How To Open Tonneau Cover When Tailgate Won’t Open

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If you’re like most truck owners, you rely on your truck to help you carry out a variety of tasks. Whether you’re using it for work or recreation, your truck must be in good working condition. One issue that some truck owners may face is when the tonneau cover won’t open.

This blog post will discuss how to open your tonneau cover when the tailgate doesn’t open. We’ll also provide tips on keeping your truck’s tailgate in good working condition. Thanks for reading!

What can cause the tailgate not to open?

The tailgate is an essential component of a vehicle, and it can be frustrating if it does not open when you need it to. A few things can cause the tailgate to fail to open.

First, the latch may be faulty or damaged. If the latch is not working correctly, it may not be able to release the door.

Second, the hinges could be damaged or frozen. If the hinges are damaged, they may not be able to support the door’s weight, preventing it from opening.

Finally, the tailgate itself may be bent or warped. If the tailgate is bent, it will not line up correctly with the latch, making it difficult to open. A warped tailgate can also prevent the latch from engaging properly.

If you have difficulty opening your tailgate, check for these common issues. With some troubleshooting, you should be able to get your tailgate working again.

Because most tonneau covers use the tailgate’s locking mechanism to secure your items, unlocking the tailgate is important.

For most truck owners, the tailgate latch linkage or the Pop N Lock mechanism usually gives way causing the tailgate to disappoint you.

When this happens, you may be able to get the tailgate to work by shaking it vigorously. On the other hand, you may need to break the handle and replace it later to open the tailgate and your tonneau cover.

Another thing that can cause the tailgate not to open is the type of tonneau cover. If the tonneau cover has an above-the-rail design, you may encounter problems with it. 

Red truck How to Open Tonneau Cover When the Tailgate Won't Open image

What do I need to open my tonneau cover?

You’ll need some of the following items to open your tonneau cover.

  1. Drill: You may need to drill a hole into the handle if the tailgate unlocks but refuses to open. Through the hole, you can try to use a wire hanger to pull on the latch or any part of the locking mechanism you can access.
  2. Screwdriver. If need be, you can unscrew the handle from the tailgate and try to force it open internally. This may take a while and a little bit of drilling here and there.
  3. Strong hands: You need a pair of strong hands to shake your tailgate latch into position. 
  4. Wire hanger: You may need to bend a wire hanger to your desired shape to pull some parts in your tailgate’s handle.

How Can I Open The Tonneau Cover?

You can do several things to open your tonneau cover when your tailgate refuses to open. We’ve highlighted three that you can do on your own and a fourth you can do at the dealership.

Break The Tailgate Handle. 

If you’ve tried the push and shove method on the tailgate and nothing seems to happen, you may have to break the handle. Breaking it will give you access to the working mechanism of the tailgate latch, and you can unlock the tailgate and open your tonneau cover.

Pull and push the tailgate seriously for some time.

This is often recommended when you notice the tailgate locks and unlocks but refuses to open. You can also use this technique if there are rubber seams that get stuck in your tailgate when you try to open it. That’s why I suggested a strong pair of hands in the list of things you need.


You can open your tonneau cover and access your truck bed with a bit of pushing, pulling, and replacing any broken handles. And you don’t need to damage the tonneau cover to be able to open it when your tailgate refuses to open. 

How To Ensure Your Tonneau Cover Doesn’t Lock You

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