Pre-Facelift Model Honda Accord Tourer Tailgate issues and trobleshooting

Discussion in '7th Generation (2003-2008) [Acura TSX]' started by Ichiban, Thursday 10th Nov, 2011.

  1. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
    This has been the Achilles heel for a lot tourer owners, some of the faults with the 7th Generation tourer tailgate have been down to mechanical failures and Honda have resolved these issues. But majority of issues have been down to incorrect use of the tailgate ,misuse and abuse. There are well documented stories of owners spending excess of £1000 pounds to fix the tailgate issue which has resulted in a lot of frustration and annoyance for owners. Well this thread is aims to quash any of the concerns and give my observations and experience so you can limit the damage which you may be causing inadvertently. I have a 2004 tourer and 2007 Tourer and both of them have a 100% troublefree life so far.

    7th Generation Tourer tailgate component location. 7thgentourertailagtecorecomponents. 7thgentourertailagtecorecomponentstwo.

    • As you can see there a lot of components with a lot sensors at various place, one of main things you can do to ensure the touch sensors around outer border of the tailgate are regularly cleaned. Put this down as one of your tasks when washing your tourer. This will ensure they are working at their peak and dirt and grime are not impeding its sensory function.

    • Always always open and close the tailgate from your keyfob (prefacelift) and via keyfob the button to the right of driver seat (prefacelift) Reasons ?

    1. If there is an obstruction in the path of the tailgate the sensor will automatically raise the tailgate until the owner clears the obstruction.

    2. This has happened to me and my wife so many times. I have been to the supermarket filled the boot but since the bags are too close to the boot lid and it sensor picks up the clearance issue and refused to shut.

    3. I have a dog and when he is getting all excited to get out he pulls the carpet toward the outer lip again causing the obstruction and again the tailgate will refuse to shut if done via the fob. In each scenario if you were to shut the tailgate manually (with force) you will get the tailgate misaligned, damage your carpet, your groceries not mention the tailgate hinges and tailgate shape. You will soon notice the shut lines of the tailgate not even at both ends and you will have to realign the tailgate hinges to get the clearance right. If the tailgate is too far gone you cannot take that adjustment from the hinges.

    Please note manually closing tailgate overrides the sensors and they will not assist or aid you.

    • Using the fob to open and close the tailgate will ensure the tailgate is being lifted from its down position in an even and controlled manner. The same is applicable when it being shut ,it gradually and equally gets the entire tailgate down in an even manner. Anyone who has owned a laptop would have noticed after a few years of ownership, you will find one of its hinges snap at the bottom. It tends to be left hinge in majority of the cases to break for right handed people and the right hinge one for the left handed people in some cases. The root cause of this is when we open a laptop our hand goes towards the top corners and we open the laptop This causes undue stress to that one hinge due to unbalanced opening. The same applies to our tourer when we open the tailgate we can open and close the tailgate manually. Some open gently, some quickly, some holding the right part of the tailgate to push it open and various other combinations.

    All these actions are causing the invisible stress being added to the system components.

    • Do not use the tailgate to hang or support bicycles. Everytime I see a tourer owner going for a family outing you see a make shift contraptions with straps and metal all bodged up to carry bicycles I cringe. As things stand the entire tailgate with it components and the heavy roof spoiler (on the facelift model) is already a heavy piece of kit. On uneven roads and a heavy load these bicycles, they are flexing the gas struts in the roof lining with every undulation the car experiences. Those struts have been designed with a maximum load bearing plus some level of abused thrown in. With several outings a year with the bikes these struts will get damaged pretty quickly. And you will find the tailgate unable to open and support its own weight! On inspection of these gas struts you will find the gas seal on the tailgate dampers have been damaged. So if you want to carry bikes please get a bike rack on the roof with straps.

    • Winter

    Try not to open the tailgate at all on snowy or frost mornings. If you can avoid it then I strongly suggest you use the rear seat for storing goods.

    1. For starters on a frosty morning the tailgate rubber is rock hard and it causes the tailgate to stick and it refused to open and if it does it the latch hangs on to tailgate a bit longer.

    2. The roof has the electric motor as well as the struts they are exposed to the cold and they tend to freeze up. You could insulate it but the roof lining won’t fit correctly and you will find bulges which look untidy. You will find the motor noise a bit peculiar as the temperature rises the motor stops making noise.

    3. If it has been snowing the snow compact and when the tailgate is opening, the snow tends to catch the top lip of the tailgate. See attached picture please clear the snow off the roof so the top lip of the tailgate doesn’t get any resistance. 7thgentourertailagteSnow.

