Pelican Parts
MINI Parts Catalog Accessories Catalog MINI How To Articles Volvo Tech Forums
Call Pelican Parts at 888-280-7799
View Recent Cars  |Shopping Cart Cart | Project List | Order Status | Help
 >  >
Tailgate Handle Replacement
 
Bookmark and Share

Pelican Technical Article:

Tailgate Handle Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$200

Talent:

***

Tools:

Trim panel tool, T20 Torx

Applicable Models:

R56 MINI Cooper Hatchback (2007-11)
R56 MINI Cooper S Hatchback (2007-11)

Parts Required:

Trunk release button

Hot Tip:

Check trunk latch and button operation before closing trunk

Performance Gain:

Repair broken trunk release button

Complementary Modification:

Replace trunk latch

The tailgate release button is a plastic handle with an integrated button behind a soft rubber pad. The electrical portion of the button is pretty tough and tends to work for a long time. The surrounding parts however do not. The rubber button pad and plastic portion of the release button fall apart, making it difficult to open your tailgate lid, leaving you with only the remote key.

The button can be replaced quite easily from outside the vehicle. Testing the circuit is also a snap. To test the release button, access the wiring at the tailgate (follow the steps below) and disconnect the electrical connector. Lock the trunk latch using a flathead screwdriver (with the tailgate lid open). Then, use a fused jumper wire on an incandescent test light to ground the switch wire. The latch should open.

Replacement handles come primed from MINI and need to be painted to match your vehicle. When ordering, locate your paint code. Then when the part arrives, have it painted by a local body shop.

Remember that your car may have been serviced before and had parts replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve, as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

The tailgate release button (green arrow) is a plastic handle with an integrated button behind a soft rubber pad.
Figure 1

The tailgate release button (green arrow) is a plastic handle with an integrated button behind a soft rubber pad. The electrical portion of the button is pretty tough and tends to work for a long time. The surrounding parts however do not. The rubber button pad and plastic portion of the release button fall apart (inset), making it difficult to open your tailgate lid, leaving you with only the remote key.

Working above the license plate, remove the four T20 Torx screws (green arrows).
Figure 2

Working above the license plate, remove the four T20 Torx screws (green arrows).

Remove the release button (green arrow) from the tailgate enough to access the electrical connector (blue arrow).
Figure 3

Remove the release button (green arrow) from the tailgate enough to access the electrical connector (blue arrow).

Disconnect the electrical connector by pulling it straight out.
Figure 4

Disconnect the electrical connector by pulling it straight out. Be sure to support both ends, the latch and the connector when disconnecting. When installing the new release button, install in the reverse order of removal. Be sure the release button sits flush on the tailgate. Next, reconnect the electrical connector. Then check the operation of the trunk release button before closing the tailgate. Use a flathead screwdriver to lock the latch (with tailgate open). Then unlock it using the remote key and trunk release handle.

To test the release button, access the wiring at the tailgate by removing the button.
Figure 5

To test the release button, access the wiring at the tailgate by removing the button. Disconnect the electrical connector. Lock the trunk latch using a flathead screwdriver (with the tailgate lid open). Then, use a fused jumper wire on an incandescent test light (green arrow) to ground the switch wire (blue arrow). The latch should open when the wire is grounded. On my subject vehicle the wire for the button was blue / red.

Bookmark and Share
Comments and Suggestions:
Becky Comments: Do you have instructions on how to replace the entire chrome handle unit?
May 28, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We don't currently have that tech article. If we get a chance to perform the procedure, we will be sure to document it.


I would suggest you grab a repair manual, you should own one. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
melvyn Comments: replaced whole chrome unit which includes number plate lights about a 15 minute job. the rubber covered release button was knackered and could not be replaced. cost of part at BMW £70.00
April 6, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
melvyn Comments: hi, my wifes mini one just failed british MOT because the boot can only be released by the remote fob
March 24, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Oh bummer! What can we do to help? - Casey at Pelican Parts  
vicgodard Comments: HELP!
The boot release on my 2001 cooper is not working, I've checked the switch etc and all seems ok so next thing is check / change the actuator / solenoid.
Question is, How do I open the boot to get at the solenoid???
I cant remove the parcel shelf, I cant fold down the rear seats????
March 22, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I have not yet run in to that predicament, I will post to the forums and see if another member can offer guidance. - Casey at Pelican Parts  
Kenny251 Comments: So my button is shorted out and basically my car sees it as it is constantly being pressed, therefore hatch pops open while driving. I took it apart the other day, cleaned it up, and tested the 1st and 3rd pin Location on the wire harness to make sure it is the button and not the latch. On my 2008 Hardtop, can I just snip either one of those wires 1st or 3rd as long as I still have power to my tag lights in the trunk lid grip? I don't feel like forking out 100$+ to replace currently at the moment and my key fob opens my trunk just fine and that's all I need.
March 3, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No way around fixing it. Just replace the release button. Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Stonekold Comments: How do you know which part has the problem, between the tailgate handle or the trunk latch? Push the button nothing happens but key fob can open. Used the test above by grounding the blue/red wire but that didn't open the latch either.
February 3, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Check if the button for the handle is sending the signal to the latch. Monitor the change in voltage with a dvom when activating the handle button. If no signal, it is the handle, if signal is present, it is the latch. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
AN Comments: It a problem I have. Ive a Mini 2011 hatchback. I want to replace exactly this piece. I don't find this in your web. Do you have a code, cost, to find this and i could buy it.
November 10, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I’m not the best with part numbers.


Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
JJ Comments: Tutorials were great; thanks! We've replaced the hatch handle and the interior locking mechanism, and the car trunk is no longer opening itself. Hatch now opens with both handle and remote, and stays closed.

The fuses are good, the wiring is good, the battery is good ... but the car still thinks the trunk is open at all times, which means a constant warning beep, notification light, and the rear wiper won't work. What else should we be checking for? I have no idea what part to look into next.

2008 Mini Cooper Hardtop, which we just bought used.

Thanks!
May 21, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Check the wiring through the hatch to the body. it may have a break in the harness. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

QUICK LINKS
About Us
Careers
Pelican Parts, Inc.
1600 240th Street
Harbor City, CA 90710
Order Online or Call:
888-280-7799
CONNECT WITH US
NEWSLETTER
Sign Up for Pelican Pit Stop News & Special Offers
Page last updated: Tue 6/27/2017 02:58:52 AM