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Jeep Grand Cherokee Tailgate Won't Open

Bought mine used with only a few problems, but the main ones are the tailgate which is stuck closed (you can hear the elec lock engage and disengage when elec door lock and regular door key is used and, the battery completely dies after two or three days of it sitting idle.

Also, I get a constant 'Rear Lamp Failure' messege on the in-cabin computer as well as a very loud noise from the front left tire assembly.

Any ideas? Thanks


  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    Go to the Jeep Grand Cherokee Electrical Problems topic to discuss the battery problem. It is confusing to have separate issues discussed in a single topic and makes it harder for people to find the information they need.

    tidester, host
  • i also have a 96 jeep grand cherokee , my tailgate opens very rarely , how did you get yours to open ?
  • I have a '97 model that had a broken tailgete. There was a connecting rod that had come loose between the handle and the latch. The dealer charged $68.00 to reconnect it last week. It worked 3 times and now it's broke again. Bummer... The dealer will get another shot at it this week.
  • spaughn1spaughn1 Posts: 2
    Changed the battery, but the tailgate still won't open. Any other suggestions on opening it to finally fix it once and for all?
  • i have found with almost every car that has a battery draining over the course of a couple of days that the vehicle has a badly oxidized ground or gound strap comming from the motor to the firewall or from the starter. check all you grounds to make sure they are clean and in good condition. as for the rear hatch i have sprayed PB Blaster in the crack of the rear hatch where the pins and locks are and sprayed them down, let them marinate for a couple house and was able to free the hatch in my wifes 95.
  • jeeps2jeeps2 Posts: 45
    Been a while since I last visted this site. 96GC tailgate wont open. can hear the lock work with the keypad and works with the key, just won't open when using the handle. Any ideas on hoe to access the latch rods in the gate? Any ideas on how to open the gate to make a repair? Thanks for your help.
  • jeeps2jeeps2 Posts: 45
    96JGC OK, I found some time after work to play with this tailgate. First, I got in the back of the jeep, took the two screws out of the back panel just below the window. Next, I pulled the panel back so I could reach my hand down between the panel and the tailgate. Be careful not to pull back to far as you can break the plastic panel. Next, locate the rod that goes to the latch and pull it up. Bingo, the gate will open. Next, I removed the screws around the bottom half of the inside panel. You will also find a scerw in the top corner of the carpet on both sides. They will have to be removed as well. Run your finger around the top corners and you should find the. You WILL NOT SEE THEM.Once removed, Then pull the panel off. No need to remove the top half of panel. It will take a little muscle because the panel has snap pins holding the inside panel to the tailgate. Once removed,take care to remove the noise insulation from the tailgate. It is going to be tough to peel off because of the adhesive they use, but it will come off. Now you have access to the lock and rods. All I found wrong with mine is the lack of use allowed some grime to build up on the release. Some good cleaning with WD40 and the parts shine like new and work just as well as new. Hope this info helps. Really an easy fix.
  • the tailgate problem is because they used some half assed mechanism to open the hatch, its basically a small bolt with rigdes on it and a split piece of metal that grabs the ridges. so after a few hundred time of opening it, the ridges get warn off. you need to take the interior door panel off (there is screws all around the top, side, and on th front covered by carpet usually), i just wrapped wire around the bolt and split piece of metal to hold it together. left front noise is most likely the axel, you gotta replace 'em
  • 95jgc95jgc Posts: 1
    Thanks for this advice! My 95 Jeep GC had the same problem. You must have a real thin arm to be able to call it an easy fix, but I managed to grab that lever eventually, and voila! WD40 fixed the rest, wish it could fix Death Wobble.
  • jeeps2jeeps2 Posts: 45
    Happy to help 95jgc.
  • Hello, i've got a problem with the button that opens the tailgate window on my '00 JGC and i was just wondering if anybody has replaced theirs or fixed it? and how much was the parts and all? To make a long story short, my mom backed the car up from the garage with the tailgate open and i guess she didnt notice and the button must of got hit by the garage door. Ever since then it doesnt work when you press it. Wondering if maybe its broken or just need to pop something back in place....i appreciate your guys' help

  • Yes, I too did not find it "easy" but I did eventually get it (after donating some blood to my car). I lubed everything up that I could get to. I think the biggest problem is that stupid metal clip and the rod that it is supposed to hold on to. Mine had come off all together. So as I reassembled everything I put the rod in place and safety wired the snot out of it so it can not pop off again.

    Side note: I read somewhere about removing the nuts underneath that hold on the striker to open the door. That did not work at all, there was not enough room for the studs to come up through the holes. Then I had to readjust it so the door would not rattle.
  • The electric solenoid for the lock in the tailgate just ratchets instead of unlocking the hatch or window. Has any body had to replace this item and are they readly available in salvage yards
  • Are you talking about the button that open the tailgate? If so I had the same problem, one day while cleaning my car I just decided to take some screws out and check it out for myself. It turned out to be that the button just popped out of place inside so I just put it back into place. Now when i press the button it actually opens the window, seems like you might be talking about something else though
  • I was just wondering whether or not you have fixed your problem yet. If not, let me know and I think that I can help you.
  • No I haven't. If you have a solution please let me know
  • Could you pass on to me the solution you had in mind. This has become a real pain
  • larballlarball Posts: 1
    Did you ever get a reply from dixiecrawler about fixing the tailogate?
  • osheaoshea Posts: 2
    I have a 1996 Grand Cherokee, V-8. Coming up on 190,000 miles and I am receiving a message "Coolant sensor bad". Can anyone tell me/assist me with what and were to check/replace/address this message/warning. Thanks.
  • 05jeepman05jeepman Posts: 12
    I have an '05 J GC Laredo, and cannot get the liftgate open. Is there a fuse or something that I should change out. Also, one of the brake lights is out, and I need to change it before I get a ticket. Anyone know how to get the liftgate to work again???
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