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lou’s garage

I have a 2008 4Runner with 140,000 kilometres, and the right side of the backlit dash light showing 'time' has faded out. It is tough to see this area in the daylight. The only poor feature of this otherwise great car. The dealership says they have to remove the dash to correct it. This will cost around $700 and one-half day! – Phil G

I'm having a hard time understanding how this simple repair could possibly cost $700. I have to assume that someone at the dealer has made a mistake. The clock in question is located just below the radio, within the heater control panel of the center console. The dash does not have to be removed.

The only tools necessary are a Phillips and small flat-head screwdriver – and a little patience.

Take a look at a couple of online tutorials and decide whether or not this is something you can tackle yourself.

There are approximately five bulbs located in the back of this panel, and you should change them all at the same time. They are readily available from your local Toyota dealer for under $10 each.

If you don't feel you are up to the task yourself, any repair shop should be able to handle this for approximately one hour of labour and the cost of the bulbs.

Lou Trottier is owner-operator of All About Imports in Mississauga. Have a question about maintenance and repair? E-mail globedrive@globeandmail.com, placing "Lou's Garage" in the subject area.

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