Thank you for this helpful information!
Like fishexpo101, I, too, have an '02 Corolla. Mine is an S.
I think your wife is very lucky that she has you to keep her car running.
I know the problem with my headlight is due to the pigtail connector.
First, my regular mechanic said fixing my broken headlight requires replacing the entire headlight assembly. He also said that, since replacing the headlight assembly involves taking off the bumper, I should order both headlight assemblies online – because I could get a better price than he could get for me – and he would replace both headlight assemblies at one time. I think it was possibly about an hour and a half labor, and slightly more because he was going to have to fiddle with the connector.
But then another mechanic at a service station managed just to clean out the corrosion in the pigtail connector on my one bad headlight, and it worked again. For a little while. (Great while it lasted, but for other reasons I don't really want to go back to that guy.)
This car is unfortunately kind of beat, great car as it should and could be, to last a long time.
I'm confused that my regular mechanic, historically so reliable, would say I need what seems like a relatively big job -- replacing the headlight assembly (does that in fact require taking off the bumper on this car?) -- if it's possible to just change out the pigtail. I don't need better headlights. The headlights are fine, even if they're a little cloudy -- fits with all the other things less than perfect on this poor old set of wheels.
Probably I should just talk to my regular mechanic, but I haven't been able to get over there (and maybe he's tired of me calling, which I did kind of a lot asking advice about buying tires, which he doesn't sell).
What you guys managed to do and to describe so well in this thread, from what I can make out, looks a little complicated.
Maybe my regular guy figured it was enough labor to change out the pigtail, so that, for that same amount of labor, he might as well replace the headlights altogether, and then, for the price of the parts, I would have better headlights?
Would welcome your thoughts!
Thank you so much.