Safety should be every driver's top concern. To prevent mishaps, one of the most important precautions you can take is making sure all the doors of your car are completely locked. If you own a pickup truck, you also have to make sure that the tailgate latch is working perfectly.The latch has an indispensable function: to keep the tailgate in an upright position while you drive and keep the truck bed's contents from falling. The tailgate usually comes with two latches, one each for the tailgate's right and left sides. These latches sufficiently prevent the tailgate from unexpectedly lowering while you're on the road.It's not just your cargo at stake if the tailgate latch breaks. Passengers in the truck's cargo bed are at risk as well. Once you feel looseness while opening or closing the tailgate, inspect the latch for damage and replace it when necessary.Don't wait for a tragic accident to happen before doing the right thing. Carparts offers tailgate latches for all makes and models.
• Tailgate latches from our store outlast OE counterparts.
• We have latches for different car makes and models for easy installation.
• In-stock tailgate latches are made only from durable materials.
Tailgate Latch Buyer’s Guide
- The tailgate latch is a mechanism that allows the tailgate panel to be opened and closed.
- Most trucks today feature a manually-operated tailgate that requires the driver to physically activate the tailgate latch mechanism by using the handle.
- A tailgate latch assembly typically includes the tailgate latch handle, rotating latch mechanism, two rods, two panel latches, and recesses on two sides of the tailgate.
- When the tailgate handle is pulled, the rods are pulled in towards the rotating mechanism and the outside latches are released from the truck bed.
- The cost of a replacement tailgate latch will vary depending on your vehicle’s specific year, make, and model. OE replacement parts typically cost anywhere between $9 to $156. These are sold as individual assemblies, in sets of two, or as part of a tailgate kit.
- Common tailgate latch problems include broken or loose latch clips, dirt and rust buildup, and a broken tailgate handle.
- The functionality of your truck relies heavily on having full use of your truck bed. A bad or failing tailgate latch can limit the use of the rear compartment of your vehicle.
What is a tailgate latch?
The tailgate latch is a mechanism that allows the tailgate panel to be opened and closed. It is composed of several components that allow you to easily access your truck bed by pulling on the tailgate handle. Most trucks on the road today feature a manually-operated tailgate that requires the driver to physically activate the tailgate latch mechanism by using the handle. However, advancements in vehicle design have paved the way for power tailgates that can be activated with a touch of a button. This guide will discuss a manual tailgate latch mechanism.
Parts of a tailgate latch assembly
The tailgate latch assembly consists of several parts that can be accessed inside the tailgate panel. This includes the tailgate latch handle, rotating latch mechanism, two rods, two panel latches, and recesses on two sides of the tailgate.
How does a tailgate latch work?
The tailgate latch assembly can be found inside your truck’s tailgate panel. Two latches on the left and right side of the tailgate panel attach to the truck bed, securing it in a closed position. These outside latches are connected to a rotating latch mechanism that has a straight bar and rods on each end. When the tailgate handle is pulled, the rods are pulled in towards the rotating mechanism and the outside latches are released from the truck bed.
How much does it cost to replace a tailgate latch?
The cost of a replacement tailgate latch will vary depending on your vehicle’s specific year, make, and model. OE replacement parts typically cost anywhere between $9 to $156. These are sold as individual assemblies, in sets of two, or as part of a tailgate kit.
Common tailgate latch problems
As one of the most commonly used components of your truck, the tailgate latch assembly can wear out and get stuck in the released or closed position. Listed below are some of the common issues that may require you to have your tailgate latch assembly checked by a trusted mechanic.
Broken or loose latch clips
Over time, plastic components of the latch assembly, such as the latch clips, can become brittle and break. They can also become loose and slide from their place. This will make it difficult to open or close your tailgate because the clips can longer connect the latch on the rods.
Dirt, rust, and corrosion damage
Dirt, rust, and corrosion damage can cause metal parts, such as the rods and latch mechanism, to get stuck and cause the assembly to fail even as you try to open the tailgate handle.
Replacing these parts immediately is necessary to prevent rust buildup from spreading to the tailgate panel and other metal components of the vehicle.
Broken tailgate handle
Over time, the latch loses lubrication, which results in stiffer movement of the rods. As you apply more force to get the tailgate to open, this causes additional stress on the tailgate handle, which could cause internal parts to break.
Why is a tailgate latch replacement important?
The functionality of your truck relies heavily on having full use of your truck bed. A bad or failing tailgate latch can limit the use of the rear compartment of your vehicle. Here are some of the reasons why tailgate repair should be prioritized as soon as you notice any of the problems mentioned above.
