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Acura MDX Tail Light Bulbs Replacement Guide
How to change a burnt out brake, rear turn signal or reverse light bulb in a 1st generation 2001 to 2006 Acura MDX.

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2006 MDX Tail Lights
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Open Tailgate Door
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Plastic Screw Cover

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 brake, rear turn signal or reverse bulb in the tail light housings.

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 light bulb part number are as follows: Brake 7443 (or W21/5W), Rear Turn Signal # 7440A (or WY21W) and Reverse # 921 (or W16W).

The tools needed to access and replace the light bulbs include a small flathead screwdriver, an 8mm socket with an extension bar and a 1/4" drive ratchet (or you can use a Phillips head screwdriver) and a plastic pry bar tool.

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Pry Open Screw Cover
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Hinged Screw Cover
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Pry Open Lower Cover
The first two steps are to open the tailgate and then move to the side of the SUV with the burnt out tail light bulb.

Locate the two small plastic screw access covers along the inner edge of the tail light assembly.

Insert the blade of a small flathead screwdriver into the notch and gently pry open the screw cover.

Swing open the hinged screw cover.

Repeat the process for the second screw cover.

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Bottom Screw
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Loosen Counterclockwise
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Top Bolt Removed
Loosen the two bolts by turning them counterclockwise with an 8mm socket, a short extension bar and a 1/4" drive ratchet.

You could also use a Phillips head screwdriver. Although I would avoid using a screwdriver to prevent from stripping the screws.

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Loosen Lower Screw
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Lower Bolt Removed
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Two Bolts Removed
Set the two 8mm bolts aside in a safe place.
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Gently Pry Outer Edge
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Loosen Friction Fasteners
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Two Pegs & Grommets
The tail light housing is still held in place to the rear corner of the SUV by two plastic pegs or "spikes" on the back side of the assembly.

The pegs are located near the outer edge of the housing and they are inserted into plastic grommets on the rear corner of the SUV.

Use a plastic automotive trim panel removal tool to gently pry the outer edge of the tail light housing away from the rear corner of the SUV.

Pull the tail light housing straight off the back of the vehicle.

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Turn Over Light Housing
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1/4 Turn Counterclockwise
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Brake Light Bulb Socket
Place a towel on the rear bumper to protect the paint.

Rest the tail light housing on the back bumper cover.

There are two brake (stop) lights in the housing. One brake light is near the bottom edge and the second brake light is near the middle of the housing in between the reverse and rear turn signal lights.

When I say "top", "middle" or "bottom", I'm referring to the light bulb's position when the tail light housing is attached to the SUV.

Rotate the large grey plastic brake light bulb socket 1/4 turn counterclockwise before pulling it straight out of the housing.

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Pull Out Old Light Bulb
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Push In New Light Bulb
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1/4 Turn Clockwise - Lock
Pull the old light bulb straight out of the socket.

If you have trouble removing the old light bulb, try gently rocking or wiggling it back and forth before pulling it straight out.

Push a new dual filament number 7443 (also known as the W21/5W) light bulb straight into the socket.

Re-insert the brake light bulb socket into the housing and rotate it 1/4 turn clockwise to lock it in place.

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Reverse Bulb Socket
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1/4 Turn Counterclockwise
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Pull Out Old Light Bulb
The reverse or "back up" light bulb is in the smaller grey plastic bulb socket located just above the lower brake light and the other brake light near the middle of the housing.

Rotate the reverse light bulb socket 1/4 turn counterclockwise before pulling it straight out of the housing.

Pull the old light bulb straight out of the socket.



 

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Push In New Reverse Bulb
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1/4 Turn Clockwise - Lock
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2nd Brake Light
Push a new number 921 (also known as part # W16W) light bulb straight into the socket.

If you would like to have brighter reverse lights, there are compatible replacement 921 LED light bulbs available.

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

The second brake light bulb socket is located near the middle of the housing in between the reverse and the rear turn signal lights.

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1/4 Turn Counterclockwise
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Pull Out Old Light Bulb
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Push In New Light Bulb
Rotate the 2nd brake light bulb socket 1/4 turn counterclockwise and pull it straight out of the housing.

Pull the old light bulb straight out of the socket.

Push a new number 7443 light bulb straight into the socket.

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1/4 Turn Clockwise - Lock
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Turn Signal Bulb Socket
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Bulb Socket Removed
Re-insert the second brake light bulb socket into the housing and rotate it 1/4 turn clockwise to secure it in place.

The yellow or tan plastic rear turn signal light bulb socket is located at the top of the assembly (when the housing is attached to the SUV).

Rotate the rear turn signal bulb socket 1/4 turn counterclockwise before pulling it straight out of the housing.

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Pull Out Old Light Bulb
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Push In New Turn Signal
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1/4 Turn Clockwise - Lock
Pull the old rear turn signal light bulb straight out of the socket.

Push a new amber (orange) colored number 7440A (also known as the WY21W) light bulb straight into the socket.

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

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Line Up Spikes & Holes
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Slide Housing In Place
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Flush With Body Panel
Raise the tail light housing towards the rear of the SUV.

Line up the two white plastic pegs with their corresponding plastic grommets on the rear corner of the SUV.

Push the tail light housing back into place.

The plastic outer edge of the tail light housing should be flush with the painted metal rear quarter body panel.

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Replace Tail Light Housing
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Spin In Top 8mm Bolt
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Spin In Lower Bolt
Spin in the two bolts a few turns by hand in the clockwise direction to prevent them from becoming cross threaded.
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Tighten Clockwise
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Closed Hinged Cover
Tighten the two bolts by turning them in the clockwise direction with the 8mm socket, an extension bar and the 1/4" drive ratchet until they are snug.

Try to avoid over tightening the two bolts to prevent from cracking the plastic interior edge of the tail light housing.

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Snap In Screw Cover
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Testing Brake Lights
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Test Reverse & Turn Signal
Swing closed the two hinged plastic screw covers.

Gently pop the screw covers back into place.

To test the new tail light bulbs, have an assistant turn on the headlights to activate the rear parking lights, turn on the hazard signals, step on the brake pedal and place the transmission in reverse.

Be sure to record the light 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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