How to Remove a Headlight From a Toyota

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There are two general reasons to remove a headlight from a Toyota. The housing could be cracked or otherwise damaged, and in this case, the whole housing would need to be replaced. Also, the bulb itself may be damaged, weakened or completely burned out. In this case, the housing needs to be removed so that the bulb can be taken out out and replaced. There is some variation to the process depending on the particular model. For the exact instructions, consult a repair manual specific to your Toyota model and year.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Wheel blocks
  • Jack
  • Jack stands
  • Open the Toyota's hood and locate the rear end of the highlight housing units in the front of the vehicle on the left and right sides.

  • Grasp the headlight bulb holder and twist it counterclockwise to loosen the bulb and detach it from the housing. In some models, there may be retaining screws that will have to be removed first, and some models need the housing pulled out completely in order to remove the bulbs.

  • Pull the bulb holder and the bulb from the housing. Do this gently, because the bulb is fragile. And since the bulb has a special coating, do not touch the glass. Oils from your fingertips could damage it.

  • Pull the headlight bulb out of the connector.

  • Disconnect the negative cable from the battery. Wait at least five minutes for residual power to drain. This will disable the vehicle's air bag system. Since you are about to remove the Toyota's front bumper cover, this is a necessity, because you do not want to accidentally discharge the air bags.

  • Block off the back tires to prevent a rolling hazard. Consult your vehicle's owner manual for the exact jack point for your specific Toyota. Lift one wheel at a time and support it on jack stands, following the directions in your owner's manual.

  • Look under the front bumper cover and locate all the retaining screws. The number of these could vary by model and year. Remove all of these screws with a screwdriver.

  • Look on top of the bumper cover for any push pins. The locations of these may also vary. Remove any push pins you find. Remove the bumper cover from the front of the Toyota.

  • Locate and remove all headlight housing fasteners. There should be one in the corner that was previously hidden. The bumper cover has to be removed to access this fastener.

  • Pull out the headlight housing unit.

References

  • "Chilton's Toyota Camry 2002-06 Repair Manual"; Jay Storer; Haynes Publishing Group; 2009
  • "Haynes Repair Manual: Toyota Tacoma, 2005 thru 2009 Repair Manual"; Haynes Editors; Haynes Publishing Group; 2009
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