2019 Ram 1500 Tailgate Won’t Open? Quick Fixes Inside!

Stuck with a 2019 Ram 1500 tailgate that won’t budge? You’re not alone, and we’re here to help.

In this guide, you’ll find:

Don’t let a stubborn tailgate keep you from enjoying your pickup. Read on for solutions.

Common Reasons Why Your 2019 Ram 1500 Tailgate Won’t Open

Uncovering the root cause of a stubborn tailgate can save both time and stress. Here, we dive into four frequent reasons that might keep your 2019 Ram 1500 tailgate from opening and provide actionable solutions.

The Latching Mechanism Needs Lubrication

Why It Happens

A dry latching mechanism could be your culprit. Over time, lack of lubrication can cause the tailgate latch to stick or bind, making it difficult to open.

How to Spot It: If the tailgate latch feels harder to move than usual, or if it makes a creaking noise, it may need lubrication.

Solutions to Try

  • Apply Lubricant: A lubricant like WD-40 can work wonders here. Spray it generously around the latch assembly.
  • Work the Latch: After applying lubricant, open and close the tailgate multiple times to ensure the lubricant is evenly distributed.

Something is Jammed in the Lock

Why It Happens

Foreign objects like stones, pieces of metal, or even ice can find their way into the lock, preventing it from releasing.

How to Spot It: If you hear a scraping or jamming sound when attempting to unlock the tailgate, this might be your issue.

Solutions to Try

  • Inspect Visually: Use a flashlight to look for any foreign objects in and around the lock.
  • Remove Obstructions: Carefully use a flat-head screwdriver or tweezers to remove any foreign objects you find.

The Tailgate Wasn’t Properly Closed

Why It Happens

If the tailgate wasn’t closed all the way, the latch might not engage properly, causing it to remain stuck.

How to Spot It: The tailgate looks closed but doesn’t feel secure. You might also hear it rattle when driving.

Solutions to Try

  • Close It Firmly: Give the tailgate a good, firm push to ensure it latches securely.
  • Check the Latch: After closing, tug lightly on the tailgate to make sure it’s truly latched.

The Tailgate Strikers are Misaligned

Why It Happens

The strikers are the metal loops that the tailgate latch grabs onto. If these are misaligned, the latch won’t engage as it should.

How to Spot It: If the tailgate refuses to stay closed or pops open unexpectedly, this could be the issue.

Solutions to Try

  • Check Alignment: Examine the strikers to see if they are lined up with the latch.
  • Adjust as Needed: If they’re off, loosen the bolts, adjust the strikers, and then retighten the bolts.

Troubleshooting Steps

When your 2019 Ram 1500 tailgate is giving you a hard time, accurate diagnosis and proper troubleshooting are your best allies. In this part of our guide, we’re going to walk you through a systematic approach to identify and solve common tailgate issues.

Diagnosing the Issue

First things first, let’s figure out what’s going wrong. Listening, feeling, and a visual check are key actions here.

Listen: Are there any unusual sounds when you attempt to open the tailgate?
Feel: Does the latch feel sticky, or does the tailgate feel wobbly?
Visual Check: A quick look can often reveal obstructions or misalignments.

Step-by-Step Guide to Check Each of the Common Reasons

Once you have some initial clues, it’s time to dig deeper. We’ll go through how to address each of the most common problems.

How to Check the Latching Mechanism

Visual Indicators: The latch may appear dry or show signs of rust.
Tactile Indicators: The latch feels hard to move or sticky.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Use a Flashlight: Illuminate the latch assembly.
  2. Feel by Hand: Gently try to move the latch. If it’s sticky or doesn’t move smoothly, it needs lubrication.

How to Identify and Remove Jammed Items

Visual Indicators: Foreign objects visible in the lock.
Auditory Indicators: Scratching or jamming sounds when you try to unlock.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Inspect the Lock: Shine a flashlight into the lock.
  2. Use Tools Carefully: If you see an obstruction, use tweezers or a flat-head screwdriver to carefully remove it.

How to Ensure the Tailgate is Properly Closed

Visual Indicators: The tailgate seems closed but not firmly.
Tactile Indicators: It may rattle or feel loose when touched.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Push Firmly: Close the tailgate with a bit more force than usual.
  2. Test: Gently tug on the tailgate to make sure it’s secure.

How to Check and Adjust Tailgate Strikers

Visual Indicators: The latch doesn’t seem to catch the strikers properly.
Tactile Indicators: The tailgate may pop open unexpectedly or not close fully.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Inspect the Strikers: Look at the metal loops that the latch grabs onto.
  2. Adjustment: If they seem misaligned, loosen the bolts, adjust, and then tighten them back.

DIY Fixes For the 2019 Ram 1500 tailgate won’t open

Before you head to the mechanic, there are a few simple fixes you can try at home. Here, we’ll discuss three straightforward methods to get that tailgate back in action.

Spray WD-40 into the Latching Mechanism

Why It Works:
WD-40 is a multi-purpose lubricant that can free up a sticky or tight latch, making it easier to open your tailgate.

