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How to Change the Headlights of a 1996 Toyota Camry

by Jody L. Campbell

The 1996 Toyota Camry has four headlights. One low beam and one high beam sit side-by-side on both sides of the car. The low beams are positioned in the outer corners of the headlight assembly while the high beam sit in the inner corners. The low and high beams have different part numbers (despite looking identical), since they perform different functions. Make sure to insert the correct bulbs in the correct positions.

Apply the parking brake on the Toyota Camry, ensure the headlight switch is off and open the hood.

Reach behind the headlight lens assembly and locate the separate wire harness plugs for the low and high beams.

Disconnect the wire harness plug from the socket base of the headlight being replaced. The plugs have a locking clip that snaps over a small tab on the headlight sockets. Lift the clip up and pull the plug from the headlight socket.

Turn the headlight retainer ring counterclockwise 1/3 of a turn and extract the headlight and ring from the back of the headlight lens assembly. Discard the faulty headlight.

Put on a pair of latex gloves to avoid accidentally touching the glass bulb of the headlight. Halogen headlights use an internal gas to burn brighter, and skin oils will damage the glass.

Insert the collar of the headlight socket into the retainer ring and align the tabs on the socket to the notches in the headlight lens assembly.

Turn the ring and socket clockwise 1/3 turn until they lock in place.

Connect the wire harness plug to the headlight socket until it clicks into the locked position.

Test the headlight(s) for proper operation.

Items you will need

About the Author

Jody L. Campbell spent over 15 years as both a manager and an under-car specialist in the automotive repair industry. Prior to that, he managed two different restaurants for over 15 years. Campbell began his professional writing career in 2004 with the publication of his first book.

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