Spotting Common GMC Sierra 2500 Tailgate Handle Problems
Your GMC Sierra 2500 tailgate handle provides you with easy access to your pickup bed. However, constant use of this component can eventually lead to the failure of its mechanical parts. If your tailgate handle has been giving you some trouble lately, it's probably time for you to do some repairs. Here are some problems that you might encounter with your tailgate handle:
Broken tailgate handle
Constant exposure to different temperatures and weather conditions can eventually make your Sierra's tailgate handle brittle and prone to breaking. Also, the more you use the tailgate handle to gain access to your pickup bed, the more it becomes worn out. The bad news is that the only way to make your tailgate locking mechanism useful again is to replace your broken tailgate handle, but on the bright side, replacing this component is a pretty inexpensive and easy fix. If you notice that your tailgate handle is starting to crack or if it completely snaps in two, then it's time for you to take out your toolbox and install a brand new tailgate handle on your truck.
Peeling chrome tailgate handle
Chrome tailgate handles are all the rage when it comes to customizing your pickup, but the sleek look of chrome handle becomes pretty much worthless when the chrome coating on your handle starts to flake off. Luckily, you can restore the shiny appearance of your chrome handle without having to replace the entire component. With some necessary prep work and a canister of chrome paint spray, you can make your chrome tailgate handle look as good as new.
Stuck tailgate handle
If your tailgate handle doesn't engage or disengage your locking mechanism properly, then you probably have a faulty latch or a broken rod. To verify the exact component that caused your tailgate handle issue, you will have to remove the mounting screws or clips that hold the handle itself and examine the latch and rods behind it. If any of your rods are bent or broken, then you will have to replace them. Make sure that you remove any dirt or rust that jams the rotating latch in your tailgate handle's mechanism as well.
Simple Tips for a Lasting GMC Sierra 2500 Tailgate Handle
For the most part, your GMC Sierra 2500 tailgate handle hardly requires your attention. However, regular cleaning and maintenance can still help you get the most out of this small component. Follow these simple steps to ensure that your tailgate handle always grants you easy access to your pickup bed:
Keep your tailgate handle and latch clean and rust-free.
Cleaning your tailgate handle and latch regularly is important in ensuring perfect performance from your tailgate locking mechanism. Make sure that you remove any debris that is wedged around your tailgate handle. As for the latch, spray some brake cleaner on it to allow the dirt buildup to loosen up then use a wire brush to remove as much of the grime as possible.
Lubricate your tailgate latch mechanism on a regular basis.
Apart from cleaning your tailgate latch, making sure that it is properly lubricated should also be part of your regular maintenance. Use a liberal amount of silicone grease and make sure that all the moving parts of the mechanism are properly coated. Make sure that you use heavy-duty silicone grease to guarantee that your tailgate handle stays properly lubricated for long.
Paint your old and chipped tailgate handle.
Flaking paint from your tailgate handle can easily take away from the sleekness of your tailgate. To make sure that your new paint job will last, sand your tailgate handle first with 80-grit sandpaper. Afterwards, clean the handle with soap and water and apply an even coating of primer before finally spraying it with a fresh coat of paint.
Replace broken or missing tailgate rods.
Bent, broken, loose, or missing tailgate rods can really impair your tailgate handle, so do a visual check on the rods every now and then to make sure that they are still in good condition.
Consider getting a metal tailgate handle.
If your plastic tailgate handle keeps on getting broken, you might want to get a metal replacement tailgate handle. Make sure to paint the metal tailgate handle first before installing it on your pickup to make sure that it matches your tailgate nicely and that it doesn't rust. You can also get a chrome or stainless steel tailgate handle if you want a shiny, metal finish.