How to Open a Tailgate with Broken Handle

Opening a tailgate is a straightforward process with a functioning handle. Unfortunately, when the handle malfunctions or breaks, this task can be challenging. A broken tailgate handle can be frustrating, especially if there are items that need to be removed from the truck bed or if the tailgate is needed for securing cargo.

The good news is that there is a simple solution to opening a tailgate with a broken handle. By following a few simple steps, anyone can successfully open a tailgate with a broken handle and get back on the road in no time.

Tips to Open a Tailgate with Broken Handle


Identify The Root Cause Of Broken Tailgate Handle

Identifying the cause of a broken tailgate handle is essential for effective repair. The first step is inspecting the handle assembly to identify any visible signs of damage. Once you’ve determined the problem, you’ll need to detach the door panel to access the inner workings of the handle.

Be sure to examine all components of the handle assembly for any possible causes of the breakage. With this information, you’ll be able to choose the appropriate method of repair and ensure you tackle the root cause of the issue.

Remember to take your time and proceed cautiously to avoid causing further damage to your vehicle.

Temporary Solutions To Open The Tailgate With Broken Handle

Opening a tailgate with a broken handle can be quite a challenge, but here are a few temporary solutions that may work for you.

If your key lock is faulty, you can try lubricating it and using pliers to turn it.

Alternatively, you can try using the cable system by inserting a screwdriver into the handle hole and pressing the release mechanism.

Finally, if your handle is completely broken, you can try using a pair of pliers to pull the cable or attaching a rope to the latch mechanism and pulling it from the inside.

Remember, these solutions are temporary and you should get your handle fixed as soon as possible for a more permanent solution.

Permanent Solutions To Fix The Broken Tailgate Handle

If you need to open a tailgate with a broken handle, you might need to get a bit creative.

Here are some steps you can try:

  1. Check for Secondary Release Mechanisms: Some vehicles have secondary release mechanisms or levers located inside the tailgate area. Look around the edges of the tailgate for any levers, buttons, or access points that might allow you to release the latch.
  2. Access Through the Rear: If your vehicle has fold-down rear seats, you might be able to access the tailgate area from inside the car. Fold down the seats and see if you can reach any components that might help you release the latch manually.
  3. Remove the Inner Panel: If you’re comfortable with some basic DIY work, you might consider removing the inner panel of the tailgate to access the latch mechanism directly. This will require some tools and possibly some knowledge of your vehicle’s interior components. Keep in mind that this could potentially cause damage if not done carefully.
  4. Use Tools: Depending on the design of your tailgate, you might be able to use tools to manipulate the latch and release it. A long, thin tool such as a sturdy wire or a slim metal rod could be used to reach the latch and trigger its release.
  5. Apply Pressure: If the latch is stuck or jammed, you might need to apply pressure in certain areas to release it. Push, pull, or jiggle the tailgate while trying to manipulate the latch to see if it helps release the mechanism.
  6. Seek Professional Help: If the above steps don’t work or if you’re uncomfortable attempting any of them, it’s best to seek help from a professional mechanic or an automotive locksmith. They have the expertise and tools to safely open the tailgate without causing further damage.

Remember that while trying to open a tailgate with a broken handle, your primary concern should be safety. Be cautious and take your time to avoid injuring yourself or causing more damage to the vehicle.

Broken Tailgate Latch | Quick Fix!

Frequently Asked Questions Of How To Open A Tailgate With A Broken Handle

Can You Replace A Broken Tailgate Handle On Your Own?

Yes, it is possible to replace the broken tailgate handle on your own. Purchase a replacement handle and follow the instructions carefully.

How Much Will It Cost To Fix A Broken Tailgate Handle?

The cost of fixing a broken tailgate handle can vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle. On average, it can cost between $100-$400.


When you find yourself with a broken tailgate handle, it can be frustrating and stressful, but it doesn’t have to be a major problem. With the right tools and a bit of knowledge, you can easily open your tailgate and get back to using your vehicle as normal.

This guide has outlined several methods to make opening a tailgate with a broken handle a breeze, including using a screwdriver, replacing the handle, using the interior mechanism, and using a rope or cord. Remember to take your time and be careful when attempting these methods, as your safety is a top priority.

By following these steps, you can avoid the expense of taking your vehicle to a mechanic and continue to enjoy the convenience of using your tailgate.