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Ford F-250 Tailgate Handle

Proper Diagnosis of Your Ford F-250 Tailgate Handle Problems

You've got an important party to attend. You're trying to impress the host, who happens to be a girl from work you really like. You're in charge of bringing a beer keg and some other stuff, and you've got them secured at the back of your F-250. You park your truck and attempt to unload your cargo when you run into a major problem-the tailgate handle is stuck. Being unable to open the tailgate means it will be harder for you to get to the rear of your vehicle. Although a Ford F-250 tailgate handle is a durable component, it can still encounter problems. It's exposed to weather and road elements that could potentially damage it. Listed below are some common problems with the tailgate handle and how you can check what is causing them:

The tailgate handle won't open the tailgate.

If your tailgate handle won't open your tailgate even if you pull at it several times, the guide clip that attaches to the tailgate rod might be broken. This can be an economical and easy fix, as the guide clips come with a replacement bezel and handle kit. These parts are not expensive. You can remove the old bezel by wedging a flathead screwdriver between the bezel and the tailgate. The bezel is attached to the tailgate by tabs. Pry the bezel off and locate the damaged or broken guide clip, and replace it with a new one. A handle that's not opening the tailgate can also mean the latch or rod is broken, so inspect these as well. Although these two are made of metal and are sturdy, they can sometimes break due to exposure to weather elements.

The handle is stuck.

When you notice the handle is not responding at all to your pulling, it's time to check whether the rotating latch behind the handle has locked up due to rust or corrosion. This is unavoidable, as the handle is an exterior component that is exposed to grime, heat, and dirt every day. In extreme cases, the handle itself might break due to the force you put into pulling it when trying to open the tailgate. Remove the bezel and inspect the rotating latch behind the handle for damage. Most of the time, it can be solved with a generous application of WD-40 or penetrating oil.

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  • Maintaining Your Ford F-250 Tailgate Handle

    Imagine driving down the road with your speakers on full blast. You're trying to vent out after a long day and don't want to hear a lot of noise from outside your truck. You don't hear your tailgate banging away at the back of your truck, either. You finally notice it, stop your truck, and inspect the damage. You find your tailgate handle-a chrome one you had installed a while back-rusty, corroded, and loose enough to prevent the tailgate from being locked properly. Although it's relatively inexpensive to replace your tailgate handle, you should still take care of it to make it last as long as the life of your truck. Here are some maintenance tips to keep in mind:

    Always make sure the bezel is not loose.

    Making sure that the bezel is attached properly to the tailgate prevents damage to the handle itself. It's only logical-a loose bezel means the handle might become misaligned. With enough force, the rotating latches behind the handles might become damaged, or the handle itself might break. When the handle is compromised, the latches, tailgate rod, and the clips holding these components together might also stop working.

    Don't use too much force when pulling the handle.

    Pulling the handle hard every time you open your tailgate might not present immediate and visible damage. However, the handle might wear out in time or might become misaligned. Worse, it could break, leaving you with a stuck tailgate. Using the right amount of force when opening the tailgate can make the handle last long.

    Apply lubricant to the latches regularly.

    Since it's very easy to take off the tailgate latch bezel, take time to lubricate the rotating latches, tailgate rod, and other metal parts inside. It shouldn't take you 15 minutes to do this. Apply WD-40 or penetrating oil and test their functionality right after. These components are exposed every day to heat and dirt, and these elements can take a toll on them. Clean the exterior with a rag to free it from dust as well. For chrome handles, apply WD-40 to the surfaces of the handle and the bezel as well.