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Chevrolet Camaro Reverse Light Bulb Replacement Guide
How to change a burnt out reverse bulb in the tail lights of a 6th generation 2016 to 2021 GM Chevy Camaro.

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2020 Camaro Tail Lights
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Trunk Release Button
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Right Tail Light Housing
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the sixth generation (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021) GM Chevrolet Camaro in changing a burnt out reverse (or "back-up") bulb in the tail light housings.

The development and release of the 7th generation Camaro has been delayed, so the current sixth generation will probably continue into the 2022 and 2023 model years.

Owners of other General Motors vehicles from Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac such as the Malibu, Impala, Bolt, Corvette, Trailblazer, Trax, Equinox, Blazer, Traverse, Tahoe, Suburban, Colorado, Silverado, Express, Encore, Envision, Enclave, Regal, Sierra, Terrain, Acadia, Yukon, Canyon, Savana, XT4, XT5, XT6, Escalade, CT4, CT5, CTS and CT6 may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The compatible replacement light bulb part number is 7440 (also known as W21W).

If you would like to have brighter reverse lights, install some 7440 LED light bulbs.

On most 6th generation Camaro models, the brake and rear turn signal lights are LED bulbs that should last the life time of the vehicle. For older vehicles that are not equipped with LED lights, both the brake and rear turn signal are also the same 7440 (or W21W) bulbs.

The only tool required to access and replace the reverse light bulb is a pop rivet removal tool or a flat head screwdriver.

If you need to remove the entire tail light housing from the rear corner of the vehicle, you'll also need an 8mm socket with a 1/4" drive ratchet or an 8mm wrench.

The first two steps are to open the trunk and move to the side of the car with the burnt out light bulb.



 

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Pry Out Center Button
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Center Pin Removed
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Pry Out Base of Fastener
To access the reverse light bulb socket, all you have to do is remove the black plastic trim cover on the top of the tail light assembly.

There are three plastic pop rivet fasteners that secure the trim panel in place.

Use the flat head screwdriver to gently pry up the smaller round button in the center of the fastener to unlock it.

Then pry out the base of the fastener with the screwdriver or a pop rivet removal tool.

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Remove Rear Fastener
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2nd Fastener Removed
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Release 3rd Pop Rivet
Repeat the process to remove the other two fasteners.
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3rd Fastener Removed
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3 Pop Rivets Removed
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Pull Off Plastic Cover
Set the three fasteners aside in a safe place.

Pull off the plastic trim cover off the top of the tail light assembly and set it aside in a safe place.

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Trim Cover Removed
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Top of Tail Light Housing
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Reverse Bulb Socket
Once the cover has been removed, you'll be able to see the reverse light bulb socket.

The socket is located near the center of the tail light housing.

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Turn Counterclockwise
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Bulb Socket Removed
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Pull Out Old Light Bulb
You may be able to reach in and rotate the bulb socket with your fingers.

I found it easier to use a pair of pliers.

Turn the bulb socket 1/4 turn in the counterclockwise direction before pulling it straight out of the housing.

Carefully pull the old light bulb straight out of the socket.

If you have trouble removing a stubborn or stuck old light bulb due to corrosion (rust) or debris, put on some gloves and try gently wiggling the bulb back and forth while pulling it straight out.

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Old Light Bulb Removed
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Push In New Light Bulb
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Re-Insert Bulb Socket
The OEM (original equipment manufacturer) light bulb in this 2020 Camaro was a Toshiba 12V21WM W21W LL.

Push a new number 7440 light bulb straight into the socket.

If you would like to have brighter reverse lights that will also last much longer before burning out, install some compatible replacement 7440 LED bulbs.

After you install the new traditional incandescent halogen bulb into the socket, wipe it clean with a paper towel and some rubbing alcohol.

Any grease, oil or debris on the new bulb could create a hot spot and reduce the useful life of the bulb.

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

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1/4 Turn Clockwise - Lock
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To Remove Entire Housing
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X-Mas Tree Fastener
If you have trouble getting a grip on the bulb socket, use a pair of pliers to rotate it.

To test the new reverse light bulb, have an assistant step on the brake pedal and shift the transmission into reverse.

Tip - If you installed LED bulbs and they don't work, try removing them from the socket, rotate them 180 degrees and push them back into the socket. Some LED bulbs are "polarized" and will only work when the "+" positive and "-" negative electrical contacts are in the correct orientation.

If you have need to remove the entire tail light housing to replace a burnt out brake or rear turn signal light bulb continue with the following steps.

Move to the inside of the trunk and locate the single Christmas tree style black plastic pop rivet fastener that secures the trunk liner in place.

Pry out the fastener with a pop rivet removal tool.

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Pull Back Carpet Lining
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Loosen Counterclockwise
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Remove 2nd Nut
Set the pop rivet fastener aside in a safe place.

Gently pull back the cargo area liner to access the back side of the housing.

Locate the three black metal nuts that secure the tail light assembly to the rear corner of the vehicle.

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3rd Nut
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Loosen Third Nut
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Three Nuts Removed
Loosen the three nuts by turning them in the counterclockwise direction with the 8mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratchet or an 8mm wrench.

Set the three nuts aside in a safe place.

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Pry Off Wire Harness
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Plastic Clip Detached
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Pry Off Tail Light Housing
Use a flat head screwdriver or a pop rivet removal tool to pry the black plastic retaining clip for the wiring harness off the threaded bar on the back side of the tail light housing.

Pull the tail light housing straight off the rear corner of the vehicle.

The housing is still held in place by some metal pegs inserted into plastic grommets that act as friction fasteners.

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Stubborn Friction Fasteners
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Replace Trim Cover
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Re-Insert Fasteners
If you have trouble pulling the housing off the car, try gently wiggling it back and forth while pulling.

You could also use a large 1/2" drive ratchet or breaker bar wrapped in a towel to pry the housing off the rear of the car.

Try to avoid using excessive force to prevent from cracking the plastic.

I wasn't able to get the housing off the car and had to give up.

I didn't want to break the housing. The friction fasteners were just too tight to be released.

Since this 2020 Camaro has OEM LED brake and rear turn signal lights, I didn't bother to keep on attempting to remove it.

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Pop In Center Pin
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Push Down Middle Button
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Plastic Cover Secured
Lower the black plastic trim cover back into place on top of the housing.

Make sure the smaller round button or pin in the center of the fasteners are in the up and released position.

Re-insert the fasteners and pop in the pins to secure them into place.

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

Please check out all of the 2016-2021 GM Chevrolet Camaro DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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