How to Retrofit a Power Tailgate on an Older SUV Like the Honda CR-V?

March 31, 2024

In the world of SUVs, a power tailgate is a game changer. It’s no secret that as our vehicles age, we begin to miss out on the latest and greatest advancements in automotive technology. One such advancement is the power liftgate, a feature that makes loading and unloading your cargo a breeze. But what if you’re not ready to part ways with your older SUV, such as the Honda CR-V? You’ll be glad to know that it’s possible to retrofit your vehicle with a power tailgate. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of adding this convenient feature to your trusty ride.

Understanding the Power Tailgate System

Before you dive headlong into this modification, you need to understand what a power tailgate system is and how it functions. Essentially, a power liftgate is an electronically controlled rear door that opens and closes at the push of a button. It’s a standard feature on many new vehicles, particularly SUVs and minivans. Still, it can be added to older models through a retrofit process.

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Most power liftgate systems involve several key components. The heart of the system is an electric motor that powers the liftgate operation. This motor is connected to the vehicle’s electrical system and operates with a switch, usually located near the driver’s seat or on the rear of the vehicle itself. The liftgate also features a set of struts to assist with lifting and lowering the door, and sensors to detect obstructions and prevent the door from closing on objects or people.

Assessing Your Vehicle and Gathering the Necessary Accessories

First and foremost, you need to assess your vehicle’s condition. Check the condition of the rear door and ensure it’s not damaged or rusted. If the door is in poor shape, it may be a good idea to replace it before proceeding with the retrofit.

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Next, you’ll need to gather the necessary accessories. These will vary depending on your specific vehicle model. However, some of the key components you’ll need include a power liftgate kit, which typically includes the motor, struts, wiring, and switch; a vehicle-specific mounting bracket; and a control module.

In terms of sourcing these parts, you can check with local auto parts stores or online outlets. Be sure to use reputable sources to ensure the quality of the parts. Additionally, check your vehicle’s inventory of tools. You’ll likely need a set of wrenches, screwdrivers, and possibly a drill if you need to create new mounting points.

Installing the Power Liftgate

Now comes the core of the retrofit process: the installation. Start by removing the existing liftgate from your Honda CR-V. This typically involves unbolting the hinges and disconnecting the wiring for the rear wiper and defroster.

Next, install the power liftgate motor and struts according to the instructions included with your kit. This often involves bolting the motor to the interior of the rear door and attaching the struts to the door and the vehicle body. Ensure that all connections are secure before proceeding.

Following the installation of the motor and struts, you’ll need to wire the system. This includes connecting the motor to the vehicle’s electrical system, wiring the switch to the motor, and installing the control module, which governs the operation of the power liftgate.

Finally, reinstall the liftgate onto your vehicle. Ensure that it opens and closes smoothly and adjusts the motor’s power level if necessary.

Making The Most of Your New Power Liftgate

Once your power liftgate is installed and functioning, it’s time to make the most of it. For starters, you can customize the opening height to suit your needs. Most systems allow you to adjust the opening height using the control module.

Don’t forget about the added cargo space your power liftgate can provide. With the easy access provided by the power liftgate, you can take full advantage of the Honda CR-V’s ample cargo area for everything from grocery shopping to big adventures.

Additionally, consider adding a few extra accessories to enhance your power liftgate’s functionality. For example, a cargo cover can protect your belongings from the sun and prying eyes, while a cargo net or organizer can help keep items secure and orderly.

In the end, retrofitting a power tailgate on your older SUV like the Honda CR-V is a worthwhile endeavor. With a bit of effort and the right accessories, you can enjoy the convenience and functionality of a power liftgate without the need to invest in a brand-new vehicle. So, go ahead, give your trusty ride a new lease on life with a power tailgate retrofit.

Expanding Functionality: Hands-Free Operation, Blind Spot Monitoring and More

Now that you have your power tailgate installed, you can consider adding more modern features to your pre-owned Honda CR-V. Did you know you can expand the functionality of your power tailgate with hands-free operation? This feature allows you to open and close the tailgate by simply waving your foot under the rear bumper. This can be a real lifesaver when your hands are full of shopping bags or when the weather is less than cooperative.

To install this feature, you’ll need a hands-free liftgate sensor kit. This kit is widely available online or at local auto parts stores. The installation process typically involves mounting the sensor under the rear bumper and wiring it to the power liftgate system and the vehicle’s electrical system.

Apart from the hands-free operation, you can also consider adding blind spot monitoring to your vehicle. This feature uses sensors mounted on the rear of the vehicle to detect vehicles or objects in your blind spot and alerts you with a warning light on your side mirrors. While this involves a more complex installation process, it can significantly enhance your vehicle’s safety features.

In addition, you can upgrade your vehicle’s front seats by adding heated seats or electric adjustment features. For entertainment, consider adding Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. This feature allows you to connect your smartphone to your vehicle’s infotainment system, giving you access to your favorite apps, music, and navigation system on the go.

Conclusion: Embrace the Benefits of Retrofitting Your SUV

To sum up, retrofitting a power tailgate on your older SUV, such as the Honda CR-V, is not as daunting as it might seem. With the right tools and a bit of patience, you can add this convenient feature to your pre-owned vehicle and significantly enhance its functionality.

Not only does a power liftgate offer easy access to your ample cargo area, but it also allows you to utilize the full potential of your SUV. With additional features like hands-free operation and blind spot monitoring, you can enhance your driving experience and safety.

Moreover, the upgrade doesn’t stop at the power tailgate. You can further spruce up your Honda CR-V with features such as heated front seats, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and even roof rails for extra storage. Remember to check your local auto parts stores or online outlets for specials service offers or discounts on these accessories.

Lastly, don’t forget to schedule regular service hours for your vehicle to ensure its longevity. Whether it be a routine oil change or a comprehensive service check, maintaining your vehicle in top condition is crucial.

In conclusion, retrofitting a power tailgate can breathe new life into your old ride. It’s an upgrade that offers convenience, increased functionality, and even a touch of modern luxury. So why wait? Give your trusted Honda CR-V a well-deserved makeover today!