How To Fix Tonneau Cover Lock [5 Steps Guide!]

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Written By Waylon Joe

Hey, It’s Waylon “Joe” Kite here. I am a West Virginia native and a die-hard pickup truck fan. My story with trucks started with my dad’s 1989 Ford F-150, and it's still going on. I'll share all my trucking experiences (both great and gross ones) with you. I have a garage full of tools to fix and renovate trucks and a freezer full of ales. Do you want to join me?

You may feel discouraged when the beautiful tonneau cover is not locked in the best way. Before heading for a drive, you need to take a back step.

Fixing the locking system is an integral part of the overall maintenance process. 

And it’s crucial to know how to fix the tonneau cover lock.

Lock issues in tonneau covers are mostly related to opening the cover. You need to unscrew the spring and latching mechanism and change the cable. It will fix most lock issues unless any latch has mechanical problems. Simply replace the lock latches in this case.

You need to know more about the fixing process. So, keep reading on to see what you can do to solve the issue for good.

Why Tonneau Cover Lock Is Not Working

There are several reasons why the tonneau cover lock is not working.

  • The system would be difficult to lock when the installation pops out. This means the screws have loosened.
  • Another reason is that the stainless steel item has become too dirty. A certain level of corrosion can damage the screw’s firm grip. The material has already degraded as the dirt spreads around the tiny corners.

The good news is there are some simple solutions that you can apply. And I will share them with you in the next sections.

How To Fix Tonneau Cover Lock

5 Steps To Fix Tonneau Cover Lock

To follow the 5 steps process correctly, you will need some handy tools. With the help of these tools, fixing the lock problem will be easy.

Here are some products that you should acquire:

  • Acetone Cleaning Solvent
  • Paper Towels, Soft Cloth, or a Cleaning Brush
  • Pop Rivet Tool
  • Mounting Tape
  • Gorilla Glues
  • Screwdrivers
  • Drill Machine
  • Scrapers
  • WD-40 Multi-Use Product

You will be using all these tools from time to time in several steps. Let’s move forward to check the processes. 

Step 1: Clean The Lock

Although any acetone chemical solvent cleaning product is the best choice, you have other options too.

For example, isopropyl alcohol is something that you can use as well. This is if the dirt is deep and challenging to remove with one go.

You can start by adding some liquid to a brush and use it to clean the top layer of dirt and dust.

The corrosion may still be there. For this, you will need some soft cloth to aid in the cleaning process.  

Rinse the stainless steel surface with an alcohol-dipped towel. Add a little bit of water to reduce the alcohol strength.

You may also see that the corrosion has spread inside the locking system. This means you must open up the locking system to identify the problematic areas. 

Step 2: Re-Adjust The Locking System

You can unscrew the lock to take the system out of the edges of the cover. When the installment is out, inspect the covered part to clean it before re-adjusting the locking system.

A stainless steel lock mechanism will be easy to fit and align. This resolves the popping-out problem. You can get a new set of screws or pop rivets for a new installment procedure. 

However, the primary intention is to stick the locking system to the cover edges firmly. This won’t let the lock pop out again. 

For this, a few things are good to do:

  • Use a scraper to scrape off any unevenness on the stainless surface. 
  • You can also use a knife to cut through the edges. This is to allow some room to add bonding adhesives later on. 
  • Apply a little drop of acetone solvent on the tonneau cover surface. This is the place where you will fix the lock. 
  • Make sure there are no residues around the holes.
  • Smoothing out the entire area is good for the lock to stick firmly.
  • You can do this by spraying and scrubbing a good WD-40 Multi-Use Product Formula. These are made to remove rust from stainless steel surfaces. 

These guidelines are provided so that you can adjust the lock again. Moreover, working with these easy points will help prepare for the next step.

Step 3: Apply Some Bonding Adhesives

You have two options in this scenario. Although many would suggest mounting tape, gorilla glue is not bad, either. Any good quality product of those types will keep the lock stick firmly on the surface.

As the latches are already out, you will work with the backside. This means you will be applying some glue to that area. Also, apply glue to the other cover surface where the locker will stick. 

Using bonding adhesives at both ends has many benefits. However, you must not overdo the application. The fluid residues may invite dirt to get stuck into the surface.

Just the right amount will ensure a stronger fix.

Step 4: Secure The Locking System

You need to go a few extra miles to secure the lock entirely.

For example, if the locking system has pop rivets installation, you need the necessary tool. With the help of a pop rivet tool, you will press the item firmly.

A strong clipping will keep the lock fixed for a long time. This will not let the lock pop out any time soon.

On the other hand, you can work with a screwdriver as well. This is when the locking system has a simple screw-induced locking system.

For some deep fixing, you can also use a drill machine. Make sure the drill you are using holds up to the screws safely.

You also need to be comfortable using a drill machine. If you are not comfortable enough, there can be injuries. So, be safe with your options on what suits you best.

Also read: How To Open Truck Bed Cover Without Key? Answered!

Step 5: Test How It Is Working

When all the work is done sufficiently, it is time to test the system. Check if the placement has any flaws. You can do it by driving your truck a little.

Just get back after a while to see if the lock has moved. A helping hand will be a good idea too, who can check for the movement. This is when you are working out in the driver’s seat.

If the first four steps are done correctly, the locking system should not move. Inspect more regularly every week to see the results. I promise it will not be a disappointment.

Read also: Bakflip Mx4 Problems

Tips And Tricks For Easy Lock Maintenance

Regular maintenance is necessary if you want the locks to work correctly.

Here are a few things you can do:

  • Clean the locks regularly with baking soda or white vinegar
  • Lubricate the locks more often
  • An alkaline chlorinated solution cleaning is also suitable for preventing future rusting.
  • Avoid any type of hydrochloric acid solution.
  • Do not push the locks too forcefully when opening or closing the system
  • Don’t keep the surface wet with chemical fluids for a more extended period

These simple maintenance ideas are going to make things highly durable. It will benefit you in a larger context regarding value for money. 

Read also: How To Keep Dust Out Of Tonneau Cover?


What should I do if I replace it with a new lock?

Follow the instructions if you are working with a new lock or a locking system. If there are no instructions around, do seek expert help. However, you can be doing the same things pointed out in this article. 

Read also: How To Fix Tonneau Cover Latch?

What is the most secure type of tonneau cover?

The painted one-piece tonneau cover comes with an anti-theft locker design. It stays fixed with the tailgate. The tailgate cannot be opened without the lock, and vice versa. 

Should I use a hammer to re-adjust the locking system?

It is not recommended to use a hammer to re-adjust the locking system. You can break the settings if applied forcefully. However, using a hammer can be good if you have to remove the bolt. 

Read also: How To Patch A Hole In A Tonneau Cover?


Fixing the tonneau cover lock can go in different directions. This depends on the way the locking system is installed. This also includes the type of locking system that is being used.  

I hope you can do the work on your own to fix the problem. Some help from friends and family can benefit you more. I cannot also stress enough the importance of taking professional assistance. 

With all the clear indications, I am signing off.

Bye for now!

Read also: Can You Go Through A Carwash With A Tonneau Cover?

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