How to replace reading lights?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by damon1172, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. damon1172

    damon1172 New Member

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    I have a 2004 Prius. The reading lights are much too dim for my aged eyes. I am thinking of changing them to bright LED's that I read about. I popped the lens off and thought I would remove a bulb but the bulbs come out from the top side. I found 2 screws in the glasscase holder area but there is still something holding it tight to the roof. How do I remove that console to change the bulbs?

    And kudos to all you brilliant folks sharing your knowledge. This forum is filled with amazing information for us noobs!
     
  2. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    I haven't had to remove the map light assembly. However the repair manual shows four plastic clips holding that assembly in place. So, after you've removed the two screws I recommend that you gently tug on a corner and see if you can get the assembly to come loose. Good luck.
     
  3. damon1172

    damon1172 New Member

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    Patrick,
    Thank you for looking that up for me and replying.

    I can see two of the plastic clips. Looks like they are the type with the ribs - just pull them straight out, push them back in, no release mechanism. I have applied quite a bit of force to the overhead unit but if I pull or pry much harder I am afraid I will be buying a new overhead unit. Suggestions to get these babies out of here! Why can't they just use screws?
     
  4. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Yes, I appreciate your concern. I've also struggled with plastic clips securing trim at other areas.

    Sometimes it is better just to break the clip and replace with new, however in your case you don't want to have loose bits of the clips rattling around in the headliner space above you.

    The repair manual suggests using a moulding tool to help release the plastic clips.

    As this is a discretionary repair that you are doing, you'll have to decide whether the end-result of making the map light brighter is worth the risk of potentially breaking the unit and having to buy a new one... Let us know what you decide.
     
  5. 2009Prius

    2009Prius A Wimpy DIYer

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    Maybe I misread your post but if all you want is to change the bulbs in the dome light housing (total 3 bulbs, one in the middle usually controlled by the door and one on each side controlled by push button) then all you have to do is to firmly pull the bulbs out without the need to unscrew or unclip anything.

    Here are the LEDs I used:
    http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-ii-prius-modifications/42702-brighter-leds-3.html#post925944

    If for some reason you have to remove the housing (again it is not necessary if all you need is to change the bulb) then here are some pics and instructions:
    http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-ii-...r-detector-valentine-1-prius.html#post1046008

    Good luck!
     
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  6. damon1172

    damon1172 New Member

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    That's what I thought but apparently the 2004 has a different style of bulb. It is necessary to pull the unit because the bulbs will not come out the front. I will see about posting a picture if I can get the unit out to make the change.

    Thank you for the bulb suggestions.
     
  7. damon1172

    damon1172 New Member

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    Patrick,

    After sleeping on it I have another approach to try. I always do my best thinking when I am asleep ;)
    I can see two of the clips. If I pull harder on the unit itself I fear that I will break the unit. However there is a space along the outer edge of each of those clips that gives me a clear shot to the clip and to the sheet metal. I believe I can take a 90 degree flat blade screwdriver up there and pry between the sheet metal and the clip to get it to release. If I break the clip no biggie, they are cheap. I'm going to give that approach a try perhaps this weekend and will let you know the outcome. I will try to remember to take some pics also for future DIY'ers.
     
  8. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    OK. You may want to use a wide flat blade screwdriver and wrap the tip with electrical tape first to cushion the load over a wider surface.

    Good luck, we always like to see photos!
     
  9. damon1172

    damon1172 New Member

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    Actually as I think about it off and on today I'm thinking about a brake tool I have that may wrap around the base halfway and provide a greater surface. I'm not sure if there is enough room to get it in there but it's worth a try.
    If all else fails I'll fire up the blowtorch and melt it out of there. Just kidding ;-)
     
  10. Tom Murphy

    Tom Murphy Junior Member

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    Hi Damon - really, *really* check hard on what 2009Prius said. [and this post is for those of you who come later - I know Damon is long gone]
    I just picked up a 2008 Prius used, went off Half Cocked thinking I could pop those overhead console sockets out, and the first two slipped up inside the console. Worse, when doing the second one, I broke the circuit board. [I should mention this is in MN and it was 17°F.] Then I looked at the LED replacements offered and (finally) thought "hmm maybe these *are* really wedge bulbs". I took a firm grip on the third bulb, wiggled (opposite direction wiggle from the 'slots' holding the sockets) and the d### bulb came out. So you really can take these out from 'below'.
    2009Prius does then give the correct way to remove the console - I removed the two screws then used a long outdoor barbeque fork as my "plastic pin pop-out" tool. Worked like a charm, starting from the rearward end, where there are two additional 'clips' that connect to the headliner.
    I was able to rebuild my dumb-a## mistake by soldering the input connector's socket pin to the bulb socket where the board had snapped off, then further connected that wire to the board on the other side of the big chip that had come off (this break had disabled all three lights).
    So again - the bulbs come out the 'bottom'. What mostly led me to believe the whole socket had to come out, was that the bulbs were so recessed in the fixture and close to even with the circuit board. But you just need to have a firm grip with your finger - and it helps to be warmer than 17 degrees! Best of luck, you who come after.
     
  11. Scallywag

    Scallywag Member

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    This was similar to my experience replacing the bulbs - except I didn't break a circuit board. I did end up having to remove the assembly to fish out something (can't remember if it was just a bulb or the socket, too). '05 Prius, for reference.
     
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