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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
It was to replace the right-side backlighting bulb on the HVAC control panel, which is one of the more annoying bulb outages you can experience on this car, because in the dark, you can't see what your temperature setting is.

I picked up a couple of replacement bulbs at the dealer (not cheap, but one replacement every six years is okay by me), watched a YouTube video to refresh my memory of how to get the panel apart, and got to work. I reached the dead bulb pretty quickly, and eased the control assembly partway out of the dash to get access to the back. (There are a couple of very convenient latches to do this.) The bulb installs from the back, and (this is the crucial part) requires a 1/8 clockwise turn to lock into its mounting hole on the circuit board.

This requires a small flat-blade screwdriver. I had one all ready, got the new bulb into the hole, reached behind it with the screwdriver to get that last 1/8 turn done, and... dropped the screwdriver. It went *plink*, *plonk*, *plunk*, and rattled down into some nether-world place that I just knew was going to be totally inaccessible.

Now, I could have found another screwdriver and tried again, but I am not one who leaves tools behind. I was determined to find that little bugger, and embarked on a saga lasting upward of an hour and involving the removal of practically everything removable in the immediate vicinity. There is a lot.

My theory was that it landed on top of the shift mechanism (no), or the metal case of what appears to be the car's ECM (no), or behind or under some large floor ventilation ducting (no), or the ledge of stuff under and behind the glovebox (of course not).

Finally I decided that the whole center console had to come out. I rationalized this by noticing how filthy it was, mainly due to sloshing of needlessly expensive drinks from Dunkin' Donuts purchased by #3 daughter, along with random parts fallen off jewelry and peeking out of floor crevices, such as an ear stud, and what appeared to be the head of an Indian Elephant. I also found 11¢ in change, so my time was not completely wasted.

I have to say that thanks to its design, removing the console is really easy and intuitive. Fasteners are found where you think to look for them and are all accessible, the rear power outlet's wiring connector is clipped to the dash subframe for easy unplugging, a very strategic little filler panel lifts out to let the emergency brake handle clear its slot as you swing the console up and out, and then, if your console is as grimy as mine was, you place it on your front lawn and blast it with a garden hose. (If you do not have a front lawn, a back lawn can be used instead.)

Finally, the carpeted inboard side panels of the footwells are tied together at the top with a nifty little strap of Velcro, and when I separated them and pulled them away from the flooring... there was that annoying little screwdriver, fallen down on the passenger's side. Made it all the way down under the carpet. (Along the way, I also found two different clean factory screws that probably fell down there accidentally on the assembly line.)

At this point I was running out of daylight, and didn't want to continue work in the garage as it's too muggy today, so I finished getting the new bulb in place, backed the car into the garage and called it a night. (I know I probably should replace the other bulb right now, but I'm curious to see if it's really going to fail soon, now that its deceased partner has been replaced.)

The photo below shows where I've left off for now. The pesky little screwdriver is sitting on the corner of the passenger's seat. The original cause of all this chaos is the small bulb that's visible as a dark spot just inboard of the right-side (temperature) control knob. (Yes! That is a factory Matsushita-built combination CD/AM/FM1/FM2/Tape deck, and yes, there is a tape in it. :smile:) The various missing panels are all getting a good cleaning now, and I'll be going at the carpeting with a shop vac, so when it's all back together tomorrow, it'll be nicer than when I started.
20190722_Corolla_interior.jpg
 

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Wow! People reading this thread should not fail to notice the very inconspicuous thumbnail photo that acg_sienna has included at the bottom of the original post. You've GOT to click on that!


Well, I've done this job before and was lucky enough not to drop a screwdriver, but have lost a screw or two, and an E-clip/ring down the console when fixing the shifter bushing and also when replacing the shifter illuminating light bulb. I'm sure most of us have dropped bolts and other things, so we feel your frustration. A long, flexible rod magnetic pickup tool is quite a helpful tool to have, along with perseverance, which you seem to have.


The Seven Highly Effective Results for You and Me:


1. You scored 11 cents, jewelry, and an Indian elephant, so you did not work for free!


2. You took the opportunity to clean up the grimy mess from years of donut crumbs and spilling expensive hot cocoa. Everything will be nicer and improved compared to when you started


3. You got your screwdriver back, dang it, and NO ONE will ever take that from you! I don't even know you and even I feel proud of this!


