Home » Shine some light on the Stagea shifter

Stagea Shifter
No lights here. There should be...

Shine some light on the Stagea shifter

So I just bought a 2000 Nissan Stagea (more about the overall car coming soon) and the only problem I’ve come across so far is a supreme lack of illumination under the Stagea shifter (the automatic shifter P-R-N-D-3-2 gear panel). Luckily it’s a pretty easy fix and only takes a few minutes to get it to show up in the dark once more.

Originally I read that it wasn’t lighting up for a variety of reasons including:

a) It wasn’t supposed to according to some people, you read what gear you’re in off the dash display
b) someone might have wired in the head unit the wrong way and tapping into the auto wires have caused the lights to stop working
c) maybe a fuse?

Or more than likely it’s just a case of the bulb blowing after 14 years of illumination and make you should just swap that over. Yeah, lets go with that (highly likely) one. Which leads us to:


Stagea Shifter
No lights here. There should be…

Things you will need:

A small flathead screwdriver or a trim removal set would probably help too
A stubby phillips head screwdriver (for removing the screws in the back of the Stagea Shifter)
A normal sized phillips head screwdriver
A new 12V bulb in a T5 wedge

  1. Firstly remove the ashtray. This pulls straight out revealing the screw you need to take out to be able to remove the surround. Put the screw somewhere safe (not on the surround obviously as that’s coming out soon)
Out you come..
Out you come..
  1. Now remove the actual Stagea shifter – there’s two screws at the base that come out and the shifter lifts straight up. Here’s where the stubby screwdriver comes in handy. Now if you don’t have one, you can press the red shift lock button, move the shifter down and fit a longer screwdriver back there.



  1. Now use the flat head screwdriver to (carefully) pry up the outer surround and put it to one side.
Stagea Shifter
  1. Now that the outer’s removed, it’s time for the inner parts. Carefully use your fingers to ease the tabs out on each side. There is an electrical connector on the right hand side stuck to the side and while you can remove it, it’s easier to leave it in there and just sort of lean the cover over to the right to expose the bulbs underneath.
Stagea Shifter
Take your time here. It helps if the shifter stick is halfway down too.
  1. Lo and behold, there’s our burnt out bulb. Originally I wondered why the second hole was empty but it turns out that it’s not actually needed, there should be enough light from one. The original bulb is a 12v 3w 5mm wedge bulb with a blue rubber cover that just slots into the holder and a quick trip to a couple of parts stores shows that this isn’t really that common in the parts world (well here in Australia anyway). So I grabbed the nearest alternative which was a 12v 1.3w t-5mm bulb without a cover – it works, it’s just not as bright as I’d like so I’m testing some t-5 leds later this week.
Original T5 12v 3w
Original T5 12v 3w
Stagea shifter
A quick test with the headlights on and our 12v 1.3w t5 replacement is working. Glorious!
  1. Now you put the covers/surrounds back on and clip them in, remembering the screw behind the ashtray and the two screws behind the shifter. If you suddenly need to move your shifter but the shift lock button is still off, you can simply press this switch to free it up:



Now you should be able to see what’s going on in the dark..

Hey it works!
Hey it works!

EDIT: The LEDs showed up

I was hoping for them to arrive before the weekend but oh well, they’re here today. 10 x pieces of wide angled Xenon white LED in a T5 wedge for the same price of two of the 1.3w bulbs, go figure. The first one I tried was just a mm too thick and wouldn’t slot into the holder smoothly. The second one did but I managed to put it in the wrong way around (LEDs only work one way kids). Once I got the direction sorted, it was  a simply case of trying not to get blinded before I put the cover back on.

I'd call that a success..
I’d call that a success..

Er…something just went pop!

Recently after my latest led bulb decided it didn’t want to play anymore, I swapped it over for a red led instead. This wasn’t so bright, so I had the genius idea of soldering a few in a row – which were a lot brighter…for a few seconds anyway before something went pop and no power came through anymore. Originally I thought it was a separate fuse (one I couldn’t work out where) and was quite happy to leave it til later. However that night I realised that I had no speedo cluster lights now and therefore no tail lights either.

Turns out the shifter light, speedo lights and tail lights in a c34 Stagea are all hooked to the one fuse which you’ll find in the engine bay fuse box (it’ll be marked on the lid). The more you know!

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