GMC Acadia Service Side Detection System: Causes & Fixes

The side detection system is a safety system that helps the driver monitor potential collisions from the side of the vehicle. Like other safety systems in GMC vehicles, they do not work in isolation. The system makes use of other components. 

The Acadia side detection system’s major components are the side sensors and modules. 

Once the sensor or module is damaged, the side detection system will not work properly. The computer system will notify the driver that the side detection system is malfunctioning through a warning message and light. 

The warning message will appear as the service side detection system on your GMC Acadia.  

What is GMC Acadia Service Side Detection System?

The GMC Acadia service side detection system is a warning message that will come up on your GMC Acadia when there is an issue with the side detection sensors. 

What is the side detection system? The system uses radar sensors located at the rear corner of the vehicle. It helps monitor and detect moving objects in the next lane. 

When the sensor detects a moving object too close to the side of the vehicle, it sends signals to the system that will help warn the driver of a potential collision at the side. 

The sensor detects moving objects like cars, pedestrians, and cyclists that may pose a potential collision.

How does the side detection system work? The side camera, sensor, or radar monitors the sides of the vehicle using the sensor radar. The side of the car is constantly scanned for any objects in nearby lanes which may be approaching the vehicle’s blind spot. 

Furthermore, the sensor works directly with the Engine Control Unit (ECU), sending signals to the computer system. 

Once there is an object drawing too close to the vehicle’s blind spot, then the ECU will send a visual alert which will appear on the side mirror. Alert will become brighter at the side mirror once the driver tries to change lanes. It will also come with an audible warning sound. 

The side detection system will not work properly whenever there is a problem with the sensor. It could be caused by electrical issues or damage to the sensor or its wires. 

The ECU will notify the driver when the sensor does not work. Notification could be in the form of a message ( service side detection system) or warning light.  

What are the causes of GMC Acadia Service Side Detection System

Below are the causes of the GMC Acadia service side detection system. 

1. Damaged sensors

The side sensor is one of the most important parts of the side detection system. Unfortunately, the sensor can get damaged due to several factors. Due to the location of the sensors, contaminants can find their way to the sensors. 

In addition, the sensor parts can get corroded, the housing broken, and wires damaged. 

In some cases, the issue with the sensor could be accumulated dirt blocking the sensor, which does not require any serious fix or replacement. 

2. Corroded connector 

Due to the sensor’s location, water from rain and even washing the vehicle could find its way to the sensor connector. Once there, for a while, the connector could get corroded. 

Once corroded, the sensor will not be powered and cannot transmit signals to the ECU. When this happens, a warning message will come up. 

3. Dirty sensor

Dirt could easily accumulate in the sensor area, blocking the sensor radars from scanning objects close to the objects at the side of the vehicle. Dirt, water, and other forms of debris can accumulate in the sensor area, completely blocking the sensor’s scan. 

Also, extreme weather conditions can block the sensor reading. In the case of extreme snow and rain, the sensor may not be able to scan the vehicle’s side accurately. False readings will be sent to the ECU, which can trigger the “service side detection system” warning message.  

4. Damaged wiring 

The wires are crucial in powering the system and the sensors. When the cables are damaged, the ECU will not be powered properly, causing the side detection system to stop working. 

Also, damaged sensor wires will not allow the electric current to reach the sensor, leading to a dormant sensor.  

5. System error 

The ECU controls the side detection system, and any problem with the computer system will affect how this feature works. Although ECU problems are not a common cause of the error “service side detection system,” it could affect how it works.

Sometimes, the system error could be a simple malfunction which could be solved by resetting the ECU. If the issue is problems with the ECU module, it might need to be changed.  

How to Fix GMC Acadia Service Side Detection System

The first step to fix a “service side detection system” warning message is a proper diagnosis. There are two major ways you can diagnose the warning message. You can physically inspect related parts of the side detection system or use an OBD-II scanner. 

Below are ways to fix a “service side detection system” warning message. 

1. Reset the system 

The fix of the system depends on what is wrong with the ECU and the side detection module. If the cause of the warning message is malfunctioning the system, simply resetting the ECU should make the warning message go away.

You can reset the system using a scan tool. Connect the tool to the Acadia and then scan for error codes. Once the scan is done, wipe all the codes from the system.

2. Fix the damaged sensor

Test the sensor using a scan tool by searching for a specific sensor on the tool. Once you run the test, the sensor might be damaged if you get an unavailable result. 

The side sensor is usually located at the rear or side view mirror. You can use the owner’s manual to get the exact location of the sensor. Once the sensor is found, inspect for damages like corrosion or broken parts. 

If there are any obvious damages, replace the sensor with the exact type of damaged one. 

3. Clean the sensor 

If you do not find any damage on the sensor, but the sensor is dirty, then it needs to be cleaned. You need mild soap and a rag to clean the sensor radar. Apply the soap to the rag and clean the sensor properly. 

4. Repair wiring 

Use the vehicle manual to find the wiring linked to the side detection module and sensor. Check the wires for damages like corrosion, broken or exposed wires. If any of these damages are found, replace the wiring harness completely. Do not try to fix the damaged wire, as it could cause more electrical issues. 


The GMC Acadia service side detection system is easy to fix. It does not have a lot of complicated parts, and the issue can easily be diagnosed. When the warning message comes up, it mostly has to do with a damaged sensor or module. You can also easily diagnose the problem with a scan tool and may not need expert help. 


  • Edmond Davis

    I'm Edmond Davis, an automotive expert with years of experience in vehicle repair, performance, and safety. I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Automotive Engineering and have worked with major companies like Ford, GM, and Chrysler. I'm a trusted source of information for anyone looking to learn more about cars or improve their driving experience.

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