Category Archives: DIY Interior

How to Replace an Inside Door Handle (Toyota Corolla & Others)

Oh, Snap! You opened the door just like any other time, and suddenly, the inside door handle of your Toyota Corolla is nothing more than a loose piece of expensive plastic. When this happens, fear could shoot through your bones as money signs taunt your imagination. This fear may be a little misplaced, though, as the expense and time needed for replacing your Toyota Corolla’s inside door handle can be a lot less than you might expect. Take a look at our easy to follow step-by-step guide to replace your inside door handle.

  • First of all, you need to buy the necessary parts and tools to handle the task at hand. The tools needed for this project includes: multiple screwdrivers, pliers, a utility knife, the new inside door handle, and new screws (if the old ones are broken, lost, or rusted).
  • Once you have the materials for the project, you can begin as soon as you want. The first step for replacing the inside door handle of your Corolla is by removing the inner door panel. To do this, you must first try to take off the arm rest, which is most likely held on by a few snaps. Simply pry back on it with a screwdriver, until it pops free. Wrapping the screwdriver with tape can help to prevent scratches.
  • Once you’ve taken that off, you should see two screws behind it. Unscrew those two screws, and then make sure not to lose them. You will also want to remove the screw that’s inside the handle compartment.
  • After removing hose three screws, the door panel is ready to be removed. You can take it off by snapping the whole thing slowly and carefully, off. Make sure you lift over and around the locking mechanism, and not pull it too far away from the wires that are attached to it.
  • You should now get the new inside door handle for your Toyota Corolla ready. It will need to be attached to the L-shaped metal piece that is sitting where the old handle was located. There will be a plastic attachment located either on the L-shaped metal piece or you can find the new one that comes with the handle. This piece will sit in between the new handle and the L-shaped metal piece in the door.
  • The next step is to attach the new handle to the section the old one was originally. The L-shaped metal piece will have a tip that gets inserted inside the new handle. This tip will have the plastic piece, mentioned before, buffering itself between the two entities. For attaching the new handle and the L-shaped metal piece, you may need to use pliers to fit the handle in correctly.
  • After the handle has been attached to the metal piece, you must ensure it can fit inside the panel completely. It should fit snugly within the panel.
  • You are now ready to reinstall the door panel to the door itself. Make sure all the inner parts of the door match up with the panel, then start pressing the panel into the door.
  • Once it’s snapped into place, you can test the handle and it should work like the original one did. Reattach the three screws and replace the arm rest, and you are done!

As you can see, the steps for replacing your Toyota Corolla’s inside door handle are few and simple. If you follow the steps closely, and are willing to delve into your door, this project can be a rewarding and inexpensive fix.

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How to Replace a Dirty Toyota Cabin Filter

Keeping your lungs healthy and clean can be a part of your regular car maintenance. How so? Well in your modern Toyota there is a device called the Cabin Air Filter, which is specifically designed to filter out all the dust pollutants and particles that sneak into your cabin from the outside. Though it may seem like a small thing, the cabin air filter can ensure that your vehicle stays a great place to breathe and drive in.

The fact that it is a filter, though, implies that eventually it will need to be replaced with a new one. A good mileage basis, for knowing when it should be replaced, is around 10,000 miles, but this may depend on whether you live in a dusty area or whether or not you’re in pollen season. When you are headed to replace your Toyota cabin filter, be sure to follow these simple steps, I order to completely the replacement process quickly and easily.

First, you will need to gather the necessary tools and parts for the project at hand. In this case, you will need just a Phillips head screw driver and the replacement filter. You can buy your specific Toyota cabin filter online or at any auto parts store. Paper filters are great for dust, pollen, and particles, while carbon filters help to combat odors, such as exhaust and smoke.

  • Once you have your Phillips head screw driver and replacement filter, the second step involves getting inside your car’s cabin. You will want to open your glove compartment, all of the way, and then look in the bottom right for a screw. Go ahead and unscrew it. You will then want to remove the loop from the arm, that the screw was holding in. If you drive a Toyota Highlander, the screw is actually underneath and behind the glove compartment, so you might be able to pull the loop off the arm without actually taking the screw off.
  • After pulling the loop off, squeeze the sides of the glove compartment together, to press the tabs past the dash. You should now be able to lift and pull the whole glove compartment out of the dash.
  • With the glove compartment out of the way, you will now see the cabin air filter compartment. Flip the two latches holding the compartment closed and slide the cabin air filter out. Be sure to hold it upright the whole time, so that debris does not fall into the fan or on the floor.
  • Now that the old cabin air filter is out, go ahead and unbox and unbag the new one. Follow the arrow that points up, by installing it upwards. Once it’s back in the right position, the compartment lid should snap shut, with the tabs closing around it.
  • Your cabin air filter is now successfully installed, follow the process backwards to reinstall the glove compartment. You may need to push the sides of the compartment in to get the tabs past the dash again. Then reinsert the screw after attaching the loop back to the glove compartment arm.

