Question about 2000 Volkswagen GTI

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Rear hatch doesnt open

How can i fix my rear hatch.. it doesnt work any more, i can hear the latch working but there is no resistense when you try to lift the handle

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Sounds like the mechanism has come apart inside the hatch itself. Can you open it with the key? Keep in mind when you use the key, you have to leave it turned and in the hatch otherwise it won't open. Had a similar problem on my Golf and had the dealer repair it for me.

Posted on Aug 15, 2008

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In order to allow the latch to close around the mating piece on the car body, it will need to be opened first. To open a closed latch mechanism, you will need to simulate opening the hatch from its normal closed position. With the hatch open, look at the latch mechanism. It will align with the bar on the opening of the car. Adjust the hatch / your view to see how the mechanism would be wrapped around the bar on the body - keeping the hatch securely shut. Once you see an opening in the mechanism described above, slip the shaft of a sturdy screwdriver into the opening. Apply a pulling pressure outward - away from the latch on the screwdriver with one hand, and with the other hand (or with the help of an assistant), operate the handle / lock of the hatch the way you did when the hatch was closed. Immediately upon operating the handle / lock, the latch mechanism will unlock, and the pulling pressure of the screwdriver simulates the hatch being pulled away from the bar on the car - and seemingly magically - open allowing the screwdriver to be pulled out.

Next, you'll need to determine and correct the cause of the latch being in the wrong position. It could be something as simple as someone pushing the mechanism shut when the hatch was open; or it may be caused by a poorly lubricated mechanism that is not snapping into a fully open position. When this happens, it is likely the the closing motion of the hatch actually snaps the mechanism shut when it is stuck on the leading edge of the latch - instead of in the "throat" of the latch (where the screwdriver was). A liberal amount of a dry lubricant such as silicone or graphite applied to the mechanism and "worked in" through repeated opening and closing motions of the hatch would be a good start. Resist the temptation of using a wet lubricant like oil, grease, WD-40, etc. as these attract dirt and dust - which can interfere with a nice, fluid movement of the these latching parts. If there is already a lot of dirt, dust or rust, build up on the latch mechanism, it should be cleaned as good as possible before applying lubricant. Use an electrical contact type cleaner as these clean, degrease, dry quickly and leave no residue.

If you are unable to to get the latch to work - have your mechanic or auto servicer look at it. They should be able to quickly diagnose and free the latch. Most will not even bother to charge you to do this - if this is the cause of the problem.

I hope this helps & good luck!

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1 Answer

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1 Answer

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This is a common problem on the blazer. If you can hear the rod actuator working, then the actuator rod to latch rod connector has broken. It's plastic, and a poor GM design.
To get the rear hatch open you will need to manualy release it. It can be done by working as much of the plastic tailgate trim you can get loose, from around the top center of the gate, where the latch is. remove the 2 screws that hold the handle on and remove handle. Then pry as much as you need to access the c type latch, and release it by moving it... it's spring loaded and will only move one way. Haveing someone help you lift the hatch while you unlatch it from inside the vehicle helps. After you get the hatch up and the tailgate folded down, make sure the latch is locked in the open position.
The actuator can be repaired, i've done it several times. GM will try and sell you a new one, which is rather costly compared to the $8.00 piece of plastic you need.
Good luck and i hope this helps.

S.W. Brown
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