How to change headlights on your Toyota 86

Maintaining your Toyota 86 involves regular checks and updates, including ensuring your headlights are functioning optimally. This guide provides a detailed, technical process for changing your headlight bulbs, suitable for those familiar with car maintenance with relevant links to sections in your owner’s manual.

Tools and materials needed

  • Replacement headlight bulbs.
  • Nitrile gloves (to prevent contamination of the bulbs).
  • Flathead or Phillips screwdriver (if applicable).


Step 1: Access the bulb housing

  1. Locate the headlight bulb housing: On the Toyota 86, the headlight bulb housing is directly accessible from the engine compartment.

    Turn the steering wheel in the opposite direction of the light to be replaced. Turn the steering wheel to a point that allows your hand to easily fit between the tire and fender liner. Remove the clips and partly remove the fender liner. To prevent damage to the vehicle, cover the tip of the screwdriver with a rag. Release the light’s claw. Insert the screwdriver into the hole. While firmly pushing the screwdriver forward, move it towards the inside of the vehicle. To prevent damage to the vehicle, wrap the tip of the screwdriver with a tape.

    Refer to the headlight section in your owner’s manual for specific details.
  2. Disconnect the power connector: Identify the power connector attached to the back of the bulb housing. Depress the release tab and carefully pull the connector away from the bulb.

Step 2: Remove the old bulb

  1. Remove the dust cover: If your vehicle has a dust cover protecting the bulb, twist it counterclockwise to remove. The manual provides diagrams for reference.
  2. Release the bulb: Depending on the design, either twist the bulb counterclockwise or release the retaining clip to extract the bulb from the housing.

Step 3: Install the new bulb

  1. Handle the new bulb properly: Don gloves to avoid transferring oils from your skin onto the bulb. This can cause uneven heating and reduce the bulb’s lifespan.
  2. Insert the new bulb: Carefully place the new bulb into the housing, ensuring it is properly aligned. Secure it by twisting clockwise or re-engaging the retaining clip. Follow the guidelines in your manual.
  3. Reconnect the power connector: Attach the power connector to the new bulb, ensuring it clicks into place.
  4. Replace the dust cover: If applicable, reattach the dust cover by twisting it clockwise until secure.

Step 4: Verification and adjustment

  1. Test the headlights: Turn on the headlights to verify proper installation. Ensure both low and high beams function correctly.
  2. Check alignment: Misaligned headlights can impair visibility and inconvenience other drivers. Refer to the headlight alignment procedure in your owner’s manual and adjust if necessary​. Typically, this involves using the adjustment screws located on the headlight assembly.

Selecting the right bulbs

  • Specification compliance: Always use bulbs that meet the specifications detailed in your owner’s manual. Refer to the section on light bulbs for specifics.. You can shop our Toyota 86 bulbs here.
  • Consider Upgrades: HID or LED bulbs offer better performance and longevity compared to traditional halogen bulbs.
  • Quality Assurance: Opt for bulbs from reputable brands to ensure reliability and performance.

Changing the headlights on your Toyota 86 is a straightforward process for those with some technical understanding. By following these steps and referring to your vehicle’s owner’s manual for specific details, you can ensure your headlights are functioning optimally, enhancing your safety and driving experience. If you encounter any issues or have specific questions, consulting your vehicle’s service manual or seeking advice from a professional can provide additional guidance. Safe driving.