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2009 Camry headlight assembly - which brand?

Old 01-23-2018, 05:26 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Portland, OR
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Default 2009 Camry headlight assembly - which brand?

2009 Camry, 115k mi
New to me - from my parents

I need to replace the right side headlight assembly and am trying to determine if the Toyota brand at $240 is worth the money. This car will get a lot of use by young adults, I will rely on it for safety/reliability so I want the part to last and perform well. I generally purchase OEM parts just for these reasons - fix it once with quality parts and it will serve you well. But I see a lot of choices for <$100 so I thought I would ask what direction others have gone when replacing their headlight assembly. Any feedback on the good/bad of these choices is much appreciated.

Old 01-24-2018, 01:26 PM
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Toyota headlights are typically excellent. Compared to an aftermarket part. There is a difference in fit, finish, robustness, lens thickness and perhaps lighting.

Some owners have gone to the trouble of removing a new lens from an aftermarket part. Then replacing it for the damaged Toyota lens.

Due to quality control issues. Some aftermarket headlights don't always have their optics aligned properly causing lighting issues.

CAPA or NSF certified aftermarket parts are supposed to be better quality but may have an added price premium.

Have used TYC brand which is a main US aftermarket supplier. They are not the same quality as Toyota but were good enough given the lower cost.

If going aftermarket might consider replacing both headlights. This to get the same lighting from both. With aftermarket can get two headlights for the price of one OEM part.

If all you need is the right headlight and the car will be good to go for a long time. Would consider Toyota OEM.

What condition is the other headlight? Is this one also going to need replacing sometime soon?

If the left is going to need replacing soon then looking at $440 for two headlights on a car that might be worth $5K (just guessing).
For most people spending this much money on headlights is not worth it.

There are lots used Toyota headlights on Ebay, might consider this. Or perhaps you live near an auto salvage yard.

Get the right part as the Japan and US build cars have different part numbers. For Toyota parts shop internet Toyota dealers who discount their prices.

Since you to appear to be wanting to keep this car a long time. If not done so already. Consider changing All of the transmission fluid now.

Don't do a so called flush using any chemicals, a back flush, pressure flush, etc. Just get the old fluid out and replace with new.

Utube may have something on a "flush and fill".

Basically using the trans oil pump to pump out the old fluid into a container, a few quarts at a time. To be replaced with new via the dipstick. Then the pumping repeated. When repeated enough times, the fluid is now clear again.

The owner's manual and dipstick should list the fluid type.

Ditto for the power steering fluid. In this case its good enough just draw out the fluid from the reservoir and replace with new.

Do this between drives until the fluid is clear again. The PS should be the same fluid as the trans but check the manual

Worn out fluid is the No 1 cause of trans fluid and a lot of PS issues.
Old 01-24-2018, 06:21 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 4

Thank you for the reply. The left headlight is in near perfect condition and shows no signs of needing a new lens. I called my local Toyota dealers who all wanted >$300 for the right assembly; I found it through an online parts distributor for about $240 with free shipping and returns. It should be here early next week.

The fluids are on my list - at the moment the transmission fluid is pink, and maybe a bit low and I have no record of it being changed. Shifting is good. The PS fluid is chocolate brown, and the brake fluid was just changed 10k miles ago so it's pretty clear. And the radiator fluid was changed about 20k ago. I'll start another thread on fluids if needed when I get there.

Thanks again!
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