Sensor Locations of Hands-Free Power Liftgates

A growing number of GM models now offer an available hands-free power liftgate or trunk, which uses a sensor under the rear bumper (Fig. 6) of the vehicle that, when activated, opens or closes the liftgate or trunk. Depending on the model, the sensor is positioned at different locations under the rear bumper.


Fig. 6


Models that offer the hands-free power liftgate (RPO TC2) include the 2015-2018 Tahoe, Suburban, Yukon, Escalade; 2016-2018 CT6, Envision; 2017-2018 XT5, Acadia; 2018 Enclave, Equinox, Traverse and Terrain.


The liftgate operates when the sensor detects a kicking motion. The hands-free liftgate sensor control module sends a serial data message to the liftgate control module, which activates the liftgate motor in the liftgate power assist actuator. The tail lamps flash when the command has been received.


Sensor Locations


The sensor is located in different positions on the various models that offer the hands-free power liftgate. (Fig. 7)


• Full-size SUVs — Tahoe, Suburban, Yukon and Escalade — and Cadillac CT6: sensor is located under the center of the rear bumper.

XT5 and Acadia: sensor is located behind the driver’s side rear tire on the side of the rear bumper.

• Envision, Equinox, and the upcoming Terrain, Traverse, and Enclave: sensor is located under the left side of the rear bumper, between the left exhaust pipe and the center of the bumper.


Fig 7


Operating the Liftgate


To open or close the power liftgate hands-free, swing your foot in a direct in-and-out motion (your foot should be under the rear bumper for less than one second) in the proximity of the sensor. (Fig. 8) The motion must be within five inches of the sensor. Do not swing your leg in a sweeping or side-to-side motion.


To activate the power liftgate, the Remote Keyless Entry transmitter (key fob) must be within 3 feet (1 meter) of the liftgate.


Fig. 8


The hands-free feature will not work while the liftgate is moving. Use one of the liftgate switches to stop the liftgate while in motion.


The hands-free feature also may be temporarily disabled under some conditions. If the liftgate does not respond to the kicking motion, open or close the liftgate by another method or start the vehicle. The feature will be re-enabled.


Projected Logo


Some 2018 models feature a vehicle logo that is projected onto the ground under the rear bumper sensor that indicates where the kicking motion should take place. The logo is projected when the key fob is detected within 6 feet (2 meters) of the liftgate.


Under normal conditions, the logo will be projected for one minute. If the logo is not projected, check for the following operating conditions:

The projected logo is only available for the currently used key fob after it has been out of range for at least 20 seconds.

If a key fob is again detected within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of the liftgate, or another hands-free operation has been detected, the one-minute timer is reset. If it is reset five times in 10 minutes, the logo will not turn back on for one hour. This provides the battery with a “cool-down period” to preserve its charge.

If the vehicle remains parked for an extended period of time with no key fob use or Keyless Access operation, the projected vehicle logo will be disabled. The projected logo will be re-enabled when any key fob button is pressed, any vehicle door is opened and closed, or the liftgate is closed when all doors are opened.

The projected logo will not work for a single key fob when a key fob has been left within approximately 15 feet (5 meters) of the liftgate for several minutes, has been left inside the vehicle and all vehicle doors are closed, or has approached the area outside of the liftgate several times in a short period of time.


Users can customize hands-free operation. The kick function can be turned off, only open the liftgate, or open and close the liftgate. To change the kick function:

1. Select the Hands-free Liftgate Control menu on the infotainment screen under Settings > Vehicle > Comfort and Convenience.

2. Select Off, On-Open Only, or On-Open and Close.


Selecting Off will disable hands-free control of the liftgate and keep the logo lamp off.


– Thanks to Gary McAdam



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