Your Dodge Ram 1500 tailgate gives you easy access to loading and unloading your cargo at the back of the pickup. As it is not that resistant to wear and tear, you may encounter a number of problems that will impede your access to your loads at the truck bed. Sometimes, the tailgate simply just won't open or close. Here's a quick guide to help you identify the causes of such troubles.
A jammed latch prevents you from opening the tailgate. Check if there is something stuck in the latch. Sometimes, it can be the latch mechanism itself that is stuck. You can opt to put some lubricant to see if that is indeed the problem. But in the case that the lubricant doesn't work, you had better take off the access cover and remove the retaining screws and latch retainers. Check if there is any debris or whatnot that keeps the latch from working properly. Another probable reason why it won't open is a broken tailgate spring mechanism.
If you find a hard time opening or closing the tailgate or if you hear creaks and squeals while forcing it to open or close, the trouble might just be with stiff hinges and joints. If you manage to open it up enough, check the hinges for rust and corrosion. To prevent this from happening in the future, the hinges must be oiled or lubricated at least twice a year to prevent further corrosion.
The purpose of the tailgate cables is to make sure that the tailgate is level with the truck bed when it is opened and also to ensure that it does not fall. A worn tailgate cable will have some rust damage, which weakens its tensile strength. Check the cables from one end to another regularly so as to be able to prevent them from ever snapping, and thereby prevent a falling tailgate.
Depending on the load you carry every now and then on your Dodge's truck bed, the tailgate is bound to get scratches, big or small. There is even the danger of having the paint chipped off in some areas. Dents can also become common if you don't load up your stuff more carefully.