If you drive a truck and more specifically if you drive a truck that offers keyless entry, then getting into your tailgate is both fast and easy. Part of what makes this system so simple is the tailgate lock solenoid. This little part is responsible for ensuring that your tailgate unlocks smoothly whenever you want it to. The solenoid is the part that flips the lock on the tailgate so that it opens. To get more specific a solenoid is nothing more than a coil of wire. This wire is able to convert the electric current running through it into a magnetic field which powers the switch.

While it isn’t common to have the tailgate lock solenoid fail, sometimes it can be faulty or become damaged, which means you’ll need to get it replaced. It’s not unheard of for this part to last the entire lifetime of your vehicle though. If this part does fail, it doesn't cause a safety risk, it just creates an inconvenience. Should you have problems unlocking or opening your tailgate, it’s best to have a professional mechanic to look and diagnose the problem. The solenoid may be the answer, or it could be something else going on with the locking mechanism.

Here are some signs that the tailgate lock solenoid may have reached the end of its lifespan:

  • There is really only one sign, and that's your tailgate not opening. It can most definitely be due to your lock solenoid, but it can also be other issues with the locking mechanism or even your FOB device.

  • This is typically an affordable price but that being said you may want to put it off until service is needed on your vehicle so you can do a number of things at once.

  • If the lock solenoid is faulty and/or damaged you won’t be able to repair it, instead it’s necessary to replace it.

The tailgate lock solenoid is one of the most important features in allowing you to open your tailgate using a keyless remote. While this part is meant to last the lifetime of your vehicle, the part can become damaged or even be faulty. Have a certified mechanic replace the failing tailgate lock solenoid to eliminate any further problems with your vehicle.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How Long Does a Tailgate Lock Solenoid Last? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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