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ypodolyan

Power liftgate intermittently doesn't open 100%

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I recently started having some intermittent issues with my power liftgate on 2011 EDGE.

After pressing a button, it will open about 75% and stop. No chimes. Just stops. The next time it would work just fine opening all the way.

 

I wonder what can be causing this and how do I verify without replacing all 3 parts?

 

1. Old battery?

2. Hatch/lift supports/struts?

3. Liftgate motor/actuator?

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I think you will find these threads of use:

http://www.fordedgeforum.com/topic/19702-issues/
http://www.fordedgeforum.com/topic/3529-liftgate-ding-ding-ding/

 

Could be needing a simple reinitialization, could be a liftgate actuator.

 

You can have the battery tested at an auto parts store that has a modern digital load tester like the SOLAR BA5 or BA7. If the battery is original to the Edge, I'd replace it anyway. If your Edge did not come with the towing package, you can buy a stronger battery in the size (Group 65) that is installed for the towing package. If you can afford it, an AGM battery like the Odyssey that macbwt installed will work very well, esp with the cold weather you guys get in MN.

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I think you will find these threads of use:

http://www.fordedgeforum.com/topic/19702-issues/

http://www.fordedgeforum.com/topic/3529-liftgate-ding-ding-ding/

 

Could be needing a simple reinitialization, could be a liftgate actuator.

 

You can have the battery tested at an auto parts store that has a modern digital load tester like the SOLAR BA5 or BA7. If the battery is original to the Edge, I'd replace it anyway. If your Edge did not come with the towing package, you can buy a stronger battery in the size (Group 65) that is installed for the towing package. If you can afford it, an AGM battery like the Odyssey that macbwt installed will work very well, esp with the cold weather you guys get in MN.

Thanks. I saw the posts but none are conclusive.

I tend to think it is not the battery because when I disable power liftgate, it is hard to both open and close the liftgate (requires a significant push).

Still, I think it can be either struts or actuator and if I replace one I am 50/50 on replacing correct one.

Is there a way to figure out which one I need to replace?

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This may be the simplest test:

 

TURN the power liftgate OFF (disable) from the message center and manually operate the liftgate. If mechanical binding does exist, REPAIR as necessary.

 

If it still does not open properly, the struts are likely to be the culprit.

 

Power Liftgate Initialization

NOTE: The power liftgate may not operate correctly under the following conditions:

  • A low voltage or dead battery
  • A disconnected battery
  • Repairs/adjustments have been made to the power liftgate rod, power liftgate motor, liftgate hinges or liftgate striker

If any of these conditions has occurred, the power liftgate must be reinitialized.

  1. NOTE: Battery power must be removed from the Liftgate/Trunk Module (LTM) for 20 seconds before the LTM will enter the initialization mode.

    Disconnect the battery or remove the LTM fuse(s).
  1. Wait 20 seconds and reconnect the battery or reinstall the LTM fuse(s).
  1. If liftgate is not already in the fully closed position, manually close and fully latch the power liftgate.
  1. NOTE: Make sure the power liftgate system is turned ON in the message center before performing this step.

    NOTE: If the power liftgate does not open during this step, refer to the Symptom Chart to diagnose the inoperative power liftgate.

    Power open the power liftgate by using the key fob or control switch.
  1. Once the power liftgate is fully open, close the power liftgate by using the key fob or control switch.
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This may be the simplest test:

 

TURN the power liftgate OFF (disable) from the message center and manually operate the liftgate. If mechanical binding does exist, REPAIR as necessary.

 

If it still does not open properly, the struts are likely to be the culprit.

 

Power Liftgate Initialization

NOTE: The power liftgate may not operate correctly under the following conditions:

  • A low voltage or dead battery
  • A disconnected battery
  • Repairs/adjustments have been made to the power liftgate rod, power liftgate motor, liftgate hinges or liftgate striker

If any of these conditions has occurred, the power liftgate must be reinitialized.

  1. NOTE: Battery power must be removed from the Liftgate/Trunk Module (LTM) for 20 seconds before the LTM will enter the initialization mode.

    Disconnect the battery or remove the LTM fuse(s).
  1. Wait 20 seconds and reconnect the battery or reinstall the LTM fuse(s).
  1. If liftgate is not already in the fully closed position, manually close and fully latch the power liftgate.
  1. NOTE: Make sure the power liftgate system is turned ON in the message center before performing this step.

    NOTE: If the power liftgate does not open during this step, refer to the Symptom Chart to diagnose the inoperative power liftgate.

    Power open the power liftgate by using the key fob or control switch.
  1. Once the power liftgate is fully open, close the power liftgate by using the key fob or control switch.

 

I already tried disabling the power liftgate from message center. Then I opened and closed the liftgate manually and it is hard to open or close (possible but requires a significant push). The amount of push when closing is the same whether power liftgate is enabled or disabled in the message center and it is way harder than it used to be (previously, it required really little effort to close it manually).

 

What do you mean by "mechanical binding" and "repair as necessary"? Repair which part?

