Power Liftgate stopped working



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Thread: Power Liftgate stopped working

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    6


    Power Liftgate stopped working

    I have a 2009 T&C Touring with the power doors/liftgate and a couple of months ago the liftgate stopped closing using the power option. It would go up smoothly but then just not respond at all when I hit the button to close it.

    I read on this forum that it might help to disconnect the battery for a while but when I did that, the liftgate started not opening properly. It will start to open about a quarter of the way and then the motor stops and the door starts bouncing up. I can hear a clicking in the motor gearbox that seems like a relay clicking on/off.

    I took the lift rod off to see if maybe the motor was working too hard but it acted the same way. I finally took the van to the dealer to have them check for any computer errors or faults and see if they could help. They didn't find any error codes so they reset the software but that didn't help. They suggested lift gate strut replacements and a new liftgate motor. Their thought was the motor had a couple of dead spots on it and had worn out. They wanted nearly $1000 CAD for parts and labor so I declined.

    When I got home, I decided to pull the liftgate motor out of the van and did some bench testing on it. I found that if I apply voltage to the motor it spins and runs with no issues. I also found there is a reversing solenoid in the gearbox that engages the gears to actually drive the chain. I applied voltage to that circuit while providing power to the motor and the drive mechanism works flawlessly. I can run the motor to move the chain from one end to the other and back with no issues what so ever.
    I then plugged the motor back into the van and it went back to only moving a few inches and stops. This makes me feel there is something in the van's computer system telling the motor to stop rather than the motor being the source of the issue.

    I would like to be able to use the power open/close option but I don't want to waste a lot of money replacing good parts, or needlessly paying the dealer.
    Do any of you have any suggestions on how to proceed from here?
    Is my bench testing method flawed? Is there the possibility that the computer is sensing a heavy draw from the motor and shutting it down? Would that throw an error code that could be checked by the dealer?
    Is it that the computer has lost its sense of where the door is and needs the upper and lower limits reset?
    Do I go ahead and buy a replacement motor and hope that helps?

    I'm really at a loss on this one and could really use some expert advice.
    Sorry if this is the wrong forum... I'm new around here.

    Thanks!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Columbus Ohio
    Posts
    168


    JimBob, Your electric motor runs but might not have enough torque. Maybe going bad. Does the motor smell burned. Could be the reduction gear is stripped. Try to locate one at a salvage junk yard. Danny

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    6


    Quote Originally Posted by dannyquest View Post
    JimBob, Your electric motor runs but might not have enough torque. Maybe going bad. Does the motor smell burned. Could be the reduction gear is stripped. Try to locate one at a salvage junk yard. Danny
    Hi Danny,
    Nope, the motor has no burnt smell and visually seems to be in good shape. I took the cover panel off and could see the plastic gears inside the housing and found no stripped gears, broken pieces or missing teeth. It all seemed to be in really good shape.
    The thing I have a hard time wrapping my head around is that it opened the liftgate reliably up until I pulled the battery cable off to reset the software. It was only then that the door started to only open 1/4 of the way.

    Would a failing motor show up on a scan for codes from the dealer?
    Can the motors be swapped without visiting the dealer to have the computer reset?

    I will start a search for a used one regardless to rule it out but it just seems like something in the van's system is turning off the motor rather than it failing.
    You have any idea what I could check while I search for a replacement?

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  6. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Mid Coast Maine
    Posts
    229


    I'm going out on a limb here, but I think its the motor, too. The computer uses the motor current to "discover" an obstruction to opening the hatch. I think the current's going up enough that the cpu thinks your arm or neck is in the way and shuts itself down. Motor may need lubrication, new bearings or complete replacement.

