How to Change Headlights in Corolla

Updated February 21, 2017

You need to replace a burnt-out bulb in your car's headlights as soon as possible, but you also need to replace the headlight housing if it is broken or otherwise damaged. How you change headlights in your Toyota Corolla depends largely on what components you need to change. Changing headlight bulbs alone can be a relatively quick procedure. If you need to change the housing, you have to work with the bumper on this particular model.

Open the bonnet and disconnect the car's negative battery cable. If you're removing the housing, disconnect the positive cable and wait two minutes for the airbags to shut down (since you're working with the bumper).

Press the clip on the headlight bulb holders' electrical connectors and unplug the connector, then rotate the holders counterclockwise to pull them out of the housing. The two headlight bulb holders are accessible at the rear of the housing from inside the engine compartment.

Remove all the fasteners for the front bumper cover -- pop up the plastic buttons and remove the screws with a screwdriver, then remove the pushpins with pliers. Remove the bumper cover.

Remove the headlight's retaining fasteners with a wrench and then detach it from the car body.

Rotate and remove the turn signal light bulb holder from the rear of the housing; this is in the corner of the housing closest to the fender and can only be accessed after removing the housing.

Pull all light bulbs that need changing out of their holders.

Push the replacement bulbs into the correct bulb holders, holding each bulb with a clean rag or gloves to keep oils off the bulb glass.

Insert the bulb holder for the turn signal back into the housing and turn it clockwise to secure it.

Insert the headlight housing into the car body and apply its mounting fasteners.

Reconnect the bumper cover to the car using all its fasteners.

Insert the two main headlight bulb holders into the housing from the rear and turn them clockwise.

Reconnect the battery, connecting the positive cable first.

Things You'll Need

  • Wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Headlight bulb(s)
  • Headlight housing
bibliography-icon icon for annotation tool Cite this Article

About the Author

Chris Moore has been contributing to eHow since 2007 and is a member of the DFW Writers' Workshop. He received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Texas-Arlington.