Installing LED Map Lights in an Aston Martin V8 Vantage
DISCLAIMER: As always, follow all safety protocols. Don't undertake this task if you aren't comfortable with it and fully understand it. You are ultimately responsible for anything you do. Neither Redpants, LLC or myself is responsible or liable for anything that may occur.
As the easiest, cheapest, and quickest way to improve an Aston Martin, this tutorial is a great first DIY. Early V8 Vantages used crappy yellow bulbs for the map lights. By swapping them out with LED lights, the feel of the interior is immediately transformed with a clean light far more fitting for a car of this caliber. Below you'll see the tools needed, a few notes, and a video showing the process. I've also provided step-by-step instructions.
A tiny flat-head screwdriver (or something similar)
2x LED map light bulbs
About 5 minutes
You'll see in the first picture below that I don't have a yellow bulb installed. I have been using LEDs in my map lights for a few years now, but they needed to be replaced. The old bulbs are no longer made, and the new ones seem to be a far superior design.
Here you can see one dying light and one completely dead:
This pic shows the plastic bulb socket unclipped from the wiring, along with the old-style LED bulb:
I got some new LED lights with a different design to replace the old LEDs. The lights I got were the most expensive ones sold by the vendor, but what's $16 for a noticeable improvement in an Aston Martin? I like the design far more than the originals so I hope they hold up longer. The lights are plug-and-play and take 5 minutes total to do both map lights.
You can use a pick or knife or something, but a tiny screwdriver works best for me - it is flat so it won't indent the plastic bezel or alcantara, and it'll be strong enough to pry loose the bezel.
Put the tip of your tiny screwdriver between the plastic bezel and the alcantara. Carefully pry the bezel loose from the alcantara. Once you start getting it loose, work around the bezel to pull it out evenly to reduce the risk of damage. (Once you've done this once and seen how easy it is, you'll be a lot more liberal with your prying.)
Gently twist the bezel and plastic bulb socket to release the socket from the bezel.
Remove the old bulb, insert the new one. Test the new map light to make sure it works.
Insert the bulb socket back into the bezel, and twist gently to lock it in place. It should look something like this:
Line up the wide sections on the backside of the bezel with the larger openings in the alcantara. Push the bezel back in place in the alcantara headliner. You can see the wide sections in this picture:
And where they fit in this picture, in the 5-o'clock and 11-o'clock positions:
Repeat steps 1 through 5 for the other map light.
And that's it. Easiest DIY ever!