Nissan trucks are popular for their ruggedness, versatility, and dependability. However, even the best Nissan vehicles can encounter issues like a tailgate that won’t open. This can prevent access to the cargo bed.
So, what to do when your Nissan tailgate won’t open?
There could be several symptoms indicating tailgate issues. Such as- tailgate won’t open at all, unusual sounds, or tailgate opens but won’t stay open. These can be caused by a broken or damaged tailgate lock, cold conditions, or worn or damaged tailgate struts or shocks. With some easy steps, these problems can be fixed in no time!
But that’s not all. This article comes with all the information you need in order to identify and solve these problems.
So, what are you waiting for? Hop on!
What Happens When A Nissan Tailgate Won’t Open?
Here’s what happens when a Nissan tailgate won’t open:
|Tailgate won’t open at all||A broken or damaged tailgate lock||Replace tailgate lock assembly|
|Unusual sounds when attempting to open the tailgate||Rust or corrosion on the tailgate latch, Cold Conditions||Lubricate the latch mechanism with a lubricant spray or oil|
|Tailgate opens but won’t stay open||Worn or damaged tailgate struts or shocks||Replace Tailgate Struts or Shocks|
Symptom 1 of 3: Tailgate won’t open at all
When a Nissan tailgate won’t open at all, it can be an extremely frustrating experience for the owner. The tailgate is an important part of the vehicle, providing access to the storage area in the back. But, when it fails to open, it can severely limit the usability of the vehicle. It’s a common reason for a GMC Sierra tailgate not opening.
The first sign of a problem with the tailgate may be difficulty in unlocking it. When the key is inserted into the lock and turned, there may be resistance, or the key may simply turn without the lock releasing. If this happens, it may be necessary to try another key, or to lubricate the lock to see if that helps.
If the lock is not the problem, the next step is to try and open the tailgate using the handle or release mechanism. However, if the tailgate is stuck, it may require a significant amount of force to get it to budge. This can be dangerous, as it can put strain on the hinges and other components of the tailgate, which can lead to further damage.
If the tailgate still refuses to open, it may be necessary to access the storage area from inside the vehicle. Depending on the model of Nissan, this may involve folding down the rear seats or removing a panel to gain access. This can be inconvenient and time-consuming, particularly if the owner needs to transport large or bulky items.
Cause: Broken or Damaged Tailgate Lock
A broken or damaged tailgate lock can be one of the reasons why a Nissan tailgate won’t open at all. The tailgate lock plays a critical role in securing the tailgate and ensuring that it stays in place when closed.
When the lock is damaged, it can prevent the tailgate from opening, as the lock may not release or disengage properly. This can result in the tailgate being stuck shut, making it impossible to access the storage area in the back of the vehicle.
Additionally, a damaged tailgate lock can also affect the tailgate’s handle or release mechanism. If the lock is not functioning correctly, it can prevent the handle or release mechanism from working. This makes it challenging to open the tailgate even with force.
This can cause further damage to the hinges and other components of the tailgate, making it even more challenging to open and potentially costly to repair.
Solution: Replace Tailgate Lock Assembly
Here is a step-by-step guideline on how to fix a broken or damaged tailgate lock on a Nissan vehicle:
Materials and tools needed:
- Replacement tailgate lock assembly
- Screwdriver set
- Socket set
- Lubricant spray
- Begin by disconnecting the negative battery cable to avoid any electrical damage or injury.
- Locate the tailgate lock assembly. It is usually located on the interior of the tailgate and can be accessed by removing any covers or panels that are in the way.
- Once you have access to the lock assembly, carefully disconnect the wiring harness and any linkage connected to it.
- Using a socket set or a screwdriver, remove the bolts or screws that secure the lock assembly to the tailgate.
- Remove the old lock assembly and inspect it for any damage or wear and tear. If it is visibly damaged or broken, replace it with a new one.
- Install the new lock assembly in place of the old one and secure it using the bolts or screws you removed earlier.
- Reconnect any wiring harness or linkage that was disconnected in step 3, making sure that everything is properly secured.
- Test the lock by attempting to lock and unlock the tailgate using the key or remote. If it is still not functioning correctly, try lubricating the lock mechanism with a lubricant spray to see if that helps.
