Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Power liftgate problems on GM vehicles

Fix power liftgate problems on Enclave, Traverse, Acadia, and Outlook

GM has issued a service bulletin to address power liftgate problems on Enclave, Traverse, Acadia, and Outlook vehicles listed below.

2008-2011 Buick Enclave

2009-2011 Chevrolet Traverse

2007-2011 GMC Acadia

2007-2010 Saturn OUTLOOK

 

GM has documented the following power liftgate problems and their causes

Power liftgate only opens as a manual gate

Power liftgate Opens unintentionally in Park

Power liftgate reverses while closing at the start (top) of travel

Power liftgate reverses while closing mid travel

Power liftgate reverses while closing when almost closed

Power liftgate closes immediately after fully opening

Power liftgate reverses while opening

Power Liftgate Intermittently Reverses Direction Opening or Closing

Power liftgate outside handle does not work all the time

Power liftgate outside handle requires extra force (have to squeeze hard) to operate

 

Here’s GM’s answer to each power liftgate problem

Power liftgate only opens as a manual gate

Possible Causes and fixes:

1 Instrument panel switch is turned off. Turn the instrument panel switch on

2 Battery voltage is low. Charge the battery or fix the charging problem.

3 Outside air temperature is below -22°F. Start wishing it were warmer outside

4 Outside air temperature is above (176°F). Start wishing it were cooler outside.

Power liftgate Opens unintentionally in Park

Possible Causes and fixes:

1 Outside liftgate release switch malfunction. To fix, check for trouble code B2494 failure code 02. Inspect the liftgate touch pad function.

2 Liftgate close switch malfunction. Inspect the shut face function. Also check for trouble code B2494 failure code 02. The touch pad and the shut face run in parallel, so check each switch separately. Replace the close switch if water is present in the switch and make sure the grommet on the wiper arm shaft to the outer panel is seated properly. If the grommet is loose, apply a small amount of weatherstrip adhesive in the grommet’s U channel and reinstall the grommet (Buick Only).

3 Sill plate activating liftgate close switch. Inspect the sill plate for proper installation/clearance to the touch pad switch and possible bent retainers.

Power liftgate reverses while closing at the start (top) of travel.

Possible Causes and fixes:

1 Strut stanchion (strut dries out while sitting open for long periods). Get your lazy ass out and close the gate manually instead of leaving it open for long periods of time.

2 Key fob is sending a second hit signal (Some key fobs will send a second hit signal upon release of the button, others if you roll your thumb while holding down the button or a combination of the two together). Refer to the Cause and Correction for Condition #8. Inspect the key fob operation.

3 Low battery voltage. Charge the battery.

Power liftgate reverses while closing mid travel.

Possible Causes and fixes:

1 Strut stanchion (strut dries out while sitting open for long periods). Get your lazy ass out and close the gate manually instead of leaving it open for long periods of time.

2 Key fob sending a double hit signal (Some key fobs will send a second hit signal upon release of the button when held longer than 1 second, others will send a second signal if you roll your thumb while holding down the button or a combination of the two together).

3 Someone might be getting into the vehicle while the gate is closing (If you jump into the vehicle while the liftgate is closing, you can cause a reversal in mid travel). Give everyone a lesson in how not to get into the vehicle while the power liftagate is closing. Enroll yourself and your guests in GM’s liftgate class. Do not jounce the vehicle while the PLG is in motion. Sit lightly into vehicle while PLG is in operation.

Power liftgate reverses while closing when almost closed.

Possible Causes and fixes:

1 An obstruction behind the 3rd row seat. Remove the obstruction. (DUH!)

2 The sill plate is not seated correctly (Not seated fully / bent attachments). Inspect the sill plate for installation and possible bent retainers—and stop bending them!

3 The side reveal molding pins are not fully seated, causing the trim to not fully seat (Buick). Push in the side reveal molding retainers—because GM doesn’t know how to make them stay in place

4 The rubber bumpers on the liftgate in the lower corners may not be fully seated (GMC / Saturn). Turn the bumpers in fully.

5 The striker may be out of alignment. Align the striker. Perform the Liftgate Calibration Procedure.

6 The striker was moved forward or backward. Perform the liftgate calibration procedure.

7 The liftgate may not be flush to the fascia. Move the striker rearward to flush out gate and relearn. Marking the current location of the liftgate striker, loosen the striker bolts and strike the striker rearward with a mallet to adjust the liftgate striker outboard

(to the rear of the vehicle). Only move the striker in 1 mm increments, performing the Liftgate Calibration

8 The primary seal may not be fully seated. Glue the primary seal down—because GM isn’t very good about gluing things at the factory.

Power liftgate closes immediately after fully opening. Usually has a loud clunking noise at top of gate travel just before power closing— it will open fully, drop a few inches, then power close.

Possible Causes and fixes:

1 Weak strut(s) (PLG goes into a customer safe mode and power closes gate slowly). Turn off the power liftgate using the disable switch in the bottom of the center stack. Manually open the liftgate to the full open position using the exterior liftgate pull handle. Verify that the liftgate will remain at or near the full open position for several minutes. If the liftgate will not remain open, replace the liftgate strut(s) that are weak. Though both struts should be inspected for weakness, it is often only the LH strut that requires replacement. It is important to note that the LH and RH assist struts have two different part numbers and each should be installed in its proper location.

Power liftgate reverses while opening.

Possible Causes and fixes:

1 Obstacle observed or someone sending a second signal via the key fob, outside touch pad, I/P button or PLG Close button. Remove the obstacle. (another DUH!)

2 Key fob sending a double hit signal (Some key fobs will send a second hit signal upon release of the button when held longer than 1 second, others will send a second signal if you roll your thumb while holding down the button or a combination of the two together). Inspect the key fob operation.

3 Touch pad sending a second signal. Inspect the touch pad function.

Power liftgate intermittently reverses direction after activation. For example – the rear liftgate opens and after motion occurs in one direction, the liftgate may reverse direction and close.

The cause of this condition may be specific to the remote keyless entry (RKE) transmitter’s button configuration and the press and hold feature. The customer has to press and hold the power liftgate button (approximately 1 second) until the liftgate activation occurs. This extended button press may cause the remote control door lock receiver (RCDLR) to interpret this as 2 button presses when only 1 is needed.

A new RKE transmitter has been released to correct this condition. Verify that the vehicle build date is before April 1, 2008 before replacing the key fob. Replace and reprogram both RKE transmitters.

Power liftgate outside handle does not work all the time or the power liftgate outside handle requires extra force (have to squeeze hard) to operate.

Outside liftgate touch pad malfunction. Inspect the liftgate touch pad function.

Posted on by Rick Muscoplat


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