How to Open a Ford Explorer's Lift Gate

by Maxwell Payne
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The Explorer SUV is a vehicle designed by Ford Motor Co. Most models are five-door models, with the fifth door being the rear lift gate on the back of the vehicle. The Explorer's lift gate has a built-in window that can be opened without opening the entire rear door. Multiple handles are in place on the lift gate to facilitate opening either the window or the entire door. Unlike standard car trunks, the lift gate allows both items and people to get in and out of the back storage area of the SUV.

Step 1

Insert the Ford's key into the lift gate keyhole and turn it to the right to unlock the door's lock mechanism.

Step 2

Grasp the handle just above the key hole and pull it toward you. Some Explorer models have a small push button on the inner edge of the handle; as you pull the handle toward you, push the button. On some newer models, you'll need to pull the middle lever under the license plate lamp shield. If you want to open the lift gate window but not the entire rear door, proceed to Step 3.

Locate the lift gate window handle just above where the rear wiper blade connects to the door itself. For models lacking a rear wiper blade, the handle is at the bottom center of the lift gate window. Grasp the handle and pull it toward you. Some models have a push button inside; push this while pulling toward you. Some Explorer models may have a "twist style" handle for the lift gate window. Instead of pulling the handle toward you, turn the handle clockwise to release the latch. Newer models may have a power lift gate window. In this case, open the window using the control on the remote entry transmitter, or push the control button under the license plate lamp shield on the right side.


  • The lift gate door and window will open toward you. Move backward a few steps as you open the lift gate to avoid getting hit by the opening door.
  • When closing the door or window, place both hands on the center section of the door or window and push downward. The door or window will move toward the vehicle. Do not stand under the open lift gate or reach inside the vehicle while closing the door or window.

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