You know you are living in the 21st century when vehicles out in the market are equipped with automatic features that make driving and travel all convenient.
The Power Liftgate
One of the most in-demand convenience features is the power liftgate which opens and closes a vehicle’s rear door or cargo area automatically. All you need to do to activate it is to wave or kick your foot below the rear bumper, or press a button inside your car or key fob.
You no longer need to worry about going back and forth to carry bags to your car because you can fill your hands and arms, carry all the bags in one go, and load them in the car’s cargo area by waving your foot below the rear bumper.
Power Liftgate Installation Cost
If your current vehicle does not have a power liftgate system, or if you decided to purchase a vehicle at a lower trim level without a liftgate power liftgate system, then do not fret. Almost all vehicles with rear doors or cargo areas that move like a hinge can have an aftermarket power liftgate installed.
However, if you are looking into buying a brand new vehicle with a power liftgate system, it can cost between $2,000 to $9,000. The factors that affect costs are mainly the make and model of the vehicle, the power supply, the lifting capacity, and the type of materials. Power liftgates are usually included in higher trims, like Maza and Honda CRVs. Luxury or high-end cars are expected to have power liftgates included with premium features.
There are various makers of aftermarket power liftgate system kits designed for DIY or do-it-yourself installation. The installation process is not intimidating if you are familiar with various vehicle parts and you have a good sense of following instructions, but in general, it is for advanced DIYers.
Because these power liftgate system kits are made for DIYers, they are cheaper. They range from around $850 to $1800, depending on your car model. Within this price range, you can get the following add-ons:
• Shipping Fee
• 1 to 2 years standard parts warranty
• 1 to 3 years extended parts warranty
Power Liftgate Installation Steps
To get an idea of how the DIY power liftgate installation goes, here is a five-part overview of what you are required to do:
Part one: Remove the factory parts, such as the rear hatch panels, liftgate struts, and strut mounts.
Part two: Install the new parts, such as the struts and strut mounts as well as the control module.
Part three: Route the wiring loom to the driver’s side, then connect the wires according to the supplied information.
Part four: Install the front and rear switches for opening and closing the liftgate.
Part five: Calibrate the power liftgate system, test it, and put them back together.
The installation manual is usually sent to you via email in PDF and electronic format. Some sellers may offer premium support to provide assistance and cater to all your questions.
Aftermarket Power Liftgate System Kit Features
The following features come with the power liftgate system kit – note that some features are optional. It is best to confirm which features are included in the quote provided to you.
• Height adjustable feature
• Silent motor feature (50dB or less in a distance of 30cm)
• Alarm sound or beeping noise while the liftgate is moving (optional)
• Remote for opening and closing the liftgate
• Front and rear buttons to open or close the liftgate
• Support for manually opening or closing the liftgate
• Obstacle detection feature
• Sensor for foot kick or wave (hands-free feature)
• Work in all weather conditions
• OEM fit and finish
Power Liftgate Care
It is important to follow the correct way to operate a power liftgate. The first thing to remember is to always have the key fob with you if you are to use the hands-free feature.
In using the rear bumper sensor, which is at the center of the rear bumper, do not make any physical contact with the bumper. The kicking motion you make must be under and away from the sensor and make sure you do not hold your foot under it. A swift, single kick without pause will do the trick. Try not to kick at an odd angle or sweep your foot from side to side.
Another essential reminder is to never manually push or pull the liftgate while it is moving to open or close, as this damages the power liftgate’s mechanical components.
To prevent damage in low-clearance spaces, make sure you program the height of the liftgate to customize the height according to your reach and the height of the parking space.
Last but not the least, switch off the power liftgate feature if your vehicle will be close to obstacles or any motion near the power liftgate rear bumper sensor.
Is a Power Liftgate System Worth It?
The answer to this question is determined by your budget and usage.
Without a doubt, power liftgates are extremely convenient if you usually travel to transport heaps of stuff, like going on a road trip or camping with your family, or in a practical sense, if you use your vehicle as a taxi or transportation service.
Not having to get out of your car frequently to manually open or close the cargo area, especially in bad weather conditions, saving yourself from touching the exterior of your vehicle, especially when it is dirty, being safe from any possible accidents with the hands-free and height-adjustable features, and most of all, saving time and effort from all the extra work is definitely worth your money.
On the other hand, if you are looking at a budget of less than $30,000 for a car, then you can get more out of your money without a power liftgate system. In addition, sedans have easier to open trunk lids compared to the more expensive SUVs, so it is not a big loss.
One more thing to consider is the maintenance of the power liftgate system. It is important that you use it wisely and accordingly. Constant mishandling of the power liftgate like forcing it to open or close can damage it and may lead to more expenses than just the power liftgate installation cost.