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How to Keep Tonneau Cover and Tailgate From Freezing?

One of the biggest problems that pickup truck owners face during winter is frozen tonneau covers and tailgates. If you don’t take proper steps, you might end up with a damaged tailgate or tonneau cover.

So, how to keep the tonneau cover and tailgate from freezing? You can use a silicone-based lubricant to prevent the tonneau cover and tailgate from freezing in winter. And it’s the most effective and straightforward option to tackle the situation.

The article is divided into two separate sections, one for tonneau covers and the other for tailgates. The process is quite similar, and there is only a tiny alteration between them.


How to Stop Tonneau Cover From Freezing?

Here are the steps that you will need to follow to stop your tonneau cover from freezing:

Step 1: Get the Required Supplies

First, you need to get all the necessary supplies for this fix. Don’t worry; you won’t need much. The supplies that you will need are:

  • Clean Microfiber Cloth
  • Paper Towels
  • Lubricant Spray

Step 2: Clean the Tonneau Cover

One of the main reasons why frost solidifies on your tonneau cover is due to the fact that there is dirt and dust all over. Therefore, start off by cleaning the entire tonneau cover. 

This is important because if you just go ahead and spray lubricant all over a dirty tonneau cover, you will be harming your tonneau instead of fixing your issue.

Use paper towels to clean off the rubber and plastic parts of the tonneau cover, which lock up the tonneau cover in the first place.

This is because moisture gathers around these spots, and during the cold, the water inside freezes over and later solidifies completely. Due to this, you can’t open up your tonneau cover if it freezes. 

So, make sure to clean these areas thoroughly. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. And trust me, there will be a lot of dirt in those parts of your tonneau cover.

Step 3: Use the Lubricant

Once you are done cleaning, you can proceed to apply the lubricant to the tonneau cover. 

Now there are two ways you can do this. You can either just spray directly on the tonneau cover or put the lubricant on a microfiber cloth and use it on the surface.

I recommend that you use the latter option. This is because if you just spray on the tonneau cover, chances are you won’t be hitting the exact spots where you need to apply the lubricant the most.

Also, spraying the lubricant all over is a waste and can harm your tonneau cover’s design & texture.

So, spray the lubricant on the microfiber cloth and then use the cloth to apply it to your tonneau cover. The places where you need the lubricant are mostly the corners & edges where the rubber & plastic parts are located.

In short, you need to apply to places that are directly connected to the opening of the tonneau cover.

Once this process is complete, you just let your tonneau cover rest, and it won’t freeze over afterward.


How to Keep Your Tailgate From Freezing?

Now, for keeping your tailgate from freezing during the cold seasons, the steps are identical to the previous steps mentioned above. 

But there is one extra step that you need to follow in order to ensure that your tailgate doesn’t freeze over time. 

The step is – Oil the Tailgate Lock

You can do this before or after you have successfully applied lubricant on the tailgate with a microfiber cloth. 

Like other tailgate parts, the tailgate lock can also freeze over time. And you can’t access the tailgate unless you open up the lock.

So, use a screwdriver to access the tailgate lock and put lubricant or warm oil through it.

I prefer using both either oil or lubricant, but if you want to be done without many issues going with lubricant will save both time and money. You can put a generous amount here but don’t overflow it.

There you have it; this is how you can prevent your tonneau cover and tailgate from freezing during the winter.


What Lubricant Should You Use to Prevent Tonneau Cover and Tailgate From Freezing?

Now, you might be wondering what type of lubricants or spray you should use for this process.

Well, there are quite a few options out there, and visiting your local mechanic’s shop will give you a good idea.

That being said, the ones that I recommend are:

  • Silicone-based lubricant sprays
  • Turtle wax ice liquids 
  • Ski wax paste

The best option is obviously silicone lubricants, but other hydrophobic lubricants can also be a great choice.

Wax pastes are a good alternative. But, in my experience, they can be a bit messy to handle.

That’s why I prefer silicone-based lubricant sprays the most!

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Kevin Shaw

Editor-in-Chief at F150Lab

Kevin Shaw has a vast knowledge of pickup trucks, especially the Ford F150. He has been doing various DIY fixes, upgrades, and modifications to pickup trucks for more than five years now.

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