My 2004 Toyota Corolla is a great little car. It consistently goes 38 miles on a gallon of gas and costs nearly to nothing to maintain. Recently though, there were a few things I’ve had to replace myself because the dealer just charged too damn much. The DIY maintenance procedures I’ll cover in this article are: Replacing the key fob battery, the cabin air filter, the engine air filter and a brake light bulb. Here’s how to do it all in 20 minutes or less.
The Keyless Remote for the Corolla contains a single CR2032 battery ($2.50) and can be replaced in a few minutes:
- First get a dull but thin butter knife from the kitchen. Insert the knife at the bottom of the remote (taking care not to scratch the plastic) and push it in at an angle close to 90 degrees (see picture).
- Now gently angle the knife outward until the remote top and bottom plastic shells pop apart. Take care to do this slowly in order to prevent cracking or damaging the plastic on your remote (replacements from the Toyota Dealer are expensive). Once apart, simply slide out the old battery, insert the new and pop the pieces back together. That’s it.
- Turn the harness to the clockwise one quarter turn (click) and pull the harness outward (towards the front of the car). Replace the light bulb and put the harness back and snap it into place by rotating it counter-clockwise. That’s it.
Replacing the Cabin Air Filter costs $43 at Jiffy Lube or $45 at the Toyota Dealer. The filter itself costs $14.95 and you can replace it yourself in 5 minutes:
- Open your glove compartment. On the left hand side, note the notch that prevents the compartment from opening further. Simply press in the plastic on the left side allowing the notch to bypass the dash & open the glove compartment all the way down.
- Located behind the glove compartment is a plastic cover keeping the Air Cabin Filter in place. Simply remove it by squeezing the two plastic latches on either side of the cover. Now slide out the dirty Air Cabin Filter and slide in the new one. Replace the plastic cover, and snap the glove compartment back into place. That’s it.
Replacing the Engine Air Filter costs $33 at Jiffy Lube or $39 at the Dealer. The part costs $13.95 and you can change it yourself in 5 minutes.
- Open the car hood. Located the air filter compartment and release the two metal latches. Gently pull the compartment lid outward (toward the fender) and upward at the same time until you can reach the air filter below.
- Replace the old air filter with the new one and put the lid back by pushing it downward and inward (towards the engine). Make sure the the lid slides back into the rear notches (see picture) then press down and snap the latches back into place. That’s it.
Replacing the Bake Light costs a whopping $15 at the dealer when the part only costs $2 bucks at PepBoys. Change it yourself and save a trip to the dealer:
- Open the Trunk and locate the rear of the tail light. Remove the piece of carpeting covering the access to the light harness.
Congrats, you’ve just saved yourself $100 bucks (quoted price to replace all 3 items at the Dealer).