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Changing license place light

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Steve G, Jul 9, 2008.

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  1. Steve G

    Steve G New Member

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    the manual says to open the hatchback take off the black panel and just change the bulb.

    well, how do you take off that big black panel?

    the manual makes it look like it just comes off.

    it doesn't seem to want to.....

    HELP!

    (p.s. I got a fix-it ticket for it)
  2. darelldd

    darelldd Prius is our Gas Guzzler

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  3. sdtundra

    sdtundra Active Member

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    looks good, can you buy LED bulbs for that or do u have to make them?
  4. Steve G

    Steve G New Member

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    Darelldd, can you give a little more of a physical description of the motion used to unsnap the darned thing? do you go around the edge popping out snaps? vertical? lateral?

    from your page I just get "it's really hard and you will get mad but it's better than paying the dealer" which is SOP for a prius ;)

    But I didn't get a sense of: did you pry it with a screwdriver? etc...

    thanks

    -s
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  5. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Hi Steve,

    10 or 11 blue plastic pins hold the cover to the hatch. I have found that it works to just tug on one corner at a time, pulling the cover away from the hatch. No tools needed, just your hands & some persistence.
  6. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North Staff Member

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    Yep you can have LED bulbs. Darell and I (among others) have LED licence plate lights. Darell made his and I bought mine on ebay.




    As Darell said, it's a pain in the.....

    Just use a flatblade or similar and try to force it out. It comes straight out so pulling in that direction would help. Also, an extra person to cover one side while you work on the other side helps.
  7. Steve G

    Steve G New Member

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    okay, so, dudes, I got the black panel off, and didn't break any little blue clips

    now.... I can't get the license plate lights to come off

    the manual says you twist 'em

    mine won't budge

    I'm scared to twist 'em too hard

    what do I do?

    try a monkey wrench????

    -s
  8. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Hi Steve,

    I suggest that you do not use any tools. You might have better grip if you wear latex gloves.
  9. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North Staff Member

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    ohh? and I thought I was the only one with superglued bulb bases lol. I asked my dad to twist it out for me. It took us quite a bit of time I assure you to twist those damn things off. I put WD-40 afterwards before twisting them back. Hopefully that'll help if I need to change bulbs (hope not!)
  10. robstrash

    robstrash New Member

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    OK, I need some serious help. I think they used industrial strength super glue on mine. I got the cover off (only took 5 minutes) and the bulb bases will not move. I tried the latex gloves, asked my neighbor to come help and they will not budget (I'm even left handed and neighbor right handed).

    Let me make sure that I am trying to turn it the right way. I am standing at the back of the car and the hatch is all the way up in the air. Should I be trying to turn clockwise or counter-clockwise? I can't get it to budge either way.

    I'm almost at the point of giving up and paying the dealer $40 (or whatever they charge) to do it as I simply cannot get the bulb out.

    Any and all help is appreciated.
  11. dwreed3rd

    dwreed3rd New Member

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    Hi Steve G; I almost didn't reply having read some of the earlier posts and not having our Prius yet. However, I had the very same problem with our Avalon. I had noticed that one of the two license plate bulbs was out. So while waiting for my wife to go shopping, instead of looking up the bulb in the owners manual, I decided to remove to bulb to determine the type. I know, I know, hind sight is 20/20. I could have looked it up in the owners manual or at the parts store x-ref, but I didn't. After a similar experience to yours I actually ended up braking the bulb off in the socket. By now my wife was ready, so, frustrated off we go. I stopped at NAPA, used the x-ref, and selected the bulb, a #168. Sorry, I'm telling the story because our Avalon uses the same bulbs. That's when I did the palm-of-my-hand-to-my-forehead bit. Embarassed, I bought the pair of bulbs, they comes in pairs, I alway replace both bulbs if a pair, and left. When I got home, I removef the broken bulb stub, which came right out. Put in the new bulb. Replaced the other one in a matter of minites, easy as pie. They PULL out and PUSH in, there is no twisting. The #168 bulb is a wedge base.
    I hope this helps. And, if it does, I wanted to let you know you that aren't the only one. :embarassed: If not, then I'm sorry I couldn't help. I remember my frustration.
    Good Luck, and let us know how you make out.
  12. 9G-man

    9G-man Active Member

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    The socket twists counterclockwise to remove. You can use a pair of pliers, gently, on the socket if necessary. The bulb is just pushed in, and pulled out of the socket.
  13. robstrash

    robstrash New Member

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    Well, the LED's I ordered came in but I still can't get the *^%& sockets out. Keep asking wife to tell co-workers whoever pulls out gets a free lunch but she hasn't yet. I'm sure a $10 lunch will be cheaper than the dealer.
  14. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North Staff Member

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    yeah it's a pain....
  15. robstrash

    robstrash New Member

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    Yeah, they finally got changed. Wife asked 1 more guy at work and he was able to somehow get the license plate lights out. We put the LED's in and are all good now. Man, what a pain and ordeal. Thanks for all the help.
  16. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North Staff Member

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    hope you lubricated it before you re-inserted the plug.
  17. fiblet

    fiblet Junior Member

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    Don't even think about trying to use your fingers to remove the light sockets! Get some needle nose pliers in at there at angle, grip tight and twist counter clockwise. They will come out in 2 seconds. I tried the whole fingers in there trying to twist them out. Forget about it. It really makes no sense why Toyota wouldn't at least make a nice little access panel there for the light bulbs. Removing that panel out with those blue clips is just crazy each time. I'm switching to LED. No more fuss for me.
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  18. darelldd

    darelldd Prius is our Gas Guzzler

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    Wow. How did I miss this for so long?

    The answer is that you look in the manual and see that the twisty arrow demonstrates clearly that you simply twist these clockwise to remove. Then you take your pliers and ignore the manual, twisting counter-clockwise instead. Should come right out. I learned this the hard way. I actually twisted mine clockwise as the manual suggested, until I cranked them BEYOND the stop tabs. Still, they go back in and are none the worse for wear. And yes, they now have a light coating of waterproof grease on them... as does everything that comes out and gets replaced!

    Stupid manual.
  19. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North Staff Member

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    Oh well, too late lol. but I did lubricate them and now they're super easy to remove. Also, the access panels have been added to the 2010 model. Toyota is listening =)
  20. Glor

    Glor New Member

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    Thanks for all the answers. I've been trying to get the back thing off for 2 weeks now - going to toyota tomorrow. They said they have a special tool for removing the back (guess that's a secret!). Will see what they do differently that we mere humans cannot do!
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