This is the climate control panel in my Grand Cherokee. See how all the lights, light up? That's good. It wasn't quite like that for a while, but I fixed it. Which is good. But the way I fixed it, well, that's pretty damn stupid.

A short while after I bought this Grand Cherokee, the left-most light in the climate control panel went out. So the left half of the fan control dial was dark and the pointer on the knob was dim. One day it randomly came on, then went back out again. I decided to look up what kind of bulb I needed to buy to fix this, and how to access the bulb.

Well, turns out, technically, there's no way to replace the bulb. Chrysler in their infinite wisdom made a climate control panel that uses regular light bulbs, not LEDs, and has them soldered on to the circuit board of the climate control panel. The factory-recommended procedure for fixing a burned-out $1 light bulb is to replace the whole climate control panel at a cost of $295.

Which...well that's fucking ridiculous.

I looked on car-part.com for used climate control panels, and they're all like $100+, and who knows how long the bulbs in those will last.

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The non-factory-approved bulb replacement procedure is to de-solder the burned out bulbs and solder replacement bulbs back in, but that seemed like more than I wanted to mess with right now. I then came across some posts like this one:

I just give a little tap in the middle of the panel...works every time...until it doesn't that is.

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I figured I might as well tap on the damn thing to see if it would work. I gave the fan control knob a few solid taps, but it was daytime when I did this so I couldn't quite tell if the backlighting was working again.

That night, I got in the Jeep to drive home from work, and the light was back on.

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It's been a couple days since I did the tap-tap-tap on the fan control knob, and the light has continued working just fine. So far, so good!

I still don't know why the fuck Chrysler soldered on the damn light bulbs though. So stupid.