Skip to Content

How To Fix Toyota Camry Trunk Latch/Lock Problem

All cars have their quirks and common problems, with the Toyota Camry being no exception. With these cars, the trunk is one of the most common sources of trouble. Of course, this is typically found at the worst of times, such as trying to load groceries into your car.

Most problems with the trunk latching and locking mechanisms indicate either a problem with the mechanism itself or with the electrical system it is part of. Batteries dying on a keyless entry can also cause problems with the trunk, as can some features of the car itself.

Male scratching head with blue background

Since most of these problems are easy fixes, it is definitely worth trying some quick troubleshooting before forking over the money for a mechanic, which adds up quickly! Read on for some easy steps to take before taking your Camry into a mechanic.

Toyota Camry Trunk Won’t Close/Open

A common reason a Toyota Camry trunk won’t close or open is due to a misaligned latch mechanism. Over time and usage, the latch can become mispositioned, preventing proper engagement. To address this issue, inspect the trunk latch for misalignment, adjusting its position as necessary, or replacing it if visibly damaged.

Another potential cause for the trunk issue could be a malfunctioning trunk actuator. This component is responsible for electronically triggering the trunk mechanism. If faulty, it won’t command the trunk to open or close as it should. Resolving this involves accessing the actuator, typically located near the latch, and replacing it.

If your trunk will not open, there are many things that could be wrong. Since the system uses both physical mechanisms and an electrical system working together, some troubleshooting is needed to nail down the exact reason for the failure. These reasons include:

  • Your car is stuck in valet mode.
  • The locking mechanism or latch on your trunk is broken.
  • Your keyless entry needs new batteries or a replacement.
  • A fuse could need to be replaced.
  • Something in your trunk’s mechanisms is stuck and preventing it from working properly.

Fortunately, most of these are cheap and easy fixes that you can do at home in your own garage.

Toyota Camry Trunk Not Opening

Back of sporty white sedan car

Valet mode can be highly useful for security reasons, but it can also be a pain when it acts up or if you are not used to it. Since valet mode is an easy fix, you should try this quick trick before rushing out to buy a new trunk latch or fiddling with the electrical system.

  • Spray your trunk lock and key with some WD-40.
  • Put your key in the lock and wiggle it around a bit.
  • Make sure that your key is facing up and down when you take it out.

If you have a newer Camry, you can also access valet mode through the computer.

If this works, it was definitely valet mode. To avoid this problem in the future, valet mode is activated by turning your trunk key counterclockwise so that it is horizontal and leaving it that way. 

When this is enabled, only the key will unlock it; even the button by the driver’s seat will not work.

Toyota Camry Trunk Latch/Lock Problem

Back view of gray sedan car

A faulty latch or lock can cause a host of problems from failing to open or refusing to close.

If you have a Toyota Camry that will not lock or latch properly, there are many troubleshooting tips for this.

Toyota Camry Trunk Lock Broken

A broken lock itself rather than a latch is a bit more of an intensive fix than most others on this list. Since the lock itself is linked to the keyless entry, electrical system, and trunk release by the driver’s seat, a mechanic is typically needed for this fix.

A mechanic ensures that all of the systems are properly connected after changing your lock. This could also be a safer bet if you do not have much experience working with electrical systems. It is easy to get wrong and can cause even bigger problems for your car.

To replace car locks, you will need to be sure to bring your ID and proof of ownership with you to the mechanic. A lot of people who steal a car and intend to keep it will often try to get the locks changed, so most mechanics will require documentation to protect against car theft.

If you are replacing your lock, you should also look in your vehicle documentation for your keyless entry code. This can save you from having to buy a new one.

Toyota Camry Trunk Latch/Lock is Stuck

If you are trying to close your trunk and the latch will not engage or the trunk simply will not open, it is most likely stuck in that position. Since the latch and lock are both moving parts, there is also a good chance that it could be jammed due to buildup over time. 

  • Give all of the mechanisms a good cleaning with soap and water, paying close attention to anything that feels grimy or gritty. 
  • Try to get into the mechanisms as best you can, as buildup that causes problems is generally in the crevices between moving parts.
  • After cleaning everything out, grab a can of WD-40 and spray that on the mechanisms. 
  • Spray some WD-40 on your key and insert it into the lock to make sure you are coating all of the gears in there.

If this does not work, the latch itself may be broken and require replacement.

Trunk Latch or Release Is Not Working

If you have determined that your mechanisms are clean, they may simply be worn out or broken. It is probably time for a new latch mechanism, which is surprisingly cheap, around $25 for 2007-2011 models.

If your truck is closed and you absolutely cannot get it open, this fix can sometimes require a mechanic’s expertise. However, if you are good with tight spaces, the back seats fold down and you can get into the trunk that way to attempt to take apart and replace the mechanism.

Toyota Camry Trunk Won’t Shut

A trunk that won’t shut will likely be solved by either cleaning it out or replacing the latch itself. Similar to a failed release, it is either caused by grime or faulty parts. If cleaning it does not work, you should try replacing the latch.

Toyota Camry Trunk Release Button

If your trunk is stuck closed, you can get into your trunk through the seats to get to the interior safety release lever. It can sometimes work when the exterior mechanism will not.

Toyota Camry Trunk Electrical System is Faulty

Back view of white car

If you have determined that the latch is not stuck but your trunk still will not open, it is time to check your keyless entry and electrical systems, particularly the fuses.

You can usually confirm that the electrical system is at fault if your physical key will work to open the trunk, but your keyless entry or driver’s seat release will not.

If you have not replaced the batteries in your keyless entry for some time, this could fix the problem. When the batteries are low, this can cause the keyless entry to start firing the wrong signals. This can cause your trunk to start opening randomly or not open at all.

If that does not do the trick, it may be the electrical system in the trunk mechanism itself. This usually means that the fuses are bad, so replacing those can solve your problem. 

Copyright protected article by Know My Auto and was first published on Jul 9, 2021. .

If the fuses are not the issue, more troubleshooting is needed with the right equipment. Time to call the mechanic!

Toyota Camry Trunk Keeps Opening or Opens by Itself

If a trunk keeps opening when you are not trying to open it, it may feel like you need an exorcist, but the true problem is likely mundane! The troubleshooting is also much the same for a stuck trunk, though the likelihood of it being an electrical issue is higher. 

You should follow the same troubleshooting steps as with a trunk that will not open, though perhaps try replacing your keyless entry batteries and checking the fuses before moving on to the other steps. Fuses are one of the most common reasons a trunk keeps opening, as well as one of the cheapest fixes.

Toyota Camry Trunk Latch Replacement

If your trunk will not open or close, you should replace your trunk latch if you have determined that the problem is not electrical or to do with your keyless entry. A new trunk latch can easily be found on Amazon for about $25. 

Changing the mechanism is fairly easy and should not require a mechanic if you would prefer to do it yourself. No special tools are required for this fix. Doing it yourself also saves you some money in labor costs, so that is a definite bonus.

The copyright owner of this article is and was first published on Jul 9, 2021..

Related Articles

Toyota Camry Key Problem

Toyota Camry Navigation System Problems

Toyota Camry USB Port

Toyota Camry Alternator Problems

Toyota Camry Tire Pressure Warning Light

KnowMyAuto is the sole owner of this article was published on Jul 9, 2021 and last updated on .