Getting A Jeep Grand Cherokee Soon? These Are The Power Liftgate Problems You Should Be Aware Of!

A power liftgate is handy if you frequently use the vehicle’s cargo area. But extra internal parts and its automatic nature also make it susceptible to various issues.

Many Jeep Grand Cherokee owners have reported different power liftgate-related problems over the years, such as the power liftgate not opening, closing, or staying open.

In other instances, you don’t get any of these issues, but the dashboard displays the ‘Power Liftgate Temporarily Unavailable, Close Manually to Operate’ warning message.

This article will discuss why you face these problems and what steps you can take to fix them.

What is A Power Liftgate?

A power liftgate has the same purpose as a manual liftgate – both control the rear door of your vehicle.

The main difference is that a power liftgate can be opened or closed by pressing a button inside your vehicle or on your key fob.

Some Jeep Grand Cherokee models go even further and open/close the liftgate whenever your key fob is close to its activation zone.

Common Jeep Grand Cherokee Power Liftgate Problems

A common indicator of power liftgate problems in your vehicle is the ‘Power Liftgate Temporarily Unavailable, Close Manually To Operate’ message on the dash screen.

On top of that, below are some additional signs that indicate an issue or two in the liftgate system.

1. Power Liftgate Not Opening or Closing

In this case, the power liftgate is not opening or closing through the vehicle button or the Key fob.

The possible reasons behind this can be a failing liftgate motor, blown fuse, damaged wiring harness, or a broken latch.

2. Power Liftgate Dropping slightly

In some rare cases, the power liftgate has difficulty staying on.

It opens perfectly and goes at full height. But after reaching the top, it drops slightly (a few inches). In other instances, it continues to drop until it’s closed again.

Most probably, it’s due to damaged or worn-out struts, as they’re responsible for maintaining the liftgate height and can weaken over time.

3. Noisy Power Liftgate

If your power liftgate is opening or closing but does so with a creaking or popping sound, then it indicates that the liftgate pulldown motor is either damaged or worn out.

4. Power Liftgate Opening or Closing on Its Own

Many Grand Cherokee owners have reported that sometimes their power liftgate opens/closes by itself – without any input from their end. It poses a safety risk for the luggage and the passengers in backseats.

It mostly happens due to a faulty liftgate sensor or a broken latch.

5. Power Liftgate Not Responding to Key Fob

Sometimes, the power liftgate works fine with the vehicle button but not the key fob. You should check the liftgate control module and liftgate sensor in such scenarios.

That’s because the liftgate will not recognize the key fob signal if there are any issues with these two and will not respond.

How to Fix Jeep Grand Cherokee Power Liftgate Problems?

1. Reset the Power Liftgate Fuse

If you hear the liftgate beep when you press the vehicle/Key fob button, but it doesn’t open, the first solution you should try is resetting the power liftgate system.

While it may not make much sense, many Jeep owners have their power liftgates working again with this simple process. Here’s how it goes:

  • Turn off the power liftgate.
  • Open the under-hood fuse box.
  • Locate the power liftgate fuse. It’s labeled as F50 for my 2014 Jeep WK, but it can be different for your model. Therefore, you should use the diagram on the fuse box cover or the owner’s manual for more information.
  • Once you’ve found the fuse no. and location for that fuse, pull it out of the slot. This fuse is quite close to other fuses in the box. Therefore, you should use a plier instead of bare hands – for a better grip.
  • While you’re at it, physically inspect this fuse. That’s because sometimes a blown fuse opens up the circuit and causes the power liftgate not to get any power for turning off/on. If its internal metal looks to be burnt or melted, it means that the fuse is blown and should be replaced.
  • However, if it looks fine, put it back into the slot after a few minutes. Make sure that it’s entirely inside the slot.
  • Lock your vehicle. Wait for a few minutes before unlocking it.

Now you’ve reset the system. Test your power liftgate by turning it on through the vehicle button or Key fob.

2. Initialize the Power Liftgate Module

Sometimes, the power liftgate doesn’t work after battery replacement. Since it’s not due to any hardware issue, you can resolve it by initializing the power liftgate module.

To do that, plug an OBD2 scanner into the OBD-II port of your vehicle and turn the ignition switch on. For the sake of example, I am using this scanner as it’s reasonably priced and supports a lot of cars.

Once you’ve connected the scanner, open its mobile app and go to All System Diagnostics > System Selection > Body Control Module. The Rear Gate/Trunk Module controls the power liftgate in some vehicles instead of the Body Control Module. Therefore, check out the owner’s manual and select the correct option for your car.

Then, go to Special Functions > Reset Power Liftgate Initialization. You’ll get a pop-up message on your screen. Press OK, and the initialization process will start.

The process will take some time, and the power liftgate will open and close during that period. Once the process is completed, you’ll get a confirmation message on the screen.

After that, you should test the power liftgate to see if anything changes.

3. Fix the Liftgate Button on the Key Fob

Fix the Liftgate Button on the Key Fob

Press other key fob buttons (lock/unlock) to determine whether the problem is only with the liftgate button or the whole key fob.

If only the liftgate key is not responding, it’s either worn out or stuck. In any case, you should get it checked by an auto locksmith.

On the other hand, if none of the key fob buttons is working, you should try changing its battery, reprogramming it, or replacing it with a new key fob. For more info, please read our guide on Jeep key fob issues.

4. Check the Power Liftgate Sensor

Sometimes, the liftgate doesn’t recognize the latch to be closed due to moisture or dirt build-up. And you get a “rear hatch open” message on your dash screen even though everything works fine.

Apply WD-40 cleaning spray around the latch area to fix this false alarm. After that, use a duster can to dislodge the dust particles stuck in narrow areas.

For more information, you can watch the video below:


So these were some of the common power liftgate problems in Jeep Grand Cherokees – and their fixes.

If you’ve applied all the above methods, but the power liftgate is still not working, you should consult a certified mechanic.

That’s because, at this point, it’s almost certain that the problem is with some internal hardware of the liftgate, such as struts, motor, etc.

And while you can replace these parts yourself, it would be too much of a hassle – especially if you’re uncomfortable with DIYing.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Difference Between A Liftgate And Power Liftgate?

A power liftgate works exactly like a regular liftgate with just one difference. The former comes with a motor that opens or closes the gate electronically. 

Why Is My Power Liftgate Not Working?

There can be many reasons why your power liftgate is not working, the most common being the broken strut, faulty motor, damaged wiring, etc.

Is It OK To Manually Close a Power Liftgate?

Yes, it’s OK to close a power liftgate manually, but only when it’s not working properly. Manually closing a perfectly fine power liftgate will put unnecessary load on its internal components – making them weaker in the longer run.

How Much Does it Cost To Fix A Power Liftgate?

It depends on the part you want to fix/replace. If you’re going to replace a blown fuse, it would cost you slightly more than ten bucks.

On the other hand, if the problem is severe and you need to replace the liftgate motor, the total cost can be $300-$400, depending on whether you do it yourself or hire a mechanic.

How Do You Adjust Power Liftgate Height in Jeep Grand Cherokee?

First, manually adjust the liftgate to your preferred height. After that, press and hold the INSIDE button until you hear a beep sound twice (it should take roughly three seconds).

Then, release this button and press it again to close the liftgate. From now on, the liftgate will not raise more than what you had set up in the first step.

How to Do A Jeep Grand Cherokee Power Liftgate Reset?

You can reset the Jeep Grand Cherokee power liftgate by disconnecting the battery terminals for some minutes before reconnecting them. If that doesn’t work, you can try pulling out the power liftgate fuse and replugging it after some time.

Ayden Morris is the founder of Vehicle Sphere. He shares expert advice and practical tips to help car owners maximize the performance and longevity of their vehicles. Buckle up and join him on this exhilarating ride through the world of car care.

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