6 Common Trunk Won't Close/Open Problems

One of the most common reasons why a trunk won't close is because the latch or striker gets misaligned which is common after an accident. 

DIY Cost: $0-$350
Est. Time: 5min -1 hr
Difficulty: Easy

If your trunk doesn't close, examine the latch and the hinge where it connects to the car's body.

Either of these might have become bent out of shape or damaged, preventing the trunk from closing. In addition, if the car has been in an accident or rear-ended, the frame may be bent, and the latch may not be aligned properly. 

Common Problems

These are some of the most common problems why a trunk won't close. 

1. Trunk not closing 

trunk won't close due to bad latch

Latch assembly has an internal failure. You can solve this problem by replacing the whole latch assembly.

2. Trunk striker misaligned 

striker

When a striker is misaligned, this will cause the latch to miss the striker and result in a trunk closing problem. You may loosen the striker’s 2 bolts and re-align to solve this problem.

3. Latch misalignment due to rear-end collision

trunk won't close after accident

Due to collision the, metal holding the striker may move out of location; as a result, the latch would not match the striker. The remedy for this is to have the metal repaired and re-align the striker.

3. Trunk not opening

inner-trunk-release

Sometimes, latch vibration, age, and corrosion can damage release level, or the latch release lever may break and result in the trunk not opening. The solution is to replace the whole latch assembly.

4. Release cable’s plastic retainer damaged.

The damaged plastic retainer may result in cable misalignment, thus preventing the proper directional pull to the release lever. To remediate this, you need to replace the release cable.

5. Release cable misaligned 

The misaligned cable, like a damaged release lever or broken plastic retainer, may result in a broken link between a driver’s release lever and the latch. You may resolve this by realigning the release cable.

6. Damaged electric latch release solenoid

A damaged electric latch release solenoid may also result in the trunk not opening from an electric release button or fob open trunk command.

Troubleshooting

electric-release-problem

First, check to make sure the trunk aligns properly. 

Check voltage from the connectors. If no 12 volts is identified while pressing the release switch, there could be a problem with the wiring; else, if there are 12 volts when the switch is pressed, the problem could be the latch solenoid. 

If the problem is the solenoid release switch, you should replace the whole trunk latch assembly; if the problem is the wiring of the fuse, replace the fuse or re-wire.

The trunk indicator detects trunk open when the trunk is closed and vice-versa -

This can be caused by a defective micro switch inside the latch assembly. To resolve this problem, replace the whole latch assembly.

The trunk won’t open from the trunk release lever from outside the car. 

Some cars have an anti-release lever, similar to a child safety lock, to prevent the trunk from opening from the trunk handle from outside. Or this may be caused by a faulty link from the outside lever to the latch release mechanism. The fix is to reset the lever.

How does the trunk locking mechanism work?

A car trunk locking mechanism consists of a latch, a striker mechanism, a mechanical release mechanism, and an electric release mechanism.

When the trunk is shut closed, the striker is locked with by the latch; this causes the trunk door to be locked in place.

A release lever is pulled by a mechanism from the driver’s side or from the trunk handle to open the trunk.

Some vehicles are equipped with an electric release button. However, instead of a release lever, the latch is released by a solenoid.

Conclusion

There are multiple reasons why a trunk locking mechanism may fail, but the most common issues are caused by a bad trunk latch or the trunk is not aligned properly. 

6 Common Trunk Won't Close/Open Problems If your trunk doesn't close, examine the latch and the hinge where it connects to the car's body. Either of these might have become bent out of shape or damaged, preventing the trunk from closing. In addition, if the car has been in an accident or rear-ended, the frame may be bent, and the latch may not be aligned properly.