How to Replace Dash Lights in a Toyota Corolla

Updated February 21, 2017

The dash lights in your Toyota Corolla's instrument cluster can last indefinitely, but you will need to replace any light that does burn out. You need to remove the instrument cluster from the dash in order to change the bulbs. The Corolla is a compact car, and so you will need to clear space within the car to access the cluster. This will involve removing the steering wheel. This process is primarily for models made in the 21st century; it may vary depending on the exact year of your Corolla.

Disconnect the Corolla's negative battery cable. Wait at least 10 minutes for the air bag's power to be depleted. This is an important safety precaution to avoid accidental airbag deployment.

Loosen the screws on the side of the steering wheel with a Torx screwdriver until the threads catch on the screw case, then lift the air bag off the steering wheel and disconnect its electrical connector.

Mark the steering wheel's relationship to the shaft with paint or a marker, then remove the wheel's central nut with a wrench and pull off the wheel -- this may require a special puller tool.

Pull out the single pin on the underside of the cluster trim bezel, then pry off the bezel with a screwdriver to remove it.

Remove the single screw at the top of the cluster, pry and release the two bottom clips and pull the cluster out. Disconnect the electrical connectors in the back.

Turn the bulb holder for the light(s), located in the rear of the cluster, counterclockwise and remove them from the cluster, then pull the bulb out of the holder.

Push the new bulb into the holder, using gloves or a clean rag so oils won't get on the glass. Insert the holder back into the cluster and turn it clockwise.

Insert the cluster back into the dash with its clips and screw.

Reconnect the trim bezel onto the dash with its clips and the pushpin on the underside.

Reconnect the steering wheel to the shaft, lining up the markings and tightening the central nut. Reconnect the air bag to the wheel using the Torx screws.

Reconnect the battery cable.

Things You'll Need

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Flat screwdriver
  • Torx screwdriver
  • Dash light bulb
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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.