How do I Change the Dash Lights on Toyota Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

Replacing the dash lights on your Toyota car is a simple but necessary task. If the dash lights on your Toyota car are burned out, you will have a difficult time seeing all of the gauges and instrumentation located on the instrument cluster. It's advisable to change the dash lights as soon as they burn out. Replacing them is simply a matter of pulling the instrument cluster out of the vehicle and changing the bulbs.

Under The Hood:

 How do I Change the Dash Lights on a 1990 Toyota Truck?

Ensure the vehicle is turned off. Open and secure the hood of the vehicle. Disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery terminal followed by the positive cable, using a wrench, which will ensure safety while working on the truck's electrical system.

Locate the two screws attached to the rubber or plastic bezel, which lines the edge of the dashboard's instrument panel. Remove the screws, using the screwdriver, and carefully pull the instrument panel away from the dashboard.

Remove the three screws that hold the instrument panel in the dashboard. Place the screws in a safe place as you will need them later for reattachment. Slide the panel halfway out of the dash and stop.

Reach around the back of the instrument panel and unhook the electrical connector, which will allow you to remove the instrument panel from the dashboard.

Place the instrument panel on a flat work surface and carefully remove the damaged bulbs, turning counterclockwise. Install the new bulbs, turning clockwise until they are tightly in place.

Reconnect the electrical connector into the back of the instrument panel. Slide the instrument panel back into place in the dashboard. Reinstall the three screws that hold the instrument panel in the dashboard, using the screwdriver, turning clockwise.

Reinstall the dashboard instrument panel bezel. Reinstall the two bezel screws, using the screwdriver, turning clockwise.

Reconnect the positive battery cable, followed by the negative cable, using a wrench. Close the vehicle's hood.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver set

  • Replacement bulbs

  • Wrench

 How to Change the Dash Lights on a RAV4

Park the RAV4 on a level surface and open the driver's side door. Lower the steering wheel to its lowest position in order to have more room to work.

Remove the two dash trim securing screws directly above the instrument cluster. The dash trim does not need to be removed --simply loosened -- in order to remove the instrument cluster. Raise the dash trim as high as it can go in order to access the cluster.

Remove the two screws securing the instrument cluster to the RAV4 and pull it toward you. Reach behind the cluster and unplug its two wire connections. Pull the cluster out of the vehicle.

Remove any burned out bulb by rotating it counterclockwise and pulling it out of its socket. All of the bulbs are located on the underside of the instrument panel. Install new bulbs by pushing them into the socket and rotating them clockwise. Reconnect the wire connections to the instrument cluster and place it back into the RAV4.

Reinstall the two screws to the cluster followed by the two dash trim screws.

Items you will need

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • Replacement 194-type bulbs

 How to Replace Dash Lights in a Toyota Corolla

Removal

Disconnect the Corolla's negative battery cable. Wait at least 10 minutes for the air bag's power to be depleted. This is an important safety precaution to avoid accidental airbag deployment.

Loosen the screws on the side of the steering wheel with a Torx screwdriver until the threads catch on the screw case, then lift the air bag off the steering wheel and disconnect its electrical connector.

Mark the steering wheel's relationship to the shaft with paint or a marker, then remove the wheel's central nut with a wrench and pull off the wheel -- this may require a special puller tool.

Pull out the single pin on the underside of the cluster trim bezel, then pry off the bezel with a screwdriver to remove it.

Remove the single screw at the top of the cluster, pry and release the two bottom clips and pull the cluster out. Disconnect the electrical connectors in the back.

Turn the bulb holder for the light(s), located in the rear of the cluster, counterclockwise and remove them from the cluster, then pull the bulb out of the holder.

Installation

Push the new bulb into the holder, using gloves or a clean rag so oils won't get on the glass. Insert the holder back into the cluster and turn it clockwise.

Insert the cluster back into the dash with its clips and screw.

Reconnect the trim bezel onto the dash with its clips and the push-pin on the underside.

Reconnect the steering wheel to the shaft, lining up the markings and tightening the central nut. Reconnect the air bag to the wheel using the Torx screws.

Reconnect the battery cable.

Items you will need

  • Adjustable wrench

  • Flat screwdriver

  • Torx screwdriver

  • Dash light bulb

 How to Replace the Dash Lights on a Toyota Avalon

Open the Avalon's hood and pull off the negative terminal of the battery with a socket wrench. Wait 90 seconds for the air bags to disable.

Tilt the steering wheel to its lowest point. Insert a slotted screwdriver into the covers of the steering wheel column and pry the upper and lower cover off.

Remove the two cover screws from the instrument panel and remove the cover with a Phillips screwdriver. Pull off the lower dash trim panel below the instrument panel.

Remove the four retaining screws from the instrument panel with a Phillips screwdriver. Remove the instrument panel by pulling it out of the Avalon. Disconnect the light connector and the speedometer cable.

Turn any old bulbs counterclockwise and pull them to remove them. Install the new bulbs by inserting them into the instrument panel and turning them clockwise.

Insert the instrument panel into the Avalon and reinstall the screws and cover. Reattach the steering wheel column covers and reconnect the battery. Close the hood.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench

  • Slotted screwdriver

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • Spare bulbs

About the Author

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