Need Help?

1996 Chevrolet Astro Passenger Base Ext 111 WB RWD

1996 Chevrolet Astro Passenger
Trim Info:
Rear Wheel Drive, Extended 111" WB
16 mpg city / 20 mpg hwy
Other Trims
Do you own this car?
Estimated Mileage
Enter current mileage for most
accurate info about this vehicle

Track Your Service Records
Get Recall Alerts
Get Updated Value Estimates on Your Car.

back to question list

Ask the Community

Ask Our Auto Mechanics

August 27, 2012, 7:27 am

Curt B

Question: rear liftgate won't unlatch on driver side

It seems the actuator or solenoid that electrically opens the latch sounds dead.
Upon pressing the keyed opening button on the gate (which normally actuates both latches), you can hear the passenger side releasing and you can flex open the door slightly, but the driver side is still holding fast.
Locking and unlocking the button does nothing.

I'm thinking there has to be some manual override or release on the inside of vehicle. Every station wagon or van I've owned had some way to open tailgates from the inside in case of emergency.

I have no owners manual.
It is a conversion van, so there may be an inspection cover somewhere that is covered by a cosmetic panel.
I tried to look myself, but I got real agitated as I started pulling off panels. When I started really yanking at them, I stopped myself. I've broken too many things over the years being enraged, when something simple would have solved the problem.

I'm not going to a dealer. I don't want to wind up having the whole tail, the tires, and the firewall replaced just because of a loose wire.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thank You in Advance;

September 9, 2012, 9:16 pm

Elizabeth K

That's a common problem, here's some instructions:

1/1 users found this helpful.

Ask our panel of certified auto mechanics a question. We pay for their advice so you don't have to

My Auto Score

See the free AutoCheck score

Meet The Experts
Kim Perrin
Kim Perrin is our resident mechanic here at DriverSide. Kim worked as…
Tyler Orr
Tyler Orr is an expert in German and Japanese cars and has been a mechanic …
Elizabeth Kriesten
Elizabeth Kriesten worked as an automotive technician for several years at Dodge…
Tips on Servicing

Car Brakes: How Do You Know When to Change Them?

By Zach Bowman For those who suffer a daily commute through heavy traffic, your vehicle's braking system can bring thousands of pounds of metal, plastic and empty Starbucks cups to a stop hundreds of times before you get to work. It goes without saying that these pieces wear out, but they do so slowly, meaning you may not notice they need attention until ...

Read more…