Roustus66

Turning the Cargo Area light off - 2016 Corolla Hatch

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I've recently bought a new Corolla Hatchback Hybrid. I need to be able to turn off the light in the cargo compartment when the door is open for when I go camping as I have a tent that attaches to the back of the car with the hatch open, but I can't find any switch to turn off the light. Will it go out automatically after a period of time or is there some other easy way to turn off the light that someone knows of? Thanks for any help.

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I can't speak specifically about the Hybrid model but if the lighting system is the same as the petrol one, you are unfortunately out of luck as there is no actual switch or other "normal" way to disable it. The only way you can prevent that cargo light turning on is to remove the relevant fuse from the fuse box within the engine compartment (assuming that is where it is located in the Hybrid model) or (if possible) remove the actual bulb itself. For the petrol model the fuse is called something along the lines of the Dome or Dome Light fuse. The cover of the fuse box will show a "map" on the inside indicating where the fuse is physically located in the box. The box also contains a small plastic fuse puller to make removing the fuse easy. But when you remove the fuse, you will also lose the overhead lights in the interior so it is not a great solution.

As for removing the actual bulb, I have not seen the latest (2015) models onwards but I know in the 2012 - 2014 models you can't even get at the bulb without ripping out most of the trim in the rear of the car including the rear seats! I suspect Toyota changed this in the 2015 models onwards as they came to realise that changing the bulb was ridiculously difficult, beyond most owner's capabilities and the cost of having a dealer do it would amount to several hundred dollars with all the parts and trim that have to be removed and re-installed.

So I think those are your only options unfortunately. For my own part, I remove the fuse if I do not want the rear cargo light to operate.

And to answer the other part of your question, no, the light stays on for as long as the rear hatch is open.

Edited by Rattle Rattleson

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Thanks for that info. What you have stated is pretty much what I suspected, however I have now found from the manual that all the interior lights, including the luggage compartment light, should turn off automatically after 20 minutes so at least that's something. The manual doesn't give any information on replacing the luggage compartment bulb while it does for the other interior lights, and I can't see how the lens cover comes off so it's likely still as it was for your model. The lens cover may just push/clip on which means likely the plastic holding it in would break trying to remove it, so not trying that. If the light goes off after the hatch is open for 20 minutes I can live with that. I'll check with the dealer next week when I get my free service done & see if there's a simple fix for the problem of switching it off (wishful thinking). All they needed to do was put an ON/OFF switch on the light itself, really!

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I suspect the 20 minute timeout must have been introduced in the 2015 series update or is exclusive to the hybrid (probably the former). The lights stay on indefinitely on my 2014 model. I agree that not being able to directly control the behaviour of the light is an extremely annoying problem, made all the more problematic because of issues relating to access to the bulb itself (though as I say, it might be different for later models). That said, the rear cargo light of the Scion IM (same as our 2015 and later petrol Corolla) looks to be no more accessible than mine is and the 2015 Corolla and possibly the Hybrid likely wouldn't be any different. I would be very surprised if you could just lift or even pry off the cover in yours. The factory documentation on my 2014 model explains a prolonged procedure starting with removal of the rear seats, removal of all the rear scuff panel trim, rear boot trim and rear quarter panel trim. It runs in all to about a dozen pages and cross references a number of procedures in order to be able to do it. I know that after reading through it all I decided there and then that once the light bulb blew, I would never replace it (unless for some reason I cannot re-register the car each year with a blown cargo bulb).

What seems so incredibly odd is that Toyota decide to grant access to the top of the rear dampers (where they attach to the rear strut towers) via a removal rectangular panel only a couple of inches below that light bulb, but never put an access panel on the bulb itself. I can only hope that Toyota employed some incredibly long-life bulb that they expect (hope?) would last the life of the car.

I guess the fact that I cannot see any complaints in the internet yet about impossible-to-replace Corolla light bulbs (apart from mine) suggests that no-one has had to replace one yet and felt the need to complain about it.

Edited by Rattle Rattleson

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I suspect the timeout function might be hybrid specific as a battery saving thing. The "Accessories" mode from the Startup button (radio, auxiliary power, etc) also shuts down after 15 mins, as it also did on the Prius c. Good thing we don't go to drive-in movies any more & tune the radio for the audio. I'll check out the 20 minute thing later today.

