Fixing the dash lights. It’s about time!

Faye's PT

Faye’s PT

And being able to see the dash at night. How handy is that?

After a long while of having a blank spot on the dash board, involving  the top end of the speedo and the bottom end of the tach, After a bit of pointed inquiries from Faye Dean I finally got up the courage to attack the dashboard and change out the bad lights. The reason I held off was that it is a bit of work just to get to the dash module. And by a bit of work yo have to pretty much deshell the center console; both end caps, the dash cover and the instrument bezel just to get to this goofy bugger. As far as screws there are only 9. The rest are clips and wedges. And, Boy Howdy!, what a treat.

But after watching a couple of YouTube vids on it and looking through the service manual I took a deep breath and went at it. Since I have all the nifty nylon interior pry tools it really was more mechanical than anything. But I got the booger out and set out to replace the bad lamps.

The issue is these lamps are 6 little bitty guys in twist in carriers. I had previously salvaged a set from Parts Galore in an earlier visit. But on further inspection with my meter the discovery was that all 6 were bad! Suks! I made a another run to parts galore for another set. I found SOME good ones along with some other goodies during that visit. More about those later. The lamp discovery was that over half that I pulled were bad. From the PT Cruiser forum I found out that this is a very common problem and most incidents go unfixed because of the labor involved in getting to them. Now I understand completely. And it is also noted to just replace all 6 with new ones while you are there. Makes total sense. But I only did the 2 bad ones. I don’t listen anyway, right?! All in all the actual fix was about 2 hours.

Let’s go shopping

The intermediate run to Parts Galore was a  2 hour “shopping trip”. And getting to the Parts Galore run I not only was on a hunting expedition for the dash lights but any other parts of opportunity that I may stumble across. And while I was there I came across some of the thin rear leather headrests and an intake Tornado embedded in a new arrival from Texas  I snagged the head rests and the Tornado insert.

Thin rear headrests – While it doesn’t seem to be a big deal but if you have ever been in  a car that has rear headrests and you look in the rear view mirror you are immediately presented with a couple of big blobs in the primary location of your rear view! The PT Cruiser has a bad tunnel vision view and later model designs solved some of the blockage by making them lower and thinner. I like that so I snagged them. And they were the correct color leather, Done Deal! Snap! Yank! Stuff! Out and in in a few seconds. Even Faye Dean likes ’em! I’m good!

The Tornado insert

 TORNADO is a non-moving turbine shaped device, which creates a vortex or swirling effect to the engine. The result is improved airflow into the engine combustion chamber, causing a more efficient mixture between air and fuel. The Tornado Air Site

That’s the manufacturers description. Before we go any further let me say this about that. I am now and always have bee skeptical of automotive products that make seemingly amazing claims as to the results. But I have also been known to try one or two to “check them out” for factual accounting. As usual I don’t believe anything I read on the manufacturers website. And when I stumble across this unit that just embeds in the inlet tube I decided to give it a go. Note that this unit is priced at around $70! I don’t know if it will do what it claims but I will at least give it a shot! We shall see!

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