What To Do When Your Mazda CX-9 Power Liftgate Won't Work

Has your Mazda CX-9 power liftgate suddenly stopped working? What could be preventing the liftgate from opening and closing as it should? This troubleshooting guide may help you get to the bottom of this issue.

How To Reset The Liftgate On A Mazda CX 9

CX5 liftgate

The first thing you want to do is to reset your power liftgate to see if it resolves the issue. You need to be able to open the liftgate fully. If you can do this, try to reset it. Your owner’s manual should be able to walk you through the process of resetting your liftgate. This set of steps is based on the 2018 model:

  1. Open the liftgate to the fully open position. You can choose how much you want your liftgate to open. It must be more than halfway open, though, or it won’t reset.
  2. Press the power lift gate close switch for about seven seconds or until the system beeps three times.

If this doesn’t resolve the issue, there are several more ways to troubleshoot liftgate issues on your Mazda CX-9.

If Your CX-9 Liftgate Won't Open

Liftgate closed

If your CX-9 liftgate won't open, here are a few things you can do to troubleshoot it:

1. Check The Power Liftgate Fuse

The fuse box is usually under the hood and on the right side of the engine bay. Check the power liftgate fuse to see if it has blown or if it has any other issues. If the power liftgate fuse is blown or has another issue, then replacing it should do the trick.

2. Test The Lock Actuator

The liftgate lock/unlock actuator is a small motor that locks and unlocks your power liftgate. When it fails, it can no unlock the liftgate. If you suspect that the actuator is broken, you can test it with a multimeter. Here’s an overview of the process:

  1. Find the lock actuator behind the liftgate panel. You can find liftgate panel removal instructions in your owner’s manual. You would need to move the cargo tray or any other accessories you may have in your cargo area out of the way before removing the panel.
  2. Disconnect the lock actuator.
  3. Hook the actuator up with a multimeter.
  4. Have a buddy press the button to open or close the power liftgate while you watch the display on the multimeter.
  5. Observe how the multimeter responds. If it doesn’t register any voltage, then the actuator is bad. If it registers less than 12 volts, the actuator may be starting to fail. Either way, replace the actuator.

If you need to replace your CX-9’s lock actuator, you’ll save a lot of money by shopping with us. We carry genuine OEM Mazda parts at rock bottom prices. You can save a lot of money on an OEM lock actuator.

3. Check The Liftgate Motor

Sometimes the issue lies in the liftgate motor. They can fail over time. There is both an electric motor, and some gears in the liftgate motor. Either can fail. To check the liftgate motor:

  1. Remove the panel over the liftgate motor.
  2. While sitting where you can hear the motor, activate it.
  3. If you hear nothing, either the motor is bad, or perhaps the fuse is blown. Check the fuse first.
  4. If you hear the motor spinning, but the gate isn't moving, the gears may have gone bad.

If you'd like to replace your CX-9’s liftgate motor, you can save money by shopping with us. For example, this motor for 2007-2015 CX-9 is a few hundred dollars cheaper on our site.

4. Check The Lift Supports

Are you able to open your liftgate, but it’s having trouble staying up? Most likely the lift supports are failing. They keep your CX-9’s liftgate up, but when they fail, they can no longer do that.

Check the lift supports for any damage, including leaks or bends. But, a lot of times when lift supports fail, there is no evident damage. They've simply worn out.

5. See If Your Car Is In Valet Mode

If you have trouble opening your liftgate remotely, the vehicle may be in valet mode. This prevents you (or a stranger) from controlling the vehicle remotely with your key fob except unlocking or locking it.

Your owner’s manual should show you how to get your vehicle out of valet mode.

If Your CX-9 Liftgate Won't Close

CX5 liftgate

Image Credit: HansShow

If the liftgate on your CX-9 won't close, check the following parts:

  • Power liftgate fuse
  • Lock actuator
  • Liftgate mechanism

To get more information about checking each part, refer to the earlier sections in this post. You also want to make sure that nothing is in the way. Your CX-9 comes with sensors that will prevent the liftgate from closing if they detect that something is in the way. It's common for the insulation to somehow get in the way, so be sure to check for that.