What Problems to Expect from Your Jeep Wrangler (jk) Tailgate and How to Spot Them
While a Jeep Wrangler (jk) tailgate was built to keep up with the SUV's sturdy exterior, it is not unbreakable; it can encounter problems that render it inoperable. So before you're left with a Wrangler that has a wide open rear, check on your SUV's tailgate for the three most common problems listed below:
One of the most common problems of your Jeep Wrangler (jk) tailgate is a broken or stuck latch. An obvious symptom of this defect is when you can't open your SUV's tailgate no matter how hard you try. Having a stuck latch is not something that happens overnight-it is caused by excessive use and normal wear and tear. Another cause of a jammed tailgate on your Jeep Wrangler is a broken rod clip. This rod clip is piece of plastic fastener found on your Jeep Wrangler (jk) tailgate's link rod. It is responsible for the connection between its release linkage and the frame of the SUV. To discern which part is causing the stuck tailgate, try to use its handle. If the handle won't depress, then the problem lies in the latch. However, if the tailgate won't budge even when the handle works, then your Wrangler has a broken rod clip. In both cases, it's best to replace the damaged part with a durable component.
Broken tailgate handle
Tailgate handles, especially those made of plastic, are susceptible to damage. A broken handle will restrict access to your cargo space. Check if the two steel supports that connect the handle to the tailgate latch assembly are broken or rusted. This could cause the handle to snap off the assembly and hinder you from opening the Wrangler's tailgate completely.
A misaligned tailgate can happen for many reasons, from road collisions to simply leaving it closed with a rug still stuck to it. Although a simple messed up alignment of 1 mm isn't noticeable to the naked eye, you can tell that your Wrangler's tailgate is misaligned by listening to unnecessary noises while your vehicle is running. When you hear a lot of wind noise coming from the rear of the truck, that's a telltale sign that you're driving with a misaligned tailgate. You can also visually inspect your tailgate's mounting at the back of the car. Aligned tailgates should meet your Wrangler's roof exactly. If it is a few millimeters off the vehicle's roof line, then you've got yourself a misaligned tailgate.