You have to remove the whole back panel. You have to remove all the screws that are attached to the panel first. Then you got to "pry" the whole panel with a flat instrument (I use a small kitchen spatula so not to harm the plastic finish). Ther are two screws holding the latch. Remove it.You can spray WD-40, but white grease is better. Good Luck!
I have a 2000 CR-V...WD-40 won't fix it...call a Honda dealer and buy a new latch($39-45) handle...if your going to take the panel off anyway just replace it...I did this to mine and is very easy...just make sure you remove ALL of the screws...2 in long compartment -2 under gate hook cover...(pry off from bottom )I think there are 2 under there...then take off the filler cover (top of gate to the right..this is access panel to light)then pry off panel....pull up on weather strip at top of door and push out of way....lift losened panel up and out...remove license plate...remove license panel and latch from inside of door....4 nuts on panel and 2 for latch reverse to re-install
I also have a 2000 CR-V ad I just went through this procedure today. The problem with mine was the handle on the outside of the car. It has a spring rocker mechanism. Because this handle is exposed to the elements, it was rusted. I removed everything, as explained above, and used white grease to lubricate all the moving parts inside, as well as the rocker mechanism and spring on the outside handle. This did the trick. I'm sure, eventually, it will bind up again. The better long term solution would be to replace the latch. I assume it comes as all one unit and you must replace the entire thing. For now, my solution has fixed the problem. BTW, you might be able to lubricate the outside rocker hinge without taking anything off. Look under the housing where you normally put your hand to open the lower rear hatch. With an extension nozzle, you might be able to get enough lubrication up in there to free it.
Great suggestion to try to lubricate the handle from the outside. My handle ('99 CR-V)was stuck in the open position. I used PB Blaster, which is an aerosol penetrating lubricant (much better than WD40) with an extension nozzle on the hinge points. After waiting for several minutes, I was able to start moving the handle gradually back and forth. It helped to take the small door in the inside opposite that area off and push on the connecting mechanism. Once the handle attained a full range of motion, I was able to close the tailgate and the latch worked! I'm sure this isn't a permanent solution, but it beats spending $ on this 11 year old vehicle.
There is a switch which is activated by opening the hatch back. It is located somewhere around the perimeter of the hatch back. When it is released, it is supposed to turn on the interior lights and activate the 'hatch open' warning light. Find the switch, and remove it, then clean the contacts, and test it. It should turn the warning light off when the button or post is depressed.
Open the hatch, remove the rear interior body panal. Then there are five plastic wing nuts on each tail light housing. remove the wing nuts on the side which needs replacing, which may be obscurred by the other interior panals, and carefully remove the tail light fixture. to remove the bulb, twist the bulbs base left or right, and pull. The bulbs I.D.# should be on the bulb. Hope this helps.
I just had to do this for my 2001 Odyssey, and I'd bet it's a similar process. First, open the rear hatch and remove the two black nuts at the far left and right of the top of the door. To access the other two nuts you need to pry the interior trim from the rear window. I was able to pry it off with my bare hands and didn't break any of the plastic clips (even though it's freezing here right now). The remaining nuts should now be exposed; remove them, and the spoiler is now free of the hatch. The last step is a minor one... You just need to unclip the wire for the third brake light from the left side of the hatch. Good luck!
Remove cover off of inside pull handle. Remove screws underneath. Remove screws around latch. Remove access panels on hatch cover where you replace rear tail light bulbs. With hatch above you pull the panel towards you section by section carefully as fastners pop out. Eventually all fastners will loosen up allowing the panel to be removed. Be aware some panel fastners are in the middle of the panel as well so you may have to stick you hand inside the panel areas that have come loose to apply some pressure to those areas.
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