    Best of luck!
    2012 Grand Caravan SE 3.6L
    2015 Mitsubishi Mirage ES CVT

    Retired Rides:
    1999 T&C Touring LWB 3.8L - Died of old age
    2005 Subaru XT Limited MT5 - Turbo failure @ 218K
    2004 T&C Touring LWB - Totaled @ 88K
    1999 Escort ZX2 - Rusted beyond repair @ 215K
    2002 Caravan SE 3.3L Flex - RIP @ 161K
    2003 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport - sold @ 220K

  7. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    4


    After a disconnect of the battery, most likely a learn cycle is needed:

    POWER LIFTGATE LEARN CYCLE

    Any time a power liftgate component is removed, replaced or a liftgate adjustment is performed, a learn cycle must be performed. This learn cycle enables the power liftgate control module to learn or relearn information (travel limits, resistance to door travel, etc.) which allows it to perform properly and safely. To perform a learn cycle do the following:


    Obtain an appropriate scan tool.
    Connect the scan tool to the vehicle and check for any power liftgate system stored trouble codes, correct and erase any stored codes.
    Close liftgate.
    Using the scan tool, select the Power Liftgate Module (PLGM) Menu, More Options, System Tests and select the Open Door Test.
    Using a scan tool check "routine status" for a pass or fail message. If the Open Door Test did not pass, the scan tool will display the reason to aid in system diagnosis or rerunning the Open Door Test routine.
    Using the scan tool, select Power Liftgate Module (PLGM) Menu, More Options, System Tests and select the Close Door Test.
    Using a scan tool check "routine status" for a pass or fail message. If the Close Door Test did not pass, the scan tool will display the reason to aid in system diagnosis or rerunning the Close Door Test routine.
    Follow the instructions on the scan tool to complete the test.
    The liftgate learn cycle is complete.

    Also another owner had success by assisting the liftgate while opening and closing:

    http://dodgeforum.com/forum/dodge-ca...not-close.html

    Good luck!
    2014 CHRYSLER TOWN & COUNTRY TOURING WAGON

  8. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to leptnc For This Useful Post:

    JCamasto(08-02-2016), RIP(02-12-2017), VOYAGER2003(08-01-2016)

  9. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    6


    Quote Originally Posted by leptnc View Post
    After a disconnect of the battery, most likely a learn cycle is needed:
    Thank you for the Learn Cycle info. I guess there is no way to do it without taking it back to the dealer, is there? I would be willing to try and have them do it if it meant not replacing the motor unit yet.
    I guess I am just having a hard time spending the money on something that on the surface seems to be ok. The original issue started out as it Opening just fine but not closing with the power option. It only stopped opening once I pulled the battery cable. However, I realize there is still the chance it is failing and I will keep looking for a used motor to replace it in the mean time anyway.
    Once I locate a used motor, will I need to return to the dealer to reprogram the system and have them do this learn cycle?


    Also another owner had success by assisting the liftgate while opening and closing:

    http://dodgeforum.com/forum/dodge-ca...not-close.html
    I can unhook the liftgate rod from the motor and I still get the same reaction from it. It only moves a few inches and then stops and this is with out the weight of the door on it at all....

  10. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    5,208


    "Is my bench testing method flawed?" I'm thinking when bench testing there's no load on the motor meaning it's not trying to move the door. Find a way to load it up then retest.
    ******** We took the time to answer your post. Please give us some time and post the fix. You'll help hundreds. ********

    **** Follow all prescribed safety procedures before attempting any repairs. If in doubt, refer to a maintenance manual. ****

    96 Gr Caravan LE 3.8, 214K miles
    07 Fusion / 06 RAV 4 / 06 Accord

  11. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    6


    Quote Originally Posted by RIP View Post
    "Is my bench testing method flawed?" I'm thinking when bench testing there's no load on the motor meaning it's not trying to move the door. Find a way to load it up then retest.
    You are correct, when I bench tested it, there was no load at all. However, when I plugged it into the van harness, I did not connect the motor to the door so there was no load on that test either.
    It only moved a few inches and stopped and the voltage to the motor disappeared like the computer was telling it to stop.

  12. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    34
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    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts


    Had the same problem. Bought a replacement assembly/motor on ebay. Just installed it. Same problem.

  13. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Just installed a replacement assembly/motor from ebay. Same problem as the old one. Relay will not engage the gears.

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