Toyota Tundra Tailgate Handle
The Toyota Tundra is the first and only full-size pickup truck built by Toyota in the US. Launched in 1998, this vehicle was poised to captivate the North American market. While pickup trucks like the Tundra can withstand a daily beating as a work vehicle, they are far from indestructible. One part that gets its own share of wear and tear is the Toyota Tundra tailgate handle.
Signs that a Toyota Tundra tailgate handle needs to be replaced
Problems with the tailgate handle are often overlooked, primarily because this part is located at the rear of the vehicle. To ensure access to your truck bed at all times, always be on the lookout for the following signs of a faulty Tundra tailgate handle.
Difficulty latching and unlatching the tailgate
One of the first signs of a damaged tailgate handle is difficulty in locking and unlocking your tailgate. This could point to problems with the mechanism inside the handle, particularly with its connection to the latch mechanism. Since these components are located inside the door panel, it’s best to have a certified mechanic check the condition of your tailgate handle and latch assembly for you.
Rust and corrosion damage
Rust and corrosion damage inside the door panel can also make the latch mechanism malfunction, leading you to apply more force on the tailgate handle. To prevent corrosion from spreading and the need to replace the entire tailgate, any buildup of rust must be addressed immediately, and rusted parts must be replaced.
Due to its location at the rear of your vehicle, the tailgate handle is prone to damage from road crashes and parking accidents. You may notice that part of the handle has broken off or the handle may feel loose after your truck is rear-ended. In this case, you must always have a trusted mechanic assess whether a replacement is needed and check the integrity of your vehicle’s tailgate and rear components.
Why is tailgate handle replacement important?
Just like any mechanical component used daily, your truck’s tailgate handle can get worn out and damaged over time. Here’s why you should prioritize your Toyota Tundra’s tailgate handle replacement.
Maintain access to your truck bed
Getting in and out of your truck bed can be difficult without a functioning tailgate handle. Stepping over a latched tailgate puts you at risk of injury, especially if you’re loading something heavy to the back of your truck.
Keep your payloads safe
A functional tailgate handle is critical to keeping your cargo and payload safe. You don’t want your tailgate suddenly swinging open while you’re driving on the freeway. A working tailgate handle allows you to lock items in your truck bed and protect your cargo from theft.
Finding the right fit
There have been two generations of the Toyota Tundra, each carrying parts of different sizes and fit. Browse through our selection of Toyota Tundra tailgate handle replacement parts by using our website’s search filter. Simply plug in your vehicle’s year, make, and model to filter your search to only applicable parts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can the Toyota Tundra have chrome tailgate handles?
Toyota Tundras don't have chrome-plated metal tailgate handle. Instead, they have chrome covers that slip over the tailgate handles instead of replacing them. Attached with double-sided adhesives, these covers give the look of a chrome tailgate handle without the effort or expense. Just be sure to wipe down the handle and surrounding area with rubbing alcohol before sticking the tape on to ensure a strong attachment.
How can replacement tailgate handles match the color of a Toyota Tundra?
Replacement handles on the Toyota Tundra come in a basic black color that might not suit the taste of its owner. It's easy to sand the existing black off the handle and spray paint a color that matches the rest of the Tundra's body at home. It will take an entire afternoon due to the five minute breaks in between each coat.
Is it possible to have backing cameras on a Toyota tailgate handle?
For folks with small children or those having trouble reversing, the backing camera is a life-saver since it enables them to see what's behind their Tundras. Since pickups have a very functional rear, one of the places in which these reversing cameras can be added to is the tailgate handle. Toyota has released recent Tundra handles with the option of having built-in reversing cameras. Those who would like to install these life-saving devices onto their handles can do so because there is space at the bottom of the tailgate for the wiring, although they will need to drill a hole onto the tailgate itself. Don't forget to install the rear-view mirror replacement that comes along with the kit.
Is it possible to lock the cargo bed with the Toyota Tundra tailgate handle?
Yes, the Tundra tailgate handles can get additional protection from thieves who want to access the contents of a tonneau-covered tailgate with an installable lock.
Why did the Tundra tailgate stop working?
Tundra tailgate handles that don't work could be frozen from cold weather. Sometimes the plastic components of the handle, like the clips that attach the metal linkage in the tailgate, crack due to the cold. Warm and lube up the tailgate handle to make sure it works.