Silverado Tailgate Won't Open - How to fix broken tailgate latch without tools

Friday, June 28, 2019

Silverado Tailgate Won't Open - How to fix broken tailgate latch without tools


Have a situation where a Silverado tailgate won't open? In today's House of Hacks episode, Harley shows how easy it is to fix a Chevrolet pickup tailgate latch that won't unlock. This is a simple job that can be done in minutes, without tools.

Silverado Tailgate Handle Rod Retainer Clips (Affiliate link)

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For a written transcript, go to Silverado Tailgate Won't Open - How to fix broken tailgate latch without tools

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0 by Kevin MacLeod at
Intro/Exit: "Hot Swing"


Uh, oh! This isn't good.

I had this happen the other day... I went to open the tailgate and it wouldn't open.

So, let's tear into this and see what's going on.

The bezel doesn't have any screws on it at all and there's nothing on the back that would control the bezel, so I think it's just a press fit.

And... yep... sure enough... it just kind of snaps into place.

So, I pulled on the top and the bottom just lifted out.

And... yep... there's a rod in here that's not unlatching properly and has a little plastic piece on it. So, I think that's probably what's broken.

Welcome to the House of Hacks.

If we're just meeting, I'm Harley and I make stuff, usually out of wood or metal.

But today, I'm fixing stuff. Specifically the tailgate for a 2005 Silverado.

OK. So we can see this is floating free and it's broken off from this hole where it's supposed to be going in.

To take this off, all I'm going to do is rotate this down and then it just slides off the back of the rod.

And here's a good one. And you can see that piece that's broken off.

Now to put this back in, this needs to spring. It won't work if we put the rod on first.

We need to put this in the hole and clip it in first... like that.

And then slide the rod into it.

And then the clip comes up like so.

And we should be done.

That works well.

Now we just need to put the bezel back on. The bottom slides into place in a couple holes and the top snaps into place.

Cool! That works.

That's all in all, about five minutes worth of work once I knew what I needed to get done.

I was able to pick up a lifetime supply of these clips. There were five red ones which go on the left and five green ones which go on the right and these were less than $7.

So now, if this ever fails again in the future, I have plenty on hand. I'll leave a link to those down below in the description.

Over here on this side, YouTube has some videos that it thinks you'd enjoy. You can go check those out.

And until next time, go make something.

Perfection's not required. Fun is!