I have a 2006 Toyota Prius. I bought it last year at a Toyota dealership. No long after having the car, the head light would go off sporadically, but would come back on if I turn the car off and back on. Now the entire right side, both the head light and fog light are out.
I have a 2006 Prius. I looked online and apparently this is a known issue. There was even a law suit against Toyota, for not recalling the cars and costing owner’s hundreds of dollars in repairs.
I took the car in, last summer while the car was still under warranty, when I had to get the 12V battery replace, and told the tech about the issue with the head light. They found “nothing wrong”
The problem kept happening and became more often. Now that both sides are off and won’t come on at all, I called the dealership, they want to charge me almost $300 to change the bulb!
I saw videos online that show how to do this in about 5 min (changing the bulb) without having to take the bumper off, which is what the dealer told me they had to to. I know it is a lot of info, just to ask, would it be safe, or how safe would it be to change the bulb my self? I would of course be wearing gloves to make sure I don’t touch the bulb.
If your worrying about safety in terms of voltage, 12 volts will never hurt you. The reason you wear gloves is so you don’t get hand oils on the quartz (glass) which would cause it to deteriorate rapidly when turned on.
It’s not a safety issue, it’s a mechanical skill issue…If you can see the bulb holder and get your hand on it, you should be able to change the bulb. The socket will rotate about 1/4 turn counter-clockwise (some effort may be required here) and slip out of the headlight bucket…Watch the video and give it a shot…
The prius headlamp bulb uses a wire retainer to hold it in place. It can be a bit tricky but not too difficult.
It’s not that unusual for a 9 year old car to have a headlight go out. On some luxury cars it can cost well over $1000 to replace the headlight on just one side of the car. So even if it costs you $300, you are likely saving money compared to the Lexus owners.
If you decide to have this done at a shop, suggest to use a well-recommended inde mechanic that specializes in Toyota or at least Asian cars. You don’t need a dealership for this, and the inde shop will likely be less expensive.
If you decide to try it yourself, suggest to make sure you follow the manufacturer’s suggested method. You probably don’t have the factory service manual, but you should be able to buy a repair manual like a Haynes or Chiltons for this car, at your local auto parts store. Those manuals will almost certainly describe Toyota’s recommended headlight replacement procedure.
A bit of caution is in order here. Usually if the manual says you have to remove the bumper to replace the headlight, there’s a reason for it saying that. Attempting to do it without removing the bumper – especially for a novice – may result in costly problems that you definitely don’t want.