How To Turn On Mirror Lights On GMC Sierra

If you or a loved one recently purchased a brand-new GMC Sierra, then you may still be navigating through its numerous features. Among these features are the different lights on its side mirrors. So how do you turn them on? We've done the research for your convenience.

Depending on the year model, trim, and optional add-ons, your GMC Sierra can have different types of side mirrors with lights mounted on the side mirrors.

  • Front-facing task lights
  • Backward-facing perimeter lights
  • Turn signal lights

Both the front-facing task lights and the backward-facing perimeter lights have their dedicated control buttons near the edge of the driver-side dashboard. Of course, the turn signal lights go on when you drop a left or right-turn signal with your combination switch/lever.

The turn signal lights are quite self-explanatory. However, the task and perimeter lights have a few button sequences for different lighting patterns and purposes. If you would like to know more on how and when to operate these lights, then do read on as we've got a few tips in store for you.

photo of a glossy metallic white GMC sierra on the GMC show room brand new model, How To Turn On Mirror Lights On GMC Sierra

How Do You Turn On Mirror Lights On A 2020 GMC Sierra?

Although the GMC Sierra is the more luxurious cousin of the Chevrolet Silverado, the former does not lack in capability and utility features. One such feature, common in both trucks, is a comprehensive exterior lighting system.

Apart from GMC's signature C-shaped headlamps and tail lights, the automaker's designers also gave due consideration to other practical exterior lighting applications. This includes puddle lamps, cargo bed lighting, trailer hitch lighting, and of course, task and perimeter lighting.

Depending on the model (1500, 2500, 3500) or available upgrades, the GMC Sierra can come either with standard-size side mirrors or trailering side mirrors. As we can expect, the trailering side mirrors offer the most convenience and features - including lights - for trucking activities.

What Is GM Task Lighting

Most GMC Sierra models and trims come with task lights, whether on standard-size mirrors or trailering mirrors. When the vehicle's transmission is in "park," you can turn the task lights to illuminate the forward flanks of the vehicle. This is highly useful, especially if you're trying to change a flat tire in a dark area.

Check out this video about the task lighting feature on the GMC Sierra and the Chevrolet Silverado.

If you've placed the vehicle in "park," then you can use the take light button on the driver-side dashboard to cycle through different lighting patterns.

  • First press - both driver-side and passenger-side lights turn on
  • Second press (within 5 seconds of the first press) - only driver-side task light turns on
  • Third press (within 5 seconds of the second press) - only passenger-side task light turns on
  • Fourth press - both task lights turn off.

If any task light is on and you exceed the 5-second interval, the succeeding button press will turn all task lights off. Furthermore, if you leave the task lights on after turning the ignition off, the task lights will automatically turn off after 10 minutes.

What Is GMC Perimeter Lighting?

photo of a glossy metallic white paint gmc sierra pick up truck car vehicle on outdoor car park

Task lights, job lights, guidance lights, and other terms have been used to describe the different auxiliary exterior lights on General Motors' vehicles. However, although the terms may vary, we can say that the GMC Perimeter Lighting System is an umbrella term for all these different lights.

To illustrate, GMC's perimeter lights may include several types of lights, depending on the Sierra model, trim, and optional add-ons.

  • Front task lights
  • Rear-facing trailer mirror lights
  • Puddle lights
  • Cargo bed lights
  • Tailgate step lights
  • Trailer hitch lights

Trailering/Towing Mirror Lights

For this section, we will be focusing on the rear-facing trailer mirror lights. Common among Sierra HD models, this particular feature uses two rear-facing LED bulbs mounted on the trailering mirrors. When activated, these bulbs project their light downward towards the rear sides of the vehicle.

According to different GMC Sierra models' manuals, you can use these trailering mirror lights when the vehicle's transmission is in park, reverse, or neutral. The control button that turns on these mirror lights also turns on the cargo bed lights, tailgate lights, and trailer hitch lights.

The rear-facing trailer mirror lights can be of great help in the following situations, especially during nighttime in areas like camping grounds, poorly-lit roads, or off-road trails.

  • Loading or unloading items over the cargo bed's sides
  • Changing a rear flat tire
  • Driving in reverse through tight spaces

Similar to the task light controls, the trailer mirror lights' button also cycles through different lighting patterns.

