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How to Replace Tail Lights 10-11 Toyota Prius

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How to Replace Tail Lights 10-11 Toyota Prius

Created on: 2018-04-13

How to install, repair, fix, change or replace a broken, damaged, burned out, cracked, faded, cloudy or chipped tail light / brake light on 11 Toyota Prius.

  1. step 1 :Removing the Bumper
    • Remove the Philips head screws on the bumper under the taillight
    • Remove all the 10mm bolts that hold the bumper in the wheel wells
    • Remove the plastic nut located under the car
    • Remove the plastic clips at the bottom of the bumper
    • Pull the bumper straight out from the sides to unclip it
    • Pull the bumper cover off
  2. step 2 :Removing Interior Trim
    • Unlock the trunk floor
    • Remove the trunk floor
    • Remove the tool tray
    • Remove the plastic trays
    • Remove the long trim piece by prying straight up
    • Use a 10mm bolts t remove the cargo tie-down hooks
    • Fold down the back seats
    • Remove the screws that hold in the side trim panel
    • Slide the seatbelt out of its slot
    • Work the panel back and forth until it comes off
    • Repeat the procedure for the opposite side
  3. step 3 :Removing the Taillight
    • Unplug the wiring harness
    • Remove the two 10mm nuts using a wrench or a deep 10mm socket
    • Use a plastic prying tool to help unclip the taillight clip from the quarter panel
  4. step 4 :Reinstalling the New Taillight
    • Line up all the clips and studs
    • Press the headlight in place
    • Reinstall the two 10mm nuts
    • Snug them down
    • Reconnect the electrical connection
  5. step 5 :Reinstalling the Bumper Cover
    • Line up the bumper cover
    • Snap it into place
    • Insert all the plastic clips
    • Insert all the 10mm bolts that were removed then snug them down
    • Insert all the screws and snug them down
  6. step 6 :Reinstalling the Interior Trim Pieces
    • Reinstall the side trim panel
    • Clip it back in place
    • Reinstall the lock and the screw that hold the panel in
    • Reinstall the cargo tie-down hooks
    • Tighten up the 10mm bolts
    • Reinstall the small side plastic panel above the battery
    • Reinstall the long trim panel and press firmly to clip it in place
    • Reinstall the side panels
    • Reinstall the cargo bucket and its cover
    • Reinstall the cargo tray
    • Reinstall the folding cover / trunk floor

Tools needed for replacement

  • Ratchets & Related

    Socket Extensions


  • Screwdrivers & Related

    Phillips Head Screwdriver

  • Sockets - Metric

    10mm Socket

  • Specialty Tools

    Trim Tool Set

Installation Video
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Hi. I'm Mike from 1A Auto. We've been selling auto parts for over 30 years.

On the top of the bumper there are two Phillips head screws on each corner. We're going to remove those using a Phillips head screwdriver. The top corner of the bumper edge, there's a 10 millimeter soft tapping screw.

We're going to use a 10 millimeter socket extension and ratchet to remove it. There's also a Phillips head part in it. You can use a Phillips head screwdriver, but I find the ratchet to be easier to use with the socket. I'm going to remove this one here, and then the same for the other side. We're going to start on the passenger side. Only the passenger side has this little plastic nut. Unscrew it and take it off.

Use a small flat-bladed screwdriver. Pop these push clips out. They're probably filled with dirt, and they usually jam up. There's a good chance you might break them, and you'll have to have some new ones on hand to replace them. Once the center part unlocks, they usually slide out a lot easier. It's filled with dirt and jammed up. The same for this one here. If you get really stuck, you can use a trim clip tool, pry them out. Remove these two push clips here. These two self-tapping bolts can stay in place.

Now our bumper is loose on this side. Along the lower edge of the bumper is this black trim piece. There are push clips in here. We're not removing those push clips. We're going to move over to these ones where you can see the body color of the bumper on these tabs here, this one here, this one here, this one here. There's four of them. Remove those push clips in the same manner as the other ones. You can use a little bit of glass cleaner because like I said, these get caked up with dirt. The glass cleaner will help make it easier for them to come apart. Once you get them lifted up like that, then you can slide the tool under here and pry them out. Even for a plastic thing, they really get jammed up with dirt. Just repeat this for all the other push clips on the body color tabs.

