How to remove the air cleaner duct to change the headlight in a '96 Corolla
December 23, 2010 11:45 AM   Subscribe

How do I remove the air cleaner duct in order to change a headlight in a '96 Corolla?

I'm changing the passenger-side headlight in my car. The owner's manual says to remove the clip holding in the air cleaner duct and take it out. I did that, but the duct isn't coming out.

I think I see a little clip holding it in on the side next to the battery (facing the rear of the car). The clip is the kind that is triangular and lets a slot slide over it, but is flat on the bottom so that the slot is caught and the piece can't slide back up. If there were more space, maybe I could pull the plastic piece away from the clip so that it would go back over the flat part and slide up, but there isn't room for my hand.

Am I right that this is the problem? How do I get in?

Online instructions don't address this.
posted by ramenopres to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total)
I asked a similar question a few years ago, although mine was about replacing the driver's side headlight. Some of the same advice might apply, though. Good luck!
posted by brina at 11:54 AM on December 23, 2010

Response by poster: Sorry! I meant to say the driver's side headlight!
posted by ramenopres at 2:07 PM on December 23, 2010

I changed the driver's side headlight for my neighbors on their corolla. I didn't need to take any additional parts out.

Do you have a picture of the clip you're trying to disengage? Is it on the bulb-holding assembly that goes into the back of the light? Sometimes you can use a flat-head screwdriver to pry the clip up and use your other hand to pull the assembly off.

Alternately, you can take the battery out to get better access to light/socket.
posted by desl at 3:53 PM on December 23, 2010

Found this diagram of the inlet duct:

I found a service manual applicable to your car but it's 296 MB and would take some time to download over 3G. A picture of the piece would definitely be helpful.
posted by liquoredonlife at 4:11 PM on December 23, 2010

Headlamp assemblies that are difficult to access from under the hood, are sometimes much simpler to get at, from under the car, although you might have to jack it up, and block it. The jacking up, and blocking it part of this are often enough to keep Haynes and manufacturer's manuals from observing this, for liability reasons, but really, if you have a $20 hydraulic floor jack, or even a decent amount of gumption and a factory tire jack, a $20 pair of jackstands, or some ramps, and 10 minutes, you can get almost any car up enough, safely, to slide under the front end to look for access from below. Be sure to chock wheels, set brakes, and take appropriate safety measures when lifting any vehicle.

But if you're small/skinny enough, you might not even have to jack up the car to look.
posted by paulsc at 5:36 PM on December 23, 2010

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