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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a 2014 Kia Soul Plus, 1 owner with 215K miles. I have not had any major issues with the car except for the alternator (easy DIY replacement) and rear view wiper went out...until now.

I have having difficulty trying to figure out why my tailgate will not open with the FOB or the outside door button (and yes I know about the emergency release). I have gone through the fuse panel in the car and under the hood, replaced the button on the outside of the tailgate and also the hardware that latches the tailgate close (including the electrical part of the latching mechanism) . I have disconnected the battery and changed the batteries in my FOB and still no luck. When I use the FOB to try and open the tailgate the back light on the car flash like they should when the tailgate is being locked or unlocked but no luck with releasing the hatch hardware.

Any suggestions??? I'm not sure what I could have missed???

Thank you in advance
 

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That all came as one unit...
Given all that you have done, pick a spot along the wire, get a voltmeter, attach it to the line to see if the signal is getting through to the tailgate. If no, there is a problem toward the receiver, if yes, , toward the hatch. Time to start narrowing down its location, much harder than easter egg hunting. At this point I would begin to suspect a shorted or open wire somewhere up stream.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That is what I was thinking also but what baffles me is that I have not done anything different in the last 4 years and 215K miles that should have caused a short or damage to a wire???

But what else is there???

FUSE...BUTTON...SOLENOID and the part that the latch latches to (none electrical)??? I don't see where that anchor part of the latch has moved or any damage to it. I estimate I have opened and closed that tailgate 20K times in 4 years (I do deliveries).
 

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It is a five model year old car. Wiring deteriorates, different wiring covers deteriorate at different rates especially those that have some exposure to the air and sun. Any movement on deteriorated wire can cause a short or an open depending on location. Don't let it fool you, I have chased shorted wire that is hunderds of feet long and am never surprised when I find an open or short where I least expect it. On the other hand they can show up where you would expect them also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Guess I will be chasing wires today. I will let you know how it goes.

One other question...is the anchor to the latch magnetic? I see that it hasn't moved at all and there is still a tight fit when the tailgate is close. There is no wires to it so does it do anything other then sit there for the hatch to attach to? Does the solenoid break a magnetic field to release the door? Just trying to think of what else could be causing this before I start testing the wires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I realized that the dash display that alerts you that the tailgate is open is no longer there when the tailgate is opened...

I'm hoping every clue might help.

I am not getting any power (ignition off) to the main plug on the tailgate (after unplugging it and testing it with a voltmeter)...but my backup camera does work when I am backing up even though it looks like they all meet and plug into that wire.

I am curious if the tailgate has a relay somewhere?
 

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Around here animals get into vehicles and do wire damage. Cats have climbed on motors and broken wires. they will find a hole to hide in and no telling what wires will be pulled apart. Also rodents will feast on wire insulation. All this especially in cold weather when cars provide heat and comfort. Hope your problem shows up soon.
 

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I don't have a schematic of the circuits so am not sure if there is a relay in the line or not. I would not believe that the circuit would have a hold circuit on the solenoid simply because that is impractical and would drain the battery when the engine is shut off. There would be a pluse going down line to trigger the solenoid momentarily to release the latch which would then reset to lock upon closing the hatch. It also makes sense that the indicator light would not be working on the dash. I would now suspect some type of logic module, although it could still be a wire problem. I am not familiar enough with this circuit to give you any better advice. But I would start to narrow it down by looking for the point where there is no voltage on the line and work one way or the other chasing it down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So when I was checking the wires with the voltmeter I had unplugged the main connection to the tailgate which controls the release, defrost and camera (maybe more). I left to do a delivery and when I was backing out I realized my backup camera was not working. I re-connected what I had disconnected earlier and the camera worked fine. What I am getting at is it looks like I have power all the way to the main connection at the tailgate. Would it be logical to think the problem is after that connection?

I researched the relay idea and came up with nothing...
 

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...What I am getting at is it looks like I have power all the way to the main connection at the tailgate. Would it be logical to think the problem is after that connection?...
Absolutely! However, as with most things, electricity can play tricks on you. If you can do this: Unplug the same connector and find out which pin goes to the latch on the tail gate. Unplug the connector on the tailgate. WIth an ohmeter, hook a lead to the main connector pin and the connector on the tail gate.

If there the ohmmeter reads 0 ohms, you have a good connection between those two points. Now move one lead on the ohmmeter to a ground point on the chassis. If it reads 0 ohms, then you have a shorted wire even though the lead is connected, the lead is also grounded, not good. If it reads infinity, the wire is good.

With both connectors still disconnected, remove the lead from the other end of the circuit and test between the solenoid and ground to see if there is a ground on that part of the circuit. Again, 0 on the ohmmeter means short, infinity means open. That should eliminate the entire tail gate as the culprit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well after numerous parts including a new tailgate wiring harness I (meaning my mechanic and a few hundred bucks) finally figured out why my tailgate was not opening...

We replaced the fuses, check for any relays, changed the batteries in the FOB, replace the button to open the tailgate, replaced the mechanic to the tailgate latch and replaced the wiring pigtail for the tailgate...with no luck.

What I did not notice over the 4 years I have had the car is that I was slowly losing things in the car...the back windshield wiper went out but I figured it was the motor so I blew it off, I was also noticing the car was getting darker and darker over the years when I open the doors at night. Of course the icing on the cake was when the tailgate would not open.

After replacing the wiring harness we decided to track the harness from the tailgate back... the picture below will show you what we found in a car that is only 4 years old. Something is seriously wrong in the design when this can happen in only 4 years to a whole wiring harness!!! Auto part Vehicle Car
Auto part Tire Automotive tire Wheel Automotive wheel system
 

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I am glad you were able to find it and that we, on the forum, have gained from your pain. As stated before electrical problems can be a pain for just the type of thing that you found. I wish you luck and now I am going to keep an closer eye on all the connecting tubes on my doors and etc. I just hope I can find them all.
 

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Well after numerous parts including a new tailgate wiring harness I (meaning my mechanic and a few hundred bucks) finally figured out why my tailgate was not opening...

We replaced the fuses, check for any relays, changed the batteries in the FOB, replace the button to open the tailgate, replaced the mechanic to the tailgate latch and replaced the wiring pigtail for the tailgate...with no luck.

What I did not notice over the 4 years I have had the car is that I was slowly losing things in the car...the back windshield wiper went out but I figured it was the motor so I blew it off, I was also noticing the car was getting darker and darker over the years when I open the doors at night. Of course the icing on the cake was when the tailgate would not open.

After replacing the wiring harness we decided to track the harness from the tailgate back... the picture below will show you what we found in a car that is only 4 years old. Something is seriously wrong in the design when this can happen in only 4 years to a whole wiring harness!!! View attachment 119427 View attachment 119429
Curious,
Was the gromet loose and the wires worn by the metal edge of the hole,
Or is something else suspect, mice?
 
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