    4. Clean and lubricate the outdoor handle. Now if you are like me you will never need to use it , but with road grime and dirt this outer handed can get struck . So when washing your car open the tailgate get a soft brush with suds to wash away the road grime off the door handle, Ensure the handle moves freely without resistance and use a good penetrative fluid on the sides of the latch hinges. Also apply a small amount of general purpose grease on the latch once every two years. I am confident if you take note of these caveats and carry out these procedure and preventative maintenance you will never encounter any issues like I have. If any member want any further technical details please raise the question and we will find a solution for you.

    Part Information please note petrol and Diesel Tourers have different part numbers.

    Strut Right Petrol 04741-SED-900 Diesel 04741-SEG-900

    Strut Left Petrol 04746-SED-900 Diesel 04746-SEG-900 l
    Last edited: Tuesday 15th Nov, 2011
  2. Martin New Member Getting Started

    Re: Tourer Tailgate issues and trobleshooting

    Thanks for a very full analysis of the issues. I recently bought my 2nd Accord Tourer, a 2006 CDTi exec, and am experiencing a tailgate malfunction. When I try to open it remotely, it seems to try to open, then it beeps as if it has sensed resistance, and closes again. Interestingly, it often works fine after the car has been driven. Does this suggest a particular line of enquiry to you? I am not a competent repairer, so will be taking it to my local repairer, but I would like to point him in the right direction.
  3. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
    Re: Honda Tourer Tailgate issues and trobleshooting

    Hi Martin and welcome to AOC, from your symptoms it’s clear to see something on the tailgate is latching on for too long for it to successfully open. ECU for the tailgate has a timeout if the command is not successful completed and it goes into protection mode.
    Can you say the number of beeps you hear when the tailgate being opened? The beeps give you indication to the faults. I will list all the beep codes later on the day.

    In the meantime you could clean all the sensors on the tailgate, lubricate the outer hinge the top hinges. Then look at the two rubber dampers at the corners of the tailgate turn them out to their maximum.

    Then give that a try , this that doesn’t have the desired effect we will need to do a tailgate ECU rest. The easiest way to do this without a car scanner is to remove both battery terminals for 5 minutes. After reconnection try opening the tailgate from the fob. You will also have to reset the time on your dash after reconnecting the battery ,the time will be set to 12:00 and will be blinking which incidentally is a warning the car has lost all power and power has been restored.

    Please keep us posted.
  4. Martin New Member Getting Started

    Re: Honda Tourer Tailgate issues and trobleshooting

    My Japanese is a bit rusty, but I think ichiban means "the best" - am I right?
    Anyway, thanks for the response - I get 3 beeps when the tailgate fails to open. My wife is out in it at the moment, but I will clean the sensors and lubricate (grease?) the top hinges probably tomorrow morning and let you know how it goes.
  5. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
    Honda Accord Tourer Tailgate issues and trobleshooting

    Hi Martin Ichiban means first or one in Japanese, since I have the first Honda Accord it was the best username I could have As for lubricant can use WD40 or any good quality penetrating fluid, and use a little amount of grease on the hook latch.

    As for the beep code these are handy for all Tourer owners when diagnosing a fault.

    Beginning of auto open operation Beeps 1

    Beginning of auto close operation Beeps 1

    Vehicle speed is 3 miles or higher during opening operation or the power tailgate system detects fail-safe Beeps 2

    Any operation with a time out Beeps 2

    Vehicle speed is 3 miles or higher during closing operation Beeps 3

    So in your case the tailgate ECU is receiving data from the sensors that the car is doing 3 miles when it is stationery! So cleaning the sensors ,lubricating as indicated & by resetting the tailgate ECU this conditions should reset itself.

    I am pretty confident if you followed this you should be able to get it going.
  6. Martin New Member Getting Started

    Ohaiyo gozaimasu Ichiban san.
    Thank you for the advice which I have now followed. I am not entirely clear what the sensors look like, so I have cleaned all round the edge of the tailgate and frame (particularly in the areas indicated on your diagram), lubricated hinges and latch, and reset the ECU. When I reconnected the battery and switched on, there was a good deal of clunking and whirring, presumably from the ECU as it reset. Unfortunately, the problem persists. Do you have any other suggestions?
  7. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
    Hi Martin,

    The next step is to go to your local Honda dealer and let them make the assessment on the ground, I think we have exhausted all the avenues of fixing this issues without looking at the car.

    keeps us posted.
  8. Beefy Club Veteran ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    United Kingdom Stoke
    hold the tailgate open about half way and see if the gas struts assist and lift the tailgate to the fully open position. a common problem is weak gas struts which will eventualy burn the clutch out in the tailgate lift motor. there are other procedures to carry out which only a honda dealer will know about so its worth a trip to get to the bottom of the problem
  9. NVS Junior Member ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Hello all

    I'm new to the forum - excellent posts here. I just wanted to say that I'm having the same problems as Martin, although sometimes the tailgate stays open for some time before it decides to close (very annoying if you happen to be leaning in when it tries to swallow you up!); other times it will only open part-way before closing.

