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9th generation of Chevrolet's full sized SUV, based on the GM GT800 platform.

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Changing tailgate key lock cylinder

I have a 2003 Tahoe wich must be very similar to the suburban . My tailgate door key lock is jammed. I can not even enter my key in. Where to find the part and what is the procedure to change it

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Have you first tried spraying it with WD40 or other penetrating oil? What type of climate are you in snow & wet or dry & dusty? When I lived in New Mexico I had to spray and insert the key slowly deeper in repetitively into the lock to dislodge the grit until I could get the key fully in. The key slot guard most cars have was missing (or jammed open) so the wind drove the grit into the lock.


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To replace the lock you will need to locate the little tag that was with your keys when you bought your car as it has the number you will need to give to your car dealer to order a new lock. If you don't have the tag or key number you'll get what ever they pull out of the parts bin and the key will be different than what you have now (a real pain).

You'll need to get to the lock from the inside taking the panel off and any wiper motor or other latch hardware blocking access to it. Some cars are easy to get into some not.

Check with your insurance carrier before you start if you have coverage on getting it replaced (saving you cost & the pain).

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I was able to remove it yesterday and oil it but the key still can't get

in. By the length of the cylendar it seem like the length of the regular

car keys would be too long. I just bought this car second hand and I do not

if they are supposed to have a shorter key to fit it. They are asking $260

for it so it looks like it is not sold separately from the main linkage

plate that hold all the cable of the tailgate door. And that part is like

new. So I need to know if the regular key should fit and find a way to make

it go in. Thanks


Can't say for sure here. Most manufactures use the same key blank for all of the locks (may have different key for car valet). Years ago they had long {ignition} & short {doors} keys on 1960/70's vintage cars. I would go to the parts dept of my local car dealer and ask them how your Tahoe is setup. Is the $260 for a replacement lock that you have bought and this is the lock your trying to get the key to fit? If it is forget it, as you'll cost you still more to get lock rekeyed to a working key (if it can be).


no I have not bought that too expensive part . The cylinder part is a push button that release the window part of the tailgate door. The push button has a key insert in it lo lock/unlock manually I suppose . It would be practical if the electronic fails.


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