Can I Manually Open And Close My Power Liftgate?

Power liftgates are a popular feature on a variety of vehicles. Originally a luxury option, it's a convenience that makes loading and unloading items from the cargo area of a van or SUV easier. The only drawbacks are that they are a more expensive option than a manual liftgate and are more expensive to fix if something breaks.

For that reason, a lot of people ask, "Can I manually open and close my power liftgate?" The simple answer is yes. However, depending on the vehicle, you may need to engage a manual override function or disable the power liftgate. We'll cover that in this article, including where to look for information on your Toyota's liftgate operation.

How To Open And Close Your Power Liftgate Manually

Toyota liftgate

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Power liftgates can be operated manually, but the process varies depending on the vehicle. In some cases, you don't need to do anything and can open and close the liftgate manually. However, on many vehicles, you have to disable or override the power liftgate function. Sometimes, that override uses a switch on your dashboard with an icon shaped like a hatch. But on newer vehicles, the override function is typically in a menu built into the instrument cluster's message center.

When in doubt, check your owner's manual. The liftgate function will either be indexed in a separate section of the owner's manual or referenced in a chapter summarizing the operation of the instrument cluster message center.

Is A Manual Liftgate More Reliable Than A Power Liftgate?

Both manual and power liftgates are very reliable and should provide trouble-free operation for years. Each system has its own positives and negatives, so deciding on one comes down to how frequently you use the cargo area of your vehicle, your budget, and your personal preference. For more information, check out this post about power vs. manual liftgates.

Pros And Cons Of Power Liftgates

Power liftgates offer the following positives and negatives:

On the positive side, they make opening and closing the liftgate much easier. This feature is especially helpful if you have trouble physically opening and closing a manual liftgate or frequently carry heavy or bulky items. A power liftgate can be especially useful when you have your hands full and/or it's raining, and you don't want to dig out your keys.

The one negative is that the cost of repairing a power liftgate is higher than a manual one. This is because there are more parts to a power liftgate, including an electric motor and wiring. Also, manually opening and closing a power liftgate is usually harder than a traditional manual liftgate. It may be heavier to lift and may not stay open without additional support.

Can I Convert My Vehicle To A Power Or Manual Liftgate?

Toyota liftgate

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Most Toyota minivans and SUVs offer a manual liftgate as standard equipment and a power liftgate as an option or part of a higher trim level. That makes it easy to convert a manual liftgate to power or vice versa. There are aftermarket companies that manufacture kits to do those types of conversions. However, your best bet is to use genuine Toyota parts. Not only are Toyota OEM parts designed to fit your specific vehicle, but they are also backed by an OEM manufacturer's warranty.

Olathe Toyota Parts Center Can Help Fix Your Liftgate Problems

Whether you need new liftgate struts or need to replace the entire liftgate, we have the OEM Toyota parts you need with up-front wholesale pricing. We can also help you if you want to do a liftgate conversion. If you have questions about the conversion or would like to know more, feel free to contact us.

If you need other help, check out our free resources, including a Toyota Paint Code Guide and diagnostic info for common Toyota trouble codes.