Can You Add a Power Tailgate Lift to an Older SUV for Increased Convenience?

As the world of technology continues to evolve, most car owners are looking for ways to upgrade their vehicles to enhance convenience, safety, and overall driving experience. One popular feature that many newer models boast of is the power liftgate.

This remarkable feature allows the car’s tailgate or hatch to open and close at the touch of a button, eliminating the need for manual effort. However, most older SUV models don’t come with this feature. So, are you stuck with your old-school, manually-operated tailgate? Not exactly. This article will explore how you can add a power liftgate to your older SUV for increased convenience.

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The Power Liftgate: What It Is and Why You Need It In Your SUV

Before we delve into how to install a power liftgate, it’s crucial to understand what this feature is and how it can revolutionize your driving experience.

A power liftgate (also known as a power tailgate) is an advanced feature that allows the driver or passenger to open and close the rear gate or hatch of the vehicle with just the push of a button. It’s usually found in modern SUVs, vans, and crossovers.

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This automatic liftgate provides numerous benefits, especially for SUV owners. Aside from sheer convenience, it makes loading and unloading bulky or heavy items from the rear of the vehicle a breeze. It can also be a real winner for individuals with mobility issues, parents handling babies, or anyone whose hands are frequently full.

Things to Consider Before Installing a Power Liftgate

While the benefits of a power liftgate are enticing, it’s important to consider a few factors before attempting to add this feature to your older vehicle.

The first consideration is the cost. Power liftgate installation kits don’t come cheap, and the investment may not be worth it if your model is significantly aged or its value has depreciated greatly.

Second, consider the compatibility of your SUV with the aftermarket power liftgate kit. Not all older SUV models will accommodate the installation of a power liftgate, as the kits are usually designed for specific makes and models.

Lastly, the installation process can be complex. If you aren’t mechanically inclined, you might require professional installation, which will add to the overall cost.

Choosing the Right Power Liftgate Kit and Installation Process

Assuming you’ve considered the factors above and decided to proceed with the installation, the next step is to choose the right power liftgate kit for your vehicle.

The kits vary according to the vehicle’s make, model, and year. For instance, if you own a Kia model, you should find a kit designed specifically for that. These kits are available from various aftermarket suppliers, and they typically include all the necessary components such as a lift motor, cables, and a control module.

Installing a power liftgate kit involves several steps. It starts with removing the existing hatch or tailgate and installing the new power liftgate in its place. After that, the wiring and control module are installed and connected to the vehicle’s electrical system. Lastly, the liftgate is tested to ensure it opens and closes properly with the push of a button.

Remember, unless you have a good understanding of your vehicle’s mechanics and electrical system, it’s advisable to seek professional assistance.

Maintaining the Power Liftgate After Installation

Once your power liftgate is installed and working, it’s essential to maintain it properly for smooth operation and longevity.

Regular checks on the hinge, runners, and liftgate posts are paramount. If these components become worn or damaged, the liftgate might not function properly. Similarly, the power liftgate’s motor and electrical system need regular checks and servicing.

In summary, it is indeed possible to add a power liftgate to an older SUV for increased convenience. However, ensure you understand the costs involved, the compatibility of your vehicle with the kit, and the complexity of the installation process. With all these considerations, you can make an informed decision and enjoy the convenience of a power liftgate in your older SUV.

Installation of the Power Liftgate Kits: The Step-by-Step Guide

Having chosen the right power liftgate kit for your older SUV, the next step is to have it installed. Let’s take a closer look at the process that typically follows.

Commencing the installation process, the existing tailgate or hatch is removed to make way for the power liftgate. This is a job that requires a certain level of mechanical proficiency and it’s recommended that you seek the help of a professional if you’re not confident in your skills.

Following the removal of the old tailgate, the new liftgate is installed in its place. This involves securing the liftgate to the rear bumper using heavy duty bolts and brackets provided in the kit. Remember, it’s crucial to ensure a firm and secure installation to prevent any potential issues down the line.

The electrical wiring and control module that are vital for the functioning of the power liftgate come next. These are connected to the vehicle’s electrical system, enabling you to control the liftgate at the push of a button or a click on your key fob for hands-free operation.

Once the wiring and control module are in place, the liftgate is tested for opening and closing mechanisms. This is to ensure it operates smoothly, opens and closes at the correct speed, and securely locks when closed.

In case you own a Toyota runner, Kia Telluride, or some other specific models, keep in mind that aftermarket power liftgate kits designed for these models may have a slightly different installation process.

Conclusion: Is a Power Liftgate Worth Adding to Your Older SUV?

The answer revolves around your unique needs and the value you place on convenience. If you often find your hands full when approaching your vehicle, or you frequently load and unload heavy items from the cargo area, then a power liftgate might prove to be an invaluable addition.

However, it’s essential to weigh the costs, both in terms of the power liftgate kit and the potential need for professional installation. Remember, not all older SUVs are compatible with aftermarket liftgates, so it’s best to check with the manufacturer or a professional installer before making a purchase.

Also, keep in mind the maintenance aspect. Like any other car component, power liftgates require regular check-ups and servicing to ensure their longevity. This includes the liftgate power motor, electrical system, and physical components like the hinge and runners.

In conclusion, the decision to add a power liftgate to an older SUV is yours to make. The benefits are undeniable – it adds a touch of modern convenience to your vehicle and makes handling the tailgate a breeze. However, it’s crucial to do your homework and understand what the upgrade entails to ensure you’re making an informed decision.

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