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$21 to change the brake light bulb!

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by snowbird, Aug 27, 2008.

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  1. snowbird

    snowbird New Member

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    I (luckily) found out a brake light was out and checked my book. It said that is an LED light and take to the dealer. $21 later I just wonder if that was really necessary?
    I'm disappointed that there is no warning for an important light like that; have no idea how long it has been out - and living alone that is a difficult light to keep a check on.. Suggestions?
  2. bac

    bac Active Member

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    Move in with someone? :D (sorry, I couldn't resist)

    $21 does seem like a lot of coin for a brake light. I wonder if it can be had cheaper? I'm sure one of the experts on this board can tell us. :)

    ... Brad
  3. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    The rear combination light assembly has four functions:
    • brake light is LED; if this fails, this requires replacing the entire light assembly, IIRC is priced ~$200
    • tail light is a cheap incandescent bulb
    • turn signal light is also incandescent
    • backup light is also incandescent
    For $21, it seems likely that one of the incandescent bulbs was replaced. If you can DIY and visit your local auto parts store, you can probably buy two bulbs for $5.
  4. narf

    narf Member

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    Wow, I'm surprised it was as cheap as it was. I thought the LED brake lights were non-replaceable except as part of the entire taillight assembly.(or as a unit if it's the light in the spoiler). It should last the life of the car. Wouldn't it be part of the main warranty?
  5. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    It can't be the LED assembly. The OP must have been confused.

    Tom
  6. 9G-man

    9G-man Active Member

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    How did you find out a brake light was out?

    Only the center spoiler cluster is LED. The side ones are regular bulbs and easy to get to . The book tells you that too.
  7. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    that had to be a tail light. i replaced mine last month, the bulbs cost me $4 and it took me about a minute.

    about knowing when they go out, i routinely check all the lights now that i'm reaching higher mileage on my car. i leave the headlights on at all times, so i check the tail lights and side markers with a quick walk around the car. i hit the hazard flashers to check all 4 corner bulbs. and the only reason i like a big chromed grill getting too close to the back of my car is because i can use that to check my brake lights. the chrome reflects nicely.
    ewxlt66 likes this.
  8. Tchou

    Tchou Member

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    Then you haven't got the right book because in mine the brakes lights are LED (all of them) and non user replaceable...
    Or you don't have a Prius II.
  9. narf

    narf Member

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    Sorry, but ALL the brake lights are LED clusters. Take a good look while someone is stepping on the brake pedal. The tail, turn, and backup lights are incandescent, the brake is an LED cluster.

    [​IMG]
  10. snowbird

    snowbird New Member

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    I check my lights too, as I also leave my headlights on. Great idea about a big chrome bumper. Now reading all the above I'll have to check with my daughter and see exactly which light was off. She was following me and just said your left side brake light is out. Must not have been an LED light. I'll report back.
  11. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

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    Mr. Goodwrench replaced a fog light under warranty for me. Has the industry changed so much since 2000 or is Toyota particularly cheap?
  12. rigormortis

    rigormortis Active Member

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  13. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    It's your imagination
  14. Scott_R

    Scott_R Member

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    I wonder if Prius owners are more likely than others to ride the brakes--with the idea that you're recharging the battery and not wearing the friction brakes. That would reduce the life of the light, wouldn't it?
  15. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Not with an LED, at least not enough to make any difference. You should get something like 10,000 hours out of the stock LED brake lamps. If it's the old Prius without the LEDs, then yes.

    Tom
  16. narf

    narf Member

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  17. rigormortis

    rigormortis Active Member

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    ill have to drive around and take a picture of one

    ive seen some nhw20 cars with a rear brake light on the bottom of the light stack, maybe even forming a giant O shape when the brake light was applied, and the top stack was a turn signal

    ive seen some pictures of a 2004-2005 tail light and the top brake light portion was tinted darker too
  18. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    All stock 2004 - 2005 Prius have the dark brake lights. It is done that way to match the dark lower rear window.
    If you saw a NHW20 Prius with the brake light at the bottom it was modified, or were you looking at a Civic Hybrid? The Civic has round lights in a horizontal cluster.
  19. miscrms

    miscrms Plug Envious Member

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    You should consider yourself lucky. A Saab or Land Rover dealer would have charged $50 ;)

    Rob
  20. okiebutnotfrommuskogee

    okiebutnotfrommuskogee Senior Member

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    Another easy way to check all of your rear lights is to back up to a store window at night. Then make all the lights work and watch the results in your rear-view mirror.

    Also works for the front and side lights too, and you can do it without help and never get out of the car.