Replacing a Toyota cabin filter is a DIY project that almost anyone can accomplish. As long as you have access to your glove compartment, you can make sure your car’s air is breathable and fresh for your many travels ahead.

Photo credit: Ryan Gsell via / CC BY

Toyota Upholstery Cleaning Tips

Car washes are a dime a dozen. When driving down any main drag, you often can see a car wash, whether it be on its own or combined with a gas station. Car washes can be extremely convenient, considering that all you have to do is bring your Toyota in, and let the car wash take care of the rest. Some of you even wash your own car. What often happens, though, is car owners keep the outside of their car clean, but let the inside go. While keeping the outside of your Toyota nice and shiny is important, keeping the interior clean is important, too. You would be surprised to see what taking a little time to clean the interior can do, to make your car feel new again. Here is an easy guide for you to follow in cleaning the upholstery of your Toyota.

  • First, in order to make sure the surfaces are completely cleaned, you must clear them of all trash and other unnecessary items. Taking a moment to get the clutter out of your car can be a great stress reliever and also allows you to make your car 100% spotless. Remember, you can scrub all you want, but if you have items and trash floating around your seats, floorboards, and cup holders, your Toyota will never look or feel clean.
  • Second, take a damp rag and apply it to plastic and vinyl surfaces. Using a damp rag on the dashboard and cup holders regularly will keep your vehicle from becoming overwhelmingly dirty. You won’t realize how much dust has built up on your dash until you go at it with a rag. You might even see a change in color!
  • Third, when working on your upholstery, you will need to follow different tactics of care, depending on the material.
    • For cloth seats, using a vacuum with a detachable hose can really help in keeping your vehicle maintained. Always start from the highest point of the seat and work your way down, so that particles don’t fall onto already vacuumed portions. Then use the vacuum on the floor to clean up there as well. Don’t forget to clean the mats and below the mats as well. If the mats are not a cloth material, then you can probably take them inside and wash them down, especially if you or a passenger had spilled something sticky on them.
    • For leather seats, you will need to use a specific cleaning product made for leather. Most products come with instructions, whether the product is for regular maintenance or for spills. It is vital that you follow the instructions carefully and don’t use just any cleaner, as you could harm the seats as opposed to cleaning them.

Cleaning the interior of your vehicle is just as important as cleaning the exterior. You clean the exterior to both keep up the vehicles beauty but it also can help keep up the vehicles maintenance. Cleaning the interior of your Toyota doesn’t take as long as you might think, and it can go a long way in keeping your life less cluttered. Most of us practically live in our cars, and just as you keep a regular schedule of light and deep cleanings of the house you live in, so you should do with your car. Set up an interior cleaning schedule, stick to it, and you will be riding in a car that’s pleasing to look at both outside and inside.

Toyota Corolla power window problems? Here’s what you need to know.

Power windows are one of life’s greater conveniences. Not everyone has them, but if they do, opening and closing power windows is push-button convenient. What if you have power windows in your car but they stop working? Today, we’re looking at the Toyota Corolla, possible power window failures and solutions.

