Volvo Xc70 Tailgate Won’t Open [Complete Guideline!]

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Written By Waylon Joe

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If you own a Volvo XC70 and have been struggling to open the tailgate, you are not alone! Many drivers have experienced a malfunctioning tailgate that won’t open, leaving them unable to access their cargo area. 

Unfortunately, this issue is all too common and can be extremely frustrating. But it’s possible to fix the tailgate easily!

So, what to do when the volvo xc70 tailgate won’t open

Faulty latches, cables, shock struts, handles, and corroded tailgate links can be the roots of the problem. To solve this issue, firstly, replace the latch mechanism of the tailgate. Secondly, replacing the shock struts of the tailgate will bring back functionality to it. Thirdly, replace the handle of the tailgate. Finally, clean off any corrosion or rust build-up on the latch and handle of the tailgate.

That’s not all of the information. Read the article till the end to get all the critical information and steps to solve the tailgate issue!

Stuck Volvo Xc70 Tailgate: 4 Possible Reasons and Solutions!

The situation where your Volvo Xc70 tailgate is stuck can be frustrating. I have mentioned a couple of common reasons why your Volvo Xc70 might get stuck. The solutions are given here as well!

Faulty Latch and Tailgate CablesLatch Mechanism Not Working CorrectlyReplace the Latch of the Tailgate
Faulty Tailgate Shocks StrutsTailgate Won’t BudgeCheck and Replace the Shocks Struts 
Tailgate Handle Not WorkingLoose or Faulty Tailgate HandleReplace the Handle of the Tailgate
Corroded Links of TailgateNoisy TailgateClean the Rust and Corrosion
Stuck Volvo Xc70 Tailgate

Problem 1: Latch Mechanism Not Working Correctly

The latch mechanism controls the entire opening and closing of the Volvo Xc70’s tailgate. So whenever the tailgate’s latch mechanism isn’t working, a faulty latch is the common culprit.

With time, the latch and the cables wear off. As a result, the latch doesn’t deliver any locking mechanism. This is one of the most mainstream reasons why the tailgate of GMC Sierra doesn’t open.

The quality lessens and it might break/split, causing the tailgate mechanism to fail. It does increase risks because faulty mechanisms are unpredictable and people might get injured from it.


For fixing the issue related to the latch, you’ll have to replace it. Here’s a step-by-step guideline on replacing the latch on the Volvo Xc70:

  • First, pop out the button of the tailgate by using a plier. Unplug the handle and keep it for later use.
  • Then, remove the locking harness from the tailgate. There should be a rubber piece holding it to the tailgate. Remove the rubber piece and the harness should come off.
  • Next, remove the handle. Two T25 screws hold the handle. Unscrew the screws and set the handle aside. Along with the handle screws, take the 2 T25 screws from the sides of the tailgate as well.
  • Now, you can jerk the plastic section of the tailgate off. You should now have direct access to the tailgate latch assembly.
  • Then, disconnect the latch assembly and unscrew all the T25 screws. You might need to unscrew the number plate of the car to take the harness off totally. It’s applicable for Volvo Xc70 models ranging from 2008-2016.
  • Now, you can put in a new latch assembly. Secure it with the necessary T25 screws and plug it back in. Screw back the number plate, if you’ve removed it.
  • Finally, place back the plastic housing and screw in the 2 T25 screws on the side. Also, restore the locking harness, button, and tailgate handle.

Problem 2: Tailgate Won’t Budge

The strut shocks of the tailgate maintain free movement. If the tailgate is unlocking but isn’t moving, it may be for worn-out strut shocks. The struts tend to damage over time because of bumps and wear out naturally. 


For this fix, you will need to replace the shocks and struts of the tailgate. Here are the steps-

  • Firstly, make sure you match the part number while ordering the shocks and struts for the tailgate.
  • Then, start by removing the trunk’s illumination. You’ll be able to pop out the tailgate light with your hand. Unscrew the 8mm bolt alongside that.
  • Now, pop out the trim cover by pulling down on it. It’s attached by metal clips, save them for later.
  • Next, you will be able to see the two struts that operate the tailgate’s swings. Remove the side panel by pulling it towards you.
  • Then, remove the pop liner on the roof. There you should see a 13mm bolt. Unscrew it using a hex key. Do this on both sides. This will allow you to have enough space to successfully replace the struts.

After that, remove the catch from the struts and then remove the struts by pushing them sideways.

If you can, have someone hold the tailgate for you because the tailgate can’t hold itself without the struts.

Tailgate Won’t Budge
  • For the next step, prep the new struts by sliding their catches halfway. It will allow easy installation. Place the new struts and push them in to secure the catch.

    Then, push the struts from the sides to finalize the installation of the strut shocks. Do this for both of them.
  • Finally, you can start securing the tailgate. Reattach the pop liner on the roof and screw back the 13mm screw. Then, reattach the side panels and the trim covers. Secure them with the metal clips you saved earlier.

