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Toyota 4Runner

How do you replace the headlight bulb located on a Toyota 4Runner?


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2015-07-15 21:49:06
2015-07-15 21:49:06

I just changed the passenger headlight bulb on my 2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5. If I can do it, anyone can! First off, replacing the bulb on the passenger side is the easiest because on the driver's side, one must remove the battery first to get to the headlight, I'm told. There is only one bulb. My low beams were out but I still had high beams. This one bulb works for both low and high beams.

Here is how you do this:

1. Unplug the the existing connector (with wires coming out the back of it) from your old light. I marked the top so I could remember how it went back on.

2. Remove the black rubber (waterproof) boot. Super easy to do both of these first two steps.

3. There is a wire retaining spring that is now visible that holds the bulb tightly in place. At first, I had a lot of trouble figuring out how to get this off, so I called my brother who also had a Toyota and he figured it out for me.

(you will notice that one end of this retaining spring goes around a screw and the other end - closest to the passenger door - is caught under a small metal lip that surrounds the outside of where the light bulb piece goes)

You need to push down on the end that that is caught under the small metal lip. You need to push down and slide it out from under the small metal lip that holds it in place. It then swings up and out and is still held in place by that small screw on the other end.

I found this step the hardest of all. Don't give up. It didn't easily slide out from under the metal lip for me, either, but I finally got it to do so.

4. The bad headlight bulb easily comes out. You now see how necessary the spring retaining clip is to hold the bulb steadily in place.

Don't touch the new bulb of your replacement light. I read that oils from your fingers can damage the actual bulb. Put in the new bulb piece exactly how the burned out one was)

5. Swing back the spring retaining clip and push it back down under that metal lip.

6. Replace the Black Rubber boot

7. Plug in the connector plug with wires.

An easy fix! The replacement bulb unit cost me approximately $36 plus tax. I bought it from my local (California) Toyota dealer.

Look at the rubber boot that is behind the light. It says "TOP". That is how it will have to go when you put it back. After removing the boot, the spring clip holds the lamp in place. After replacing the lamp, guide the plug through the boot BEFORE REPLACING THE BOOT BACK ONTO THE HEADLIGHT. This is important as you would fight to get it through and possible bend the new lamp contacts. Also it is easier to put back together.

I just replaced the passenger headlight on a 1997 Toyota 4runner SR5. First caution is that when handling the bulb DO NOT TOUCH the glass part and DO NOT SCRATCH it. The bulb is sensitive to any chemical from the hands and a scratch would cause the glass to shatter when the bulb heats up. Also, there is gas in the bulb so be cautious not to drop it. When you first turn on the light be sure you are not looking over it in case it does shatter. That said the first step is to pull back the rubber boot (notice the "TOP"orientation) and this should loosen the 3 prong receptacle plug attached to the bulb. Once the boot and 3 prong receptacle plug is off the 3 prongs on the bulb are exposed. Next you have to loosen the wire spring and rotate it up off the bulb metal base. Notice the bulb metal base has 3 small prongs that fit into 3 notches on the base of the headlight housing. Once the spring is rotated off you can remove the burned out bulb. Next hold the new bulb by the metal base (caution: do not touch or scratch the glass) in the right orientation to fit the 3 small prongs into the 3 notches. After pushing the metal base of the new bulb into place, put the spring clip back in place. Next put the rubber boot back in place (caution: note proper orientation of the "TOP"). Once the boot is snapped back tightly to the base of the light you can push the 3 prong plug through the back of the rubber boot into the 3 prongs from the bulb. LAST test the new headlight bulb and you will be through. Since the old glass bulb has gas in it be sure dispose of properly.


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