When changing gears, some of the gear selection bulbs are not functioning.
The six bulbs are apparently soldered, P,R,N,D,3,2 .

The bulbs R,N and 2 in my car are not functioning.  Porsche does not supply the bulbs and my mechanic has contacted two VDO dealers who could not help.

Has anyone experienced the same problem and if so, have they managed to correct this?


I replaced a majority of my instrument bulbs when I had the pod out last winter. I received replacement bulbs from the local Porsche dealer. I believe there are 3 or 4 different wattage bulbs and an incredible number of total bulbs in the pod. I noticed that the plastic area surrounding the gear selector bulbs were slightly discolored and even cracked around the "D" bulb. I used a lower wattage bulb to reduced any further degradation of the surrounding plastic. Now that I think of it, these bulbs may have been VW bulbs as the Porsche dealer also sells VW.
Joe Rausa '89S4


The pod is remarkably easy to get out.  There are only 4 bolts up under
there.  Basically,

1. disconnect the battery ground strap
2. get the steering wheel off
3. remove the driver's seat
4. put an old blanket down and lay down so you can look up in there
5. find the 2 bolts on each side
6. undo various other little screws - you'll figure it out
7. be sure to label all electrical connections to switches

The job looks much uglier and spookier than it is and you will be surprised how simply this part of the car is engineered!  If your S4 is an 87 or 88 this would be a good time to check out the odometer gear.  Your voltmeter might also could use an adjustment (like mine).

John Pirtle

I just went through the replacement of the park and drive bulbs (Radio Shack part #272-1154, 12V50mA type) in my car.
With the information available on this list it was easy and quick. I was going to make this my winter project. We just got some snow so I won't be driving the car for a couple of days. Well it's over and the new bulbs work great.

Instrument cluster came out in about 10 minutes, 30 - 40 minutes for the bulb replacement and a little more time getting the pod back in, but still done in under 2 hours.

I don't know who it was that originally came up with the fix and if it was the same person that is copied on Greg Nichol's tips site, but Thank You to all.

We have a great resource and knowledge base on this list.

We do have snow this year, up in the mountains, but down in Colorado Springs I've been able to drive the 928 all year so far. We're snow covered now, about 2 inches. But it'll melt soon!

Thanks again,

Ken Postma 86.5 928S Auto

PS: I rep laced all the light bulbs in the instrument cluster. There are quantity 19 of the 12/1.2 - the ones in black plastic holders - OEM
was Osram; Wagner # 17035 is a direct replacement. The three (3) at the bottom that illuminate the cluster (and dimmed by the dimmer knob under the dash) are 12V 3W. OEM was Phillips; Replacement is Wagner # T168. If you're thinking of replacing with a higher wattage, don't. I did and noticed that it started to overheat the surrounding area. A couple of these bulbs "chewed up the circuit board" where they connect. The work-around fix that I used was to directly wire them into the same circuit on the other side of the connector. (Black wire with blue stripe, and the brown ground, next to it.) Hope this helps someone, or at least saves a trip to the parts store.
My local dudes asked me to bring a bulb in to match it, then had to order them as they didn't have that many. Sheesh, you'd think I was asking for parts for a 23 year old exotic car or something...

Charles 80 928S


Can someone tell me what bulbs are need for the 87 pod?

If they're the same as the 1980 pod, Wagner #17035 - 12V 0.48 C.P. (Includes the black plastic holder...) Enjoy hanging upside down under your pod tomorrow!

I just noticed a second box of bulbs marked "928 Instrument Cluster", Larger with a glass base: Wagner #168, 14V 3.00 C.P.

Per PET for 1980 MY there are 4 of these, and 12 of the smaller ones.

Generally auto store packs numbered 168 or 193 from Sylvania or Wagner are similar to the original Osram 2821

There is a lot or misinformation about replacement bulbs due to the watts being listed for 14 volt not 12 volt in many bulb types.

Osram 2821 lamp = 3.00 watts 12v(commonly called lamp W3W)

Sylvania or Wagner
158 lamp = 3.36 watts 14v
161 lamp = 2.66 watts 14v
168 lamp = 4.90 watts 14v or 3.6 watts at 12v
193 lamp = 4.62 watts 14v or 3.4 watts at 12v
194 lamp = 3.78 watts 14v

to get wattage at 12v multiply 14volt wattage by 0.7347 (12/14)^2)

Osram 2825 lamp 5 watts 12v

Paul Scott
- all three large pod bulbs, are Sylvania #2821 (W3W, T10 glass socket bulb) (** I think they are W2W or 2.1W bulbs...)
- hvac controller bulb, are Sylvania #2721 (W1.2W)


During my most drive in my '88 S4 auto, I noticed my PRND32 lights were out. This isn't a big deal for me, as I manually shift the car most of the time, as practice for track days. That said, I'd still like to get this fixed.

Are there any good documents on the web on how to resolve this issue, or should I refer to the Porsche manual set?


Paul Gotter
It is not so hard actually. The only nasty bit is taking the pointer off the RPM dial.
The rest is just working carefully.
But sure the bulbs are gone? Mostly only the 3 and D die where the P, 2, N and R survive as they are not used so often. Maybe the connector behind the dash is off, or the one in the spare tire room. And check the one at the tranny itself, maybe it is a simple solution....
If I recall correctly there is a direct connection from the switch at the tranny to the dash. Only the starter lockout and reverse light have a different path. I think there is a short cable hanging form the 1988 instrument cluster that connects the to the loom to the transmission switch.

The shifter lights on the cluster are controlled by a switch on the transmission. The switch fits over the shifting shaft on the trans and is moved by the shift lever. It has a couple of screws on each side and slots for adjustment.

It is rare to see all lights out as a result of bad light bulbs. The wires from the switch run to a plug in the spare tire well. The switch also operates the back up lights relay. If the reverse light on the dash is not working, there is a good chance the back up lights are not coming on either.

The adjustment on the automatic transmission switch allows the switch to be rotated around the shaft. Not sure it the rotation with take out the bottom and top lights. What I have seen as a miss adjustment is for the lights to flash as you shift through but not stay one. The switch is easy to adjust.

The wiring loom for the switch has a wire for each light. They all run to the dash except reverse. The reverse light runs to the relay and then a wire from the relay runs to the light on the dash. I know the park starter lock out gets run though this way as well, but I forget exactly how now.

It is possible that you have a combination of a wiring issue and a burnt out bulb. You can pull the plug in the spare tire well apart and jumper the wires to test the bulbs. I believe they just switch ground at that point.

Good luck.

Dan The Pod Guy


This is used in the instrument cluster, BAX BX8,4d 1,2 watt

This is used in the instrument cluster, BAX BX4,8d 1,3 watt

I used these Bulbs when replacing all of them in the GTS cluster:

Use the BAX BX8,4d model. There are similar bulbs like BX8,4e, they are sold as "same" but they are too high and the cluster will not close anymore.
Narva 17047, 1,3watt
Narva 17027 or 17028, 1,2watt
Narva 17059, 2.1 watt Glass socket T10.
I would not recommend other wattage. LED bulbs are also available but dimming is a lot more difficult, and it looses the "80's" design a bit to be honest. Normally these bulbs last 20 years so why worry? It is best to replace all of them at once, even though some only light up once in a while. The red ones are not easy to get, and do not have to be replaced since they do not make overtime (is the car is ok...)

Cost? 1 or 2 euro each. No big deal.



the Instrument cluster Light is produced by 4 12v 2W bulbs in a T10 setup. The bulb is like this: