Tailgate Cable Buyer's Guide
- Tailgate cables, sometimes called tailgate straps, keep your tailgate at the right level when opening your rear compartment.
- It is usually bolted to the body of the vehicle and connected to your tailgate using eyelets.
- When shopping for tailgate cables, make sure that you are purchasing cables that are made of high-quality materials. Your tailgate cables are usually exposed to friction and stress. Buying substandard ones may do more harm than good.
- A typical tailgate cable replacement will cost you around $50 to $250.
Your tailgate provides access to the rear of your truck, van, or SUV. If you own a vehicle with a tailgate, then you probably would agree that your tailgate is one of those car components prone to wear and tear because of frequent use. Since your tailgate plays an important role when loading your cargo or payload, it is important to make sure that your tailgate components, like your tailgate cables, are in good condition at all times.
In this article, we will talk about tailgate cables, what they do, and when you should have them replaced.
What Is a Tailgate Cable?
Also called tailgate straps, these cables’ main function is to keep your tailgate at the right level when opening your rear compartment. A typical tailgate cable is bolted to the body of your vehicle and is connected to your tailgate with the help of eyelets.
Aside from providing access to your vehicle’s rear compartment, your tailgate also ends up as a loading platform when loading large cargo into the back of your truck. Without a good functioning cable, your tailgate may just slam open until it reaches the bumper.
A typical tailgate cable is usually made of multiple thin steel cables that are wrapped with either a protective rubber, nylon cover, or other similar protective material. Since these cables are essential components of your vehicle’s tailgate, it is important to ensure that you have strong and durable ones installed. You don’t have to worry about that because there are many high-quality and durable tailgate cables available at an equally affordable price.
What Are the Symptoms of a Faulty Tailgate Cable?
Your tailgate cables are pretty straightforward car parts, so it is quite easy to notice if one of them is going bad. When loading cargo at the back of your truck and you notice that your tailgate is uneven or not at the right level, this may be a clear indication that your tailgate cable is faulty. Aside from that, you should also watch for telltale signs such as visible wear and tear. You may opt to visually inspect your tailgate cables after loading or carrying heavy loads of cargo just to make sure that it is working properly. Aside from checking the cable itself, it is also recommended to check for a possible loose tailgate cable bolt.
A malfunctioning tailgate cable is considered a safety hazard. Once your tailgate accidentally swings open, it may reach your bumper and damage your vehicle’s aesthetics. Aside from that, cargo may also fall off while you’re driving, posing a safety risk for you and other drivers on the road.
What to Look For in a Tailgate Cable
Shopping for tailgate cables may be overwhelming. There may be a lot of OEM and OE replacement cables available and going through all of them may be time-consuming. To help you filter your options, here are things you should consider when shopping for tailgate cables:
When shopping for tailgate cable replacements, make sure to buy ones that are made of high-grade materials. Your tailgate cables are regularly exposed to stressful conditions such as lots of friction due to heavy cargo load. Buying substandard cables may only do more harm than good. Aside from that, your tailgate cables are also exposed to the elements and different weather conditions, making them vulnerable to wear and tear.
Aside from buying high-quality tailgate cables, it is also important to ensure that they are compatible with your vehicle. Before buying one, make sure that it fits your vehicle’s specifications. These cables are usually vehicle specific, so you have to make sure that the cable you are buying fits your vehicle. For example, a tailgate cable for dodge ram may differ in length and specifications compared to a tailgate cable for an F150.
High-quality tailgate cables do not always have to be priced high. There are many high-quality cables that are sold at an equally affordable price, just like the ones found at CarParts.com.
OEM and OE Tailgate Cables
When looking for tailgate cable replacements, you may also encounter the term OEM and OE. Below is a quick guide on differentiating the two.
OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. Car parts that are under this category are manufactured by your vehicle’s authorized manufacturer. OE tailgate cables, on the other hand, are made by third-party manufacturers. They work just like OEM car parts and are generally more affordable.
OEM and OE tailgate cables are both good choices. What is important is ensuring that the materials used for your cables are high-quality. Make sure to order your tailgate cables from legitimate sources like CarParts.com.
How Much Is a Tailgate Cable Replacement?
A tailgate cable replacement usually costs around $50 to $250, depending on the brand you choose. They can be sold individually, in sets, or as part of a whole kit.
Can I Replace Tailgate Cables by Myself?
Generally speaking, replacing tailgate cables or straps is easy. The process will just require you to disconnect the cables from your tailgate and remove the bolts. To attach new ones, you just need to raise the tailgate back up and attach the eyelets to your tailgate. However, keep in mind that your tailgate is heavy and if you’re not sure how to properly do it, you may just injure yourself.
There are many self-help videos online on how to replace tailgate cables, but if you’re not the type who loves to DIY, you can always opt to have your tailgate cables replaced by a trusted professional.
Finding the Right Fit
To ensure that you are getting the right fit, check the product specifications, the location, as well as the length of the cable before purchasing it. You may enter your specific vehicle details into our search engine to filter your choices. To add to that, you may also filter your search according to your preferred brand and price range. Browse through our wide selection of compatible tailgate cables.