Cargo lid won't open when it's cold out

Asked by Jan 20, 2015 at 08:10 AM about the 2013 Honda CR-V EX-L

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My lid gets stuck--caught on something--and just won't open when it's colder outside for
some reason. It doesn't happen every time (if it's a little warmer out it seems to be ok) so
when we took it to the dealer for repair they said there was no problem. Frustrating. Any
ideas what we can do?

7 Answers


Intermittent problems can be frustrating. Sounds like the tolerances between the lid and body are just a hair too close. When cold things contract and it sticks but when it warms up things expand and there's enough clearance for the lid to open. The next time it gets stuck go right back to the dealer and show them. Don't bother calling just go up. They'll be able to look at it real quick and see what's going on. HTH. -Jim

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

I started having the same intermittent problem a few winters ago with my 2013 Honda CR-V EX. I traded the car in last year for a 2014 Honda CR-V EX-L since I liked the vehicle overall and had the same problem opening the cargo lid when the temps here in NY dipped below 30 degrees. I tried some WD-40 around around the hinge but it didn't work so I took it into my dealer's service dept. (Millennium Honda) that has always done good diagnosis and work for me. I also took it in on a day that wasn't as cold when the problem wasn't easily reproducible. The service dept. fixed the problem. As per the technician statement, "Tech found tale gate switch not operating. Tech found tailgate latch broken due to poor assembly. Tech removed and replaced tailgate switch and tailgate latch." The work was all under warranty so I didn't pay anything. Seems like a design/installation flaw as the problem happened on two CR-V's I have owned in addition to other complaints I read about online. After the replacement, the lid is working fine in cold weather. Hopefully I will be able to say the same thing next winter which will be the test. Long story short, the previous answer of going to the dealer is correct and don't let them get off with a lubricating brush off answer that won't work. If that's all they have to say, find another Honda service dept. especially if the car is under warranty. - HJ

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Outstanding observation and advice. I own a 2016 CR-V 2WD SE. Tailgate sticks or won't open in cold weather. Even in warm weather, the switch requires a double click to open. I have been to seller dealer 3 times: first time, brush off; second time, changed latch with little effect; and third time, new brush off. Frustrated. Will go to another dealer. Houston is a big town.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

1.25.18 - So I bought a 2018 Honda CRV 3 weeks NJ..within a couple of days I had the issue - the tailgate would not open. I figured it was weather related..the dealer fixed it once (saying it was a loose connection) brought my car out - it was freezing outside..I came to the car to test it - doesn't work..the technician tells me that its probably a sensor issue, they would have to run diagnostics. OK they wanted me to come back, het a loaner and leave my car for a few days. Whoa..I just bought a new car that was less than 10 days old! Since I had moved to CT from NJ, I was told I could find a dealer there and get it fixed as it was covered under warranty. Honda told me to do the same. So I got an appointment -2 days the weather was in the 50's and the problem went i cancelled my appt and let the CT dealer know. This morning, 18 deg wasn't working - so I drove straight to the dealer..after checking me in..2 hrs later..they said there is an issue with the switch, and motor. They ordered the parts - it needs to come from CA so will take 3-5 days. I am supposed to go back when it comes in and they will give me a loaner for the day so I could get to work. I'm pretty miffed that I am having to waste all this time and its a new car! Honda has not responded to me since the first email. All these defects/repairs are no logged on my VIN. If it happens again after 3 repairs - does the lemon law cover this?


Hi Teena, The Lemon Law varies from State to State. I think it would be best to talk to a lawyer in CT who will give you a free consultation. Since you now are a resident of CT you may have to go by the CT guidelines, whatever they are. Good luck with this!! HTH. -Jim


I too had a faulty switch in my 2014 CRV. It took a few visits to fix the issue. They adjusted the latch and messed with it. Still won’t listen to me when I told them it only happen in cold days. Yeah, I live in southern Calif. cold days are upper 30’s. Every time they worked on it, it was later in the day. I finally left it over night and told them to worked on it early in the morning. Reason, the exhaust warmed up the switch and even driving it a few miles would warm it up. What a time waste, why would one have to drive it for 15 minutes in heavy traffic to get the damn thing to open. Honda has an issue, not a big problem , but a part issue. Always leave yours over night. Never drive it during warm weather or long distance.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

My 2016 CRV latch for back cargo door wouldnt open in cold weather (-5F) until I started to hold the latch opener open for about a minute and a half. Then it worked. No problem above about 10 degrees.

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