And just to make it easier for those that need these instructions - reposted with updated image URLs -
Not sure exactly what best keywords to use in this post. I recently got tired of having my 2001 MDX's center dash console working in Stealth mode. The lights behind the HVAC controls (Auto/Off, Temp Display, Temperature Up/Down buttons, etc.) had all burned out over time and it was time to replace them since in the winter is when I need to control temp and when light is in short supply. I went and dug out the old thread about removing the plood and decided to do it myself.
It took me two takes since I'm an idiot and I tried to replace the bulbs without removing the three control interfaces. Instead I thought I could do it while it was still wired up (as in photo below). See below for more details on this fail.
So here are the steps. Removing the Plood was way easier than I expected. I used the coathangar method. The only thing to be careful of is that it pulls out evenly. It snagged a little next to where the CD slot is.
Just insert the hangar in the top of the vent tab with the short end facing up. Find the back of the frame and tug gently.
Next up is an important step that I tried to bypass. Remove the three clips from the back of the Plood (for those reading and wondering as I once did, Plood = Plastic+Wood, not some exotic term for a car part). One is attached to the back of the Hazard switch. One goes to the Interior light switch (once removed, your inside lights will not work until you reconnect) and the third goes to the HVAC controls pictured below.
Unlike some of the connectors in the MDX, these are easy to disconnect with your fingers.
Once you have it all taken apart, the last part is pretty easy. Find a flat-head screwdriver to remove the three bulbs. They turn a 1/4 or so counter-clockwise to remove them. Then just hold your hand under them and turn the thing over - they should fall out into your hand.
Here are the parts you'll need. If you are going to do all three lights, you'll need two of the parts on the right and one of the bulbs on the left. The green plug on the top in the image above is the tiny one and came from the bag on the left. The two gray ones are longer (about 1").
You need two of the bulb on the right and one of the bulb on the left. Part numbers should be legible. About $5ea.
Careful, the small ones are very easy to drop. This was my problem. I'd tried to replace w/out disconnecting the wire harnesses as i just described. I dropped the tiny bulb never to find it again. I have no idea where it went. I looked for 1/2 hour. $@#%^ Back to the dealer to order another one and wait for it to come in. They cost ~$5ea so it didn't break the bank, but it sure pissed me off.
Another suggestion - find a screwdriver that fits well into the slot in the back of the bulb. Taking them out is easy, but I found i really needed to push and turn firmly when putting them back in (hence my dropsies problem). I finally found one on my multi-tool that fit better than the screwdriver I'd been using and it all went back together much more easily.
Tools you need:
Small Flat-Head Screwdriver
35851-SM4-003 1ea (Possibly only needed in 2001-2002)
Total cost for most that have now read this how-to: $18 with tax
Total cost for me: $23 - although I may eventually find the bulb and get to use it somewhere else.