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Dodge Dakota Tailgate

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.

Difficulty moving

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.

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  • 3 Tips to Keep Your Dodge Dakota Tailgate Intact 27 February 2013

    Tailgates are roughly like a doorway to your pickup's bed. They are able to secure loads when closed, and they can also provide additional floor space when opened. Unfortunately, tailgates will always get banged up and damaged. With some extra care though, you can be sure that they will last a long time. Here are some Dodge Dakota tailgate maintenance tips you should know:


    Load the back of the Dakota properly.


    When putting heavy loads at the back of the pickup truck, be sure to load stuff properly. Try to arrange the load in a way that doesn't make an opening in the tailgate necessary. If there are too many things that need to be loaded or if the loads are too big, then you may lower the tailgate to accommodate them. Just be sure to put the majority of the weight on the truck itself and not on the tailgate. When loading large objects onto the truck bed, be sure to use a ramp to make the job easier. Some people may try to lift the heavy object and throw them onto the tailgate before pushing them into the truck. This puts too much stress on the tailgate and may even damage it.


    Consider using a tailgate cap or a tailgate protector.


    Tailgates are prone to damage--it's just the nature of their job. Fortunately, you can buy tailgate protectors and tailgate caps to provide additional protection to your tailgate. Some products are secured with fasteners or adhesives, making installation a breeze. If you're using a tonneau cover, then take care when getting a protector or a cap. They may not be compatible with each other, which may make installation a problem. Fortunately, there are some protectors and caps that are compatible with the tonneau cover.


    Inspect the tailgate for damage and corrosion.


    Given the ruthless nature of the tailgate's job, it's a good idea to inspect it from time to time. Pay special attention to any damage sustained and to rust formation. Minor damage can be ignored, though you can do some minor fixes if you're too concerned about the appearance of your Dakota. Significant damage and extensive rust should be repaired immediately. Check the tailgate cables as well and be sure that they are free from rust and damage.