull straight off.
Remove the two metal clips either side of the cluster. A stubby
screwdriver is ideal for prying these off. Now let the grey
plastic clips on the underside of the cluster go. Not
the black one.
There is one more clip to let go
and it is on the top edge of the cluster. You need to put a screwdriver
through the back of the cluster. A grey clip, hooks over the white
clip you can see in the photo. Patience and a firm push on the clip
will remove it - it is not tight. Here is the glass removed - that
top clip is to the right of my thumb - so you can see what you are
With the glass
off - be very careful with the needles! You don't want to snap them. If
you're trying to remove a needle, I believe they pull straight up and
there is a "special tool." I managed to remove one "accidentally" and
fortunately did no damage. Make sure you note where each needle rests
When replacing the glass, the opposite is that of removal. Be careful
you don't trap a needle - or worse break one!
the Rear of the Cluster
Remove the two metal clips as per "Removing the Glass" section above. Let the black plastic clip
go on the underside of the cluster. Now you need to be brave. Pry each
side of the black plastic cover with your stubby screwdriver. Keep
working it and don't be surprised to hear a loud clicking noise!
It would appear there are two clips above the temperature gauge and
analogue speedometer. They will scare you as they click but don't
worry, they're strong though - so don't be shy and power forward.
That's it, these are the only 3
points that hold the whole back cover on.
Be careful as you separate it though as there are ribbon connectors
inside and it won't come apart completely. You have just enough room to
change the bulbs.
Inside you'll see 4 green bulbs. These are 12v/3w but I replaced them
with a 12v/2.5w (makes all difference). These bulbs pull out of the
green holder, unlike the bulbs mentioned earlier. So if your rev counter (tachometer)
is looking a little dim to the left or right-hand side, it is likely
these green bulbs.
You will notice looking inside a plethora of the beige 1.5w bulbs for
the other dials. If you're feeling ambitious, you're on your own here!
When replacing the back of the cluster, you need to squeeze the
analogue speedometer and temperature gauge area hard to engage those
clips. Careful with the needles!
the Dashboard Cover
It would be wise to loosely fit the cluster back in the car to check
all the bulbs work before fully reinstalling the cluster - No point in
refitting if you've missed one!
So just refit the 3 plugs into the back of the cluster and push the
indicator relay back into the multi-plug (otherwise indicators won't
I went for an easy drive at this point to make absolutely sure all was
If one of your LCD display is out - don't panic, you probably didn't
screw one of the backlights in properly or fitted a bad bulb.
Once all is well, put the
two screws back in - opposite of removal.
Put the screw in though the microphone cover hole now! Screw it in
about 5mm so it doesn't drop inside the cover whilst refitting!
the Cluster Back in Your Car
Make sure that cloth is still protecting the dash!
Lift in the cluster and slide the multi-plug that the hazard indicator
relay plugs into, back into place. It slides from the bottom to the top
- opposite of removal. I found it easier to lay the cluster with the
dials facing towards the roof while refitting this plug.
Now reconnect the plugs on the rear of the cluster, in the order of:
blue, white, black. Again opposite of removal.
Now push the cluster down into
place ensuring each of the lugs engages. Replace the indicator relay
(hazard warning switch). Part number downwards; it only goes in one way
- test it now! Replace both screws - the one to the
left of the hazard switch and the one behind the microphone cover. Push
on the hazard warning switch cover and test. Push on the microphone
cover - the part number stamped on the rear faces the fuel gauge.