Freelander 2 tailgate failure
Erratic tailgate lock, or does it just refuse to open? Dave Barker has the DIY answer
Dave Barker has the DIY solution to a tailgate that refuses to lock or even open
The tailgate lock on this 2011 10-plate Freelander 2 was not working correctly and was described as “having a mind of its own” by the vehicle’s owner. The tailgate was sometimes unlocking and opening on its own, or whenever any of the four doors were opened.
Also, if the tailgate was shut, it could at times open and unlock when the doors were locked using the central locking. And, if closed, it would not unlock when you pressed the release handle to open the tailgate.
This is not an uncommon fault on the Freelander 2 and is caused by a problem with the switch in the tailgate release handle. Also, the location of the tailgate handle and the aerodynamics of the back of the Freelander 2 means road dirt and water can be sucked up into the area of the tailgate. Water can then find its way into the release handle and thus into the switch itself. The resulting moisture can cause the connections to corrode or simply short out, meaning the tailgate release switch will not work correctly and so it needs to be replaced.
A replacement switch on its own is not available, as the switch is an integral part of the release handle so, when it fails, it means the complete release handle assembly needs replacing.
The release handle and switch also comes complete with the wiring, and also new style bulb holders and replacement bulbs for the number plate lamps, which have waterproof connections and make bulb replacement easier.
The cost of the genuine Land Rover replacement part is reasonable, and fitting is a simple job. The hardest part of the job is the removal of the inner tailgate trim panel.
Moisture and dirt finds its way into the tailgate release handle, which causes the switch connections to corrode and/or the connections to short out