    I will try the above remedies tomorrow. Failing that, I guess it's a visit to the dealer.

    If it is a faulty ECU, does anyone know what I should expect to fork out for a new one?

  10. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
    Hello and welcome to AOC , NVS please do post your finding after the fixes mentioned. I have never heard of a tailgate ECU being faulty all the gremlins on the tailgate are purely mechanical.
  11. NVS Junior Member ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    I tried cleaning and reseting as suggested but problems persist.
    Having done some more research on this, it seems to be a fairly common problem, down to the gas struts failing. Honda will charge you £180 for a replacement pair of struts. will do them for £70 a pair, with a two year guarantee.

    Honda Part Numbers:
    Strut Right Petrol 04741-SED-900 Diesel 04741-SEG-900
    Strut Left Petrol 04746-SED-900 Diesel 04746-SEG-900

    SGS Engineering only supplies a match for the 'SED' petrol struts - not the 'SEG' for diesels.

    I'm guessing that I wouldn't get away with using petrol struts on my diesel (please correct me if anyone knows otherwise).
    Can anybody tell me what the technical specifications are (dimensions & gas pressure) for the diesel strust? I understand that SGS will manufacture to order.

    As for replacing the struts, I'm going to have a go at it myself. Found some helpful and detailed guidance posted on another forum

    - I have copied it here for ease of ref. (all credit to original author - speaky05)

    Welcome to my guide on how to replace the gas struts on a Honda Accord Tourer 2004. This may also apply to other model years 2003 to 2008. This is a guide on how I replaced the struts on my own car due to the tailgate not holding open on its own. I thought this was dangerous as it would just fall on someone’s head without warning! Some people had reported being quoted over £400 for supply and fitting of new struts. I did buy genuine replacements from Honda (fantastic service – ordered 17:00 on Friday, picked them up at 08:30 on Saturday!), at a cost of £70 each, but I saved on labour and was finished in about an hour!

    You undertake this replacement at your own risk and I will not be held responsible for any damage or injury that may occur when following this guide.

    Important safety tips

    • You will be working very close to the rear airbags so there is a chance you may disturb them, so be very careful!
    • There is a risk of the tailgate falling and injuring body parts (Head and Fingers), so support the tailgate well and keep all mad animals away!
    • Do not try to operate the power tailgate while following this guide, as severe injury may result!
    • There is a considerable risk of minor injury to fingers in the form of minor abrasions and cuts!

    Tools Used

    The Tools I Used

    Definitely needed…
    • Large Flat Screwdriver
    • Small Flat Screwdriver
    • 12mm Spanner (fairly thin)
    • Girlfriend (not entirely essential as anyone over 5 foot tall will do)

    Not necessarily needed…
    • 12mm Spanner (slightly more substantial)
    • 17mm Spanner

    The dealer (Johnsons Honda of Milton Keynes) was very helpful and printed me a diagram of the right rear strut assembly from the workshop manual. This helped to put my mind at ease as it was clear where the strut attached. The underlined part, “Remove the headliner,” was a bit scary though!

    1. Supporting the tailgate

    I used a handy piece of wood for this job. I was going to attempt the right hand side first as this was pictured in the diagram from the dealer and the motor is located on the left hand side, so I thought that may prove to be more difficult. I would have a go at the easier side first!


    2. Removing the plastic headliner edge trims

    As there were no visible screws or clips, I started by removing the rubber seal around the top and sides of the boot opening.

    I could then see the clips holding the central plastic trim and was able to gently release them with the large flat ended screwdriver. The central trim came off quite easily but you do need to be gentle so as not to break any clips. Once the clips were released, a small twist of the front edge of the trim down and towards the rear was enough to unclip it from the side trims and remove it completely.

    The clips for the side trims were now visible, and here they are… (left hand side)


    They can be released more easily if you gently pull the trim diagonally away from both the window and the roof, whilst using a large flat screwdriver close to the clips to help lever them out.

    I also released the clips on the plastic trim below the rear windows, near the rear lights, but I do not think this was necessary.

