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GMC Sierra 1500 Tailgate Handle

GMC Sierra 1500 Tailgate Handle Problems

Some people purchase trucks because of their truck beds. This basically gives them the opportunity to haul heavy load, such as boat or camping treats, to bring them along on a weekend getaway with their family or friends. Basically, it comes with a tailgate to keep the stuff securely in place. The tailgate handle of a vehicle essentially gives you the luxury of opening the tailgate at ease. If this gets damaged, then you will surely have a hard time doing so. You wouldn't want to ruin the overall performance and look of your car with a broken tailgate handle, would you? So, here are some tips that you can use to diagnose a faulty GMC Sierra 1500 tailgate handle.

Stuck tailgate

One obvious instance that the tailgate handle could be jammed is when the tailgate refuses to open. If this is the case, it could be due to a worn tension spring. You can just simply get a replacement spring from any auto store. Instead of replacing the handle itself, you can just install a new tension spring and use the tailgate handle once again without any hassles.

Rusty mechanism

Another reason why the tailgate handle could be stuck is because the lock mechanism could be dirty and rusty. You can disassemble the tailgate handle to clean the dirty mechanism and old grease. This part could've rusted because it got all dried up after some time. You can add grease to lubricate it once again. Test the tailgate handle if it starts working again.

Locked tailgate that won't unlock

Test the tailgate handle and observe how the latch rods react. You can use a pair of needle-nose locking pliers to hold onto one of the rods. Lift it in the unlock direction while trying to open the tailgate with the handle. This will probably unlock the tailgate; but if not, you can just simply add another set of needle-nose pliers to the other rod. Be careful not to let go of the pliers and let the rods drop into the tailgate. Test the handle if you can lift the truck tailgate open.

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  • GMC Sierra 1500 Tailgate Handle Maintenance Guidelines 27 February 2013

    The truck's tailgate handle should always be kept in good condition at all times; otherwise, you would surely have a difficult time opening the tailgate to gain easy access to the truck bed to load all your heavy stuff. It's quite inevitable for this part to go south, especially if you don't take good care of it. So, before it gets any worse, make sure that you do proper upkeep to avoid any jammed locks in the future. Here are some helpful tips on how to maintain the good condition of your GMC Sierra 1500 tailgate handle.


    Gently open the tailgate.

    If you lift open the tailgate handle in a harsh manner, it can shock the mechanisms inside and cause it to jumble up. When lifting the handle, make sure that you do it in a calm manner so that it won't jeopardize the units.


    Regularly lubricate the mechanism.

    In due time, the mechanisms get dried up and cause them to rust. Sometimes, if it gets worse, it could get stuck and you won't be able to open the tailgate like you did before. To ensure that the units don't get complicated every time you try to open the stuck tailgate, make sure that you lubricate the components. By pulling the handle in an open position, feel any dry movement in the movement of the part. Spray a generous amount of lubricant into the mechanism and let it soak in. Open it once again and feel if the movement is better.


    Carefully remove the tailgate handle.

    If there's a problem with the tailgate, you'll have to remove the tailgate handle to access the parts in order to fix it. See to it that you do it carefully so that you won't end up damaging the handle as well. Cautiously pull out the plastic trim ring that's located around the tailgate handle and unbolt the inside using a ratchet and Torx-head socket. Then you can take out the tailgate handle from the tailgate as easy as that. Just be sure to be careful when doing every step to avoid damaging the handle.