Answers to Problems with the Dodge Dakota Tailgate Lock
You're in a forest late at night and you choose to sleep in your car to avoid getting eaten by bears. But after an hour, a bear happily approaches; what could be the worst thing to happen? Well, aside from you failing to find a reason why you are in that forsaken forest in the first place, your car's tailgate may decide to just open and invite the bear in. You may not believe it but a lot of car owners experience problems like this with their tailgate lock-although hopefully none of them got eaten by a bear. To help you with these problems, we discussed the answers to some common problems with the lock.
First problem: the tailgate keeps opening every time you unlock the car doors-and by opening we mean in a "bear-enter-here" way. This is usually caused by a faulty switch mounted on the assembly. The microswitch is actually very sensitive; if it is pressed too hard, it'll get stuck and cause the problem mentioned above. A quick check at the switch would be enough to determine if this is the part at fault.
Another reason behind this problem is a faulty electrical connection between the switch and control system. There may be a short somewhere in the wires.
Operates but doors won't open
Second problem: the tailgate won't open despite you hearing the lock functioning. If you hear the lock working when you click it to open, then the problem is unlikely the electrical connection. The best bet here would be a broken spring inside the mechanism. Inside the lock, there is a spring that keeps the lock in a locked or unlocked position. If the spring is broken, there is a chance that the lock would keep returning to its "locked" state, causing the tailgate not to open. The spring can break over time or use so this problem isn't actually avoidable.
Third problem: the tailgate locks simply does nothing. If you do not observe any movement or noise in the assembly no matter how many times you push the controls, the problem is likely the electrical connections. Chances are a wire-or two or all of them-are cut, or that there is a short somewhere.