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Rear Tailgate Hatch Stuck On Your Honda Fit? Start Here Before You Take It To A Mechanic

If the rear hatch on your Honda Fit won't open, try this simple fix.

Is the tailgate or hatch on your Honda Fit stuck? When you grab the handle with the Fit unlocked, does the hatch handle feel "dead" and unresponsive? Don't panic. You may be able to get back on the road very quickly.

Fix Your Honda Fit Hatch Latch
The first thing to do is to drop the second row Magic seats and climb in back headed toward the hatch door. Use your cell phone flashlight and look to see if there is a little hole near the bottom middle of the inside of the hatch. If there is, put your finger inside the hole and about an inch or two inside you may find there is a small lever you can rotate from left to right. Do that.

Now crawl back out of the Fit and go around to the back. Make sure the car is unlocked completely (not just driver's door) and try the handle again. It may well open the hatch for you. If so, you have just saved a trip to the mechanic, or possibly prevented a trip in the near term.

We have to credit Michael Watson's Youtube video with this fix. It worked for us - and not just temporarily. Our Fit's hatch handle quit, and we applied the simple fix. Two weeks later, and multiple lock and unlock cycles and the Fit is operating normally. We plan to have our mechanic clean and lubricate the hatch handle during its next oil change service.

The Success of the Reliable Honda Fit
The Honda Fit has been a fantastically successful vehicle for Honda. 77% of Fit owners report that they would buy another Fit. Intended to fill the gap left when the Civic morphed into a midsized car, the subcompact Fit became a popular choice for many in cities, many on a budget, and many who just wanted a great entry-level car. In our area, it is known as the "Offical Vehicle of Providence Rhode Island." The Fit has also proven to be very reliable. We hope this fix helped you. If it did, please leave us a note in the comments section below or feel free to request other topics.

Thanks for reading and see you in my next story: Change Two Honda Air Filters Yourself And Save $100 - No Tools Required

John Goreham tweets at @johngoreham. Please send him news tips and follow us at @TorqueNewsAuto


MF Hatte (not verified)    January 20, 2020 - 3:35PM

This worked perfectly, though there was no hole in my 2013 Fit but there was a compartment with a plastic closure that I forced open. Inside the compartment I found something I could move to the left, and voilà, no more stuck door. Thank you!!!!!

David Williams (not verified)    June 8, 2020 - 12:22PM

Thanks to John Goreham and Michael Watson for saving the day. My 2008 Fit has a latch porthole inside the back hatch door. Your advice worked perfectly and saved me time and money. Thank you very much.

Alex (not verified)    June 26, 2020 - 9:15AM

My latch won't even unlock, I can't even flip that little lever it seems stuck to the left, like my lock cylinder is stuck

MJ (not verified)    July 21, 2020 - 10:38PM

I will try this, thank you!
I bought my first Honda, a Fit new 9/2014
It now has 338k miles regular oil changes, tires and very minimal repairs, love it!!

rick stone (not verified)    August 26, 2020 - 11:46AM

my latch won't unlock, the handle is stuck and won't move. the thing you move to the left won't move ether. any suggestions

Duncan Smart (not verified)    January 27, 2021 - 6:57AM

I have a 2011 Honda Jazz and used this fix. My boot lid has a plastic cover over the access hole, which could be removed. The mechanism looks different but the principle still works. Once opened the hatch can be locked and reopened with the key so long as you do not try the hatch handle once you have locked the car. If I check the hatch handle after locking the car the lock becomes stuck again and the reset procedure has to be repeated. However, if you check any other door handle to make sure the car is locked the hatch will lock and unlock using the key with no problem

Craig (not verified)    August 31, 2021 - 11:32PM

In reply to by Duncan Smart (not verified)

I have a 2007 Fit Sport whose rear hatch lock has had problems for years. I've learned that the rear latch handle parts are corroded from road salt. Lubricate as best you can with penetrating oil or WD40 and wipe excess off the paint. Use the thin red straw to guide the spray into the area on sides of latch where the pivot pin of the hinge mechanism is located. Move the latch handle back and forth aggressively to make sure it returns to its normal full travel. Sometimes I have to do this and repeat dozens of times before it frees up. There is a microswitch in the latch which will sense if the latch handle is not fully closed and then it won't latch or unlatch with the electric lock mechanism. This can be a pain because what good is a hatchback if the hatch won't open? There is a video of a Jazz owner who removed the latch mechanism, took it completely apart, sandblasted and filed the rusty parts, primed and painted and greased everything and reassembled and it worked fine. I might have to do that but it would be a lengthy, tedious job.

squeakalicious (not verified)    April 28, 2021 - 4:01PM

Thanks tons for this. I bought a used 2012 Fit in April 2020 and the stupid hatch latch stuck today for the fifth or sixth time since then. I had to drive home from Home Depot with the "your door is open" light on the whole way, thinking I'd have to take the stupid thing to the shop again (where they've been dinging me for a hundred bucks each time). Can't believe the jerks never told me how easy it is to fix--I suppose because I was an easy mark. Thank you!

Chris Smith (not verified)    May 13, 2021 - 11:02AM

Unlock the central locking - now on the tailgate tailgate push the plastic flap ( the one you normally pull BACK to open tailgate ) FULLY forward towards front of car, now lock and unlock central locking the lock mechanism can now align properly. Now lift the tailgate look under the black trim piece above licence plate, where the licence plate illumination bulbs live, and at each end of the plastic flap you will see the hinges are rusty, spray some lubrication on the hinges and work the handle until it is free to spring FULLY forward when released. This problem is caused by the rust on the flap hinges stopping the plastic flap going fully forward when released, it may only me 1mm off its stop, but its disconnects the lock mechanism. Spraying some lube in there every 6 months will stop it happening again.

Larry Tillman (not verified)    January 3, 2022 - 7:25PM

2016 Honda Odyssey rear liftgate hatch stuck cant open. 2016, 2016, 2016 only!!!!! video on how to fix this problem 2016 only!!!!!