Why I hate my Acadia Part II….

Well it’s yet another chapter in “Why I Hate My Acadia” and this car is becoming more and more of a problem than a solution. To be honest when crap goes wrong with this car, I’ve stopped being shocked or angry.

The latest thing to go wrong with this car? The headlight went out.

No, not the headlight we changed a month ago, this is now the OTHER side of the car. Great fun right?

Armed with the knowledge of how difficult this job is, I steel myself for another round of cursing and frustration. This time I cut to the chase and simply put the car on a lift to access the wheel well and bottom splashguard bolts and screws.

First remove the tire and rim from the driver side and remove the screws holding the wheel well panel in place.

Take care when removing the push pins holding the wheel well panel in, and the entire panel should dislodge and push to the side.

Thankfully, GMC did not completely eat up all the space available on the driver side as they did to the passenger side.

It seems as though the windshield reservoir being mounted on the driver side of the vehicle has given us enough room to get my hand up to the back of the headlight housing.

With the wheel well panel removed and pushed to the side, you should be able to access the back of the driver side headlight assembly.

The assembly cover comes off with twist of your hand, exposing the H11 bulb inside.

Upon removing my blown H11 bulb, I find an unpleasant surprise.

The H11 harness that holds the 2 pins in place simply disintegrates at my touch, which does wonders for my blood pressure. Further inspection reveals that something was definitely up with the headlights as shown on the bulb that I just removed from the drivers side.

FML.. Seriously

To make matters worse, the Acadia’s high beam is secured to the low beam wiring meaning I cannot retrieve the low beam wires out to extend them.

What else could go wrong you ask??

Hold on……… let me finish.

It also appears that whatever was causing this burn-out also wiped out the pins for the H11 bulb as they no longer clip and / or hold onto anything, let alone a bulb.

Since I cannot reuse the old connector because it broke into a million pieces, and cannot reuse the single pins found in the old connector, I decide to repin the wires and use something that will hold onto the H11 bulb tight.

To repair this issue, I re-use the OBDI body harness we used to re-pin our 1992 Acura Integra Shock Engine harness.

After removing a test pin, I find that the OBDI pins fit onto the bulb quite nicely and snugly. I promptly remove 2 pins and wire them inline to the headlight harness after clipping and removing the old pieces of junk.

I install the 2 new pins by cutting away the older pieces and stripping down the wires, after soldering the new pins in place I use a strip of electrical tape to make sure they will not move or touch each other and put the driver side headlight bulb back into it’s place.

I still hate this car with a passion, but now you have 2 methods in which to service your Acadia’s headlights. Best of luck!

Lizzy the Lizards says..... GM SUCKS

Why I hate my Acadia…..

Early in 2009, I purchased a slightly used 2008 GMC Acadia for a family vehicle and to accommodate my growing family and the needs that come along with all the kids.

With a sharp looking exterior and a roomy interior and optional captain seats, I thought this car would be a decent buy.

After all…. Domestic quality has gone up after the buyout…. right?

Wrong, wrong and dead wrong would be the answer to that. This SUV has been in to the dealer 5 times for transmission related issues. It still refuses to downshift on the freeway without more than 65% throttle and that includes going uphill. It appears as though GMC cared more for the EPA rating than functionality, because the Acadia is sluggish to non-driveable in certain scenarios when it refuses to downshift.

The latest in the comedy of errors for this Acadia? well my passenger side headlight went out right before Christmas much to my chagrin.

Before heading out to a family dinner, I figured hell might as well toss in my replacement because that wouldn’t take more than 10 minutes tops.. right John???

Turns out not only did GMC completely fail to do the prudent thing when programming the transmission ECU, or fail to catch one of the two big recalls on the transmission itself, but they also decided that the only way you will ever change a headlight bulb is through the dealer.

To make a long story short, it took me 2 hours to install a headlight bulb. Yes.. two hours. Plain and simple, this job shouldn’t be attempted by the average shadetree mechanic.

How to Replace your Headlight Bulb in your GMC Acadia

What you will need :

Phillips, 10mm socket, flathead or other plastic popper tool, lots of patience.

We start by removing the passenger side fenderwell bolts.


Next undo the three pull tabs located directly above your wheel, you may also opt to remove the wheel itself, I did not do this but instead turned my wheel to give me the clearance I needed.


With the fender liner removed, you can now access the Acadia’s ridiculously long and over-engineered mounting tabs.


The key tab being the bottom mount which is bolted onto a chassis brace by a 10mm bolt.


Now with that bolt removed, you can now open the hood and remove the hood bonnet, the front latch and the six push pins that hold the cover to the hood latch onto the vehicle.

With the cover removed, you can now access the deep 10mm bolt that is furthest away from the front of the car, and with the hood cover latch removed you can now access the interior 10mm bolt.

You MUST undo the clips that hold the main engine fusebox in place, make sure to disconnect your battery when doing this. With the main fusebox moved over a few inches, you can now access the last bolt that holds the front grille in place.

Yes…. remove the wheel and bumper…. for a headlight bulb….. Thanks GM.

With all three locations unbolted, you can now wiggle the headlight out. GMC directs their mechanics to REMOVE the front bumper fascia for proper clearance.


After taking a look at the 20 plus bolts on the bottom of the lower splash guard and the multiple bolts that hold the front bumper to the 5mph crash support I decided there is no way I will be removing the front bumper for this job.

Doing so might have caused my head to spontaneously combust from stupidity. Make no mistake, this is a pain in the fucking ass job.


Not only does the ridiculously long brackets make the headlight extremely cumbersome but the back bracket threatens to put a crease in your fender if you do not remove the headlight properly.

Instead I pulled back on the front fascia of the car, almost to the point where the front grill felt like it would shatter into a million pieces.


Needless to say, I am less than enthused with the level of engineering behind this car. With the headlight now removed, I can now twist out the old bulb and install the new one.

Two hours later, my Acadia now has 2 headlights and I have a massive headache. I wasn’t pleased with the car to begin with, and this fiasco just may have pushed me over the edge with this thing.


Many thanks GM, may a thousand rabid vikings fist your faces off in middle of the night.