Question about 2004 Volvo XC90

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Volvo xc90 rear hatch door closed and won't open

We have a volvo xc90 (2004) and the rear hatch door became increasingly hard to open recently. Now it is closed (not locked) but no matter what I do the handle does not release the door and we can't open it at all. Is there a way to get at the opening mechanism from inside the car?

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  • ianmargeson Jul 13, 2010

    I managed to do this for the past two weeks (My wife had previously put the car into a Volvo dealer who said they couldn't get the hatch open!!) and we got the hatch lid open, but last Friday something changed and no matter how hard I press on the lid it won't move. I really have pushed, pressed and tried everything physical so far but no joy. Can I get access to any wires / control / release machanism from inside the car?

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Hold the hatch hard closed into its frame whilst pulling on the release handle. The mechanism on most cars consists a grab/release on the door and a simple metal hop at the bottom of the frame. Over time the hoop can become loose and move slightly inwards each time the door is shut. The door seal rubbers push back on the door surround putting a lot of tension against the grab/release mechanism preventing it from releasing. By pressing on the door and compressing the rubber surround you will take the pressure off the release mechanism and allow it to open when you pull on the handle. Once the door hatch is open, loosen the mounting bolts to the metal hoop and move it out about 10mm. Tighten the mounting bolts. Shut the door gently as a trial close and check for security of fit. If very slack, ease the hoop inwards a couple of millimetres. When happy, tighten the mounting bolts securely. draw around the hoop mount with indelible ink so if it moves in future you have early visual warning and can remount it easily

Posted on Jul 13, 2010

  • Joseph Prosser Jul 13, 2010

    Ah! I was hoping that this was not the case as you are in a bit of a Catch 22. to get the lining off the door you really need to have the door open to access the edge, but to open the door you need the lining off!!. If Volvo are anything like Audi they will charge a small fortune for a replacement. Is it that the handle on the outside has disconnected from the connecting rod to the release mechanism? Do you have an internal release handle on the back panel?There usually is in case of the need to exit in an emergency. If so, is this not working also? If you do get the door open do not for any reason close it until it is fixed and well lubricated. Just a thought the rear door is under central locking. Have you tried unlocking it with key fob with the door under pressure and then tried the handle. It could be that the central locking mechanism has failed to release the back door as a secondary consequence of the difficulties encountered in generally opening and closing it. As a last recourse you may have to pull the door lining off from the inside to access the mechanism. Check with Volvo on the price of a replacement and also from breaker yard services on-line

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Volvo XC90 Liftgate (tailgate) stuck closed.
A few things to check first.
Is the Valet activated.
Try the door lock switch on the drivers door.
Push in on the release paddle to make sure it has returned to the completely closed position. There are a lot of post concerning the handle retaining pin rusting and not allowing the paddle to return to the fully closed position.
Check the fuses behind the access panel in the cargo area located next to the left rear tail light.
As posted push in on the Liftgate while trying to open it.
Try the liftgate button on the remote.
If you do not have an emergency release lever located in the inner grab handle of the liftgate and the liftgate is stuck closed.

Remove the inner grab handle. By prying from the top in this area.

volvo xc90 rear hatch door closed and won't open - dscn7550-l4mvvdhgg2o3w1b2cqnf1no2-3-0.jpg

Remove the light by inserting a screwdriver in the notch located in the light lens and prying out.
dscn7549-l4mvvdhgg2o3w1b2cqnf1no2-3-2.jpg

Unplug the light by pressing down on the release tab and pulling out the green connecvolvo xc90 rear hatch door closed and won't open - dscn7548-l4mvvdhgg2o3w1b2cqnf1no2-3-77.jpgads/images/dscn7548-l4mvvdhgg2o3w1b2cqnf1no2-3-77.jpg" alt="dscn7548-l4mvvdhgg2o3w1b2cqnf1no2-3-77.jpg" class="h_mi" />

Remove the the two T25 screws located in the bottom outside corners. Long screw on the left handle side.
Grab the inner cover from the middle and give it a pulvolvo xc90 rear hatch door closed and won't open - dscn7542-l4mvvdhgg2o3w1b2cqnf1no2-3-9.jpgretaining clips.
dscn7542-l4mvvdhgg2o3w1b2cqnf1no2-3-9.jpg
This must be pried down to open the liftgate.


From the inside insert a screwdriver through the hole and into the lock as pictured.
dscn7545-l4mvvdhgg2o3w1b2cqnvolvo xc90 rear hatch door closed and won't open - dscn7555-l4mvvdhgg2o3w1b2cqnf1no2-3-35.jpgEngage the lever and pry it down. The liftgate will pop open.<br><img src=

Remove the three T40 bolts from the lovolvo xc90 rear hatch door closed and won't open - dscn7542-l4mvvdhgg2o3w1b2cqnf1no2-3-15.jpgs/images/dscn7546-l4mvvdhgg2o3w1b2cqnf1no2-3-44.jpg" alt="dvolvo xc90 rear hatch door closed and won't open - dscn7552-l4mvvdhgg2o3w1b2cqnf1no2-3-16.jpg class="h_mi" />
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