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Chevrolet Equinox Reverse Light Bulb Replacement Guide
How to change a burnt out reverse bulb in the tail light housings of a 2018 to 2022 GM Chevy Equinox SUV.

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Paul B. Michaels
Author & Photographer
Auto Mechanic Since 1989

2018 Equinox Tail Lights
Reverse Bulb Housing
Tailgate Interior Panel
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the third generation (2018, 2019 and probably also the face-lifted or updated 2020, 2021 and 2022 model years) GM Chevrolet Equinox SUV in changing a burnt out reverse bulb in the tail light housings (also known as the back-up or backup light bulb).

Owners of other General Motors vehicles from Chevy, Buick, GMC, Cadillac and Holden such as the Trax, Blazer, Traverse, Tahoe, Suburban, Cruze, Malibu, Impala, Camaro, Cascada, LaCrosse, Encore, Envision, Enclave, Regal, Canyon, Sierra, Terrain, Acadia, Yukon, Savana, XT4, XT5, XT6, Escalade, CTS, XTS, CT6, Astra, Commodore and Trailblazer may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The compatible replacement miniature wedge base reverse light bulb part number is 921 (alsow known as W16W).

If you would like to have brighter reverse lights, install some 921 LED bulbs.

The tools needed to access the sockets and replace the bulbs include a Torx T15 star bit screwdriver, a pry bar tool or a large flat head screwdriver and a pop rivet removal tool.

The reverse light is contained within a separate housing attached to the tailgate door for the cargo area.

(Note - The brake, rear turn signal and parking lights are all LED bulbs that should last the life time of the vehicle.)

Open the tailgate and locate the small screw inside the door pull handle located to the right of the "Close" button.


Small Screw Pull Handle
Loosen Counterclockwise
Torx Screw Removed
Locate the small black metal screw inside the door pull handle situated just to the right of the "Close" button.

Remove the screw by turning it in the counterclockwise direction with the Torx T-15 screwdriver.

Set the Torx screw aside in a safe place.

Remove Right Pop Rivet
Remove Left Pop Rivet
1 Screw - 2 Pop Rivets
Then remove the two round black plastic pop rivets with a pop rivet removal tool.

If necessary, you may also be able to use a flat head screwdriver along with a pair of needle nose pliers to pull out the pop rivets.

There is one pop rivet on the left side of the door pull handle and the second pop rivet is on the right side of the handle.

Set the two pop rivets aside with the screw.

Pry Off Black Panel
Release Retaining Clips
Loosening Interior Panel
Then insert the plastic pry bar tool in between the black plastic interior panel and the metal tailgate door.

Firmly pry the interior panel away from the tailgate.

Metal Retaining Clips
Grey Plastic Bulb Socket
1/4 Turn Counterclockwise
You may need to re-insert the pry bar tool into several locations to fully release the metal retaining clips.

If you are only replacing one reverse light bulb, you don't need to fully remove the tailgate's interior panel.

Just release enough retaining clips so that you can reach in and access the reverse light bulb socket.

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


Bulb Socket Removed
Pull Out Old Light Bulb
Empty Bulb Housing
Gently pull the old light bulb straight out of the socket.

If you have trouble removing a stubborn or stuck old bulb that might be rusted in place, try gently wiggling it back and forth while pulling it straight out.

Try to avoid using excessive pressure on the old light bulb to prevent from having it break and cut your fingers.

Push In New Light Bulb
1/4 Turn Clockwise - Lock
Line Up Friction Fasteners
Push a new number 921 miniature wedge base light bulb straight into the socket.

If you would like to have brighter reverse lights, install some compatible replacement 921 LED bulbs.

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

Line up the metal retaining clips on the back side of the interior panel with their corresponding slots in the metal tailgate door.

Firmly Tap In Clips
Re-Insert Pop Rivets
Push In Two Pop Rivets
Firmly tap in the retaining clips all along the sides and bottom edge of the interior trim panel.

Push the two plastic pop rivets back into place. Make sure they are fully seated.

Tighten Screw Clockwise
Interior Panel Secured
Reverse Bulb Replaced
Replace the screw into the door pull handle by turning it in the clockwise direction with the Torx T15 star bit screwdriver until it is snug.

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

If you installed an LED bulb and it doesn't work, try removing it from the socket, rotating it 180 degrees and pushing it 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.

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

For more, please check out all of my 2018-2022 GM Chevrolet Equinox DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

If you found this guide to be helpful, please consider making a small donation by clicking on the "Donate" button located to the right of this paragraph. Thank you!
(Note: I am not a registered charity. Donations are not tax deductible.)


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