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Tailgate Handle Replacement
 
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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.

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Comments and Suggestions:
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  

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