What is the Tailgate Lock Solenoid all about?
“Solenoid” is a big word that simply refers to the concept at the heart of your truck’s keyless entry. Just about every modern car model has keyless entry where you just click the button on a fob and your vehicle is now open. Many even give you an option where you can click your trunk wide open too. It was only a matter of time before truck manufacturers caught on and added the technology to their tailgates. Nowadays, most people can click the tailgate on their truck open from a distance. This makes it much easier to transfer an armful of materials into the truck bed.
To answer the question, though, a solenoid is just the coil of wire that converts an electric current into a magnetic field that, then, is used for powering a switch. When it comes to your truck, a solenoid is able to flip the tailgate lock open by using this field.
Keep in mind:
- If your tailgate isn’t opening, it might not have anything to do with your solenoid. For example, if it recently took an impact, the lock may be smashed such that it can’t actually open at all, period.
How it's done:
- The tailgate is opened and supported, then the inside trim panel is removed
- The defective tailgate lock solenoid is removed
- The new lock solenoid is installed
- The tailgate inside trim panel is reinstalled and the support is removed
- The tailgate is locked and unlocked to check the lock solenoid operation
As long as your tailgate will open manually, getting your tailgate lock solenoid repaired may not be much of a priority for you. It’s not like the truck won’t operate without it. At worst, you’ll just be inconvenienced from time to time. That being said, if you find yourself using your truck bed frequently, those inconveniences can quickly pile up. Our recommendation is that it’s a matter of preference, but given how affordable it is to have your solenoid repaired, there’s really no reason to put it off.
What common symptoms indicate you may need to replace the Tailgate Lock Solenoid?
- Obviously, the most common symptom that will tip you off that your tailgate lock solenoid needs repairs is that nothing happens when you click your key fob. If your tailgate remains locked and you were in range when you tried it, then it’s ceased.
How important is this service?
Again, it’s up to you. Do you work construction or otherwise use the truck bed a lot? If so, having that keyless entry feature is probably worth keeping around. Also, as we mentioned above, it’s not like this isn’t an extremely affordable fix.