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Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Tailgate

Simple Troubleshooting Tips for your Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Tailgate

Your Chevrolet Silverado 1500's tailgate is built tough to keep your cargo safe and secured. It serves as the entry point for your luggage and even passengers, so expect that it will wear out sooner or later. Applying too much force when opening or closing the tailgate makes it even more susceptible to damage. Its components, such as the latch and hinges, are also at risk of premature wear. So if your Chevrolet Silverado 1500 tailgate suddenly gets stuck and you don't know what to do, follow these simple troubleshooting tips to solve your problems:

Tailgate won't close

You've just loaded your cargo on your truck bed and you're ready to roll, except that your tailgate won't close. When this happens, don't slam the tailgate or even unload your cargo. An easy fix could be done by simply cleaning the latch. You can just check if there is any dirt buildup on the latch that makes it hard to close. If there is, you can clean it using a WD-40 water-displacing spray. This is only a temporary fix; you may have to replace your latch if you notice signs of premature wear and corrosion.

Tailgate won't open

You're ready to load your stuff into your truck bed, but the tailgate won't open. If you have a plastic tailgate handle, this problem could be due to extreme heat. You can spray cold water on the handle and try to open the latch again. But if you have a steel tailgate handle, a quick fix could be done by removing the nuts in the striker plate using a socket wrench. It is located underneath your truck between the bumper and the gas tank. Once you've removed its nuts, the tailgate should swing open. Just reinstall the striker afterwards.

Rusty tailgate

Since your tailgate is made of steel, it is indeed prone to corrosion. Inspect it for any rust spot on the truck bed or on the hinges to know if corrosion is starting to eat it up. You need to replace a rusty tailgate immediately, or else, compromise the security of your cargo with a weaker barrier.

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  • Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Tailgate: Four Tips to Keep it in Tip-Top Shape 27 February 2013

    Just like your front bumper, your Chevrolet Silverado 1500 tailgate reflects your personality as the owner of the vehicle. So if you have a dirty and rusty tailgate, then don't expect that people will admire you or your truck. Keeping your tailgate in good shape makes it more durable for you to have more cargos to haul and more tailgate parties to celebrate. Here are some easy ways to maintain your Chevrolet Silverado 1500 tailgate and extend its service life:


    Clean it regularly.

    Aside from the usual wash that you give to your truck, take time to clean your tailgate and truck bed as thoroughly and as often as possible. Since the tailgate is the entry point of all your cargo, there would always be dirt and spills that could damage it. Use a mild cleanser to clean your tailgate and make sure to let it dry before loading cargo. Water spills could damage its paint and cause it to corrode, so keep it clean before you load and after you unload your cargo.


    Apply rust-proofing.

    To keep your tailgate from becoming corroded, you can apply a layer of rust-proofing paint or spray on it. You can do this if you are replacing your stock tailgate. Retouch the damaged paint if necessary to keep the raw material from being exposed and prone to damage. Inspect it for rust spots and scratch them off using a sand paper immediately and paint it with a primer that matches the color of your truck.


    Replace damaged latch or hinge.

    Having a bad latch or broken hinge is not good at all if you frequently use your truck bed for loading cargo. Opening and closing the tailgate would be so much of a hassle if you do not replace your worn-out latch or broken hinge. Replacement parts are readily available in any auto parts store, so don't hesitant to replace the defective parts and restore your tailgate.


    Handle it with care.

    Whenever you open or close your tailgate, don't slam it or force it to open without turning the latch. Carefully open and close it and keep it lubricated to ensure that it will operate smoothly. When the tailgate won't open or close, you can bring your truck to your mechanic to know what is causing the problem.