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93 Corolla headlight switch replacement

Trying to replace the headlight/turn signal switch in a 93 Toyota Corolla. The switch combos with the wiper controls on the other side and I unfortunately have the more pricey edition with intermittent wiping options. Can I downgrade it to a cheaper version w/o the int. option? Mechanically looks the same but electrical is my weak spot

First off, I’m not 100% certain, but if I had to guess, I’d say the two likely have a different connector. For the love of all that is sacred, whatever you do, don’t chop off your plug and try splicing things.

If you’re hell bent on going with the non intermittent switch, take your steering column shroud apart first (heck, leave it off, it’s only cosmetic, unless you somehow get your tie caught in the steering linkage), then examine the wiper switch and TAKE A PICTURE of the connector, then compare it to the non intermittent one.

It’s entirely possible that it’s the same connector, maybe there’s an “Extra” wire that controls the intermittent function, or a multiplexed wire (receives different signals/voltages/resistances), but it may still plug and play/function just fine.

My background is 8.5 years professional 12v installation, 4 years in vehicle manufacturing, and nearly 34 years (my age) of being a moron, so take my advice as seriously as the amount I’m charging you for it.

Hmm?

Rockauto shows the combo switch with intermittent wipers to be cheaper than a switch without.

https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/toyota,1993,corolla,1.6l+l4,1434200,electrical-switch+&+relay,multi-function+switch,4580

Tester

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Follow Tester’s hint :slight_smile:

I most definitely appreciate the advice and i assure you I’d seek professional help before I considered splicing it. It’s more of not wanting to spend more money on a switch than my car is worth if that make sense. Your advice sounds very similar to my plan at the moment, to pull mine off and compare to the more basic model once I have access to it. Keeping fingers crossed that it’s a easy switch. And I followed the link Tester sent (thank you) but if I’m not mistaken doesn’t the top of the three switches look like it’s w/o int wipers? I currently have the last of the 3 suggested. Thanks again for the help

Holy cow! These things are expensive! Did someone break the stalk?

So the plugs agree definitely the same, but I can’t see from the stock image (top right), if the left most row of pins are the same. My “guess” is yes. The 06 Corolla has no intermittent, and I’d imagine like most vehicles, on the slowest setting, it has a single resistor, as opposed to having intermittent wipers, on the slowest/or intermittent setting, you have your “variable resistor,” which uses that same single wire, but gives different signals, depending on the intermittent setting.

I imagine a junkyard will still take you to the cleaners on this. They MOST ALWAYS know the value of their parts. Again, I’m curious why you are replacing it.

Reason for the replacement is a headlight switch issue, not a wiper unfortunately as it works just fine. Headlights won’t turn on, and on the occasion they do using the turn signals shorts them out. Turn signals work fine either way Spent the day pulling steering wheel off and attempting to clean the headlight/turn signal switch with contact cleaner but no luck. From what I can tell, it combos into my wiper control switch. It was when I was attempting to price a replacement that I learned downfall of having an intermittent wiper setting.

The reason the switch is so expensive is because it’s NOS that Toyota doesn’t offer anymore because the design has changed since 93.

Junkyard?

Good luck finding a used switch in a 27 year old vehicle still sitting in the junk yard.

Junkyards don’t hang on to old vehicles when parts are no longer in demand.

So they’re crushed for scrap.

Tester

If it were my car

And I couldn’t find a replacement for under $50-$60, I’d buy a three position switch and wire it up (off/parking lights/headlights + parking lights) and mount it somewhere. Not sure what someone would charge to do this, but I’d imagine it wouldn’t be under $100 to be done by a professional.

When you refer to the event or occasion that the headlights do work and the wipers “short” them out, are we talking a fuse blowing, they just turn off, or something else?

Turn off and then go back to mainly not working. I’m assuming it’s a short because I lose headlights, taillights, dashboard lights and the like.

Professionals would refuse to Jerry rig a switch for the headlights.

First, the labor would cost way more than the price of the switch compared to just plugging in a new switch.

And second, a professional would refuse to do this just for the simple reason that if the headlights should fail because of the rigged up switch, and it causes an accident, guess who gets sued?

Tester

3 Likes

Agreed

A dealership would certainly refuse. You’d still be hard pressed to get a mom & pop repair shop to do it as well, HOWEVER, it’s a $600 part in a 26 year old car. If it can’t be sourced for under $200,$300, or $400, a clever business minded mechanic/shop that can DO THE JOB PROPERLY AND PHOTO DOCUMENT IT (this doesn’t always involve using factory replacement parts, and can be done within the confines of acceptable ASE and CEA standards, without being “rigged”), MIGHT do what I said I would do to a 26 year old Corolla, were I to own it.

I’m happy to agree to disagree Tester.

Regardless, I hope a satisfactory solution is reached. I’m hoping it’s not a bcm (body control module) issue, because that’s what I’m starting to think. The lights and wipers are on separate stalks which are stationary. Just a thought.

The headlight switch is available separately if you have the skill to remove the switch from the assembly;

https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/toyota,1993,corolla,1.6l+l4,1434200,electrical-switch+&+relay,headlamp+switch,4472

There is a used switch assembly on Ebay but because the switch assembly includes the airbag clock spring I wouldn’t trust a used unit.

“Because the switch assembly includes the airbag clock spring” is precisely why this part is so outlandishly priced. For comparison, the 1988-1992 Toyota Corolla did not have airbags, and you can still get the switch assembly for approximately $250 including tax and shipping. That’s a currently-produced part made by Standard Motor Products, btw.

That being said, with the new part costing this much money, I’d be willing to take my chances at a junkyard. Around here, the “you pull it” junkyards have a set price for each specific type of part, for example “cylinder head” or “radiator fan assembly”, and the price is the same regardless of what model it’s for, or what the part costs new. This is why some parts are actually cheaper to buy new than at a junkyard, and some are an amazing deal compared to new.

The first one that Tester showed is a wholesale closeout. These are ones they are discontinuing to clear out the stock. That’s why it’s $159. Take it quick and return whatever else you had. The last one is out of stock and the middle one is $600. Maybe I missed something by not reading all the posts.

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I don’t think I’d risk a junkyard unit for this. The junkyard switch is going to be 25 years old and probably over 200K miles on it. I think the best path is to find the least expensive switch you can (new) that is intermittent wiper compatible. Ask at your Toyota dealership. They may be able to find a NOS version in another city’s dealership, and they’ll mail it. If I had this problem on my similar era Corolla I might risk a hack-method, glue a new switch on the side of the steering column, but I wouldn’t recommend it for the average driver, especially if anybody else drives the car besides OP. Good idea to ask your shop to double check the switch is at fault of course. Relays and grounding problems can cause similar symptoms.

Maybe, maybe not. The good thing about cars this age is that they have a mechanical odometer, so you will be able to see the mileage before pulling any parts. Also, pulling the part at a junkyard gives you practice before doing it on your car. This is helpful if there are any hidden or stubborn fasteners, or other pitfalls which you might run into.

A new Toyota switch assembly is $300, an aftermarket headlight switch is less than $100.