Common Problems Affecting a Dodge Dakota Tailgate.
Even the very tough tailgate is vulnerable to a number of problems. Such problems may bring many owners to the brink of despair, but if you know how to diagnose these issues and fix them, you won't have much of a problem. Be sure to address them immediately to prevent further damage to the tailgate and your truck. For more information about common Dodge Dakota tailgate problems, read on.
Tailgate is too low
If the tailgates are a lot lower than they should be, there could be a problem with the supports. Check the connecting brackets of these supports to see if they are still secure. Tighten any loose bolt or screw and replace any broken component. Inspect the supports themselves to determine if they are the problem. If the tailgate uses struts, then check if there is any fluid leak or damage on the cylinders. Try raising and lowering the tailgate as well to see if the struts still offer any resistance. If you think that the struts have failed, replace them immediately. If the truck uses tailgate cables, be sure that they haven't snapped or that rust hasn't taken hold of them.
If you have difficulty in moving the tailgate or if the tailgate is stuck and refuses to move, you will need to take it apart so that you can inspect it properly. Check out the hinges, pivots, and all the other moving parts; be sure they are free from rust and that they are still lubricated. You can remove rust with some wet sandpaper. Sandblasting is also pretty effective. Chemical treatments are also available, and they are, arguably, among the easiest ways to remove rust. When reinstalling these components, don't forget to add liberal amounts of lubrication to facilitate their movement. Check the alignment of the tailgate as well.
Tailgate does not open
The latches are usually to blame for this problem. You will have to take them apart to determine what is causing the problem. Occasionally, a squirt of grease is enough to fix it. If you see that a number of components have broken, then replace them immediately to fix the situation. If the latches look like they are beyond repair, then replace the whole latch assembly.