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GMC Tailgate Handle Cover

Troubleshooting Common Issues With The GMC Tailgate Handle Cover

The tailgate door handle cover not usually one of the parts GMC owners have problems with, but this does not mean that they are invulnerable. Whether they are made of plastic or metal, tailgate door handle covers are also prone to wear and damage, especially if they are constantly exposed to the elements. The following are just some of the common problems involving GMC tailgate door handle covers and how to troubleshoot them.


Whether it's an errant key or a misjudged parking attempt, scratches are one of if not the most common problem involving tailgate handle covers. Restoring scratched handle covers is possible, but it depends on the severity of the damage. First, use your fingernail to run over the scratch to gauge the extent of the damage. If the scratch is deep or has compromised the integrity of the tailgate handle cover, it might be better to have it replaced instead. On the other hand, if the scratch is superficial, it is still quite possible to get it repaired. Sanding, claying, and polishing typically solves minor to moderate scratches on GMC tailgate handle covers, although we also recommend adding a layer of glaze afterwards to protect the cover from further scratches and damage in the future.


For steel tailgate door handle covers, rust is another problem that can make the door handle assembly look ugly and compromise its structural integrity. If the handle cover in your GMC is starting to rust, inspect the corroded area to determine the extent of the damage. If the corrosion is minimal, it can still be treated by sanding and polishing the tailgate handle cover's surface, but if the decay is deep (to the point that the material gives significantly when you push against it), it may be better to have it replaced instead.

Peeling chrome

Plastic tailgate handle covers with chrome finishes will eventually peel off over time, but in most cases these can be repaired by recoating it with a fresh chrome spray paint. If the peeling covers only the tailgate handle cover, you can remove the tailgate handle to make recoating easier. Also, check if the surface of the tailgate handle cover has grease, paint residue, and dirt, and clean the cover if necessary. We recommend using chrome paints that are designed for use on plastic and fiberglass, and wear mask, goggle, and gloves when conducting the recoat.

  • Tips on Taking Care of GMC Tailgate Door Handle Covers

    Though they can certainly hold up on their own, regular cleaning and maintenance of the tailgate handle cover of your GMC not only helps make your tailgate handle assembly look brand new but also protect it against wear. In this guide, we'll share some simple cleaning and maintenance tips for GMC tailgate handle covers.

    Look for and buff out scratches.

    While it certainly won't render the tailgate handle unusable, scratches on the tailgate handle cover - which are often caused by fingernails and other errant sharp objects -can be quite an ugly sight. Thankfully, minor to moderate scratches can be removed or minimized by washing, claying, and polishing the tailgate handle cover. Using car wash soap, wash the handle cover and dry. Next, clay the area you want to polish to remove any impurities on the paint surface. Pour a sizable amount of smoothing hand polish on a foam applicator and apply it to the affected area, wiping in a circular motion until the scratches disappear. We also recommend adding a layer of glaze to cover up any microscopic scratches and blemishes on the tailgate handle cover surface.

    Polish chromed plastic handle covers with glass cleaner.

    If your GMC's tailgate handle covers are made of chromed plastic, polishing it regularly with regular household glass cleaner can remove any contaminants and blemishes on the chromed surface without harming the painted areas of the tailgate. Simply apply the glass cleaner onto the chrome and wipe with a lint-free cloth. Typically, chromed tailgate handle covers do not scratch that easily, so feel free to apply moderate pressure when wiping to get rid of stubborn stains.

    Protect painted tailgate handle covers with quality paint sealant.

    On the other hand, if the tailgate handle cover in your GMC is coated with paint, apply quality paint sealant on the surface of the cover. Paint sealant can help protect the tailgate handle cover against scratches and scuffs and reduce the number of times you have to clean and polish the tailgate handle assembly. Make sure to apply the sealant on a dry surface and apply the thinnest coat as possible for maximum shine and depth (we recommend using foam wax applicators for this purpose). Buff the resulting haze away with a microfiber until the cover becomes clear and shiny.