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When the lock on a vehicle’s trunk won’t open, it becomes a major problem.
Your car’s trunk is like your car door lock.
While they have different locking mechanisms, they function the same way.
And just like any other lock, it won’t for many reasons.
Here are a few methods you can try to open your trunk lock.
Table of Contents
- How Does the Trunk Locking Mechanism Work?
- Possible reasons why your trunk won’t open
- Here’s What You Can Do to Open the Trunk
How Does the Trunk Locking Mechanism Work?
A vehicle trunk locking mechanism contains:
- A striker mechanism.
- An electric release mechanism.
- A latch.
- A mechanical release mechanism.
The striker clasps the latch when you close the trunk to keep the lock in place.
You can pull the release lever mechanism from the driver’s side or from the trunk handle to open it.
Many cars have an electric release button.
Then again, the solenoid releases the latch instead of the release lever.
Possible reasons why your trunk won’t open
There are several reasons why your trunk won’t open.
Maybe your keys are inside the trunk, or the lock broke.
With that said, here are a few possibilities why your trunk lock won’t open.
Keys Locked Inside the Trunk
Sometimes you forget your keys inside the trunk, or it fell inside without you knowing it.
Either way, there isn’t much you can do now.
If you’re lucky, you can still access your trunk if your car door is open.
If your trunk is locked, call a locksmith to help you.
Double-check that you have indeed locked your keys in the trunk.
If your vehicle has a trunk button, just pop the trunk to get your keys.
Your vehicle must have an access panel to the trunk you can use.
If you have a spare key, it’s the best time to get one now.
Don’t kick or pry your trunk open to avoid future problems.
Never break the window of your car to gain access to the trunk release.
Call a locksmith for assistance.
Non-responsive Key fob
One more reason your trunk won’t open is a non-responsive key fob.
This is an occasional occurrence for older vehicles.
You can’t access the trunk with newer models if the key fob fails.
The key fob remotely controls the vehicle.
If it malfunctions, the problem with technology is that the car or trunk will remain locked without a manual key.
If you have this issue, take the key fob to a locksmith or car dealership for reprogramming.
Try the manual release button at the driver’s side of the vehicle.
If these don’t work, call an automobile locksmith.
But before you go, check if you need to replace the battery of your key fob.
Or, your key fob fails to transmit the signal.
Trunk Lock Actuator Isn’t Working
The trunk lock actuator makes it easy to open it when you press a button inside your car or on the key fob.
If the key fob malfunctions, the trunk will remain locked.
It is a good idea to take your car to an automobile locksmith to get a new actuator rather than attempting to reprogram or repair it.
When the trunk lock actuator is activated it makes a distinct clicking sound.
The actuator is prone to receiving constant power without turning off.
The cause could be an electrical short that fails to transmit a signal.
The downside of this device is the locking mechanism will not work if the motor fails.
The locking mechanism has several components inside the actuator: a system that moves the lock to the open position upon activation.
If this happens, disconnect your car’s battery, or this may cause other electrical damage.
More often than not, the linkage may break, or the electronic wire loosens.
Once you notice that the trunk does not spring open when you press the key fob.
Broken/Misaligned Trunk Lock
If your trunk doesn’t open, there must be a problem with the lock.
Most cars have a twofold system comprising a locking mechanism and a lower latch that snaps into place when you close the trunk.
If the latch jam, the spring damage, or the key tumbler breaks, schedule a latch or replacement right away.
When the lock breaks, there is not much you can do.
But, your locksmith can replace the broken lock.
You can access the trunk release from inside the vehicle.
If a striker is misaligned, it will result in a closing problem because the latch will miss the striker clasp.
You can relax the two bolts and realign the striker to solve this issue.
A broken plastic retainer or damaged release lever will split the link between the latch and the release lever on the misaligned cable scenario.
Realigning the release cable will not solve the problem.
Check the Trunk Alignment Connection
Examine the connector’s voltage.
If the 12 volts don’t connect when you press the release switch, the wiring has an issue.
In this case, you can re-wire or replace the fuse.
But, when you press the button, and there are 12 volts, the latch solenoid is the problem.
If the solenoid release switch is the problem, you should replace the entire trunk latch assembly.
Check if your car has an anti-release lever.
It’s similar to a child’s safety lock.
This lever will keep the trunk from opening outside using the trunk handle.
Ask your locksmith to reset the lever if this is the problem.
Here’s What You Can Do to Open the Trunk
If your trunk doesn’t open, you can try these methods to open it by yourself.
Don’t break the locking mechanism, or you’ll pay a high price for repair.
Your vehicle’s trunk has a separate locking mechanism system apart from the other locks.
If it refuses to unlatch and you can’t access it outside, pull the release lever inside your can if it is not locked.
Whatever you do, don’t impair the car any more than it already is.
Check Your Trunk Again
Immediately after you see that the trunk won’t open, try again.
There are several reasons a trunk locking fails.
But, one of the most common problems is a misaligned lock or a faulty latch.
The trunk latch in this scenario is stuck due to debris or dirt sticking on the trunk rubber.
You may think the lid is stuck while you apply more force to open it.
But, if it fails, access the release lever inside your car.
Check for Interior Access
Try the release lever inside your car if you can’t open the trunk from the exterior lock.
It is located on the driver’s side.
If this doesn’t work, see if you can fold the rear seats to access the trunk.
There should be a small latch behind one of the headrests to fold down the seats.
Crawl your way into the trunk to pull the emergency release mechanism.
Wear a flashlight headband to illuminate the trunk.
Take note that you must call your local locksmith if the lock is broken.
Insert the screwdriver tip into the hole near the lower edge of the locking mechanism to open the trunk latch.
The locking mechanism still connects to the wiring of the car.
Pull out the wire plugs to totally remove them from your vehicle.
You can replace the screws if you don’t want to replace the entire lock yet.
And reinstall the trunk lock.
Or you can unscrew the bolts to remove the lock and check for anomalies.
Probe for bent screws or locking mechanism that is not attached correctly.
It’s a tiny piece of plastic that hooks onto the cord that pushes and pulls when engaging the lock.
Securely connect this plastic piece to the locking mechanism frame with a bonding adhesive.
Let the adhesive dry until the connection is solid and secure.
Reconnect the wires and use the screws to secure the locking mechanism.
Test it before you close the trunk, or you have to do it all over again.
Head to an Auto Locksmith
DIY solutions are good options if you’re a professional locksmith.
If not, you may end up damaging your car.
If the trunk of your car won’t open, contact your car insurance provider or service center.
Hire an excellent locksmith to complete the job.
Leave this to the professionals even if their service is expensive.