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Acura MDX Headliner Cargo Area Light Bulb Replacement Guide
How to change a burnt out cargo area light bulb in the headliner of a 1st generation 2001 to 2006 Acura MDX SUV.

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2006 MDX Cargo Light
Insert Flathead Screwdriver
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically created to assist owners of the first generation (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 & 2006) Acura MDX in changing a burnt out cargo area bulb in the housing attached to the headliner above the third row of passenger seats near the tailgate door.

Owners of other Acura or Honda vehicles such as the RDX, ILX, TLX, RLX, TL, CL, RSX, RL, TSX, ZDX, NSX, Integra, Pilot, Accord, Civic, Fit, Clarity, CR-V, CR-Z, HR-V, Odyssey, Element  and Ridgeline may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The compatible replacement festoon style light bulb is part number DE3175. You can also use a brighter LED unit.

The only tool needed to access and replace the light bulb is a small flathead screwdriver or a plastic pry bar tool.

Lens Cover Removed
Old Light Bulb Exposed
The first two steps are to open the tailgate door and then sit in the cargo area.

Locate the two small notches along the bottom edge of the lens cover on the cargo area light housing.

To prevent from scratching the plastic surfaces, I recommend either covering the tip of your screwdriver with a thin micro fiber cloth or instead use a plastic pry bar tool.

Insert the blade of the screwdriver into one of the two small notches on the bottom edge of the lens cover.

Gently pry out the lens cover and set it aside in a safe place.

Pull Out Old Light Bulb
Old Light Bulb Removed
If the old light bulb was recently turned on, be careful when you remove it. The bulb might still be hot enough to burn your fingers.

Pull out one of the metal end caps on the old light bulb and remove it from the socket.

Empty Bulb Socket
Push In New Light Bulb
The OEM bulb in this 2006 MDX Touring was a Kelly 12V8W.

Push a new number DE3175 festoon style light bulb straight into the socket.

If you'd like to have a brighter cargo area light, install a compatible DE3175 LED bulb.


Test New Light Bulb
Line Up Tabs & Slots
To test the new light bulb, slide the "On / Door / Off" switch to the "On" position.

If you installed an LED bulb and it doesn't work, try removing it from the socket, flipping it around 180 degrees and re-installing it. Some LED bulbs are polarized and must be properly orientated in the socket.

Re-Insert Lens Cover
Snap In Rear Edge
Line up the lens cover with the overhead light housing.

Re-insert the two tabs at the front edge of the housing (closer to the front of the SUV).

Then gently pop in the rear edge of the lens cover.

Lens Cover Replaced
Move Switch To "Door"
I recommend moving the "On / Door / Off" switch to the middle "Door" position so that the cargo area light will turn on when ever a passenger door is opened.

Be sure to record the bulb change in your vehicle's service records.

For more, please check out all of my 2001-2006 Acura MDX DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

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