Range Rover Sport lower hatch won’t open

As a Range Rover enthusiast, I often joke that owning a Range Rover is like having a significant other; they’re high-maintenance, require frequent attention, and can be quite fickle.

However, despite their well-known reliability issues, I have owned multiple Range Rovers over the years because, let’s be honest, they’re just too fun to drive.

That being said, one issue that I have personally experienced with my Range Rover Sport is when the lower hatch won’t open.

In this article, I will provide a detailed guide on how to diagnose and fix this frustrating issue.

What models are affected?

Signs and symptoms

If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re already familiar with the signs and symptoms of a Range Rover Sport lower hatch that won’t open.

However, in case you need a refresher, the most common symptoms include:

  • Pressing the lower hatch button, but the hatch fails to open
  • Hearing a click or unlocking sound, but the hatch remains unresponsive
  • Tugging or pulling on the hatch, but it won’t budge

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, then you’ve come to the right place.

List of possible OBD codes

In some cases, your Range Rover Sport may throw an OBD code when the lower hatch won’t open. Here are some of the most common ones to look out for:

  • B1958 – Rear Door Ajar Switch Failure
  • U3003 – Battery Voltage High
  • U3002 – Battery Voltage Low
  • U012A – Lost Communication With Tailgate Control Module B

If you’re experiencing any of these specific codes, it may narrow down your search for the root cause of the issue.

Common causes

There are several potential causes for a Range Rover Sport’s lower hatch that won’t open. Below are the most common causes that I have seen in my experience as a mechanic:

  • Faulty Latch: The latch is responsible for holding the hatch in place when closed and releasing it when the button is pressed. A faulty latch can prevent the hatch from opening.
  • Electrical Issues: The tailgate control module, wiring, and fuses can all cause issues with opening the lower hatch.
  • Dirty or Corroded Contacts: Dirty or corroded contacts on the hatch buttons or latch can interfere with the electrical connection needed to open the hatch.
  • Worn Gas Struts: Gas struts are responsible for holding the weight of the hatch when it’s open. If they’re worn, the hatch may not stay open or may be difficult to open.

Can it be fixed without a mechanic?

If you’re handy with a wrench and have some experience with car repair, then fixing the Range Rover Sport lower hatch issue yourself is certainly possible.

As always, be sure to diagnose the root cause of the issue correctly before trying to fix it.

However, if you’re not confident in your abilities, I would recommend taking it to a mechanic.

Issues with the hatch can be tricky to diagnose and fix, and you don’t want to risk causing further damage to your Range Rover.

Parts you’ll need to fix it

Here’s a list of parts you may need to fix your Range Rover Sport lower hatch:

  • Replacement Latch
  • Gas Struts
  • Electrical Contacts
  • Fuses

Tools you’ll need to fix it

To fix your Range Rover Sport lower hatch, you’ll need the following tools:

  • Torx Screwdriver Set
  • Electrical Contact Cleaner
  • Multimeter
  • Pliers

How to fix it

Assuming you’ve correctly diagnosed the issue, here’s a step-by-step guide to fixing your Range Rover Sport lower hatch:

  1. Remove the Lower Trim Panel: Start by removing the lower trim panel from the inside of the hatch. You’ll need to remove a few screws holding the panel in place before it can be removed.
  2. Check the Latch: Inspect the latch and check for any signs of wear or damage. If it’s faulty, replace it with a new one.
  3. Check the Electrical Contacts: Clean the electrical contacts for the latch and hatch button with the electrical contact cleaner. Make sure they’re clean and free of corrosion.
  4. Check the Gas Struts: Inspect the gas struts to make sure they’re not worn and are holding the weight of the hatch properly. Replace them if necessary.
  5. Check the Tailgate Control Module: If none of the above steps work, then it could be an issue with the tailgate control module. Use a multimeter to test the module and replace it if necessary.

Potential alternative causes

While the above causes are the most common, there are other potential issues that could be causing your Range Rover Sport lower hatch not to open. These include:

  • Damaged Wiring: Damage to the wiring for the hatch can interfere with the electrical connection needed to open the hatch.
  • Broken Hatch Button: If the button itself is broken or damaged, it may need to be replaced.
  • Faulty Upper Gate: In some cases, the upper gate may be interfering with the lower hatch, preventing it from opening.

FAQs

How do I manually open the lower hatch on my Range Rover Sport?

To manually open the lower hatch on your Range Rover Sport, start by unlocking the vehicle using the key fob. Then locate the emergency release handle on the inside of the tailgate. Pull the release handle to open the hatch.

Why won’t my lower tailgate open even though I hear a clicking sound?

If you hear a clicking sound when you try to open your Range Rover Sport lower hatch, it could mean that the latch is attempting to open but is unable to release the hatch fully. This may be due to a faulty latch or dirty/corroded contacts.

Can a worn gas strut cause my Range Rover Sport lower hatch not to open?

Yes, a worn gas strut can make it difficult to open the lower hatch on your Range Rover Sport. The gas struts are responsible for holding the weight of the hatch when it’s open. If they’re worn, the hatch may not stay open or may be difficult to open.

 

Last updated and verified on 5th September 2023

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