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2011 SRX Known Liftgate water issues

45603 Views 52 Replies 31 Participants Last post by  Tripwire
So, I am now part of the growing list of Cadillac SRX owners to deem the liftgate inoperable due to the leaky sunroof drain.
After taking in the SRX to the dealer for some recalls, I decided to fork over the 150 dollar diagnostic fee, and have the liftgate looked at.
The liftgate on my SRX is not working and cannot even open it in the manual mode. There is no way to get to the cargo compartment.
I get that dreadful call a few hours ago along with a $2000 price tag to replace the module/motor and fix the known problem.
I'll be picking up the vehicle later on today so I don't know all the details on what needs to be replaced but I did not feel that paying that amount (over 10% of current value) is justified.
Has anyone here successfully replaced the module / motor on their SRX?
How can these components be accessed if the liftgate is in the closed position?
I'm considering taking the vehicle to the closest "other type of dealership that sells cars" to see what they offer me for it.
Any advice is appreciated.
Feeling a 'Lil Grumpy'.
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I'm assuming you already tried the manual mode mentioned in the manual? Maybe someone can give you some pics from the shop manual. The manual for my car keeps getting pushed back by Helm.

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Yes, I've tried all kinda modes. Nothing works, no humming, no nada. The tail lights flash when the remote button is pressed, I assume that the the module is getting the signal but the parts are fried from the water. At least that is what the dealership said. If anyone has a few pics they can share I would greatly appreciate it. How can I access the parts from the rear compartment with the tailgate non functional?
Any help is appreciated.
Manual mode just disables the power assist in raising and lowering the liftgate. The latching/unlatching is still electronic (an electronically controlled mechanical latch).
Buy a module /motor from a wrecking yard and take it to a body shop to have it installed. Most junk yards give a 90 day warranty on parts and body shop labor rates are cheaper than an auto repair shop. A body shop will also be able to get the hatch open
We were able to access the liftgate and removed the rear cover. Everything was dry, motor does not have any signs of corrosion. Where is this infamous module and does anyone here know where it's located?
UPDATE: Apparently there is another motor (P/N:20853013) located in the rear portion (spare tire) location. It is the Hydraulic liftgate pump. There is an electrical connection for the motor and 2 hoses on the top of the assembly. What are these 2 hoses? There appears to be a cannister on the pump that is full of water. Is that the way it is supposed to be? There is some isolating "absorbing" material inside the assembly. Is this to keep the water out? It almost seems as if the canister is supposed to be full of water and that these 2 hoses has something to do with circulation but can anyone explain this? Also, can someone tell me what P/N:20954189 is? I can't seem to find this with a quick search.
More to come.


Sorry, the part number for the liftgate motor is 20859469.
Ok. so the 2 hoses are the hydraulic lines that go to the lift actuator. The liftgate motor is fried. Has a short circuit. The other component P/N 20954189 appears to be the liftgate control module. However I cannot seem to verify this, yet. This sends the motor the 12 volts. Upon trouble shooting the module does not send the 12V signal to the motor. There is a short on the module that goes to the motor so it seems that the module is fried. Getting ready to go to some junkyards to see if I can find these 2 components. More updates to come. It really isn't that difficult to access these devices, certainty not $2000 worth the dealer is asking.
I have a 2011 SRX. Two days ago the back hatch closed with me halfway in the trunk. I know for certain that the power button had not been pushed. I weigh 95 pounds and could not stop it from closing. The motor would NOT stop. I ended up with bruising on my back and the backs of one of my arms as I was trying to get out. Now the hatch will not stay open. When I push the button it will open all the way up and then immediately start coming back down. If I try to turn the power button off to open manually that doesn't work either. This is a BIG safety hazard. Had it been one of my children getting something from the rear storage, they could have been seriously hurt or even killed! I am taking it to the dealership for recalls this Saturday. At that time I plan to talk to them about the liftgate.
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Mine did that after the dealer did a TSB check on lift hatch. I had to reprogram it. Turn inside nob to 3/4. Open gate from the rear touch pad, but keep your finger by the hatch rear close button.Once hatch going up push and hold the close button at your desired height. The horn will blow and the lights should flash, to let you know its program. You may have to move the hatch manually a few inches up or down, to get it exactly where you want it. It is easier to move, once in the programming mode. Once you get it exactly where you want it, hold the rear close button until the horn blow and the lights flash again to set the height.
Buy a module /motor from a wrecking yard and take it to a body shop to have it installed. Most junk yards give a 90 day warranty on parts and body shop labor rates are cheaper than an auto repair shop. A body shop will also be able to get the hatch open
Body shops are much cheaper on their rates than dealers.
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I am experiencing the same issue on my 2010 SRX. The liftgate quit and I took it to the dealer. They diagnosed 2 plugged water drain hoses from the sunroof caused water to ruin the module/motor assembly.
It was in the dealer for the sunroof drain hose recall that would cause water to come into the cabin and they did not check the other hoses. The cost - $1500. Will it happen again? How can it be prevented?
The cost of ownership for this vehicle is very high.


