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Jeep Grand Cherokee Tailgate Won't Open

spaughn1spaughn1 Posts: 2
edited February 11 in Jeep
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: 10,059
    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???
  • 05jeepman05jeepman Posts: 12
    I just posted this as a new topic. Guess I should have searched a little before hand. :blush:
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    just posted this as a new topic

    No biggie - we'll just move the post over here. :)
  • For the last year my locks were making a strange noise when opened or locked. Noise is now gone but now the tailgate won't unlock. I can't find a key lock on the tailgate anywhere to open manually, I guess they assume you'd always have the electronic lock working. How can I get the tailgate open and does it sound like I need to replace the tailgate lock solenoid?

  • I had just about given up when I ran across your 'how to." It saved me a bunch of headaches and I thank you. After getting the gate open I saw the irritatingly under engineered :) rod retainer system. After I make the rod retainer tighter I'll give it double protection with safety wire. Thanks again. icons/emotorcons/emo_smiley.gif
  • Just out of the blue my tailgate won't open it locks and unlocks but won't open any ideas how how to fix this?
    is there a fuse or some thing?
  • Did you ever get this fixed or figure out what it was? Am having the same problem and scared to take to dealship for in fear how much its going to cost. Just started today and tailgate will not open at all and making noise when use remote or switch inside. Sounds like your problem. Let me know if any ideas. thanks!
  • No, it is not fixed. We did go a dealer and he told us that there is no solution. The next year model has fixed the problem. He did tell us something that we could do---Remove the back panel on the tail gate, pull the mechanism out and replace it with one from the next year. Supposedly that will cure it. But since I have other vehicles I just never got around to do it. I did remove the panel, Ya, right! Now it sits in my drive with the back end all torn up. Let me know how it goes.
  • What I did was in fact open up the tail gate, take off the plastic inside cover, reach in the hole that gives you access towards the locking mechanism, look for the little arm that operates what appears to operate the lock/release trigger and pull it up or down (can't remember). There is a nut on this arm, adjust the nut up or down to the lock release works again/easier and retighten nut to this 'new' position. The adjustment was slight as I remember. Seems this nut loosens over time. Hope this helps. You will need a small flashlight and maybe a small pliers and some spray like WD 40.
  • mcjt22mcjt22 Posts: 3
    I actually took off the plastic got my hand in there, theres a slide bar on mine that was rusted to the bolt and washer simply cleaned it off with some PB blaster wire brushed it sprayed some ANTI-seize lubricant an put some ball bearing grease on it haven't had a problem since!
  • daddybigdaddybig Posts: 1
    My 95 GC has the same tailgate problem, but how I get it open is with your right hand you have to put your thumb on the key hole and push in fairly hard while pulling the works every time for me!
  • Last Saturday, for no obvious reason, the tailgate on my 2006 JGC Laredo will not open. Only thing that I did was a car wash.

    Normally, when one activates the "unlock" mode with the keyless remote, one hears a clicking sound of the tailgate locking mechanism. Now I only hear the sounds of the front row and second row doors, either locking or unlocking. No sound from the tailgate. The tailgate handle, when pulled, moves in the normal range of motion, but does nothing.

    On the inside of the tailgate, there is a plastic button, hole-cover about 1 1/2" in diameter.

    Q: Is it an access cover for a door release (override?)?

    Q: How does on get the door open without the keyless remote?

    Thanks for your help

    2006 JGCL
  • crs4crs4 Posts: 1
    Have a 2000 JGCL and rear lock is driving me nutz. Any luck with fixing the rear gate? have the same problem and need to be able to lock/unlock the back so when out running around or at work I wont have to worry about anyone getting in through the back. The front door I can use the key to lock and such but the rear there is no key hole....found the back little opening to get to the release bar but how can I lock it? Man this is driving me
  • jeepmabjeepmab Posts: 1
    your a genius!!!! that worked ......... thanks
  • earns2earns2 Posts: 1
    Brilliant thanks worked 1st time I tried it, talegate now open.
  • OmaanOmaan Posts: 1
    I have a jeep grand cherokee. 
    The lift gate doesn't open all the way 
  • OK Guys, I looked all over the web for a solution, nothing I found worked. Here is a video I put together showing the solution, tools, and parts needed (hint, it is the Door Lock Actuator that is causing the failure).
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