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Illuminated Footwell
Add One Thing Lexus Has That Avalon Doesn't

 

If you've ever thought about adding some light to the footwells of your Avalon then this mod's for you.

I wanted to brighten things up a bit in the footwells but only when doors were open. Once closed the mood lighting takes over. So I drew schematics of grounded door switches and wire routing and power sources and then...and then I had an epiphany. I was waaaay over thinking this. The wiring is (mostly) already done! All you need is the power Toyota uses for its aftermarket door sill lights. Check out a couple of pictures and if the idea appeals to you keep reading for the simple how-to.

footwell lights leftFloor Lights Right

For some reason the pictures show the lights as blue but they're bright white. When this project is finished both lights will come on if both front doors are open but they're independent if only one door is open. I.E. when the left door is open the left light works, ditto the right side.

And lastly a short disclaimer. You're working on your car's electrical system. I'm not responsible if you damage anything. If you don't think you currently have the skill necessary for the mod, enlist someone who does and be their helper. You'll gain confidence with time.

So, ready to do this? Lets go, by the numbers!
led
1. Purchase whatever kind of light strip or fixture you want to use. I used the three emitter part shown at right purchased on eBay but there are literally dozens of options ranging from the simple array shown to color changing strip lights with remotes. Your Lexus dealer will be happy to sell you the same light that's under the dash of the ES350.

2. Gather Some Tools & Supplies including a panel removal tool (or padded flat blade screwdriver) wire cutter, pliers, zip ties, electrical tape, connectors as shown in the instructional .pdf below, a pad to kneel on and wire if needed. A multimeter isn't really necessary for this one but it's nice to have.

3. Print selected pages of this pdf.  You don't really need the whole document. Page 4 shows you how to remove the driver's side kickplate and other molding. Skip to Page 8 through 10 which show the wire connectors you'll need and wire colors in those connectors. You'll also see the Scotchlock connectors recommended by Toyota. For this project, soldering really isn't a simple option though it 'is' possible.

4. Head for the garage! Select a location for your lights. On the driver side there's a worthy candidate, a nice flat surface very close to the center console. On the passenger side there's a perfect spot just right of center with a hole in the plastic for running your wire through.

5. Take Stuff Apart. Lift the front of the threshold and remove the kick panel (pull toward the center of the car) as shown in the pdf.

Locate the connector shown on the appropriate page of the pdf and remove the connector. If you chose the correct one your door light will now be off.

Carefully strip away about an inch of the factory electrical tape wound around the harness. Find the wires you need per the pdf and clamp connectors to them or strip and solder (your choice). If you haven't already done so, run the wiring for your light. Finish the wire run with an appropriate connector and plug in. If you've done everything correctly your new under dash light is going to come on as soon as you press the car's connector back into place.

6. Put It Back Together. Tidy up time. Use the zip ties, adhesive wire hooks,electrical tape or whatever you choose to secure your new wiring to the car's harness and under the dash (drooping wires are just ugly).

7. Replace the kick panel (making sure the white clips are in the panel slots) and threshold plastic.

8. Done!