Side Marker Lights in 2011 Prius - Difficult to Replace?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by Pandas Andpresents, May 13, 2018.

  1. Pandas Andpresents

    Pandas Andpresents Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2014
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    Location:
    Danbury, CT
    Vehicle:
    2011 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    I went to the Toyota dealership recently when a check engine light came on after a long road trip. I finished the drive home that morning and drove directly to work. After work, I turned the car on and the check engine light appeared. Ended up being a loose gas cap - $60 "to reset the computer". (I would generally check that but assumed after such a long trip that it had to be more serious. Does the dealership have to reset the computer for the check engine light to go out or would it go out on its own once the gas cap is properly closed? We hadn't gassed up for three days and were driving around that long without a light, which seems strange. In any case, it's been about two weeks and the light hasn't returned.)

    I was also told that my license plate lights and all of the side marker lights on the car are blown out. The dealership wanted to charge me over $100 to replace the lights. I told the guy I would do it myself.

    In googling for how-to videos, the first ones that come up instruct that the whole back plastic panel of the car has to be torn off to access the license plate lights, many clips break in the process unless you have a special tool to remove them, etc. I don't know if these were instructions for an older model or people who don't know what they are doing. I found the guide below and changing the license plate lights turned out to be pretty easy.
    2010-2015 Toyota Prius Hybrid Hatchback Common Problems, Repair Guides, & Vehicle Maintenance DIY Instructions

    The hardest parts are twisting the lights out/in (counterclockwise) and polarity (had to turn a bulb around after initially installing it because the polarity wasn't right). I used LED lights that I ordered on Amazon. I think I brought 10 for $5 or something like that. Very happy with the results.

    The blog also contains instructions for common Prius repairs:
    2010-2015 Toyota Prius Hybrid Hatchback Common Problems, Repair Guides, & Vehicle Maintenance DIY Instructions

    I also have to replace the side marker lights. The Prius manual makes it sound quite complicated on one side. Something about unscrewing something related to the engine or fan (can't remember).

    Is changing the side marker lights difficult? Any tips before I try to do this?

    Thanks for your time, everyone!
     
  2. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    Vehicle:
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    Model:
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    The passenger front side marker bulb can be a somewhat difficult. If you unbolt the coolant reservoir and move it out of the way, the job becomes considerably easier.


    iPhone ? Pro
     
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  3. Jumping Jehosaphat

    Jumping Jehosaphat Junior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2013
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    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    I replaced the license plate bulb by removing the small panel. Had to use a wrench to unlock the bulb though. It was super tight, and even my male friend couldn’t remove it with bare hands. Neither of us could do the passenger side marker light. Impossible to get a good grip on. It’s similarly stuck and cannot be turned without a large amount of force. Not enough space to do it without removing the coolant reservoir, whose bolts even look unmovable to me on my car. All the videos I watched, they just pop the bulbs out. Nope! Have to get my car inspected tomorrow, so I am just going to give them the bulb and see if they can take care of it. I tried for over an hour.
     
  4. xerox6135

    xerox6135 Member

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    Location:
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    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius
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    Persona
    Just replaced mine took about 15 min. Remove coolant tank on passenger side it makes the job a little easier.


    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  5. Pandas Andpresents

    Pandas Andpresents Junior Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Danbury, CT
    Vehicle:
    2011 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    I was able to replace the passenger side marker and parking lights myself...without moving anything.

    It wasn't easy. I had my ratchet set out but didn't have the correct socket size and was worried that I wouldn't put everything back correctly.

    My hands are small and my fingers are relatively long. I was eventually able to untwist the bulbs out and I replaced them with LEDs.

    The cost of the bulbs was less than $2. The dealership charges $90 to replace them.
     
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