Keep your cargo and payload safe while driving
Your truck’s latch assembly keeps your tailgate secure and in place while on the road. A faulty latch assembly may make it difficult to keep your tailgate closed while driving at high speeds, putting your cargo in danger of rolling off the back of your truck. This can also become a hazard for other vehicles on the road.
Maintain easy access to your truck bed
A tailgate that is stuck shut can make it difficult for you to access the truck bed. Imagine moving heavy cargo from the back of your truck and having to lift them above the locked tailgate in order to unload them from your vehicle. Replacing a bad tailgate latch can save you the trouble of having to climb over the panel to get into the rear compartment.
Keep items in your truck secure from theft
When used in combination with a tonneau cover, your tailgate latch assembly can help you secure your belongings in the truck bed with the help of a locking mechanism. This way, you never have to worry about having expensive tools and items stolen from your truck even if you leave it parked outside of your garage.
Finding the right fit
CarParts.com carries a wide variety of tailgate latch assemblies and kits that can be used on different trucks. To help make your search for the perfect fit easier—say your Silverado tailgate won’t latch—you can use our website’s built-in vehicle selector. Simply plug in your truck’s correct year, make, and model to narrow down the results to all compatible parts.
A Guide to Buying a Tailgate Latch
Owning a truck can make your life easy especially if your job entails having to carry around heavy loads here and there once in a while. To keep your haul securely in place, your vehicle's equipped with a tailgate latch to lock up the equipment on your truck bed. However, if this goes rusty and broken, you can always get it fixed. But if you can't, then that really leaves you with no choice but to buy a new one for your truck. So here's a guide to help you out when looking for a new tailgate latch.
What's the purpose of a tailgate latch?
Latch means fastener and that's what it basically does: to fasten the tailgate. So the main purpose of the tailgate latch is to lock up the gate of the truck to avoid the load from bouncing off the truck when on the road.
What qualities should you look for in a tailgate latch?
There are different stores out there selling a tailgate latch for your truck, but you have to be careful when buying. Some are really expensive yet break easily, and some are really affordable and could last for a longer time. Look for a latch that fits really well on your tailgate and would securely lock the door. Also, since rust is an eyesore, find one that's not prone to easily rust especially when the latch is exposed to sun and rain.
Where can you find a good tailgate latch?
Since there are already a lot of auto stores in the industry, you could try canvassing for a really affordable and a durable one. It's a good idea to step inside these car shops especially when you can feel and see the new latch yourself. A drawback when visiting these stores is when the tailgate latch that you are looking for is not readily available probably because there was no delivery yet or any other excuse that these stores have. Another option for you is by exploring the World Wide Web for online automotive businesses and read reviews on the Internet. Reading the opinions of the experts can help you come up with the decision because they have experiences on the different latches in the market. Shopping online can also be very convenient especially when all you have to do is click and wait for it to be shipped to your address. Plus, the parts come directly from the warehouses so there's no excuse for them not to have one readily available. You can even get the tailgate latch at a lower price.
These are just some heads up on the tailgate latch. Don't forget to explore and canvass for prices. Be careful not to end up buying from suspicious brands. Good luck!
Latch up the Tailgate Latch
Driving with a truck can be very convenient. Hauling stuff back and forth is easy with this kind of vehicle. However, to keep the load at the truck bed securely in place, the automobile is equipped with a tailgate and a latch. This is responsible for locking the truckload so that it won't fall off at any time when you're speeding up on the road. When this gets busted, it's very easy to repair that you don't even need to ask a professional mechanic to do the job for you. With just a few tools, a garage, and these easy steps, you're sure to replace your old tailgate latch in no time.
Difficulty level: easy
What you'll need:
- Slotted screwdriver
- Socket wrench
- Replacement tailgate latch
Step 1: First, you'd want to keep your truck stationary. So, park your car in your driveway or garage.
Step 2: Open the tailgate and take off the two run channel bolts at the top edge by using a socket wrench.
Step 3: Take off the two bolts at the bottom of the tailgate. Next, carefully lift it off from the tailgate cover plate and place it aside.
Step 4: Using a socket wrench, remove the two bolts that secure the latch assembly. After that, use the slotted screwdriver to lift off the assembly.
Step 5: Install the new latch and reinstall the bolts. Put back the cover plate with its bolts, close the tailgate, and you're done!
Warning: Since the cover plate is really heavy, be careful when removing it. You might want to ask for a helping hand when doing this.
These are just a few easy steps to guide you in replacing your damaged tailgate latch. Now, you can latch up your tailgate without the help of a mechanic. Be careful and good luck!