Liftgate Ajar – Symptoms, Causes, Solutions & Prevention

A liftgate or trunk lid is an essential partof many vehicles, providing convenient access to the cargo area or trunk. However, encountering a liftgate that remains ajar can be frustrating and even pose safety risks.

“Liftgate ajar” refers to the condition where a vehicle’s rear cargo door or trunk is not securely closed, resulting in it being partially open or not fully latched. Some of the common reasons behind this problem can beamisaligned latch, faulty ordirty sensor, damaged wiring, faulty or blown fuse,etc.

This article will explore the most common reasons behind a liftgate being ajar, discussing the symptoms that indicate this issue, the underlying causes, and the recommended fixes. By understanding these aspects, vehicle owners can address the problem effectively and ensure the proper functioning of their liftgate.

Liftgate Ajar

What are the Common Symptoms of Liftgate Ajar?

The most obvious symptom of a liftgate ajar is the warning light on your dashboard or instrument cluster. This light may stay on constantly or flicker intermittently.

Depending on your vehicle model, the light may be red or yellow, and it may show a picture of a car with an open trunk or a text that says “liftgate ajar”,“trunk open”, or“Code -B1306”.

There are some other symptoms of liftgate ajar include the following:

  • The reduced functionalityof your liftgate may make it hard to open or close the liftgate manually or with the remote. You may also notice that the power liftgate does not work correctly or at all.
  • The increased riskof theft or damage to your vehicle may result from the liftgate not being fully closed. This can allow access to your cargo area and expose your belongings to potential thieves.

Moreover, if the liftgate is not sealed correctly, water, dust, or debris can enter your vehicle and cause corrosion or electrical problems.

What Does B1306 Code Mean?

Code B1306 is a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) that indicates a general electrical failure in the liftgate ajar switch circuit. This code is set by the body control module (BCM) when it detects an open condition in the circuit that connects the liftgate ajar switch to the BCM.

The liftgate ajar switch is a sensor that detects whether the vehicle’s liftgate is closed or not.

  • When the liftgate is closed, the switch completes the circuit and sends a signal to the BCM.
  • When the liftgate is open, the switch breaks the circuit and sends no signal to the BCM.

However, code B1306 is not a very serious code, but it can affect the functionality and security of your vehicle’s liftgate. Therefore, it is recommended to fix code1306 as soon as possible.

What are Common Reasons and Possible Solutionsfor Liftgate Ajar?

In order to fix the warning light for the open liftgate, it is a must to look into the reasons reported by the user. By identifying the root cause, you can accurately diagnose and resolve the problem.

Here are several potential causes and fixesof Liftgate Ajar:

1. Misaligned Latch:

The latch is the mechanism that secures the liftgate to the body of the vehicle.If the latch is damaged, worn out, or out of alignment, it may not be able to lock or unlock the liftgate properly and trigger the warning light.

The Fix:

First, ensure that the latch is working properly and adequately aligned with the striker plate on the vehicle’s body.You can do this by repeatedly opening and closing the liftgate and listening for a click sound.

If you do not hear a click sound or sense any resistance when closing the liftgate, you may need to modify the lock by adjusting its latch by loosening or tightening its bolts until it aligns securely with the strike plate.

Misaligned Latch

2. Faulty or Dirty Sensor:

The sensor is the device that detects whether the liftgate is closed or open.If the sensor is faulty, corroded, or covered with dirt or grease, it may send false signals to the computer and cause the warning light to come on.

The Fix:

Clean and examine the sensor for any signs of corrosion or damage. This can be accomplished by locating the sensor on the perimeter of the liftgate and washing or sprinkling it with compressed air.

You can also use a multimeter to determine whether the sensor sends voltage signals to the computer when the liftgate is opened and closed.

3. Damaged Wiring:

The wiring is the connection between the sensor and the computer.If the wiring is broken, frayed, or shorted, it may interfere with the communication between the sensor and the computer and result in theliftgate ajar warning light being on.

The Fix:

Examine and repair any wiring issues that could affect the sensor or the computer. You can do so by referring to the wiring diagram in the owner’s manual and searching for any loose connections, burns, scratches, or exposed wires.

You can also use a multimeter to determine whether each wire has continuity and resistance. Depending on the wiring issue, you may be required to splice, solder, or replace the wires.

4. Faulty or Blown Fuse:

The fuse is a protective device that prevents excessive current from damaging the electrical components. If the fuse forthe liftgate circuit is faulty or blown, it may cut off the power supply to the sensor or the computer and cause the warning light to stay on.

The Fix:

Check and replace the fuse for the liftgate circuit if it is faulty or blown. You can do this by locating the fuse box beneath the dashboard or in the engine compartment and using a fuse puller or needle-nose pliers to remove the fuse.

You can also use a multimeter to test if the fuse is blown by checking if there is continuity across its terminals. If the fuse is blown, replace it with a new one with the same amperage rating.

Can a False Warning of Liftgate Ajar be Possible?

A faulty sensor can trigger a false liftgate ajar warning. Some vehicles may have a problem with the liftgate sensors that cause a false warning of the liftgate ajar. This may affect the interior lights, the rearview camera, and the alarm system.

If you believe the warning is incorrect, you may need to replace the sensors or adjust the alignment of the liftgate to fix this issue. 

Can I Drive with the Liftgate Ajar?

It depends on the type of vehicle and the power liftgate system. Some vehicles may have a manual override option that allows you to adjust the liftgate position and secure it with a strap or a bungee cord.

However, it is not recommended to drive with the liftgate ajar. Doing so can pose safety risks, as the open liftgate may obstruct your rear view, allow exhaust fumes to enter the vehicle, or cause the cargo to shift or fall out.

You can find some examples of this problem in the links below:

How to Prevent Liftgate AjarProblem?

Regular maintenance of the liftgate and its components is crucial to prevent the issue of the liftgate ajar.Here are some tips on how to do that:

  • Maintaining the liftgate ajar switch and latch assembly regularly can prevent the liftgate ajar warning light from coming on.
  • Cleaning the dirt and debris from the switch and latch contacts can improve the electrical connection and avoid false signals.
  • Lubricating the switch and latch mechanism can prevent corrosion and wear that can cause the switch to malfunction.
  • Replacing the switch or latch if they are damaged or worn out can ensure proper operation and prevent liftgate ajar issues.

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