- If lubricating the lock mechanism does not solve the issue, it may be a sign of a more significant problem, and you may need to seek the assistance of a professional mechanic.
Once you are confident that the lock is functioning correctly, reconnect the negative battery cable, and test the tailgate again to ensure that it is functioning as it should.
Symptom 2 of 3: Unusual sounds when attempting to open the tailgate
When attempting to open a Nissan tailgate, unusual sounds can be a sign of a problem that requires attention. These sounds can range from clicking or grinding noises to squeaks and rattles, all of which can indicate that there is an issue with the tailgate’s components.
Clicking or grinding noises can be a sign of a problem with the lock mechanism, as the lock may be attempting to engage or disengage but failing to do so correctly. This can cause the mechanism to make clicking or grinding noises as it attempts to work.
Regardless of the specific sound, it is essential to address any unusual noises when attempting to open the Nissan tailgate promptly. Ignoring these sounds can lead to further damage and potentially costly repairs.
Cause: Rust or corrosion on the tailgate latch or Cold Conditions
Rust or corrosion on the tailgate latch and cold conditions can cause unusual sounds when attempting to open the Nissan tailgate. Rust or corrosion can cause the latch mechanism to become stiff and difficult to operate. This can result in clicking, grinding, or squeaking noises when attempting to open the tailgate.
In addition to rust and corrosion, cold temperatures can also cause the tailgate latch to become stiff and difficult to operate. When exposed to cold temperatures, the metal components of the latch can contract.
This can cause the mechanism to become less flexible and less responsive. It can result in unusual sounds when attempting to open the tailgate, including clicking, grinding, or squeaking noises.
Solution: Lubricate the latch mechanism with a lubricant spray or oil
If the unusual sounds when attempting to open the Nissan tailgate are caused by rust, corrosion, or cold conditions, lubricating the latch mechanism can help solve the problem. Here are the steps to lubricate the latch mechanism:
- Lubricant spray or oil (such as WD-40)
- Cloth or rag
- Open the tailgate and inspect the latch mechanism for any signs of rust or corrosion. If there is any buildup or debris, remove it using a cloth or rag.
- Apply a lubricant spray or oil to the latch mechanism. Make sure to apply the lubricant to all moving parts, including the latch itself and the hinges.
- Move the latch mechanism back and forth to distribute the lubricant evenly.
- Wipe off any excess lubricant with a cloth or rag.
- Close and open the tailgate a few times to ensure that the latch mechanism is functioning smoothly and quietly. You can use a rough country tonneau cover to keep it away from damp conditions.
- If necessary, repeat the lubrication process until the unusual sounds disappear.
It is recommended to lubricate the latch mechanism periodically to prevent rust, corrosion, and other issues that can cause unusual sounds or damage to the tailgate.
Symptom 3 of 3: Tailgate opens but won’t stay open
When a Nissan tailgate opens but won’t stay open, it can be a frustrating and potentially dangerous issue. A properly functioning tailgate should be able to remain open, allowing easy access to the storage area in the back. However, when the tailgate won’t stay open, it may suddenly close, potentially injuring anyone who is in the way.
One of the first signs of this problem is when the tailgate begins to sag or feels heavier than usual when opening. This can be an indication that the tailgate’s lift supports are starting to wear out. Which means it can no longer support the weight of the tailgate.
Over time, this can worsen, and the tailgate may start to close on its own. This will make it difficult to load or unload any cargo.
When the tailgate won’t stay open, it may also be due to issues with the hinges or latch mechanism. If the hinges are worn or damaged, they may not be able to hold the weight of the tailgate. This can cause it to drop down.
Similarly, if the latch mechanism is not properly engaged, the tailgate may not stay in the open position. Instead what it will do is, slide back down, closing unexpectedly.
Cause: Worn or damaged tailgate struts or shocks
Tailgate struts or shocks are an essential component of a Nissan vehicle’s tailgate. They are responsible for supporting the weight of the tailgate and keeping it open while accessing the cargo area.
Over time, these struts or shocks may wear out due to regular use and exposure to the elements. This could lead to a variety of issues, including a tailgate that opens but won’t stay open.
When the struts or shocks are worn or damaged, they may no longer have the strength to support the weight of the tailgate. This can cause it to drop down or close unexpectedly.
This can be a safety hazard, particularly if someone is accessing the cargo area at the time. Additionally, a tailgate that won’t stay open can be a nuisance, as it can make it difficult to load or unload large items or hold the tailgate open while working.
In some cases, the struts or shocks may simply need to be adjusted or tightened to fix the issue. However, if they are worn or damaged, they will likely need to be replaced entirely. This can be the reason behind a Ram tailgate not opening as well.
Solution: Replace Tailgate Struts or Shocks
Here are the steps to replace tailgate struts or shocks on a Nissan vehicle:
Materials and tools needed:
- Replacement tailgate struts or shocks
- Flathead screwdriver
- Safety glasses
- Start by opening the tailgate to gain access to the tailgate struts or shocks.
- Look for the mounting brackets on both sides of the tailgate and locate the retaining clips that hold the struts or shocks in place.
- Use pliers or a flathead screwdriver to remove the retaining clips from the mounting brackets on both sides.
- Once the clips are removed, carefully remove the old tailgate struts or shocks by pulling them away from the mounting brackets.
- If the new tailgate struts or shocks come with retaining clips, remove them before installing the new parts.
- Align the new struts or shocks with the mounting brackets on both sides of the tailgate.
- Push the struts or shocks into the brackets until you hear a clicking sound. This indicates that the retaining clips have securely attached the struts or shocks to the mounting brackets.
- Test the new struts or shocks by opening and closing the tailgate.
- If the tailgate stays open and closes properly, you have successfully replaced the tailgate struts or shocks.
- Dispose of the old struts or shocks properly and ensure that all tools and materials are properly stored.
Remember to wear safety glasses while working on your vehicle to prevent any injuries. Also, if you are unsure about the process, seek the assistance of a professional mechanic.
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Which Nissan Trucks Face Tailgate Issues?
Tailgate issues are not uncommon in Nissan trucks, and specific problems can occur with different models. Owners must promptly address these issues to avoid further damage and ensure safe driving.
The Nissan Frontier is one such model that can face tailgate issues, such as a broken tailgate handle. This can make it difficult or impossible to open the tailgate. A broken handle can make it difficult to access the cargo bed and may pose a safety risk.
The Titan is another model that can experience tailgate issues, specifically with the tailgate latch failing to open or close properly. A faulty latch mechanism or broken cable can cause this issue, and sometimes the entire tailgate may need to be replaced.
A qualified mechanic should address this issue, as a faulty latch can cause the tailgate to open unexpectedly while driving.
The Navara is another Nissan truck model that can face tailgate issues. Owners have reported problems with the tailgate struts or shocks, which can cause the tailgate to fail to stay open or close properly. Replacing the struts or shocks is a solution, but a qualified mechanic should do it to ensure proper installation.
Owners of the Nissan Pathfinder have also reported issues with the tailgate failing to close properly or popping open while driving. This can be caused by a faulty latch or locking mechanism that may need replacement. Addressing this issue promptly is crucial to avoid safety risks while driving.
Overall, Nissan truck owners must be aware of potential tailgate issues and promptly address them. Proper maintenance and use of the tailgate can also prevent issues from occurring.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Can I manually close a power liftgate that’s automatic?
Using your hands to manually push or pull the liftgate may trigger the obstacle detection feature of the system, causing it to halt or reverse its direction, imitate a strut malfunction, or harm the mechanical parts. Avoid standing near the liftgate while utilizing the rear switch.
What is the price range for fixing a tailgate lock?
On average, the cost to replace a tailgate lock cylinder ranges from $100 to $111. The labor cost is estimated to be between $40 and $50, and the parts cost is approximately $61. Please note that this estimate does not include any taxes or fees and may vary based on the specific make and model of your vehicle.
Is it possible to convert my manual liftgate to an automatic one?
Yes, you can transform your manual liftgate into a power liftgate for a much lower cost by installing an aftermarket liftgate. These kits typically include a control module, replacement power struts, a power latch, wiring harnesses, and switches or buttons to activate the power liftgate.
That’s the end of the line. We hope you got all your answers regarding what to do when your Nissan tailgate won’t open.
We will be back with more informative stuff very soon. Till then, happy driving!
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