Truck lovers are a special breed, and you know that you want to keep your faithful companion working as long as possible.
The tailgate is what makes your truck able to do the things that you want it to do. It is also a part that takes a lot of punishment.
If you need to replace your tailgate to get a few more years from your old friend, here is what you can expect!
A simple tailgate replacement costs approximately $500 for the materials and labor. More complex multi-folding tailgates whose replacement involves cutting and splicing the electrical system or hooking up sensors will cost several thousand dollars.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at why tailgates need to be replaced in the first place and how much the replacement might cost.
Why Do Tailgates Need to Be Replaced?
There are many reasons why you might need to replace your tailgate. Maybe it has a few bangs and dings from an accident.
Perhaps it is showing the ravages of rust. Maybe the hinge and handle no longer work.
Many different tailgate designs are now available, and you can get a new aftermarket tailgate for your truck.
If you have a standard tailgate, you can opt for a vented tailgate that improves airflow and aerodynamics.
You can also choose a special V-gate tailgate with a cutout for the tongue of a fifth wheel or gooseneck trailer.
Some makers now have power tailgates that can be lowered and closed by a remote button on the key fob, which is similar to a power liftgate on a car.
Today’s tailgates have hydraulic systems that allow them to gently lower instead of falling when you open them.
GMC has an innovative tailgate that can be opened in six different ways.
Today’s tailgates are not as simple as they used to be, and this means they also have more parts to break.
Another factor that is now problematic with tailgates is that they are now more expensive, and tailgate theft is a concern.
Tailgates now come with anti-theft devices, but this can still only go so far, and some incidents still occur.
Replacement Tailgate Cost
As you can see, tailgates are now a sophisticated piece of equipment, and replacing them is not the simple matter that it used to be.
If you need to replace a tailgate for any reason, you might be wondering what you can expect.
The answer to this depends on the make and model of your truck and whether you are replacing it with one that is like the original or if you are giving your truck an upgrade.
Let’s take a look at a few examples to better understand it.
1. Tailgate Replacement Labor Costs
If you are handy, replacing a standard tailgate is something that you might be able to do yourself with the help of a good friend.
If you decide to use this route, you need to keep in mind the equipment needed, whether you have the skills, and the weight of the tailgate.
Unless you are familiar with the process, this is one job that can prove to be more time-consuming than it seems at first!
The cost of labor can vary depending on where you take your truck to have it serviced. If you take it to a smaller repair shop, it will probably cost less than taking it to a dealership.
The disadvantage to this route is that a dealership will often do the repair to factory specifications and might have factory-trained technicians.
If your truck is still under warranty, it is usually recommended that you have the repair done by a certified technician at a dealership.
According to AAA, auto repair labor rates can range from $47 to $215 per hour and vary widely according to location.
One of the main factors that affect labor rates is the cost of overhead and operating their business.
The skill level and certifications of the technicians can also affect the price charged for labor.
You can expect the job to take anywhere from one to four hours depending on the complexity of the job and the condition of surrounding structures.
2. Replacing a Tailgate Handle or Lock
If you only need to replace your tailgate handle, the cost is usually between $117- 127 in most areas.
This can vary by the make, model, and year of your truck. The cost of labor is usually around $40 for a simple job.
This price is for a simple, key-operated locking mechanism, and you can expect an electronically operated one to be at least double this estimate.
Getting a ding or dent fixed typically costs between $60-300 depending on the size of the damage and the area to be repainted.
If you can repair the tailgate, it is much cheaper than a replacement.
The decision to repair a tailgate or replace it depends on the functionality and whether the truck is newer or one where the warranty expired long ago.
3. Standard Tailgate Replacement
If you have an older tailgate with a simple key-operated lock, you can find a cheap tailgate for as low as $115.
However, this does not include the labor to put it on.
A simple job might only cost a few hundred dollars for labor, which means that you can have a simple tailgate replacement for around $500.
This is the bare minimum for a tailgate without any electronics or a hydraulic system.
4. Complex Tailgate Replacement
If your tailgate is equipped with power up and down, backup cameras, an anti-theft device, or other upgrades, you can expect prices to start at around $1,200.
Realistically, you could expect to pay about $3,600 for a more advanced system.
For those who have tailgates like the GMC MultiPro system, the price for the part alone begins at $3,000.
Labor includes cutting and splicing the electrical system, hooking up sensors, and other advanced computer components.
This type of tailgate requires specialized skills, so you can expect that labor costs will be expensive in addition to the cost of the part.
The cost of repairing or replacing a tailgate can vary significantly depending on the type of tailgate you have.
The tailgates on today’s trucks are more than a simple door and are high-tech components of your truck.
Now, you have an idea of what it might cost if your truck tailgate needs replaced, and you also know that you have many options available.