Aftermarket Power liftgate Installation: Things to Know and What to Ask

aftermarket power liftgate installation


These days, power liftgates have become very common. You’ll find them on several vehicles like sedans, SUVs, minivans, and even trucks that have them. And it’s no wonder that power liftgates have become this common because of the convenience it gives no matter what lifestyle you lead. However, not all vehicles come with a power liftgate. This has become one of the premium features that come with the more expensive vehicles. Now for those who aren’t in the market to purchase a new vehicle, you can install an aftermarket power liftgate. This will upgrade your manual liftgate to a power liftgate. But before we go any further, let’s first get to know what a power liftgate is.

What is a Power Liftgate?

A power liftgate is a motorized hatch that electronically opens and closes. To activate this, you just need to press a button inside the car or activate it using a key fob. You can also activate some power lift gates just by swiping your foot under the rear bumper. In older iterations, it was required to unlock the vehicle first before using a key fob to activate the hatch. Of course, you can still operate the hatch manually if you wish to do so.

Not all vehicles have a power liftgate installed, but there’s a solution if you want to convert your manual liftgate to a power liftgate. 

Can I Install an Aftermarket Liftgate?

Got a manual liftgate and want to convert it to a power liftgate? it’s possible with an aftermarket liftgate. There are a variety of aftermarket power liftgate kits available for purchase. 

These kits come with everything necessary for installation and also come with step-by-step instructions to help you set it up. You can turn your manual liftgate into a power liftgate for a fraction of the price by installing an aftermarket liftgate. 

Each kit you buy comes with a control module, replacement power struts, a power latch, wiring harnesses, and switches or buttons to activate the power liftgate.

When shopping for an aftermarket liftgate, you need to know that different kits are tailored to specific vehicle models.  So before buying, you need to make sure that a specific kit is compatible with your car.

Guide for Installation

As mentioned earlier, aftermarket liftgate kits come with necessary parts and detailed instructions for you to install them yourself. Installing an aftermarket liftgate by yourself won’t be a cakewalk. However, if you’re interested in how you do it here are some steps:

  • Removing interior trim pieces
  • Routing wiring harnesses
  • Installing the motor and buttons

Installing a power liftgate can take up to four hours to do and you’ll need to put some elbow grease to install it properly. Perhaps the hardest part in this process is the routing of the wires throughout the car. You’ll need to remove pieces of the interior to run the wires from the dashboard to the rear hatch. Apart from that, you’ll need to install the buttons or switches on your dashboard and on the hatch itself. After all the routing and rewiring, you’ll need to connect all wires to the control module.

If you want to use your key fob to activate the liftgate, you might need to reprogram it for it to work. This is usually done by resetting the key fob to factory defaults for it to recognize the power liftgate.  

Now if this all seems too much work for you, fret not, you can always have it serviced through auto shops. You will need to pay a fee for the installation of your aftermarket liftgate apart from the expense of purchasing it. But in total, it would still be relatively more affordable and can net you good savings.

Should You Install an Aftermarket Liftgate?

Now that you know what a power liftgate is and that you can get an aftermarket liftgate for your car. You might be asking if you should get one for yourself. Some motorists consider this feature a must-have for anyone due to the convenience it gives them.

You’ll need to assess yourself on whether or not an aftermarket liftgate is a good fit for you. Are you someone who uses your car to haul items frequently? You might need a power liftgate to make it more convenient. We’ve all been in a situation where we have our hands full with stuff we need to place inside our car but we need to put it down to open the hatch. With a power liftgate, you can simply swipe your foot under the rear bumper and your hatch automatically opens. For anyone who frequently uses their cargo area for various stuff, there’s no denying that a power liftgate can make everything a lot better. 

What Should You Look For In this Upgrade?

Now if you’ve decided to go ahead and install an aftermarket power liftgate to your car, there are a few things you need to look out for.

For starters, you’ll need to ensure that the kit you are buying is compatible with your specific car model. As we’ve mentioned earlier, no one kit would fit all cars. Each kit is for a specific car model so you need to make sure that you’re getting the right one. Talk to the store about what you’re looking for so they can help you find the right one. If you’re going to have your car serviced and have an auto shop install one for you, you can also talk to the mechanic involved to help you out with this matter. 

Look for a liftgate with an acceptable speed in opening and closing. Not all liftgates open and close at the same speed. So choose the one that offers the right speed for you so you won’t be standing there with your cargo waiting for it to open. There are also newer systems that offer programmable speed and height adjustment so you can dial in the settings that you need. Programmable height adjustment is great for those low clearing parking spaces to prevent any damage.

Power liftgates are convenient since all you need to do is to press a button on your key fob to open the hatch. However, if you want even more convenience, you might want to consider getting a hands-free liftgate. Now all you need to do is swipe a foot under the rear bumper and a sensor will detect it to open the hatch automatically. Great for those who haul cargo in their cars frequently. 

So Are Aftermarket Power Liftgates Worth The Money? 

Power liftgates are convenient. It helps you access your vehicle’s cargo area easily. This is especially worth it for those who need to frequently access their cargo quickly. The ability to open the hatch without having to put down whatever’s in your hands saves you a lot of time. Plus, having a power liftgate is really helpful in bad weather conditions where you need to quickly open the hatch. So if you’re someone who needs this convenience but is stuck with a vehicle with a manual liftgate, consider getting an aftermarket power liftgate now. The convenience it gives you is well worth the investment. 

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