    And then pop the tailgate light back in and secure it by screwing the 8mm bolt.

If your tailgate module is somehow damaged, you’ll need to reinstall it. This video can help you install it easily-

Read also: Bakflip Mx4 Problems

Problem 3: Loose or Faulty Tailgate Handle

When the tailgate handle doesn’t work, the tailgate cannot unlock properly. Although the latch may let the tailgate open, the handle doesn’t let the tailgate of the hook. This is also a common reason why you may find a Nissan tailgate failing to open.

This happens when the tailgate handle is not working. Also, check the handle to see if it’s loose. Grip the handle of the tailgate and try to move it. If it seems a bit lanky, it’s loose. If the handle is loose in any way, the mechanism will be dysfunctional as well.


To fix the problem with the handle, you’ll need to replace the handle. Follow the steps below-

  • First, unscrew the T25 screws on both sides of the tailgate. Also, unscrew another set of T25 screws from the inside handle. Pop the handle out.
  • Then, remove the locking harness from the tailgate. Remove the rubber piece on the harness and it will come right off.
  • Next, remove the pop liner of the roof and the number plate on the outside. You can access the inside of the handle now.
  • After that, remove the handle screws. Two T25 screws hold the handle. Unscrew the screws. Disconnect the plug as well. Use a flat-headed screwdriver to pry out the old handle.
  • Now, place the new handle inside. You can use clear silicone to secure the wiring of the handle before putting it in place.
  • Next, secure the handle with the two T25 screws and plug the connector of the handle back in.
  • Then, restore the pop liner from the roof and screw back the number plate outside. Also, screw back in the inside handle.
  • Finally, put the locking harness back in place and secure it with the rubber piece. The entire setup can be now secured by screwing back the 2 T25 screws on the sides of the tailgate.

    To mitigate the damage to the handles, the bed liner may help. You can consider applying bed liners on your SUV to further protect it from damage.

Read also: How To Fix Tonneau Cover Latch?

Problem 4: Noisy Tailgate

If you’re hearing screeching or any kind of noise when opening the tailgate, it indicates some problems. These noises are the result of any corrosion inside the tailgate.

Noisy Tailgate

Rust and corrosion are deadly for tailgates because they can make the latch and handle dysfunctional too. Low temperatures are also a reason for the weird noises coming from the Xc70’s tailgate.


Solving this issue consists of cleaning the rust and corrosion off of the tailgate. To clean the rust off the tailgate-

  • First, open the tailgate and remove the pop liners and plastic housings. This will help you access the handle and latch mechanism.
  • Then, spray some degreaser spray on the mechanisms. Applying a degreaser will clean the rust right off.
  • Finally, clean off the excess degreaser with a cloth. The degreaser will act as a lubricant for the mechanisms. Avoid putting in extra lubricant as it may damage the wirings!

How to Open the Volvo Xc70 Tailgate in Emergencies

The Volvo Xc70’s tailgate might not open in dire times. For instance, in scenarios where you have to access the cargo immediately. In these situations, you might be unable to do the above repairs. 

So the solution would be to open the tailgate of the Volvo Xc70 from the inside of the SUV. This will give you an upper hand in this unfortunate situation. In the next segment, the steps for opening the Volvo Xc70’s tailgate are mentioned-

  • Firstly, climb on the backside of your Volvo Xc70.
  • Next, find the trim piece above the rear wiper and firmly grasp it, and pull really hard. The clips will start giving away and in a short time, you’ll be able to open them.
  • After that, from the exterior handle, trace the rod that extends downward.
  • Then, find the “catch” at the bottle’s middle side. You can use a flashlight for ease. When the rod engages the catch, it releases the lock mechanism of the tailgate.
  • Finally, use a screwdriver to push on the catch. It will cause the locking mechanism to release and the tailgate lock will open.

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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What are the different types of tailgates?

There are a few different types of tailgates such as cantilevers, sliders, tuck-aways, etc. These different tailgates have different mechanisms and they can take a different amounts of loads as well.

Where is the emergency trunk release on a vehicle?

The emergency trunk release vehicle is located on the right corner of the vehicle’s trunk. This is a safety feature that allows you to open the vehicle’s trunk from the inside. You can activate this release by pushing on the emergency release/lever.

How do you open a broken door latch on your truck?

To open a broken door latch of your truck, first, find the spindle of the latch and pull it. After that, take a screwdriver and put the screwdriver in between the opening of the spindle. Next, pull on the screwdriver to retract the latch and keep pushing the truck door throughout the process.


That’s everything you need to know when your volvo xc70 tailgate won’t open

If you’re not comfortable handling truck mechanism-related issues on your own, don’t stress. Give a call to your local mechanic and they will take care of it!

Have a great day and best of luck.

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