How to Replace Headlights and Bulbs on the Toyota Camry (1999-2001)

Updated on January 16, 2019
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Hardlymoving repairs and flips Toyota Camrys and has written extensively about these dependable cars.

Having been pulled over and ticketed for a burned out parking lamp inspired me to write this DIY article. The pictures here show you how to replace various burned-out light bulbs on the Generation 4 Toyota Camry. A chart shows which replacement bulbs to buy for which uses.

Ordinary bulbs can be purchased locally without much difficulty. LED (Light Emitting Diode) long-life bulbs are easiest to obtain through the internet. LED bulbs are more expensive but should last indefinitely and provide greater illumination.

On the other hand, you should avoid expensive "high intensity" headlamp bulbs unless you don't mind changing these bulbs regularly—usually in less than a year. They do provide bright white high illumination, but, as manufacturers admit in the small print in their disclaimer, they last mere hundreds of hours, vs. the thousands of hours of usage you would expect from a standard bulb. Moreover, the warranty time frame is less than a year.

If you want higher illumination, HID (High-Intensity Discharge) bulbs generally put out three times more light intensity than halogen bulbs and, coupled with the ballast, will last longer. Installation is relatively easy and straightforward. Vendors provide HID conversion kits for under $100. These kits at one time cost hundreds of dollars but their prices have come down substantially.

Camry Bulb Chart

Bulb Size Number
Alternative Bulb Number
Discussed in Section Below
High- and Low-Beam Headlight
Parking Light
Front Turn Signal
Front Side Marker
Rear Turn Signal
Tail Light
Stop Light
High-Mount Stop Light
Back-Up Light
License Plate Light
Rear Sidemarker Light
Trunk/Cargo Area Light
Instrument/General Light
Glove Box Light
Dome Light
Step/Courtesy Light
*To be added to article later

A. High- and Low-Beam Headlight Replacement

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Lift open the engine hood. In front, behind the headlight assembly, the wire connector to the headlight bulb should be clearly visible. Following the steps in the thumbnail pictures. Do not touch the new bulb's glass surface with your hands. The oil on your hands combined with the heat from the bulb can crack the glass.

B, C, D: Front Turn Signal, Parking, and Front Side Marker Lights

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Lift open the engine hood. The parking light / front turn signal bulb is recessed within the corner light assembly. You have to remove this assembly to gain access to the rear of the assembly that contains the bulb. The assembly is braced within the fender and the front grill and is held by a single plastic pin.

E, F, G, K: Rear Turn Signal, Tail Light, Stop Light, and Sidemarker

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Open the trunk. On the driver's or passenger's side, depending on which corner needs replacement bulb(s), remove the three (3) plastic screws that hold the interior plastic panel over the corner light assembly. Lift away the corner of the trunk floor covering and pull the plastic panel out to expose the corner light bulb connectors. Detach the electrical connector and twist off the desired bulb fitting.

H: High-Mount Stop Light

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Open the trunk. From underneath the rear window deck, locate the two plastic pins that secures the high mount assembly. Push these pins away from the metal deck frame and push up. Then, from inside the rear passenger compartment, pull out the high mount assembly. Pinch and pull on the male light plug, then twist off (counterclockwise) the light bulb socket.

F and I: Tail Light and Back-Up Light

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A extra pair of tail-light bulbs are recessed within the tail-light assembly that is part of the trunk lid. Each assembly (driver and passenger side) also contains a back-up light.

Open the trunk and remove the plastic pins that hold the felt covering underneath the trunk. Only remove the pins that have a screw fitting for a philips head screw. After you have unseated the screw, pull out the base of the pin.

Pull down on the felt covering to expose the bulb connectors. Twist the connectors counterclockwise to expose the bulb.

J: License Plate

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Open the trunk lid. Once the lid is open, you can remove the license plate bulb as shown in the pictures.

L: Trunk/Cargo Area

Click thumbnail to view full-size

The pictures above show you how to pull the 194 bulb out of the trunk light receptacle.

M. Instrument/General Lights

To replace one of the seven or so bulbs in the instrument cluster, you have to remove the instrument cluster itself from the dashboard, as shown in a separate article.

N, O, P: Glove Box, Dome, and Step/Courtesy Lights

Coming soon!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


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