I have to admit that in all my years of owning cars I can't remember ever having to replace an interior light globe & I guess we open the back hatch only a fraction of the number of times we open a door to make the interior lights come on, too, so possibly Toyota think it will be a very rare occurrence. But to me it's still an incredible oversight that they wouldn't put some sort of ON/OFF switch for the light somewhere. As I said, it wouldn't have been hard to build one into the light fitting itself. There would be any number of reasons someone might want to be able to turn off the light. We can turn off the other interior lights so they don't come on when the door opens so why not this one? Anyway, I'll take it up with Toyota & let you know if I find out anything ground breaking.

Thanks again for your help & thoughts.

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That makes sense about that being a hybrid feature given the batteries are such an integral part of the way the vehicle functions. The reason I know my lights do not time out in the petrol model is I neglected to close the rear hatch one time and that rear cargo light drained the battery (same thing happened with the overhead dome light in our Yaris - no timeout combined with me not checking before leaving the car). Since those two episodes I make absolutely sure every single light is off in our cars when we leave them.

As for my Corolla, I pretty much have that fuse semi-permanently removed. The pain of changing that bulb is such an issue that I actually prefer to have no lights at all than have to face replacing it (as an aside, does anyone know if all interior lights have to work - including rear cargo - for a car to pass a rego check - I am pretty sure they do need to all work?).

At the very least you can complain to them and let them know other owners are not particularly happy with the lack of control over the light and inaccessibility to it.

Anyway, despite all of that I am sure you will love your car. When I saw it I loved the look of it (seems to combine the best visual cues of my older model and the new one) and I just prefer the more conservative look over the new petrol model. And if I am regularly getting 6.5 litres per 100 in day to day driving with my 2014 petrol model I am sure you will get amazing economy and very smooth performance from the hybrid drive train!

Edited by Rattle Rattleson

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Never ever heard of anyone checking if interior lights are working for a rego check. If you had the other interior lights turned off would anyone notice (during the daytime) & ask you to turn them on to check? I think you're safe with that one. It's the exterior lights they want to check for safety reasons.

It is very smooth to drive & averaging 4.7 l/100km for the first 1,000kms (been taking a few drives around all sorts of terrain + freeway, just to check it out). One downside is that it requires 95 Ron fuel but I guess it's the quantity of oil we are saving & not the $$ (he says as justification).

Toyota Corolla Hybrid 2016.jpg

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So I had my new 2016 Corolla into Maitland Toyota for its first (free) service & asked about the luggage compartment light. This is their work around to turn off the compartment light while the hatch door is open.

1. Open the hatch; 2. Push the hatch locking latch across with your finger forcefully until it clicks; 3. Push it across further until it clicks again; 4. The lock latch will now be in the fully closed position; 5. The luggage compartment light will now be off.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You MUST UNLOCK the latch BEFORE trying to close the hatch again.

Do this by pressing on the hatch door release bar below the Toyota emblem as you did when opening the hatch originally. This opens the lock latch and also turns the luggage compartment light back on.

This method apparently works on all 2016 model Corollas and I would assume earlier models with the same body shape as well, and likely for any other Toyota models that do not have an ON/OFF switch for the luggage compartment light.

Corolla Luggage Light 1.jpg

Corolla Luggage Light 2.jpg

Corolla Luggage Light 3.jpg

Corolla Luggage Light 4.jpg

Corolla Luggage Light 5.jpg

Corolla Luggage Light 6.jpg

Corolla Luggage Light 7.jpg

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I just noticed. Those are the Podium II alloy wheels aren't they? I bought a set of 5 Podium II wheels for mine earlier this year (but I wanted the 16 inch). One of the reasons I bought the base Ascent is I really hated the alloy wheels as sold in the higher end models (they remind me of cheese graters) and always knew I wanted the Podium II wheels instead.

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Yes, the wheels are the 16" Podium II which I ordered as optional accessories. The dealer swapped the tyres over & gave me the original rims, so if you know someone wants a set of 16" Corolla alloys (including wheel nuts) with only 4kms on them then they're going cheap. I'll likely put them on e-bay shortly. They may be different than the ones you rejected originally, you'd have to check the current brochure to see (I haven't photographed them yet).

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