2012 Equinox non-powered tailgate release switch replacement
The tailgate on my wife's 2012 Equinox 4cy 2LT began acting funny. It is not the powered liftgate, just standard manual liftgate. At random, the switch would activate and the vehicle would chime that the tailgate was open. The tailgate would stay shut due to the locking mechanism but it was basically in a partially unlocked position. For the most part, the exterior switch would not open when trying to open the tailgate.
After some research online, I decided to replace the tailgate release switch since it was a cheap place to start. I bought the ACDelco 22862011 GM Original Equipment Liftgate Release Switch from Amazon for about $13. You can manually unlock the tailgate by removing a small circular plug from the interior tailgate panel by crawling back in the cargo area. Once the tailgate is open, I used trim removal tools to pry the interior trim off the tailgate. The upper interior trim is simply held on by push pin style retainer clips, I just pried it off. The lower interior trim has one screw in the hand hole, 3 metal retainer clips, and numerous push pin style retainer clips. Took a little while to figure out, but just take your time. I can't seem to get pictures uploaded due to file size limits. Feel free to request them from me.
Once those panels are removed, you can access the 4 nuts from the interior, that hold the exterior trim piece on. Once you remove the exterior trim piece that houses the backup camera and tailgate release switch, you can simply pop out the release switch, disconnect the electrical connector, and plug your new part in. I put it all back together in reverse order as I took it apart, and my problem was fixed.
Seems like the tailgate release switch probably gets water or salt in it eventually. P.S. The new part I installed seemed to be better built than the original part that broke. It has heavier gauge wire and the housing around the button seemed to be beefier and hopefully more water tight.
If this post is better fit in an existing topic, please request that it be moved. Hope the description and photos are of some help!