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Those words are lifted directly from the manual. My best guess, or what I'd do, is replace the struts, they are relatively inexpensive. You can get them off RockAuto, Amazon, etc. Monroe brand, for example.

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Mechanical binding means something is in the way preventing it from closing.

 

Can you disconnect the power liftgate arm and try it manually? That would tell you if it's the motor or the struts.

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Mechanical binding means something is in the way preventing it from closing.

 

Can you disconnect the power liftgate arm and try it manually? That would tell you if it's the motor or the struts.

Yeah, that's what I am planning to do, disconnect the liftgate arm and see how it works. I feel like it's the arm. If the struts were bad, then closing should not be a problem.

Edited by ypodolyan

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Even with good struts there is a good bit of resistance when you close it manually.

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Here's a pic of components

post-23566-0-92650400-1463088474_thumb.jpg

 

Removing the power liftgate rod should be a simple matter of removing the one nut attaching it to the liftgate. Not sure how freely it would move after that to be out of the way for full manual operation test.

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Mine is getting slower every day now...

...has anybody tried to disassemble the actuator, clan it, maybe lubricate...? I can imagine 2 years in the desert it must be really dirty inside...

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Looks like the problem is with the actuator. I disconnected it and the liftgate closes and opens quite easily. Now, 2011 EDGE has 2 different actuator part numbers based on (I guess?) production date. One is Part Number: 9A1Z78431A78A (to 2/21/11) and the other one is Part Number: BT4Z78431A78B (from 2/22/11). The difference is the first one is twice the price. Don't know which one I need, though.

Edited by ypodolyan

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If you can't get the part number from the existing one, check the build date on the door jamb. Or if they're interchangeable I would go with the later one since it probably had an improvement of some kind.

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The part number on the actuator I removed is BT43-78402A55-AJ. I cannot find it anywhere. Weird.

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If you can't get the part number from the existing one, check the build date on the door jamb. Or if they're interchangeable I would go with the later one since it probably had an improvement of some kind.

Are you sure the later part will always work?

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Are you sure the later part will always work?

 

Not always which is why I said "IF" they're interchangeable.

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I don't know if they are interchangeable. Oddly, my car is manufactured in 02/11. But which exact date, label doesn't say.

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Thanks. Although my part has a different last letter.

Anyway, called dealer and they were able to tell me the manufacturing date (2/3/11). However, the original part was replaced by new one BT4Z78431A78B, so I can and should get that one (new and cheaper).

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Just wanted to finalize my post. Replaced actuator and the problems are now gone.

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What procedures did you use to replace the actuator? The local dealer wanted $600 to do it and I can't handle that.

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On 5/12/2016 at 3:11 PM, akirby said:

Mechanical binding means something is in the way preventing it from closing.

 

Can you disconnect the power liftgate arm and try it manually? That would tell you if it's the motor or the struts.

I know this is an old thread, I just tried this as I have the same issue as the original poster, my struts are smooth, but not strong the hatch is just balanced. I know the struts are different from power vs no power gate. Are you able to confirm. I can literally balance the lid with 2 fingers anywhere in the open position 

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1 hour ago, Jtrudel90 said:

I know this is an old thread, I just tried this as I have the same issue as the original poster, my struts are smooth, but not strong the hatch is just balanced. I know the struts are different from power vs no power gate. Are you able to confirm. I can literally balance the lid with 2 fingers anywhere in the open position 


Sounds like the struts are ok.

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5 hours ago, Jtrudel90 said:

I know this is an old thread, I just tried this as I have the same issue as the original poster, my struts are smooth, but not strong the hatch is just balanced. I know the struts are different from power vs no power gate. Are you able to confirm. I can literally balance the lid with 2 fingers anywhere in the open position 

The purpose of the motorized strut is to get the hatch to start the lift.

 

The purpose of the struts are to push the hatch all the way open. If it's just balancing, I'd say the struts are starting to get weak. (No matter where you leave the hatch, the struts should take it from there to all the way open by themselves).

 

If the hatch opens, say 75%, and you can manually lift it the remaining way, the struts are weak. Good struts will open the hatch 100% open. Weak struts will not.

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On those occasions when your 2011 MKX's liftgate stops short of the full height of its travel, is it sounding a continuous chime warning when it stops and/or as it lowers slightly?

 

I experienced this symptom on my 2012 MKX and replacing the struts eliminated the problem.

 

Per the 2011 Edge/MKX Workshop Manual...

 

The Liftgate/Trunk Module requests a continuous chime during a power close immediately after a power open under the following conditions:

  • there is excessive weight, such as snow, ice or a bicycle rack, on the liftgate.
  • worn/damaged liftgate assist cylinders.
  • the Liftgate/Trunk Module incorrectly learned the full open position during the power liftgate initialization procedure.

 

Because your MKX is new-to-you, and, per the third bullet point immediately above, it doesn't cost you anything to perform the Liftgate Initialization procedure...

 

Power Liftgate Initialization - 2011 MKX Workshop Manual.pdf (download link)

 

Good luck!

 

Edited by Haz
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