V70 TAILGATE WIRING HARNESS DAMAGE
I purchased a 2003 V70 about a year ago. One of the price bargaining chips was the “Tailgate Unlatched” warning that was erroneously illuminated on the DIM. In addition, the cargo area dome light didn’t turn on when the hatch was opened. (I had read that when there was a problem with the latch sensor that people would remove the dome light bulb as it would continue to burn after the hatch was closed.)
Shortly after purchasing the car, I removed the inner tailgate panel and latch assembly hoping to find an issue with the latch sensor micro switch – no luck – the switch functioned as designed. Also I couldn’t see anything wrong with the wiring all the way from the latch to where the harness disappeared into the LH hinge cavity. I feared the problem must be further up stream so I ignored it until I would “have more time”.
Well, as time went on the problems mounted – Locking the doors would blow a fuse in the aft fuse panel, not only disabling the rear door and hatch locks, but also the fuel cap door (Not real convenient when you have to get out of the car and replace a fuse at the gas station just to fill up!) Then the center brake light quit working. Now it was becoming a safety issue.
So this past weekend I tore into the inner trim panels so that I could chase the harness down inside of the “D” pillar. I found a disconnect inside the speaker grill. Unplugging that and snipping a tie wrap that was hidden up behind the trim panel allowed me pull the entire harness out through the hatch hinge cavity. The harness is housed in a flexible fabric conduit, which interestingly didn’t show ANY signs of damage. But when squeezing the conduit up and down its length, I could feel something that didn’t feel right with the wires inside. Pulling the conduit down, sort of like skinning a snake, exposed the severly damaged wires. The damage was occuuring about three inches inside the body, apparently being piched between the hinge arm and something else.