If you own a truck and want to be sure that the contents you store in the truck bed remain safe, one option is to purchase a tonneau cover. From there, you can make use of a tailgate locking assembly in order to lock it up tight, and ensure your contents stay secure. Your cover, which may also be called a truck bed cover, can be a hard or a soft top, as the tailgate locking assembly will work with both.
The locking assembly has a number of mechanical parts which work together to latch to your truck's tailgate handle. There is a cylinder that you place your key in, and turn it to either lock or unlock the mechanism. Sometimes this assembly starts to fail or stop working, which means you won't be able to lock up your possessions, or you may not be able to get it open. You may not want to attempt to replace the tailgate locking assembly on your own, as it can be difficult. Instead you can have a mechanic take a look and replace the tailgate locking assembly for you.
Here are a few common symptoms of a bad or failing tailgate locking assembly that you can be on the watch for:
1. Power lock doesn't work
If you have a power-operated tailgate locking system, then you should be able to push a button to lock/unlock it. If you push the button and nothing happens, it could be that the locking assembly isn’t working properly. Be sure the batteries in your remote are working before assuming it’s the locking assembly.
2. Tailgate lock doesn't latch
If you're able to "lock" the cylinder yet it doesn't latch, then there is likely an issue with the assembly. There's a good chance you'll need to replace it.
3. Tailgate lock cylinder won't turn
Maintaining the Locking Assembly
It is recommended that in order to ensure your tailgate locking assembly stays in good working order, you clean and lubricate at the suggested service interval.
The tailgate locking assembly on your truck gives you a way to lock up your belongings, and ensure they stay safe at all times. Unfortunately, the locking assembly can start to fail over time, which does require replacement.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Tailgate Locking Assembly and was authored by Adrian Arenas.