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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, thought I'd share my fix for my '98 Rav4's dangerous headlight switch that would randomly turn the lights out, especially when switching to main beam! I've read that Toyota used the wrong grease in the switch... I couldn't find a replacement switch easily (or cheaply) so I thought I'd take a closer look:
1 - undo the 2 screws facing you either side of the steering wheel, there is another screw underneath. With a bit of wiggling the plastic covers around the switch will come free.
2 - un-clip the plug at the bottom of the switch, undo the 2 screws holding the switch in place and slide it out.
3 - To give you enough play with the wiring inside the switch stalk I found it best to un-plug the connector on the back of the switch first. Un-clip the clear plastic cover and un-plug the small connector - note which way round it fixes.
4 - Pop the cover on the side of the stalk off and make sure the wires are free to be pulled into the stalk for the next bit.
5 - Carefully give the headlight switch at the end of the stalk a good firm tug and it will slide out - be careful not to pull it out too far though! The switch is fixed to a metal shaft that has sharp edges that want to cut the wires, nice one Toyota! I learned the hard way and had to use heatshrink sleeving to fix the damaged outer casing on the wires, doh!
6 - now you should be able to see the switch connections, clean off the crappy grease, clean the metal contacts, I also cleaned and de-greased it with switch cleaner (make sure it's plastic friendly, I used Servisol). Take your time and remove as much of the rubbish grease as possible.
7 - apply proper contact grease so that all the contacts are lubricated and covered- I used Contralube http://
Hope this helps, I've attached a few photos too. Cheers


Your Humble Administrator
2008 RAV4 Limited V6
17,015 Posts
Wow, that's a lot more complex than I would have thought. I took apart one on another vehicle, and there was a coil spring with ball bearing that would fly out when you pull the knob off. The ball would ride in a slot with detents for each position.
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