My 2010 SRX liftgate quit and I took it to the dealer. Cost - $1500. Water in the module/motor area. The water came from the rear 2 drain hoses from the sun-roof? I don't think so.
Other water problems in headlamps caused complete replacements. Cost - $1000
Cost of ownership is very high with this vehicle.
I'm going through the exact same issue right now. The cost they quoted me is $2,200. Cadillac knows there is an issue with the sun roof drain tubes. There is a service bulletin on the sunroof drain tubes for the front of the 2010 - 2012 SRX. I can't understand why they'll fix the front drain tubes, but not the rear? It's the exact same issue.
I have been thru the same issues with my SRX 2010, 115,000km, and even during cold weather, the tailgate would not open. Also, I fried 3 modules due to floods, 2 paid under warranty, one I did, but the dealers never listen to me about the cause, where did the water come from! They kept looking at the front tube drains, which had a recall, whereas the issue was at the rear. Also, unless you have a special tool to remove the sun roof and that you are very comfortable in mechanics work, there is no way a common SRX owner can clean the sun roof rear drain tubes, because this is where it all starts. My car is at the dealership right this moment and they are to replace the hydraulic pump, it never worked properly, not enough oil pressure.
I am going thru the same issues with my SRX 2010, 115,000km. In the past 5 year, the car had a few floods and the tailgate won't open when it is cold. The warranty paid for the replacement of 2 modules, I paid for one. The dealers did not listen to me and focussed on the front sun roof drain tubes, which were replaced under the recall, the problems I entertained were related to the rear tubes. Talk to Cadillac/GM services and they indicated that I had to clean the drain tubes, although there is no such mention in the owners manual, I challenge anyone to try to clean the rear drain tubes (front is fairly easy) since by the way you require a special tool to remove the sun roof, no common SRX owner can do this work. Note that GM/Cadillac said I could get the cleaning done of the rear drain tubes for free by my local dealer (I guess you need to make the arrangement when you file a complaint). My SRX is at the dealer right now for the replacement of the hydraulic pump, not enough pressure to lift the gate! Just been telling them for the past 5 years! Don't know if I will pay for that yet.
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Most GM dealers claim they work for the consumer, but really keep GM's best interests at heart. They will deny a problem until the warranty is up, then all of a sudden, yep, its broke, that will be double the rate of warranty pay!
Most GM dealers claim they work for the consumer, but really keep GM's best interests at heart. They will deny a problem until the warranty is up, then all of a sudden, yep, its broke, that will be double the rate of warranty pay!
Welcome to the world of American corporations. Screwing the consumer at every turn! Plus, they offshore all their profits so they don't have to even pay taxes on them.
Yes I have the same issue on my 2012 SRX one day we got rain heard drain tubes make noice and minutes later my car alarm went off and liftgate opened on its own. Then water in cargo area with bad smell. Found water in back hatch compartment now liftgate will not work. I can't afford huge cost. Not sure if I want to keep this car or ever get another. Any advice on how to repair.
My 2011 SRX had the same issues. First, the Chevy dealership removed the interior and cleaned all the water out and dried it. They pulled the liftgate module and computer from the rear bay. The circuit board was destroyed and lots of mildew in the module so it must have leaked a few times. I did not know about the leaks because the drain tubes had become disconnected in the rear of the moon roof and the water ran down the inside of the pillars and nothing was wet in the interior. In hindsight... I should have suspected something because I recall a couple of weeks where there was condensation building up on the windshield which would indicate moisture in the car... my wife drives it so I didn't think about it much.

$2400 was the quoted billing. I found this thread and was upset when I discovered other threads discussing a recall on drain tubes in the front of the moon roof that caused leaks under the dash... but nothing addressing the rear tubes. I told the dealership not to reassemble the car and put in a claim against GM. They attempted to put a claim against my extended warranty... that company just laughed it off as water damage is never covered. I stood my ground with them and told them there are thousands of these cars experiencing this leak and I am not accepting this car back without an explanation from GM. I put in a claim myself on website and was surprised when I received a call the next day. They were very easy to work with and took me out of the loop and worked with the dealership directly. They confirmed that the drain tubes were not installed properly as they had become disconnected; however they stated it was not a recall issue and not a safety issue. I argued that it is a safety issue and a malfunctioning lift gate in an accident could cause an egress problem. I told them I was not picking up the car until this was settled and fixed correctly. about 1 week of arguing and explaining my position and the # of cars is unacceptable; they finally caved and GM told me the best they could do is pay for all of the parts as long as I paid for the labor. Luckily I told them not to reassemble the car and leave it drying in the service bay so they didn't rack up too much more to fix it.

I had to pay $1200 in labor, the interior was cleaned and inspected... after repair, I was pleasantly surprised to find my car in the wash bay with a spray nozzle taped to a post and raining down on the car while parked on car ramps to simulate the worst angle. They had run water on it for 3 hours to test everything.

I still think this is a safety issue and should be a recall on all SRX's... now I am constantly cautious and telling my wife to stay out from under anything that can get debris in there... we are in Washington, so not being in the rain is not happening!
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I'm in Renton and I need help...the EXACT SAME THING IS HAPPENING to me I mean word for car is at Larsen right now...please let me know who you talked to.
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