Changing the rear signal light on 2001 Toyota Sienna
I removed one screw from side of door hatch; but was unable to pry the light fixture out. I am sure there is something more that must hold it in place and I am afraid of breaking it if I apply more pressure. There are 2 bolts on a metal plate close to the single bolt I removed - do they have anything to do with the light fixture ? What should I do next ? Thanks, Tom
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For water leaking inside the rear door panel, I'll suggest you check and replace the black rubber/foamy seal that is part of the high-mounted-rear light assembly.
It gets weak over time and soaks water, thereby allowing water seep into the booth lining and also into the underlay of the carpet.
If you have a cracked rear-light (the one attached to the boot hatch), you may also get a leak.
Change this rubber seal/ gasket. I used an old rubber carpet to make a gasket to fit the light assembly, and it stopped the leakage.
Hope this helps.
If the 2003 is like my 2002 Sienna and you are trying to replace the light within the hatch, then you have to access this light assembly through the rear interior panel. You can not remove the lens or the light assembly from the exterior of the vehicle. This really did take about 10 minutes. Step 1 - remove the 2 screws from the hatch back handle by flipping the covers down to access the screws. Insert a screw driver about 1/16 of an inch into the top of each end of the handle to flip the covers down. This will expose the screws. Step 2 - Use a socket drive wrench to remove the 10 mm screw from each end of the handle. Step 3 - Use a screw driver to slide the cover up and off of the retaining clip on the left (drivers) side of the rear panel and remove the 10 mm screw from the clip. Step 4 - Now the only thing holding the back interior panel on is about nine plastic clips. Carefully pull the panel away from the door starting at the bottom where the handle was removed. Work your way across the bottom and up the left side popping each of the snaps loose. Move back to the right and in my case the panel fell off in my hands. I was able to remove and replace the light with ease at this point.
The inner hatch latch mechanism is seized. You need to pull the door panel with it closed. It will be tight but it will come off without cracking. Spray lube around inside of latch. Get a long screw driver and pry the link from the key. The latch won't release until the key link goes to the unlock position. It will be seized. It is easy to figure which way to move it if you have someone insert the key into the closed hatch and try to move it.
open the rear hatch. Next to the brake light assembly, between it and
the hatch there are two flap doors in the brake light trim. Take a
small flat blade screwdriver and open these doors. The hinge side of
the flap is nearest the hatch opening. When opened, the flaps will
reveal two screws. Remove these. Then wrap a flat blade screwdriver
with some tape (protects the paint) and put the blade at the front
outside corner of the brake light assembly. Pry gently rearward and a
plastic spear point clip will release. With the assembly off, you can
see how to twist out the bulb sockets and replace the bulbs. to
replace, put the spear point clip in first, replace the screws, and
close the flaps in the trim.
You have to take off the back hatch pull down strap. It is held in place with a large screw likely concealed under a decorative cap. Then the whole rear cover on the inside of the hatch can be removed. I have a PDF on this somewhere I could dig up. Contact me if you want it emailed to you. As they say a picture is worth a thousand words and there is drawings in the PDF.
The handle that broke had a little 'finger' that actuated the release mechanism. The only way to open the back hatch is to remove the inner panel and push on the release mechanism.
Once off, you can either a) buy a replacement handle (expensive) or b) do what I did and simply make a piece of L-shaped metal to lever the release mechanism from the outside.
If your handle is completely off of the door you can look up under the little plastic cover (that hides the handle) and see the slot on the right side that the release handle inserts into. You need to stick the lever into that slot, and angle it down about 30 degrees from horizontal to get under the latch mechanism, which unlocks the hatch if you pry it upwards.
YOU HAVE TO TAKE OFF THE DOOR PANEL ON THE INSIDE OF THE HATCH, IF IT WONT OPEN YOU HAVE TO DO IT FROM THE INSIDE, THEN THERE ARE 3 10MM BOLTS YOU TAKE OUT AND THE HANDLE AND PLATE LIGHT BRACKET WILL COME OUT AND YOU CAN REPLACE THE HANDLE... FYI MOST TIMES THE HANDLE BREAKS BECAUSE YOUR ACTUAL LATCH IS RUSTED OR FROZEN SO YOU MAY NEED TO REPLACE BOTH!!
You need to remove the big plastic or vinyl rear hatch trim to get the side trims off. Remove the 10 mm bolt that holds the pull handle (if you have a pull handle), and then, using a flat tool, (like a stiff putty knife), insert the tool between the vinyl trim and the tailgate to loosen the plastic clips (there is like 18 of them); one the hatch panel is off, you will see that you can now remove the side trims.