4. I have learned that if I don't have a front yard, the back yard will do just fine.


5. I have learned that the very same CD/AM/FM1/FM2/Cassette tape deck that you have is also the one I have, and that it is a Matsushita product, which I didn't know. The unit is a beast, btw, as I have used the CD/cassette/radio for MANY hours in this car's 376K miles and it still works! I have discovered that there is at least one other person besides me in N. America who actually and currently (2019) has a cassette tape inserted into their early Gen 9 stereo deck. In fact, I was playing a tape on my way to work this morning: "Misplaced Childhood" by Marillion. What was your tape?


6. Although I previously have dealt with the Velcro strap that fastens both sides of the carpet together, I never had the sense to recognize that it was indeed "nifty". Obviously I don't stop and smell the roses enough! I will forever refer to this Velcro fastener as "nifty". Thank you for improving my outlook in life!


7. I have been thoroughly entertained by this thread, thank you very much!


Please post a photo when all is done and the stars have aligned.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
A long, flexible rod magnetic pickup tool is quite a helpful tool to have,
I do actually have one, but the problem in this case was that I had no idea where to go with it, as there was far too much area to blindly search, and it was more efficient to just start removing stuff until I could get daylight on wherever it went.

5. I have learned that the very same CD/AM/FM1/FM2/Cassette tape deck that you have is also the one I have, and that it is a Matsushita product, which I didn't know.
I didn't either, until I noticed the factory labels on the back one day. All the other (simpler) audio options back then were from Panasonic, but apparently Matsushita were the only ones (still) making a combination unit, and they made theirs to be visually the same as the Panasonic choices (as dictated by Toyota, presumably).

The unit is a beast, btw, as I have used the CD/cassette/radio for MANY hours in this car's 376K miles and it still works! I have discovered that there is at least one other person besides me in N. America who actually and currently (2019) has a cassette tape inserted into their early Gen 9 stereo deck. In fact, I was playing a tape on my way to work this morning: "Misplaced Childhood" by Marillion. What was your tape?
Actually, since you ask, it was the July 13th broadcast of Those Were the Days (http://www.nostalgiadigest.com/those%20were%20the%20days.htm), a 4-hour weekly Old Time Radio show broadcast on WDCB-FM 90.9 FM. They have a streaming-download option (http://wdcb.org/internet-stream), so I run it straight out of my computer to a 1988-vintage Ultrx RDC11 cassette deck using C120 cassettes, one hour on each side. I know I could burn it to CDs as well, but this way is more old-school, it's more interesting to mess about with tapes than CDs, and I can reuse the cassettes when I'm done listening to each show.

Please post a photo when all is done and the stars have aligned.
Hopefully that will be later this morning. I forgot that the spouse needed to be dropped off at work, and #3 daughter was off with the Sienna at her job, so I had to hastily pull all the loose parts out of ZippyCar (this Corolla) so the passenger seat was clear.

I knew I hadn't removed so much stuff that the car would be undriveable, and there were no problems driving it, although I did notice that I had the Air Bag warning light on. Apparently all that unpluggery last night had interrupted the air bag system, presumably when the panel telltale light unit came out. I also had no control of the fan speed since the center knob was gone, but fortunately the knob must be turned to Medium speed for removal rather than Off. Other than that, the trip was uneventful and nothing went Bang, so we're back home now and ready to start vacuuming.
 

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LOL, LOl, LOL! Thank you, thank you, everyone and especially the thread starter for this comic relief. I am very sorry to laugh at your expense, but seeing as how everything turned out well and all the tools are accounted for, I feel less bad for it.


I just went through the climate control back lighting failure on my '06 Matrix a few days ago. I am a new Matrix owner and have only owned this car for about a month or so, but I am really liking it, especially as I am going through routine new owner stuff. Oil change, auto transmission fluid change, air filters change, spark plugs, serpentine belt, etc. Everything seems well designed and simple to access and maintain. Until those dreaded light bulbs! OMG! I went into it with such a light heart because up to that point the car was a pleasure to work on (I have been working on my own cars since the early 80's, so this is not my first rodeo). I had previously removed the instrument cluster, replaced the clock spring, changed the stock radio and all was going so well! Then the climate control lights! WOW! I think the whole car is built around that panel. And then they come out the back, not front! This clashes so much with the rest of the design "language" (easy to understand and work with). I ended up taking the unit out of the car completely, which involved disconnecting two cables (not fun). But when I learned that on top of being a PIA to get at those stupid bulbs were not available at my local auto parts store, I have become determined to fix this once and for all.


