Replace Instrument Cluster Lamp in Porsche 996

At some point, a light bulb is going to burn out on your 996 instrument cluster. My money is on one of the three bulbs that back-light the mileage on the left, speed in the middle, or oil level/time on the right. In my case, it was the left one. The bulb you want is Porsche part number 999-631-303-90-M97 [beige base], and amazingly, they only cost about $1.25 each so pick up some spares while you’re at it. (If you want one of the warning indicator bulbs, they’re part number 999-631-302-90-M97 [black base] and also the same price.) The procedure to replace the bulb will take about 20 minutes. In addition to the appropriate bulb(s), you will need a Torx T20 driver and pry tools, as well as a 10mm wrench to disconnect the battery. And a flashlight helps too. Below are the steps I followed — use at your own risk. The procedure is also covered in the Bentley manual.

  1. Disconnect your battery. Better safe than sorry.  Make sure you have whatever radio codes you need before you do however.
  2. Use your pry tool to carefully remove the round plastic microphone cover on the left side of the instrument cluster.
  3. Carefully remove the Torx T20 bolt. The bolt is recessed so be careful not to drop it off of the driver once you remove it.
  4. Push the emergency flasher button so it is in the up position.  Carefully remove it using your fingers if you can, pry tools if you cannot.  The center button will pop out.
  5. Remove the plastic surround from the emergency flasher button with pry tools.  Be careful not to mar the dash.
  6. Now comes the hardest part of the entire procedure, remove the flasher switch by pinching either side.  You may be able to grab it with your fingers, but more likely will have to pry from both sides at the same time.
  7. Carefully remove the Torx T20 bolt from the flasher switch opening.
  8. With the two Torx Bolts removed, the entire cluster lifts straight up.  Carefully work your finger tips to get leverage and pull up.  It’s held in with several clips so you can give it a hearty pull.
  9. Rotate the cluster so it is face down on the steering wheel column.
  10. Looking down from outside of the car through the windshield, locate and release each of the three electrical connectors by pinching the catch and sliding the release.
  11. Slide the electrical connector for the emergency switch out of the bottom of the cluster.
  12. Lift the cluster free of the car for repairs.
  13. Locate and replace any burned out bulbs.
  14. Installation is the reverse of removal. Pause before pressing the cluster back into the dash to be sure everything is working.

Left side bolt locationflasher surroundPry both sides Through the windshield