As the owner of a heavy-duty General Motors pickup, you know that you have a tough workhorse that you can rely on its engine power and body strength. It can tow large and heavy loads or haul them in its cargo bed. However, you need to regularly clean and inspect your hardworking vehicle to ensure that it stays in shape. Your GMC Sierra 2500HD tailgate, in particular, must get good maintenance because you need it access your cargo bed. Here are some tips that you can follow:
Contrary to popular belief, driving with your tailgate down doesn't help you save up on gas. It's actually more fuel efficient to drive your heavy Sierra with your tailgate up because it creates a pocket of air that winds can swoosh over. This aerodynamic benefit also allows helps your tailgate last longer. Its hinges, mounts, and cables don't need to strain themselves in order to absorb constant shocks and minor injuries while supporting your tailgate.
GMC had to recall its 1999-2000 Sierra tailgates because of cables that didn't meet the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's standards. The NHTSA found that the galvanized steel tailgate cables could be corroded because water can penetrate their plastic coating. Inspect your tailgate cables yearly to ensure that your 2500HD won't fail you. Look closely at the middle of each cable to see if it is distorted in shape or size and there are nicks and scratches on the plastic. If they do, then you need to replace your cables before they break off.
Pickup owners can experience difficulties opening or the tailgate. Don't let this happen to your Sierra by regularly treating the tailgate's components. Apart from replacing the hinges and handle, you can also do minor maintenance work on your tailgate's other components. Be sure to scrape the rust off the tailgate latch with sandpaper and lubricate it with lithium grease to make sure it works well. If your tailgate is bent by an inch or two, then you can try to unbend it if the rods inside are still straight. If you can't keep your tailgate closed, try adjusting the striker posts towards the back of the truck, so that it shuts.