There's a push clip here on this side instead of having that nut on the passenger side. These all remove like the other ones. The bumper looks nice and loose. To remove the bumper, there's a plastic rack under here that the bumper clips into.

With these, all the clips and bolts loose, I'm going to pull the bumper cover off. It's going to sound like I'm breaking it, but you give them a good tug like that. It will come loose. Go this way with it. There's a hook underneath the tail lamp. I'm going to go to the other side and unclip this side too. This one was already loose. Somebody probably backed into something. You give it a good little tug.

Once it's off, the bumper cover is not very heavy. There it is.

To remove the tail lamp, we need to remove a bunch of the trim in here. That is unlocked, but if this was locked, the little knobs here tell you how to unlock it. This one you turn counterclockwise. This one you turn clockwise. With it off, you're going to take the whole floor out of the cargo area. Lift this tray right out.

For the passenger side, we'll lift this cover off. It's actually where your battery is. If you're doing the driver's side tail lamp, you lift out this cover. This tray can come out. It has a little screw piece in here. It's a plastic screw. If it's loose enough, you can take it off with your fingers, but it is a 10 millimeter plastic piece. It also has a spot for a screw. Once that's out, you can lift this plastic out and take it out as well.

From here, the procedure will be the same for both sides. We're going to pop this trim piece up from the trunk area. It just unclips. It should come up and out. Remove the cargo tie down hooks. There's one here and one here. They both have these 10 millimeter bolts in them. We're going to use the 10 millimeter socket extension and put those aside and do the same for the other one. There's a 10 millimeter screw up here. You could put a Phillips head in it or use your 10 millimeter socket.

Push the seat down to get it out of the way because I need to remove a cover behind here to get to the screws, so I can take this whole trim panel out. You could try to pop this out and fold it back, but I don't want to damage this trim cover. It will just pop out, but it doesn't give you a lot of room. You really have to fold it, and I don't want to damage it. At the top there's this little cover here. This is probably where a privacy cover goes, if it's missing. There's a little slot. Take the small flat-bladed screwdriver and pry this out. You're going to take this out. This is actually the fastener here. You're going to slide the seatbelt out of the slot here, work this panel off of the little lockdown loop for the seat and also slide it out from behind the panel here, and then work it out and from behind on this panel. We'll put this aside, so that clips back up in there.

The driver's side will be the same.

We're going to unplug the tail lamp. Pull out this harness here. It slides out. Then we can push in the lock. Push the lock down here, pull it out. There are two studs, but 10 millimeter nuts holding the tail lamp in. I'm going to use a 10 millimeter deep socket to remove these. Once they're loose, I'll take them off with my fingers.

I'm going to reach in behind. This tail lamp is clipped into place once it's unbolted. There is a clip over here. I'm going to reach in behind, help push it out, get it free. I'm going to use a plastic prying tool. You can get this set from 1A Auto. I'm going to carefully slide it in between the tail lamp and the body. Clip is right about here. I'm going to use this to help. I'm going to pry it straight out. I don't want to pry it off. I want to pry it towards the back of the car. Maybe I'll use this end with the curve, push on it. See, it takes quite a bit of force to get them out. There's actually these little push clips in here.

Here's our original tail light we pulled from our vehicle and our brand new one from, same style with the LEDs, same style turn signals, reverse light bulbs, running light bulbs. It comes with a new clip for the bumper. Flip them over. It comes with a new wiring harness, new seal. It comes with these new white plastic clips that one of them broke when removing it. The connector is the same. This will work great and fit great in the vehicle.

There's a clip here on the outside of the body that needs to slide into this opening here in the tail lamp housing. These clips, these white ones, we're going to push into the body. Then, of course, we'll put the nuts on afterwards. Get it up into position. There it is. Push it in place and click it in. I'm going to reinstall the nuts. Slide them up. Once you feel them get tight, just stop. You don't want to break the stud out of the plastic.

Plug the connector back in. Click when it locks in place.

Reinstall your trim panels. The only thing different on the driver's side, I'm just going to pull this out a little bit. When you reinstall it you'll have to reconnect your courtesy light that's in the trunk. Click when it locks in place. Then, of course, you'll unplug it by pushing the lock, pulling it out, and taking this trim off. Otherwise, it's identical to the passenger side. Reinstall the rear bumper. Slide it into place.