I had some LED strips laying around in spools. You know, the ones you use around the house for cabinet lighting and such. They are 12V and can be cut every 3 LEDs. So I cut two sections (3 LED each) and placed them into the climate control box using the original bulbs to make wire harness connectors. It worked very well. Each section had 3 white LEDs and 3 RGB ones. I wired up the white and red only. The green and blue are unused. Works very well with the rest of Matrix red lighting scheme.


If you want, I can certainly send you some of the LED strip gratis. That way you will never have to go in to that hell hole again.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I had some LED strips laying around in spools. You know, the ones you use around the house for cabinet lighting and such. They are 12V and can be cut every 3 LEDs.
Yes, actually #3 daughter has a spool of those herself, which she used to stick on all the way around the perimeter of her TV monitor. Don't ask me why. Another big trend among Today's Youth™ is to decorate their bedrooms and dorm rooms with Christmas lights year-round, and I have no idea what the appeal is with that either, since whenever I see Christmas lights, I wonder how much time I have left for shopping and which credit card still has room on it.

So getting back to our task at hand, the photo below will show that we have everything all clean and buttoned up again, and the trained eye will also observe that... yes, the [Insert Very Bad Word Here] fan switch knob is missing.

This morning did not go as smoothly as planned. I had to clear off the passenger's seat in a hurry, so I unfolded an oak TV tray and dumped all my tools, parts, screws, bolts and such on it in a big heap. I then got the spouse delivered to work, came back home and got out the shop vac. It rolls around the garage on wheels, a detail which would be significant soon.

I started by vacuuming out the passenger's side (wondering at that moment why no one noticed the absence of floor mats when we bought the car years ago), and spent a lot of time trying to get dog hair out of the carpet and the seat crevices. There is so much dog hair that it looks like the dog was driving the car every day, rather than just on special occasions like graduating from Obedience School, or getting us home on New Year's Eve.

I then moved to the driver's side, but I didn't roll the vacuum around to that side because the TV tray was in the way. Instead I just pushed the vacuum hose into the car from the passenger's side, then went around to the driver's side and pulled it toward me over the seats. This did not go well.

I needed just six more inches of hose so I could reach the footwell with the nozzle. I did not notice that the vacuum had rolled towards the car, and wrapped its cord around the TV tray full of parts. As I yanked one more time on the hose, I had just enough time to realize why it seemed so hard to pull, and looked up just in time to see the mighty oak TV tray tipping over in glorious slow motion, the same way that mighty oak trees of auto parts fall in the forest.

The tray hit the concrete floor with a colossal *bang*, propelling a blast of parts, tools and miscellaneous bits in a spreading debris field radiating toward the open garage door. That was about the time that I stopped for coffee.

[Pause here for a Toyota commercial and three ads for Progressive Insurance...]

Okay, returning some time later, I slowly and carefully put everything back in the order in which it was removed, and mostly, it all went well. I was definitely impressed by how the five-foot-long console dropped neatly into place, with six fastener holes all lining up perfectly at the same time, no pushing or bending required anywhere. I got all the plugs and connectors back together, everything checked out perfectly, the Air Bag warning cleared itself, and we were done in time to go and get the spouse back.

All that remains is to try and figure out where that blankety-blank fan switch knob is. I think it was on the TV tray during the Great Fall, but so far I have not been able to find it anywhere on the floor or outside. I can tell you already that it is all but impossible to twist that square switch shaft by hand (it's hard enough just to say "square switch shaft" out loud), so I'm going to have to carry pliers in the console to operate it until the knob turns up again. I feel like I'm back in someone's college car right now. But hey, I got the bulb replaced!
 

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Photo looks great, minus the knob of course. Hmmm......well.....the knob is round, so when it fell off the tray, it could have beeen propelled with enough force to roll right out the garage and into the grass/dirt/flower bed. You can check there. In the mean time, make sure the temp knob is all the way on cold and remove it and put it on the fan speed switch. It's summer time, so you don't need to turn that knob to the heat setting. This will give you time to find the knob or get a replacement.

