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GMC Acadia Tail Light Bulbs Replacement Guide
How to change a burnt out brake, rear turn signal or reverse light bulb in a 1st generation 2007 to 2016 GMC Acadia.

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2016 Acadia Tail Light
Open Tailgate Door
Pry Out Screw Cap
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the first generation (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016) GMC Acadia in changing a burnt out rear turn signal or reverse bulb in the tail light assemblies.

Owners of other General Motors vehicles such as the Buick Verano, Regal, LaCrosse, Cascada, Encore, Enclave, Envision, GMC Canyon, Sierra 1500, Terrain, Yukon, Denali, Savana, Spark, Sonic, Cruze, Malibu, Impala, Volt, Camaro, Corvette, SS, Trax, Equinox, Traverse, Tahoe, Suburban, Colorado, Silverado and Express may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The replacement light bulb part numbers are as follows: Reverse # 921. You can also use a compatible LED unit.

(The brake and rear turn signal are LED bulbs.)

To access and replace the tail light bulbs, you'll need a flathead screwdriver, a 7mm socket with a 1/4" drive ratcheting wrench and possibly also a plastic automotive panel pry bar tool.

Plastic Cover Removed
Loosen Counterclockwise
Remove Lower Screw Cap
The LED brake and rear turn signal light bulbs should last the life time of the vehicle, but it you'd like to take off the tail light housing for any other reason, follow the steps below.

Open the tailgate door and locate the two black plastic screw covers on the inner edge of the housing.

Pry out the screw caps with a small flathead screwdriver.

Remove the two screws by turning them counterclockwise with a 7mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratcheting wrench.

Pull Off Tail Light Housing
Metal Spike & Grommet
Tighten Clockwise
Pull the tail light housing straight off the rear corner of the SUV.

To replace the tail light assembly, line up the metal peg or "spike" on the back of the housing with its corresponding plastic grommet.

Push the tail light housing back in to place.

Re-Insert 7mm Screws
Tighten Clockwise
Pop In Screw Caps
Re-insert the two 7mm screws and tighten them in the clockwise direction until they are snug.

Pop the two round screw caps back in to place.

Reverse Light Housing
Tailgate Door Handle
Pry Off Plastic Cover
To access the reverse light bulb socket, you will need to partially remove the tailgate door's plastic interior panel.

Start by gently prying off the plastic trim cover on the tailgate door handle.

Trim Panel Removed
Door Handle Bracket
Loosen Counterclockwise
Set the tailgate door handle trim panel aside in a safe place.

Remove the two 7mm screws that hold the metal door handle bracket in place by turning them counterclockwise.

Remove Handle
Tailgate Handle Removed
Pry Off Rear Window Trim
Set the two screws aside in a safe place and remove the door handle bracket.

Gently pry off the tan trim panel that surrounds the rear window.

Metal Friction Fastener
Pry Off Tailgate Panel
Pry Up Pop Rivets
Then start prying out the plastic pop rivet fasteners along the side of the tailgate panel.


Lit Out Base of Fastener
Plastic Pop Rivet Removed
Lift Center of Fastener
There are two black plastic fasteners on the bottom of the tailgate near the latch mechanism.

Gently pry up the center part of each fastener before removing the base of the pop rivet.

Remove 2nd Fastener
Two Pop Rivets Removed
Pull Back Plastic Panel
Continue pulling back the tailgate panel to access the area behind the reverse light housing.
White Plastic Pop Rivets
Pull Down Tailgate Panel
Reverse Bulb Socket
Once you have released enough pop rivets and metal friction fasteners, you should be able to see the grey and black reverse bulb socket.
1/4 Turn Counterclockwise
Reverse Bulb Socket
Pull Out Old Light Bulb
Rotate the base of the bulb socket 1/4 turn counterclockwise and pull it straight out of the housing.

Pull the old bulb straight out of the socket.

If you have trouble removing the old bulb, put on some gloves and then try wiggling it back and forth while pulling.

Push In New # 921 Bulb
Empty Bulb Housing
1/4 Turn Clockwise - Lock
Push a new # 921 bulb straight in to the socket.

Re-insert the socket in to the housing and rotate it 1/4 turn clockwise to secure it in place.

Replace Tailgate Panel
Firmly Tap In Pop Rivets
Tap In Window Trim Panel
Line up the fasteners on the back of the panels with their corresponding holes and slots before firmly tapping them back in to place.
Re-Insert Black Pop Rivets
Push In Center Piece
Re-Insert Metal Bracket
Re-insert the pop rivets near the latch mechanism and push in the center parts to secure them in place.

Replace the metal door handle bracket and tighten the two 7mm screws in the clockwise direction.

Line Up Plastic Cover
Push On Trim Cover
Test New Reverse Light Bulb
Line up the plastic door handle trim panel and firmly tap it back in to place.

To test the tail light bulbs, have someone step on the brake pedal, activate the hazard signals and place the transmission in reverse.

For more, check out my other 2007-2016 GMC Acadia DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

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