    The final clip on the left side by the top of the rear door pillar…


    The right hand side is exactly the same, except you probably do not need to release the final clip, as the right strut is easier to reach.

    3. Release the headliner clip

    This was easy, but be careful not to break the head of the clip or tear the headliner.


    4. Removing and Refitting the Right Hand Strut

    After removing the headliner plastic trims and rear headliner clip, I was able to see the tailgate struts more clearly and came to the conclusion that I could flex the headliner enough to reach in with a small spanner and give it a go!

    The right strut attached to the tailgate arm…


    Remove the end attached to the tailgate arm first! (Fairly thin 12mm spanner needed)

    Make sure the tailgate is still well supported, as it is more likely to fall on your head, or crush your fingers at this point!

    I am glad I removed this end first, as it released the pressure on the fixing at the other end of the strut, making the harder to reach part, easier to undo.

    The other end of the right hand strut, just about reachable…


    After removing the strut from the tailgate arm, I could get the thin 12mm spanner on the bolt at the other end…


    I was able to undo the bolt slightly with the spanner and could then use my fingers to undo it completely.

    Take care when working close to the airbag!

    Old and new… (Old strut at the top)


    I couldn’t spot any difference? Just thought I would include the picture to show that I used genuine Honda parts.

    Note the strut is labelled with an “R” for the right hand side. I couldn’t spot any difference between the left and the right strut, but I fitted them accordingly.

    As mentioned in a well known DIY manual, “Fitting the new strut is a reversal of removal.”
    Do not clip the strut to the mounting bolts before fitting, as I did! This makes it more difficult to tighten the bolts.

    Start with the front mounting bolt (the last one you removed) tightening it fully with the 12mm spanner. The new strut can then be clipped onto the ball head quite easily. I found this more difficult because I had already clipped the strut to the bolt and it took longer to reach round the end of the strut to get the bolt in place.

    The tailgate arm end is even easier as it can be reached and seen with ease.

    One down, one to go!

    5. Removing and Refitting the Left Hand Strut

    Looking into the right hand side… Oh dear… where is the strut?


    Another view…


    After reaching around a bit I could locate the front mounting point for the strut, so I used the knowledge I had gained from the right hand strut and started by removing the tailgate arm end first.

    I couldn’t get the spanner on the bolt so I had to remove the plastic trim covering the tailgate hinge. This was easily done by using a small flat ended screwdriver…


    After this side was unclipped, I could move the trim out of the way, allowing more access to the bolt…


    Cover moved aside to give good access to bolt head…

    Once this end was released, I was hoping that the other end would be as easy as the other side. This was not quite the case.

    My thin 12mm spanner could just get on the front mounting bolt, but it was very tight! I turned the spanner and slip… the spanner rounded the bolt head! “Oh dear!” I said.

    This is where I used the 17mm spanner! I could just get the 17mm spanner in between the mounting bracket and the strut end, so I tried to release the strut from the ball head bolt by levering it with the spanner. I tried hard, but all I was doing was slightly flexing the mounting bracket. “Oh dear!” again.

    A few moments later and I had found a slightly better fitting, and more substantial, 12mm spanner. I reached into the headliner and located the spanner on the bolt and decided to become religious for a few moments!

    I turner the spanner and was in luck. The bolt released and turned! Must have been all the bending with the 17mm spanner, loosening the bolt?

    After fully undoing the bolt, I removed the strut and cheered!

    Not making the same mistake as I did on the other side, I fitted the new bolt into the front mounting position and tightened it, before clipping the strut onto the ball head. I could then fit the new bolt on the tailgate arm and was ready to clip the new strut in place…


    I needed to enlist the help of a girlfriend to lift the tailgate slightly to enable me to clip the strut to the bolt head.

    6. Refit Headliner, Plastic Trim and Rubber Seal

    I took this opportunity to clean the plastic trim and headliner around the edges where dirt had built up over the years.

    I also cleaned around the rubber seal before refitting.

    Job complete and I now had a fully functional tailgate again, that would not only work in hot weather, but also during the winter!

    Hope this helps someone and let me know if there is anything you want me to add. Lots of money saved, self satisfaction and a quick job. Time left to clean the car.

    Good Luck...
    Bobbi and Ichiban like this.
  12. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
    Nic I don't know this firm you say but the first batch of tail gate struts have had manufacturing faults the design as been changed. As for the aftermarket struts being better than the Showa ones is question time will tell, for the prices of the genuine strut you can get Honda genuine parts at preferential club rate at Holdcroft Honda. You may be not able to view that section yet but when you do you will be pleasantly surprised.