Range Rover tailgate won’t shut: common problem & easy fix!

As a seasoned Range Rover owner, I have experienced all kinds of absurdity with these cars. From weird sounds emanating from the engine bay to persistent oil leaks, there seems to be an endless list of malfunctions that need fixing.

One of the most common, and annoying issues is when your Range Rover tailgate won’t shut. Lucky for you, I’ve had my fair share of this problem, and I’m here to help you out.

What models are affected?

Signs and symptoms

If your Range Rover tailgate won’t shut, this is a clear indication that there is a problem with the locking mechanism. Usually, the tailgate will either be completely unable to lock or make a clicking sound, but still remain unlocked. In some cases, the tailgate might even shut, but won’t lock.

List of possible OBD codes

Unfortunately, there aren’t any specific OBD codes associated with a Range Rover tailgate that won’t shut. However, it’s best to check your car’s onboard computer system to see if there are any related issues that could be causing the problem.

Codes such as:

  • P0084 –Fuel Rail Pressure Malfunction
  • P0327 – (Knock Sensor 1 Circuit Low Input Bank 1) could trigger the mechanism that controls the tailgate.

Common causes

There are different reasons why your Range Rover tailgate won’t shut. Here are the most common ones:

  • Bad actuator: The tailgate actuator is the device that controls the locking mechanism of the tailgate. Over time, this device can wear out or break. When it becomes defective, it won’t be able to lock the tailgate.
  • Broken latch: The latch is the part that engages with the metal striker plate to keep the tailgate shut. If it’s broken, it won’t be able to keep the tailgate shut.
  • Worn-out striker plate: The striker plate receives the latch when closing the tailgate, which keeps the tailgate shut. If it wears out, the tailgate won’t stay shut.
  • Misaligned tailgate: If the tailgate is misaligned, the latch might not be able to engage with the striker plate, making the tailgate hard to shut or even impossible to lock.

Can it be fixed without a mechanic?

Yes, if you’re confident enough and have a few basic tools, you can fix it yourself. However, it’s best to seek the help of a certified mechanic if you’re unsure.

Parts you’ll need to fix it

Here’s a list of parts that you might need to fix your Range Rover tailgate:

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  • Tailgate actuator
  • Latch
  • Striker plate

Tools you’ll need to fix it

Here are the essential tools to fix your Range Rover tailgate:

  • Socket set
  • Screwdrivers
  • Pliers
  • Torque wrench
  • Trim removal tools

How to fix it

Follow these steps to fix your Range Rover tailgate:

  1. Check if the latch and striker plate are aligned correctly. If they’re not, you can adjust them by loosening the bolts/screws and moving them into position until they’re aligned.
  2. Remove the trim panel covering the tailgate mechanism and disconnect the actuator from the mechanism.
  3. Remove the old actuator and replace it with the new one. Make sure to reconnect the wiring to the actuator.
  4. Test the new actuator by locking and unlocking the car’s doors. Check if the tailgate locks and unlocks as well.
  5. If the problem persists, inspect the latch and striker plate for damage and wear. Replace them if necessary and retest the tailgate.

Potential alternative causes

Other less common reasons why your Range Rover tailgate won’t shut are as follows:

  • Damaged wires in the tailgate wiring loom
  • Broken tailgate handle
  • Low battery voltage affecting the actuator’s function


How can I prevent my Range Rover tailgate from getting stuck?

Regular maintenance can help prevent your Range Rover tailgate from getting stuck. It’s recommended to lubricate the locking mechanism and inspect the latch and striker plate for signs of wear regularly.

Can I drive with my tailgate open?

It’s not safe to drive with your tailgate open, as this can obstruct your view and potentially cause an accident. Always ensure that your tailgate is securely shut before driving.

How much does it cost to fix a Range Rover tailgate that won’t shut?

The cost of fixing a Range Rover tailgate depends on the cause of the problem and the extent of the damage. Replacing the actuator can cost anywhere between $300 to $500 while replacing the latch or striker plate can cost between $200 to $400.


Finding a reliable car is quite challenging, especially with a reputation like Range Rover’s. A Range Rover tailgate won’t shut is one of the most common problems you might encounter.

The common causes include a bad actuator, misaligned tailgate, broken latch, or worn striker plate. You can fix it yourself by following the steps outlined above and using the tools mentioned. However, if you’re unsure, it’s best to consult a certified mechanic.

Last updated and verified on 4th September 2023

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Gareth Boyd
Gareth Boyd

An avid Land Rover fan, and lover of all models, specifically Range Rover Sports. Having owned over 5 Ranger Rover models, he has encountered every error code and problem you could imagine!

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