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I'm having trouble with the tailgate of my 2005 RX300 SE not opening. Following the instructions in the manual, I've been able to release the latch from inside the boot but I'd like to find a permanent solution to the problem if possible. I'm fairly competent with basic maintenance (for example, I recently replaced the alternator) so I'm happy to have a go, as long as it's not too complicated or requires specialist tools, but I've been searching on line and I just can't find any instructions. Can anybody offer any guidance please? 

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A lot depends on whether the problem is mechanical or electrical.

There is a known problem of the rubber boot over the unlatch switch cracking and the switch failing due to water ingress. So the first step is to investigate the rubber boot, press the button and see if the latch motor whirrs. If it doesn't whirr, the issue is most probably electrical. Possibly the switch has failed, but it will need investigation. Checking the motor gets voltage when the unlatch button is pressed is the first step, then work from what you find.

If the motor whirrs and attempts to unlatch, then the problem is most probably mechanical, or there isn't enough power in the Battery. Possibly the linkages have seized stalling the motor, or the Battery can't deliver enough power to the motor , or the linkages have become disconnected. 

I did have this happen to me once and it turned out to be a discharged 12v Battery. The Battery didn't have enough power to drive the latch motor to unlatch the tailgate. But then it also didn't have enough oomph to turn the engine over either. 

 

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Thanks for your quick reply Delphius1. There's no whirring so I'll start by investigating the switch. I don't know if it's significant but I had the same problem during the heatwave last year but when the temperature dropped a few days later the tailgate began to open again.

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