Spotting and Troubleshooting Dodge Ram 3500 Tailgate Lock Issues
Your tailgate is as important as any of your truck's doors. The only difference is the cargo that it protects. For the Dodge Ram 3500, the huge bed could contain such important cargo that you have installed truck bed or tonneau covers. However, these covers are useless if you have a busted tailgate lock. The tailgate lock enables you to store your cargo securely in your pick-up truck's bed. But because of its heavy usage, the tailgate lock is prone to breaking. Here are some ways on how you can quickly address you Dodge Ram 3500 tailgate lock issues.
Key will not turn to unlock
If your tailgate won't unlock with your key but unlocks with the central locking mechanism then your issue is the key cylinder. There might be some frozen moisture in the keyhole that you may need to thaw with a lock de-icer. Or you may need to lubricate with WD-40 or any off-the-shelf auto lubricating product.
Key cannot enter the keyhole
The key cylinder has no way to keep small debris from entering and lodging itself inside. Small debris prevents the key from properly entering the key cylinder. If this is the case, then you need to remove the entire tailgate assembly and clean out the keyhole. If the gunk is stuck, and refuse to budge then you may need to buy a replacement.
Central locking system won't open the tailgate
If you find that the central locking system opens all doors except your tailgate then this means your tailgate locking actuator or solenoid has failed. This can either mean that no power is reaching the actuator so check the wires and the fuse. If the power goes through then it means you have a bad actuator and you need to replace it. You can also check the condition of the tailgate lock's plastic gears as they are prone to wear and tear. Once you've cleared the locking systems mechanisms, then the tailgate lock should respond to the central locking system.
Won't open at all
If the lock refuses to budge with key or the central locking system then you might want to try using a little force. There are times when the lock catch is misaligned and just need a firm bump to move it into place. You can open then tailgate assembly and check how far off the locking catch is so you can adjust accordingly.