Everyday your truck is subjected to heavy loads. But don't you ever wonder how it manages to stay put no matter what? This is because of your tailgate cable. As the backbone of your truck, this cable helps level your tailgate every time it takes on extra load. So don't let a faulty tailgate cable ruin your truck's strength. When you start to notice signs of wear on your tailgate cable, replace it with a few dos and don'ts in mind.
- Purchase a tailgate cable that is made of high-grade material. It should be flexible enough to let your tailgate open and close with ease. Also test if the cable is sturdy and rigid. It must be able to support additional loads when your truck is full. To know if a certain tailgate cable has these qualities, ask your dealer what it is made of. If you hear the words "rubber, nylon, or PVC protective covering" and "steel chain linkages," then you know it's made to last.
- Make sure you get a latch with your tailgate cable as well. A latch connects the ends of the cable to the upper and lower parts of your tailgate. It keeps both ends in place so you don't have to worry about the cable slipping. By purchasing a new latch together with your tailgate cable, you know that it will be able to last as long as the cable itself.
- Always inspect the tailgate cable before purchasing. This is especially true when buying aftermarket products. It isn't recommended to get an old or remanufactured cable installed on your tailgate. But if you're strapped on cash and can't afford to buy a new one, make sure you've thoroughly checked it. Beware of worn or frayed cables. These can result in personal injury or damage to your truck if they are of substandard quality.
- Know the location of the tailgate cables you want to replace. This will ultimately determine the length of the one you need. If you need a cable for your passenger's side tailgate, then you'd need a shorter cable. On the other hand, if you're looking for one for your driver's side tailgate, get one that is slightly longer.
- Don't purchase or avoid purchasing tailgate cables made of galvanized steel or other similar metals. These kinds of materials are more likely to corrode and rust. This results in a weaker tailgate cable that may eventually break as it ages.
- Don't settle for tailgate cables that are not backed by warranty. Just like with any other part, always get one that has a suitable coverage to help you get more value out of your purchase. The standard warranty coverage for this kind of replacement part is 1-year with an unlimited-mileage term. So before purchasing your cables, be sure you don't get a warranty contract less than this.
- If at all possible, go for OE instead of aftermarket products. As previously mentioned in the "Dos" portion, purchasing aftermarket products can be a bit tricky, especially when it comes to their durability and quality. So as a rule of thumb, always try to find OE replacement tailgate cables. They might cost more than aftermarket ones, but rest assure that they are tougher and will last longer.