New knob from your friendly neighborhood Toyota dealer: Part #55905-02170 should be $14.65.
Used knob from a junk yard probably a couple of bucks.

Glad that air bag light went away. I was worried about that one.

Actually, since you ask, it was the July 13th broadcast of Those Were the Days (http://www.nostalgiadigest.com/those%20were%20the%20days.htm), a 4-hour weekly Old Time Radio show broadcast on WDCB-FM 90.9 FM. They have a streaming-download option (http://wdcb.org/internet-stream), so I run it straight out of my computer to a 1988-vintage Ultrx RDC11 cassette deck using C120 cassettes, one hour on each side. I know I could burn it to CDs as well, but this way is more old-school, it's more interesting to mess about with tapes than CDs, and I can reuse the cassettes when I'm done listening to each show.

One of the talk radio stations to which I listen has a very short morning segment every day from "Those Were The Days". I still have an old Nakamichi BX-2 cassette deck, complete with the Dolby-C option. I had it repaired once, but the repair only lasted a few months and was expensive, so the unit now sits in storage waiting for me to have it fixed again......someday, if ever. I got it in 1983/1984 and used it A LOT. It was a beast of a great machine until it finally stopped working around 2001 when I had it fixed the first time.
 

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All that and still OEM stereo?? Should have swapped out that old OEM stereo for something aftermarket like a newer Android unit. :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
All that and still OEM stereo?? Should have swapped out that old OEM stereo for something aftermarket like a newer Android unit. :eek:
Believe it or not, I actually went the other way. When we bought ZippyCar some years ago, it had a cheap dumb aftermarket CD stereo in it, in an adapter housing, adapter wiring harness, and with a remote control for no apparent reason. (This would not be used in any sound contest, believe me.) The sound was lousy, the front A-pillar tweeters weren't working at all, and it lit up in red when everything else on the dash was white or green. Project #3 was to replace that with an original factory stereo, because I like my cars fully equipped with all original option packages. (Project #1, in case you're wondering, was to fix the dead digital clock, and Project #2 was to replace the right-side backlighting bulb on the HVAC control panel. Yeah, that was the one that burned out again last week.) The one modern update I have done on ZippyCar was to replace the original incandescent Corolla taillights with Asian-spec Altis LED units, so I don't have to worry about burned-out brake lights.

The aftermarket installation hadn't done any permanent damage, and when I ransacked eBay, I discovered that a combo CD/Tape unit was still available as a Toyota option around about 2005, and I scored one for a great price. (Heck, as of now, I see you can still pick that or any other original unit for less than a hundred bucks; no big deal.) I like seeing that stack of illuminated buttons for four different playback formats (five, if you count FM1 and FM2 separately) down the right side of the panel. #3 daughter has a plug-in FM transmitter adapter she uses for playing her device through the car.

I don't mean to sound like an old fart here; I was beta-testing digital cellphones in Chicago back in the early 1990s, got the first Motorola Droid when it came out (remember the slide-out keypad?), and I like bleeding-edge stuff to this day, but I just have a thing about keeping my cars original; that's all... :smile:
 

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Nice... I had a Nokia 101, and then an Ericsson (Sony) flip phone in those days, lol

I stole the stereo from my 05 Corolla and put it in the RAV4 as my brother is taking my XRS... the OEM unit on the XRS did not have the tape, only a square cover in there. 🤔
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Nice... I had a Nokia 101, and then an Ericsson (Sony) flip phone in those days, lol
My last non-smartphone was a Motorola KRZR. It was based on their hugely-popular RAZR clamshell phone, but was even slimmer, and finished in a gorgeous anodized red finish, a real work of art. I still have it in the basement. Too bad the whole industry took a left turn at that moment in time, when smartphones were introduced, and clamshells went the way of the dinosaur, except for the burner market. That was too bad, because clamshells are ergonomic where smartphones are not -- let's face it, using an iPhone to actually make phone calls is like holding a piece of bathroom tile to the side of your head, plus you don't get to make that satisfying clamshell *snap* close at the end of your call.

