how do I get to the bulb that lights the heater / fan control panel to replace it? It is located in the center of the dashboard, below the radio.
control panel lighting - bulb replacement on 2001 Ford F-150
You have to remove the heater controls and then replace the bulb from the back of the unit. Remove the trim around the radio and heater controls, (should be 4 screws) then remove the 4 screws that hold the heater controls to the dash panel. You can pull the control unit forward a little and let it hang, you will see a twist in light socket, remove it and replace the bulb. reassemble in reverse order. Don't forget to test it before reassembling.
there are no visible screws holding in any trim panels around the radio and heater controls. Is there a "snap on" trim panel or ring that covers them?
Sorry it took so long for me to get back to you. I do have access to a 1988 F-250 and the dash set up should be very similar to yours. To remove the radio trim just pull it straight out from the dash panel, once you have done that, you can unscrew the heater controls pull them forward to access the illumination socket and bulb. I hope that it helps you.
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