  • The first reason your Toyota Corolla’s power window could be broken is the one you want to check before looking into the others, because of a bad fuse. Checking and changing a bad fuse is the easiest solution for a power window problem on your Toyota Corolla. To check if the fuse is your problem, simply test your electric door locks. If these don’t work, either, then open your fuse box, whether in the cabin or under the hood, and replace the Door/Window Fuse. If your electric locks work but your power window doesn’t then you know there is a different explanation for why it is not working.
  • If the fuse is good, and the power locks work, you may have a problem with the power window switch or wiring. You’ll need a wiring diagram and DVOM (digital volt-ohm meter) to test inputs and outputs from the power window master switch or the individual power window switch on another door. Double check that the power window lockout switch is properly working. On the non-driver doors, you can swap switches from other doors to check.
  • The next troubleshooting you want to try for checking your Toyota Corolla’s power window is checking the window regulator. This motor commonly fails or dies, and when it does, you will likely see your window fall halfway down the frame. If you believe this is the cause of your power window problems then you will need to remove the door panel on your Toyota Corolla. To accomplish this, follow the next portion for repair.
    • First, pop the hood of your car to disconnect the negative power cable from your battery. This will ensure a safe work environment for working on the electrical and motorized parts in your door.
    • Second, search your door panel for all screws holding it in and remove them.
    • Third, remove the door panel with door panel removal tool or a flat-head screwdriver, carefully popping it from the plastic clips holding it on.
    • Fourth, you will probably see an electrical connection attached to the door panel that must be removed before proceeding.
    • Fifth, you may see a plastic covering protecting the inner workings of your door. Remove this as well.
  • If it is the regulator then you will see it clasped onto the window. To remove it, carefully slide the window regulator off the window. You may want to raise the window yourself, and tape or clamp it, during the regulator replacement process. Once you have replaced the power window regulator, reattach the window and the electric parts to test it.
  • If you know the problem with your power window isn’t the fuse or the window regulator, it very well may be that your window has come off track. Over time, the window rails on your Toyota Corolla may begin to fail. This will cause them to become loose, or worse, to completely fail altogether. If this is the problem, you will notice your power window is loose as well. To repair this, follow the five steps in the preceding power window regulator segment to remove your Toyota Corolla’s door panel. Once the panel is removed, you should be able to see the window tracks. If you do notice that one is broken or loose, you can try to fix them by shoring in the gaps. However, in this case you may need to seek professional assistance for the best repair.

Power windows in your Toyota Corolla make driving in a life quite literally a breeze. If they fail or begin to fail, it can bring upon an unnecessary headache. These troubleshooting steps and solutions should help bring you back to the glory days of cruising with windows down in your Toyota Corolla.

How to Replace Your Car Stereo

Every new car that you see has an impressive looking car stereo installed as a standard option, making each customer that buys one a happy customer. But just because only certain people can buy these brand new cars with nice car stereos, doesn’t mean you must suffer with an old one. You can have your old commuter car, and still enjoy quality, easy-to-operate music while you drive. We have a simple guide that will help you install a new car stereo to jam out with.

  • To begin this do-it-yourself project, you will first want to decide what car stereo you want by either going to a store or buying one online. Make sure you get one that will fit in your vehicle, look up your car’s stereo size and what size stereo will work with it. Once you acquired the car stereo, or head unit, you want, let us head into your car.
  • Before you install your new head unit, you obviously must remove the old car stereo first. You will need to use the removal tool/keys by sliding them each into the appropriate slots at the front of the car stereo. You should then be able to pull the old head unit out, and detach all the wires from the back of it. Other head units may require the removal of trim pieces. A flat screwdriver, wrapped in masking tape, works well for this purpose.
  • Now that the old head unit is out, you will see many wires that are stoked to make a new connection with the next eligible car stereo. To get started you will need to connect the car’s wiring to the adapter harness. As wiring can fit differently depending on the make and model of car, you may need multiple adapters for the transition. An example of another adapter that you may need, is an antenna adapter. The car’s antenna cable end and the car stereo’s antenna cable end could be incompatible and therefore you will need an adapter to convert a female end to male end, or vice versa. On the other hand, if you have a wiring diagram and soldering set, you can save a little bit of money by wiring it in yourself.
  • As stated before, your car could be older but you are still looking for a new car stereo. This may create the need for an output converter. The need for an outfit converter is not necessarily a bad thing, it is just important to know beforehand to ensure your new car stereo works correctly. Just to emphasize, not all cars will need one when installing a new car stereo, but it would be best to find out before committing to the installation process.
  • Once all these connections have been made, it would be good to tuck all the wiring into the console to keep your work in order. Remember, a tidy workspace is a happy workspace. Also, having the wires pushed into the console makes it easier for the last step of replacing your car stereo.
  • The last step of replacing your car stereo is plugging in the wiring harness and testing to make sure it works. When testing, don’t simply turn on the car stereo and turn it off, be sure to test the full functionality of the stereo. It would be a real shame if you were to install it completely, start driving down the road, and find out that, say, the power antenna doesn’t activate. Once you have tested it, compete the installation by sliding the radio into the frame. You may need an adapter for this as well if it is not the right size. Reapply any trim that came off and you are good to go!

Installing a new car radio can be a fun DIY project. The work is rewarding in itself but it also leads to endless melodies on your trips and commutes. You are now ready to replace a car stereo yourself and use the stereo features of a new car. This can make your little-vehicle-that-could, a little-vehicle-that-does.