I stole the stereo from my 05 Corolla and put it in the RAV4 as my brother is taking my XRS... the OEM unit on the XRS did not have the tape, only a square cover in there. 🤔
Hey, upgrading from a base unit to the factory's top of the line is often just a plug-in swap, and there's a ton of used units on eBay, so there's no need to be looking at a blank filler plate whenever you're driving.

So anyway, back on topic again at last, I am pleased to report that the fan speed knob has been found! In fact, it's plainly visible in the attached photo. (Yes, really.) I don't know how I missed it before. :wink:
 

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Yeah, the fan speed selector can be lost easily. Especially since it's the only one that can be removed to access the console pocket assembly.

I can't even remember how many times I misplaced the darn knob.

That's pretty gnarly how much you had to remove to find your missing tool. I am the person that can't keep track of certain tools until there's an annoying noise that wasn't there before. Then, I find the missing tool somewhere in the car. Like, under the seat. Lol.
 

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I am pleased to report that the fan speed knob has been found! In fact, it's plainly visible in the attached photo. (Yes, really.) I don't know how I missed it before. :wink:
"Plainly visible"? What?! I feel like I'm looking at one of those "Where's Waldo" pictures. It's like trying to find the one sliver of onion on a large supreme pizza. :headbang:
 

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So anyway, back on topic again at last, I am pleased to report that the fan speed knob has been found! In fact, it's plainly visible in the attached photo. (Yes, really.) I don't know how I missed it before. :wink:
well that "escalated" quickly... :nerd:
 

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well that "escalated" quickly... :nerd:
On the fourth rung of the ladder? The photo is a bit small. I have to admit I wasn't looking that high up. At first I thought it was that black round thing under the blue milk crate next to the lawnmower, but then decided that wasn't it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
On the fourth rung of the ladder? The photo is a bit small. I have to admit I wasn't looking that high up. At first I thought it was that black round thing under the blue milk crate next to the lawnmower, but then decided that wasn't it.
You were right with your first guess! Congratulations.

There are two blue milk crates. Look at the left one, top row of holes, third hole from the left. That's it.

Apparently when the TV tray fell over, it bounced precisely through one of the holes, and was basically captured under the milk crate. I'd love to say that it took a lot of patient searching to find it, but actually I had just returned to the garage to hunt for it, and was staring at that whole pile, wondering where to start, when my eye just fell on it.

I've been looking at a replacement climate-control panel on eBay (you may notice in the previous photo that the upper storage cover is gone due to a broken hinge pin, and the lower one is missing its outer faceplate), but the seller didn't have the knobs for it, so finding this one again is a huge relief.
 

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Oh, so it was that under the milk crate! Yea!!! Do I win a prize?!?!?! This is FUN!!

Yeah, my upper storage door is broken off too. It's a common item that breaks. I have the fake wood looking one, so it's hard to find at the junk yards. They're always already taken or already broken.

Now wait a minute......now that I've apparently become skilled (I'm surprised) at the automotive parts version of "Where's Waldo", perhaps I will find the upper storage door in the fake wood look at the junkyards.

This thread has been so inspiring!
 

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Oh, so it was that under the milk crate! Yea!!! Do I win a prize?!?!?! This is FUN!!
Yeah, my upper storage door is broken off too. It's a common item that breaks. I have the fake wood looking one, so it's hard to find at the junk yards. They're always already taken or already broken.

Now wait a minute......now that I've apparently become skilled (I'm surprised) at the automotive parts version of "Where's Waldo", perhaps I will find the upper storage door in the fake wood look at the junkyards.
I actually still have the upper door for ours (I think). Mine is the plain black style. The door itself is fine; what broke is the hinge pin on the frame of the opening, and there is no obvious repair I can think of, short of replacing the whole front panel.
 

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The door itself is fine; what broke is the hinge pin on the frame of the opening, and there is no obvious repair I can think of, short of replacing the whole front panel.
Yes, that's also the case for me. That's how it commonly breaks. Our very own @REN69 from this thread has made a DIY for that:

https://www.toyotanation.com/forum/132-9th-gen-corolla-1st-gen-matrix-2003-2008/1330129-diy-2003-2008-corolla-dorman-center-storage-console-repair-kit-installation-w-pics.html
 
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