First thing that comes to mind is a 12V work light with a longer cord that you could plug into your cigarette lighter. You could probably adapt an under hood light from another vehicle to the Tacoma. I'm not aware that it originally came with one.
Try searching this website or the internet for "under hood light" or "engine compartment light".
Well, I had already tried a search for underhood light and came up with nothing for the Truck. I tried the engine compartment light after you suggested it and the only hits that come up are for various trouble lights indicating problems.
I can try one of the later model forums and see what they come up with. After having a simple mini-van that had underhood courtesy lights, it seems that a really good truck like the Tacoma could have them also. I am sending my old mini-van to the wrecking yard and it had a pair of underhood lights so I will look at adapting them to the 2003 Tacoma TRD.
The advantage is that, based on the size of the inverter that you buy, you can plug in all kinds of stuff from the troublelight that you want to power tools, portable welder, appliances, laptop, whatever. You can spend from $19.00 to $1800 or more. It all depends on what you want it to do.
Mark Nothing is impossible for the sufficiently talented fool
I used to own a Jeep Cherokee, it had an under hood light. You could pull the light out of the housing, there was about 5' cord wound up in there. The light also had a magnet attached so you could place it just about anywhere.
I was just down at Wal-Mart and they had a 12v accessory plug in that has a nice hinged snap cap on it and would mount under the hood, and also a couple of different trouble lights that use a lighter plug to hook them up. Both of them had a hinged magnet base that you could use to set the light up with and a retractable 6-10' cord that wound back up into the housing for storage. One was a 3-LED unit and the other was an incandescent bulb.
I like the accessory socket plug but the lights were kind of cheap.
Hey do like willdeau mentioned with the Jeep Cherokee light.
I bought mine off Ebay but the wrecking yards may have them too.
Mounted one under my hood and it's great! The cord is long enough to reach all the way to the back bumper and retracts in a second. Light is mercury activated so it comes on when the hood is raised. Easy to wire up also. Uses 1156 bulb so you can easily have spares on hand. Gives good light.
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