How to Do It:

  1. Locate the latching mechanism on your tailgate.
  2. Shake the WD-40 can well and spray the lubricant generously around the latch assembly.
  3. Open and close the tailgate a few times to help distribute the lubricant evenly.

Wiggle the Gate Forward and Back

Why It Works:
Sometimes the tailgate is simply stuck due to minor alignment issues or pressure. Wiggling it can help realign the components.

How to Do It:

  1. Stand facing the tailgate and place your hands on either side.
  2. Gently wiggle it forward and back several times.
  3. Try opening the tailgate to see if the issue is resolved.

Push in on the Tailgate and Press the Button

Why It Works:
Pushing in on the tailgate while pressing the button can help relieve pressure on the latch, making it easier to open.

How to Do It:

  1. Stand behind the tailgate and push it inwards.
  2. While maintaining pressure, press the opening button.
  3. If the latch releases, open the tailgate fully and then close it securely to ensure it latches properly for future use.

These DIY fixes are simple yet effective first steps to tackle a malfunctioning 2019 Ram 1500 tailgate. Give them a try and you might just save yourself a trip to the repair shop.

Recall Information

When it comes to malfunctioning tailgates, it’s essential to consider the possibility of a manufacturer’s recall. In the case of the 2019 Ram 1500, there has indeed been a recall that might be relevant to your situation. Below, we explore the details of Ram’s recall, what the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has to say, and how to determine if your vehicle is affected.

Discussion of Ram’s Recall Affecting 1.2 Million Pickup Trucks from 2019 to 2022

What Happened:
Ram issued a recall affecting an estimated 1.2 million pickup trucks manufactured between 2019 and 2022. The reason? Tailgates that might not latch properly.

A tailgate that won’t latch is not just inconvenient; it’s a safety hazard. Items stored in the truck bed could fall out while driving, creating dangerous road conditions.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Statement

What They Said:
The NHTSA has backed the recall, stating that these tailgates could potentially open while the vehicle is in motion. This adds an official layer of urgency to get the issue addressed.

Steps to Find Out if Your Vehicle is Part of the Recall

Check Vehicle Identification Number (VIN):
Every vehicle has a unique VIN. You can find this number on the lower-left corner of your car’s windshield or inside the driver’s side door.

  1. Locate Your VIN: Find your VIN number as described above.
  2. Visit NHTSA’s Website: Go to the NHTSA recall website and enter your VIN to see if your vehicle is part of the recall.
  3. Contact Your Local Dealer: If your vehicle is affected, reach out to your local Ram dealer to learn about the next steps for repair or replacement.

Being informed is the first step in resolving any tailgate issues that may be related to a recall. If you find that your 2019 Ram 1500 is part of this recall, don’t hesitate to take immediate action to get it fixed.

Safety Precautions

Fixing a faulty tailgate is important, not just for convenience but also for safety. A tailgate that doesn’t latch properly can pose significant risks. In this part of the guide, we’ll cover the dangers of a tailgate opening while driving and offer some temporary solutions until you can get the issue properly fixed.

Warnings About Tailgate Opening While Driving

Risks Involved:

  • Lost Cargo: Anything stored in the truck bed could fall out, posing a danger to other drivers.
  • Accidents: Sudden opening of the tailgate can cause a driver to swerve or brake abruptly, leading to accidents.

If you’re aware that your tailgate is faulty, it’s crucial to address the issue immediately to avoid these serious risks.

Recommendations for Temporary Solutions

While you’re working on a permanent fix, here are some temporary solutions to keep you and others safe on the road:

  1. Use Ratchet Straps: Secure the tailgate by wrapping ratchet straps around it and anchoring them to the truck bed.
  2. Empty the Truck Bed: If possible, avoid carrying any cargo in the truck bed until the tailgate is fixed.
  3. Use Caution Tape or Signs: Mark the tailgate with visible caution tape or signs to alert other drivers that your tailgate is not secure.
  4. Drive Carefully: Until you get the tailgate fixed, avoid high speeds and bumpy roads that might cause the tailgate to unlatch.

Remember, these are just temporary measures. It’s vital to address the root cause of the problem as soon as possible. Prioritize your safety and that of others by either attempting a DIY fix or seeking professional help immediately.


If your 2019 Ram 1500 tailgate is giving you headaches, you’re not stuck! From easy DIY fixes to understanding recalls and even opting for professional help, there’s a solution for you. Don’t forget to play it safe in the meantime with our quick temporary measures. With this guide in hand, you’re well on your way to making that stubborn tailgate behave. Happy driving!


  • Zayn

    Zohn Zayn Smith is a seasoned automotive enthusiast with over 15 years of experience in the industry. As the Founder and Chief Editor of Truckguider, he specializes in Dodge Ram models, including the Ram 1500 and Ram 2500. His deep understanding of these trucks makes him a trusted authority on everything from performance and maintenance to towing capabilities.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *