How to replace the overhead ambient lighting - 2004 to 2014 Mazda 3 Forum and Mazdaspeed 3 Forums
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post #1 of 112 (permalink) Old 09-09-2009, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
Derrick_B
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How to replace the overhead ambient lighting

For those of us with the ambient lighting, blue might not be our preference, but what can you do? Change it! This thread will give you most of the information you need to change the color/intensity of the overhead ambient lighting.

Step 1: Remove the map light lenses

Use a small screwdriver to GENTLY push and pry the lenses off.


Step 2: Release the center section clips

Using the small screwdriver, GENTLY pry the four clips circled in red while pulling down on the center section. NOTE: This is best done with the map lights off. They get very hot.


It will look like this.


Step 3: Disconnect the wiring harnesses

Insert the screwdriver into the clips on the wiring harnesses. They will be in the areas circled in red. If you can't figure this out, I suggest you put everything back together right now. Lol...


Step 4: Remove the "ambient light backplate" aka "the black cover thing".

Use the screwdriver to release the clips. There is one on the left and one on the right. The cover should just come off after that.


Step 5: Unplug the ambient lighting harness, desolder the stock LED, and solder the new LED.

You should see three components on the board. One is obviously the LED. It appears to be a standard 3mm flat-top. This means it probably has a fairly wide viewing angle, so the replacement should as well. The other items are a resistor and (most likely) a zener diode. I haven't measured the resistor, but it looks like a 470 ohm 1/4 watt +/-5% unit. If you get a LED compatible with that, it's just a LED swap. Otherwise, it's a LED and resistor swap. You shouldn't have to swap the zener diode. Correct me if I'm wrong!


I'll probably be swapping the resistor too, just to be safe. I'm ordering my replacements from China, along with several other LED's for v3.0 of my third brake light, but they won't be in for a while. I'll update this once I do the swap. I'm going with red, btw. The door handles and floor lighting will be swapped as well. and I might do a write-up for them when the time comes.

Car is sold, but I am happy to answer any questions about my 3. - My Build Thread

Last edited by Derrick_B; 09-09-2009 at 01:17 AM.
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post #2 of 112 (permalink) Old 09-09-2009, 01:02 AM
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Not a fan of the blue or are you just doing something for the sake of doing it?
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post #3 of 112 (permalink) Old 09-09-2009, 01:13 AM Thread Starter
Derrick_B
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I like making my car different and I'm a little partial to red. I think it looks a little more upscale and a little less boy-racer. It goes better with the theme I have planned for the car as well.

Car is sold, but I am happy to answer any questions about my 3. - My Build Thread
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post #4 of 112 (permalink) Old 09-09-2009, 02:10 AM
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Pics of the finished lighting?
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post #5 of 112 (permalink) Old 09-09-2009, 02:25 AM Thread Starter
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I haven't gotten my LED's in yet. I said that in my post at the bottom.

Btw, This how-to might also be useful for anyone wanting to hard-wire their radar detectors. Tap the sunroof wire, fish it out to the windshield, and you're in business

Car is sold, but I am happy to answer any questions about my 3. - My Build Thread
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post #6 of 112 (permalink) Old 09-09-2009, 02:41 AM
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Ah true. I read it too quickly and just took as it as you're ordering some LEDs for your brake light. Reading comprehension fail
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post #7 of 112 (permalink) Old 09-09-2009, 09:25 AM
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Good write-up, and good pics! I don't have the ambient lighting, but if I did, I think I would change away from blue as well!

Good Job!!!

Never settle for mediocrity!

2010 4-Door Graphite Mica Mazda 3i Touring

Mods: 20% tint, Xenon Expert aluminum pedals, zoom-zoom decal, CorkSport SRI, 55w 4300k DDM Tuning HIDs, CorkSport LED Lighting Kit, V-LEDs 5k LED Trunk Light
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post #8 of 112 (permalink) Old 09-09-2009, 12:02 PM
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Excellent write-up! Might just have to follow your lead with the Speed3...red ambient lighting would probably follow the red/black theme better. Good job Derrick!
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post #9 of 112 (permalink) Old 09-09-2009, 12:46 PM
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another great job Derrick!

can't wait till you tinker with the foot well lighting and find out how to wire it to turn on when the headlights are on
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post #10 of 112 (permalink) Old 09-09-2009, 04:23 PM
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derrick ur the shit LOL

i wish i had as much electrical experience so i can hack away

any luck with the blue lights on the doors and the floor? I too would like that changed to red
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ambient , blue , dome , led , light , lighting , overhead , replace

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