Have a Car Question? Ask a Mechanic Online.
Hello, I will do my best to help. This is one of those tricky situations though so please don't rate/pay for my service until you are satisfied. If I am unable to help then I will opt out and see if anyone else can. Getting doors, hatches, tailgates open when they are stuck closed is a bit of an acquired art and skill. A lot of times even as an experienced technician, we may have to get our hands on a working unit to see how it operates and figure out what's going on with the faulty unit.It sounds like your latch is binding and stuck in the closed position. This can happen from a faulty latch which is physically unable to release, a disconnected linkage going from the handle to the latch, or a malfunctioning lock in the latch which is not unlocking. When you try to release the tailgate, does it feel like its pulling/pushing on anything or does it feel as if it's just a handle flapping in the breeze? You should feel a noticeable amount of resistance as the linkage works against the latch. Compare your working door handle for a feel.When you unlock it, does it also feel like its working against something, is there resistance?
When I push in on the keyed :button: I feel nothing. Though looking at it, I can see only a little movement. I was hoping to find out how to remove a panel or something to be able to see the lock mechanism, but I can;t see a way to "unscrew" anything since the gate is in the closed position. Is there a way to remove a panel somehow?
Never received answer to my last comment!
My apologies, I've been offline and did not see your reply. Unfortunately we will probably need to do some damage to the interior plastic panel on the tailgate to get it open. This plastic panel will need to come off to gain access to the components and it usually is not easy to remove since the tailgate is stuck closed. Whenever we have a car in the shop with a door etc stuck closed, it usually takes destroying the panel to gain access since the panels tuck into the jams. There will be numerous clips and screws holding the plastic panel on. You will have to remove as many of these as you can get to. Some may be within the jam and you will not be able to get to them since it is stuck shut. I can't find any diagrams showing where the panel screws are so it will take some investigation. Look for any access holes in the panel which may have other trim snapped in covering the screw(s). Even once you've removed all the screws that you can get to, it will still be tricky to remove with the tailgate closed and will most likely damage the panel. Once the panel is off then you have to study the components and how they interact. I suspect there is a cable, rod, linkage clip etc which has failed.
Again,these are tricky situations and not for the faint of heart. It will take some tugging and prying on the panel to get it off. I will keep looking for diagrams on exactly where all the screed and clips are.
If your best answer is to destroy the panel to gain access to the mechanism then I guess i'll defer to that answer though i was hoping for a magic moment. thanks for you help.
2003 Jetta left rear window blue plastic part of the