Identifying the Problem with Your Chevrolet S10 Tailgate Hinge
Without your Chevrolet S10 tailgate hinge, your pickup truck's tailgate will probably be falling down in an instant. However, even though your stock tailgate hinge is built with quality materials, it can still become worn after some time. Here are some of the most common forms of damage that can affect your Chevrolet S10 tailgate hinge:
Cracked or broken tailgate hinge
Over time, constant vibration and repeated opening and closing of your pickup truck's tailgate can put a lot of pressure on your tailgate hinge. Eventually, this huge amount of stress can result in a fractured or broken tailgate hinge. A visual check can quickly tell you if you have a cracked or broken tailgate hinge, but more often than not, drivers only notice this issue when the hinge finally gives out and the tailgate suddenly falls off. If your pickup truck's tailgate is becoming more difficult to open or close than usual, then you better check your tailgate hinge for cracks and replace it as needed.
Loose tailgate hinge
Another common problem that leads to the unexpected falling off of your pickup truck's tailgate is a loose tailgate hinge. If your tailgate feels a bit slack, or if you hear some noise coming from your tailgate when you're going over speed bumps, you might want to see if your tailgate hinge is still properly holding your tailgate up. Tighten any loose screws and bolts if your visual check tells you that all the little components of your tailgate are still in good condition. However, if you notice signs of rust, wear, and other damage, you probably have to replace your tailgate hinge and all the necessary hardware.
Corroded tailgate hinge
Because of its location, your tailgate hinge is constantly exposed to dirt and moisture. Over time, this dirt and moisture buildup can lead to a corroded tailgate hinge. Aside from a tailgate that is much more difficult to open or close, you should also look out for a squeaky noise whenever you're trying to access your tailgate. Again, a quick look at your tailgate hinge can tell you if it has been eaten away by rust. If an antirust compound can't take care of the issue, then you need to get a new tailgate hinge.
Tips to Keep Your Chevrolet S10 Tailgate Hinge in Good Shape
A Chevrolet S10 tailgate hinge in perfect working condition is essential in keeping your tailgate safely attached to the rest of your pickup. To keep your tailgate from falling off due to a damaged tailgate hinge, keep the following tips in mind:
Regularly check your tailgate hinge for any missing components.
After several years of use, your pickup truck's tailgate hinge might lose some of its mounting bolts and screws. In most cases, a missing screw is difficult to detect, so make sure that you take some time to examine your tailgate hinge for any missing screws and bolts. If you are missing a bolt but your tailgate hinge is still in good condition, you can replace the missing bolt or screw without having to replace the hinge itself. Replacing just the missing component is much more practical especially if your tailgate hinge is pretty expensive.
Keep your tailgate hinge clean and sufficiently greased.
If dirt, mud, and other sorts of debris build up on your tailgate hinge, you will soon find yourself in need of a replacement for your rusted tailgate hinge. Avoid this problem by making sure that you keep the hinge free of dirt and moisture. Remember to spray it with some multi-purpose grease or a similar lubricant to protect it from rust.
Replace a damaged tailgate hinge with a stainless steel component.
A stainless steel tailgate hinge can cost you a couple more bucks compared to an ordinary or painted steel tailgate hinge, but this initial investment can save you more money in the long run and more time on repairs. With a stainless steel tailgate hinge and proper maintenance, you can rest assured that your pickup truck's tailgate is going nowhere.
Replace your tailgate hinge in pairs.
Replacing your tailgate hinge in pairs ensures that your tailgate has equal support on both sides. Since most auto parts stores sell this component in pairs, it is much more advisable to install each tailgate hinge in one go.
Tighten any loose bolts or screws as soon as possible.
Although tightening the bolts and screws on your tailgate hinge seems to be an obvious tip, many people actually neglect this maintenance process. Each time you perform a visual inspection on your tailgate, make sure to secure your tailgate hinge as well.