Get underneath these hooks or on these hooks that are underneath the tail lights on both sides. Get it started on both sides. Hold it in place. If you're doing this on the ground, you're going to have to slide underneath the car and just make sure that this tab, this body color tab is on the other side of this bracket. Bend it up. That will help slide the bumper in further. The bumper needs to come out and go around the splash shield. Slide it into place like that. It's going to go over this little part here. It's going to be pushed up. It will snap into place.

Do the same for the other side.

The bracket is damaged on the other side of the car. It's bent out, but it should normally sit right flush in there. Our bumper corner was sticking out here. It's because the bracket was not correctly installed. This tab is supposed to go on the other side of the sheet metal here. There's three 10 millimeter bolts that have Phillips head screw cut outs. We're going to use the 10 millimeter socket extension and ratchet. We'll just loosen this bracket up. I probably don't even need to take these bolts all the way out. We'll loosen them up. Let's see. I guess I do have to loosen them up. They'll come right off. Pop it out. Pull it off the clips. Slide that bracket underneath. Pop it back into place.

Reinstall these self-tapping bolts. Lift the bumper up. Slide it into place. It needs to go over this little pin that's sticking out. It's clipped into place. It's not sticking out anymore. It's flush with the body. Reinstall our self-tapping screws that have these plastic grommets around them. The same for both. Reinstall the self-tapping screw that goes in each bumper corner. It goes right here into that opening.

The same for both sides.

There's this threaded stud here. I'm going to push the bumper down and over it. This little plastic nut went on here. This was only on the passenger side. The rest of the bumper was held on by push clips. We can reuse the old ones. I'll push them in. It will lock in place. Push clips are over here on the body color part. Pull this down a little bit. Push that up in there. Lock it in. If it helps, these get crudded up with dirt, these push clips. You can use some glass cleaner or soapy water to get them to move freely again. There's still some dirt in this one, but no big deal. It's going to get dirty again. It will help it go into the opening. Push it in to lock it and do the same for all of them. The bumper is reinstalled.

Reinstall the trim panel. Get it in place here. You're going to have to slide it. It is very flexible. It will go between the carpet. Just pull the seat belts out of the way here. There's a lip here. That's going to go underneath the trim. You have to carefully maneuver it. It does have some flex to it. Push it in underneath. There's also an opening here for the hook that the seats hook to when they're up. Slide it down and push that over. Then push this behind. We just got to pop that in here. Then feed the seat belt. Make sure it's not caught. It's going to go underneath and through this opening here. It will sit in the trim. We'll get it lined up.

There's a bunch of tabs that go on the top. Push down in place. A tricky one to get in is this clip here. It needs to go in front of the seat belt. There's a square opening in the sheet metal for it. You're going to flex the trim around a bit. I'll get the other part started. Snap it in place. Get these lined up. Clip them in place. We'll put this plastic lock back in. It goes underneath where the seat belt sits. It just pushes in place. Reinstall the self-tapping screw that goes up here. It's going into a plastic grommet. Once it gets tight, just stop.

Reinstall the cargo tie down hooks. They have a tab. This front one, the tab goes towards the top. It helps locate it. These have these chrome bolts. Get it started. Just tighten it up and then stop. Do the same for this one here. The tab goes toward the bottom. This panel goes here above the battery, clips into place. Just make sure your weather-strip is over your carpet. You can push it with your thumb to adjust it.

Reinstall the cover. It just clips into place. This side panel clips over here over the battery. It just sits in place. This little cargo bucket goes down here. The threaded plastic screw goes here. Just tighten it by hand. That's it right there. The cover goes over it.

The cargo tray goes in here. Reinstall your folding cover. There's three tabs at the top. Those slide into place. You can close it. You can turn it to lock it, if you want to. I'm actually going to readjust this cargo hook, so it's up. Put back down, if you've got a cargo liner, it will go back on top. Otherwise, the back of the car is reassembled.

Thanks for watching. Visit us at for quality auto parts, fast and free shipping, and the best customer service in the industry.

Tools needed for replacement:

    Ratchets & Related

  • Socket Extensions
  • Ratchet

  • Screwdrivers & Related

  • Phillips Head Screwdriver

  • Sockets - Metric

  • 10mm Socket

  • Specialty Tools

  • Trim Tool Set

2010 - 2011  Toyota  Prius
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