  • First button press
    • Trailer mirror lights turn on
    • Center High Mounted Stop Light (CHMSL) turns on
    • Cargo bed lights turn on (one light per corner)
    • Cargo switch indicator, if equipped, turns on
  • Second button press (within 5 seconds of the first press)
    • Trailer mirror lights turn off
    • CHMSL stays on
    • Cargo bed lights stay on
    • Cargo switch indicator stays on
  • Third button press - all lights and indicators in the button's circuit turn off

How Do You Install Towing Mirrors On A GMC Sierra

If you already own a GMC Sierra with standard-size side mirrors, you might want to upgrade to the bigger trailering/tow mirrors. You may try to check with your local GMC dealer if they can do this for you.

However, if you have the tools and the technical experience, you can buy an OEM set of the Sierra's trailering mirrors and install them yourself. Check out the video below on a DIY installation of these mirrors.

What Is The Difference Between A Silverado And A Sierra?

Although the Sierra and the Silverado have the same lineage, their respective current-generation models have already distinguished themselves from each other. If the Silverado is the mass-market workhorse, then the Sierra is the more luxurious yet still brawny truck.

The two GM truck cousins may target different customers, but they still sport the same drivetrain and frame.

Each model performs quite well in the U.S. pick-up truck segment. Last 2021, the combined sales of the Sierra and Silverado outpaced the segment-leading Ford F-series by almost 50,000 units.

Is The GMC Sierra A Duramax?

A "Duramax Truck" refers to a General Motors' pick-up platform model that uses a Duramax engine for one or more of its trims.  The GMC Sierra is one such model.

The GMC Sierra 1500 has an optional 3.0-liter inline-6 turbodiesel Duramax engine. Moreover, both the Sierra 2500 and 3500 models can come with the revered 6.6-liter v8 turbodiesel Duramax.

Below is a more comprehensive list of all the models that belong to the "Duramax Truck" classification.

GMC Duramax Trucks

  • Canyon - mid-size truck which competes with Toyota Tacoma, Honda Ridgeline, and Nissan Frontier
  • Sierra - also called the Siera 1500, is a full-size, "half-ton" truck
  • Sierra HD - composed of the "3/4-ton" Sierra 2500 and the "1-ton" Sierra 3500.
  • Topkick - a discontinued nameplate that was previously designed for cargo, fire truck conversion, and other commercial purposes.

Chevrolet Duramax Trucks

  • Colorado - mid-size truck cousin of the GMC Canyon
  • Silverado - Chevrolet's half-ton truck
  • Silverado HD - Consists of the 3/4-ton Silverado 2500, the 1-ton Silverado 3500, and bigger chassis formats like 4500, 5500, and the 6500.
  • Kodiak - defunct model, same as the Topkick.

How Much Weight Can A GMC Sierra 1500 Carry?

We can't talk about the GMC Sierra 1500 without mentioning some of its important capabilities as a blue-blooded full-size truck. Although traditional classifications still refer to the Sierra 1500 as a half-ton truck, its actual payload capacity is much higher. For our reference, one metric ton equals 2,205 pounds.

Many Sierra 1500 trims come standard with a payload capacity ranging from 1,500 to 2,200 pounds. However, with a Max Trailering package and a 6.2-liter EcoTec V8 engine, a Sierra 1500 Limited can carry over 5,400 pounds of payload.

Can A Sierra 1500 Tow A Travel Trailer?

photo of a glossy metallic blue paint gmac sierra on the outside of the building on parking area

As discussed earlier, the GMC Sierra's perimeter lighting system is very convenient not only for loading and unloading the cargo bed but also for trailering activities.

When properly equipped, the GMC Sierra 1500 can tow up to 11,800 pounds. Moreover, a 6.2-liter V8 Sierra 1500 Limited can pull up to 13,000 pounds. This towing capacity is more than sufficient for many 30-footer travel trailers.

How Much Is A GMC Sierra?

Below are the current starting prices of entry-level, mid-level, and range-topping trim levels of each GMC Sierra model.

  • Full-size Sierra 1500 
    • PRO 2WD - $37,395
    • Elevation 2WD - $50,095
    • Denali Ultimate 4WD - $83,695
  • Sierra 2500 HD
    • PRO 2WD - $41,995
    • SLT 2WD - $56,895
    • Denali 4WD - $71,595
  • Sierra 3500 HD
    • PRO 2WD - $43,195
    • AT4 4WD - $66,295
    • Dual Rear Wheel Denali - $73,995

Wrapping Up

photo of a glossy metallic white GMC sierra on the GMC show room brand new model, How To Turn On Mirror Lights On GMC Sierra

You can turn on the GMC Sierra's different mirror lights using the task light button and the cargo bed lighting button. You may also control other perimeter lights using these buttons.

Thank you very much for reading. We hope we were able to help you understand how to operate your GMC Sierra's mirror lights.

For more interesting reads about the GMC Sierra as well as other automotive topics, you may also check out these great articles below.

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