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.: Replacing the center console bulbs :.
One of Alfa Romeo's greatest designs is the ability to replace the bulbs in the
center console temperature controls easily. OK, thats a lie.

If you're unlucky enough to have one of the bulbs behind the temperature
controls die on you and you dont wish to pay a stealer a bulk load of
money to replace a bulb. Then this guide will try to help you out with
that simple task of changing a bulb.
Note: This guide was created with a 98 V6 156, the process may differ in other models

The problem:The temp control bulb has died...
note: A night time image would of shown the bulb not working.

Prep:Tools and parts
Bulbs ...

  • Motoworld - Autobulb [indicator & panel] -- RW286 12v 1.2w Capless W2x4.6d

  • Tools required...
  • Torx screwdrivers.
  • Philips screwdriver.
  • Slot screwdriver.
  • Meter.
  • Allan keys.
  • Soldering iron / solder. (I needed these, I don't know if you will need them).

  • 1:Remove the heater control knobs.

    2:Unclick & remove leather gear shrowd.

    3:Remove screws.

    4:Remove screws.

    5:Remove stereo. On my model I can cheat and use a wire coat
    hanger to release the stereo. You may with to use the proper tool.
    Once the stereo is out, you dont have to remove all the cables. I only
    removed the FM antenna.

    6:Remove screws behind the stereo. This require removing two
    philips style screws and two screws with an Allan key.

    7:Unplug the cables that go into the hazard warning button.

    8:Move the console front out of the way. You may need to put
    the car into 2nd to do this.

    9:BEHOLD!! The white heater control unit. This white box contains
    the bulb(s) that you are trying to replace.
    This unit is held in by 4 screws, remove these.

    10:To make removing the white unit easier, I found uncliping these
    cables and lift them up gives more room.

    11:Fumble about with the unit to get it into this position. Moving the
    cable about behind the unit will make things easier.

    12:Unclip the two cables at the back of the unit. This will then
    allow you to remove the unit.

    13:Unclip this. The unit should now be completely free.

    13:Well done. You can now replace the bulbs.

    14:Tools required for this part.

    15:If you're lucky you can use a slot style screwdriver and remove
    the bulbs from the back of the unit. In this instance I couldn't, so had
    to take the unit apart. To do this just undo the two torx screws on the back of it

    16:Twist the bulbs holder and you can lift it out.
    Note: probably best to ground yourself before touching the open unit.

    17:My bulb had a loose contact tab on the back of it. This contact
    tab fell off as I remove it from the heater unit.
    This was the reason my bulb was not working.
    Just to make sure I tested the bulb with my meter.

    18:Soldering the contact back on
    This would be same if I was replacing the bulb. I'd have to pull the black
    bulb holder off the bulb and then solder a new bulb into the holder.

    19:Replacing the new bulb
    I tested the newly soldered bulb with my meter and it registered as working. :-)
    I placed the bulb back into the heater unit, turning it to secure it.

    20:Testing the unit
    Time to take the reassembled unit back outside to the car, plug it in and
    turn on the ignition. It now works!!! Time to start putting everything back together.

    21:Go for a beer!!
    I did!

    I hope this helps some of you out.
    - - jeff_porter.

    .: Replacing 156 center console heater control bulbs :.