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Fix Your Toyota Corolla Trunk Won’t Latch/Open/Close/Stay Up

Car trunk latch

Toyota Corolla is famous, affordable, and feature-filled enough that plenty of people prefer it. However, Toyota Corolla is well-known for its trunk problems, too, like how its trunk won’t latch, open, close, or stay up. It can leave everyone wondering what caused those issues and how to fix them.

A Toyota Corolla trunk won’t latch, close, open, or stay up due to a broken latch or locking mechanism, damaged trunk cable, a lock malfunction, or an unresponsive key fob. Sometimes, owners may even accidentally leave their keys in their trunks.

This article will discuss why a Toyota Corolla trunk fails to latch, close, open, or stay up. It will also talk about what to do when a Toyota Corolla trunk has a stuck lock or a broken trunk release and a trunk that opens by itself. Afterward, it will provide you with instructions on how to fix each of those issues.

Reasons Toyota Trunk Won’t Latch/Open/Close/Stay Up

Car mechanic with a wrench in his hand

Among Toyota Corolla’s most well-known issues is its infamous malfunctioning latch. Most of the time, a Corolla trunk’s latch ends up misaligned or broken. Sometimes, a simple misalignment occurs, and at other times, the latch receives too much damage to handle. This happens when your trunk absorbs a good deal of impact suddenly or over time.

A Corolla’s trunk may refuse to open or close if its locking mechanism breaks. Your car’s lock actuator can malfunction, and it can refuse to control your trunk’s lock.

The actuator consists of gears within a small motor, and they shift to lock your trunk when you close it. If it malfunctions, you’ll find it hard to close or open your Toyota Corolla’s trunk. Alternatively, you may need to deal with a broken lock button, where your car’s lock button refuses to lock any of your doors.

Another reason for a Corolla trunk malfunction is a damaged trunk cable. The cable doesn’t connect with the trunk latch and trunk opening lever anymore, which results in an unopenable trunk. Meanwhile, you may also encounter trunk issues if your key fob itself refuses to work.

Lastly, you may accidentally leave your keys in your trunk, which leaves you locked out of both your trunk and your vehicle. If this happens to you, know that it’s not an uncommon occurrence, and everyone can be spaced out enough to lock their keys in their trunks and realize it too late.

Toyota Corolla Trunk Won’t Latch or Close

Inside a car sedan trunk

When your Toyota Corolla trunk doesn’t latch or close, the best solution is this:

  1. Aim to realign your trunk’s striker, so start by removing the parts near your trunk’s latch, including the carpet, spare tire, and the plastic covering the striker.
  2. Use a 10-mm (0.39-in) wrench like Capri Tools Wrench to loosen the striker’s bolts.
  3. Pull the striker up and adjust side to side until you think it’s back to its normal position.
  4. Check if the latch holds before fully tightening the bolts.
  5. If the trunk still refuses to close, readjust the striker again.
  6. Place the striker cover, carpet, and other things you removed into their original places when you’re done.

If you’re unsure about the striker’s appearance or on how to proceed with this, check out this YouTube clip about fixing a trunk that won’t latch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6VuxfvPx7U

Toyota Corolla Trunk Won’t Open

A car trunk door release button

Two things can cause this: when in valet mode and the key isn’t turned back enough to restore driver mode, and when there is some resistance or a lack of lubrication within the keyhole.

If you switch to valet mode to lock your trunk and can’t turn off the mode, simply turn your driver’s key as far as you can to the right until it clicks before turning it back to the center position.

Meanwhile, if you’re having difficulty twisting the key to the trunk, spray a little WD-40 on the keyhole to lubricate it. You may also push on your trunk lid when turning the key. Alternatively, you can locate your Corolla’s trunk release lever, usually on the rear seat or the left base by the driver’s seat.

Toyota Corolla Trunk Won’t Open With Key

A picture of a hand and a finger pressing down on a car key fob button

Like the issue above, a Toyota Corolla Trunk that won’t open with a key may need lubrication. As mentioned before, WB-40 works well on lubricating the keyhole. You may also opt for another lubricant as long as it’s a silicone lubricant.

If this doesn’t work, you may look for the trunk’s release lever. In typical Corolla models, the release lever resides on the driver seat’s left base. You simply need to pull it up as high as you can, and the trunk should unlatch.

On Corollas 2003 and younger, you can find a rear seat release that enables you to access the trunk through the rear seats. You’ll find it as two knobs close to the trunk’s hinges, and when you push them to your car’s rear, they’ll pop and open the rear seats. From there, you can access your trunk.

Toyota Corolla Trunk Won’t Stay Up

Two women unloading bags from the back of a car

If your Toyota Corolla trunk won’t stay up, the easiest solution is to get yourself a pair of vice grips from your local hardware store or Amazon. Some great finds on Amazon include Irwin Vice Grip and Craftsman Locking Pliers.

Meanwhile, for a long-term solution, you can replace your trunk rods. You can get something like a Detroit Axle Rod Set or Trunk Support Rear Lift. You may also visit your local hardware store to check for parts. Better yet, try checking in with your local dealership to see if they can replace your rods under warranty.

If you want to see an energetic tutorial on how to do this, check out Scotty Kilmer on YouTube:

If the solution above doesn’t work for you, you may increase the trunk’s release spring instead. See how David Crowley does it here:

Copyright protected article by Know My Auto and was first published on Feb 23, 2021. .

Toyota Corolla Trunk Release Not Working

Car trunk release button

Fixing a Corolla trunk release that doesn’t work is relatively straightforward. Here’s how:

  1. Look for the rear seat release to access the trunk from there.
  2. Find the locking mechanism that holds the trunk shot.
  3. Use a screwdriver on the opening near the lock’s lower edge and move it around until it catches on something moveable.
  4. Take out the screws holding the locking mechanism in place.
  5. Separate the wire plugs from your car to fully remove the lock.
  6. Locate the locking mechanism’s corner and adhere it to the frame to secure it.
  7. Allow the adhesive to dry and reattach everything back.

For an idea of how this looks like, watch this video:

Toyota Corolla Trunk Latch Stuck

View of inside of a car trunk

The solution to a stuck Toyota Corolla trunk latch is easy:

  1. Reach behind your car’s left rear seat to feel for three holes in your trunk’s top corner.
  2. Press the spring on the second hole to access the trunk through the rear seat.
  3. Find your trunk’s locking mechanism and use a screwdriver to stimulate the unlocking of its latch.

Here’s a quick and easy-to-follow YouTube clip:

Toyota Corolla Trunk Lock Stuck

Close up of a Toyota car logo

If you find your Toyota Corolla trunk lock stuck, look for a silicone-based lubricant or a WD-40 and spray it on your keyhole. This eases the pressure on the keyhole and allows your key to twist the mechanism easily. You may also look for the trunk’s rear seat access.

The copyright owner of this article is Knowmyauto.com and was first published on Feb 23, 2021..

Toyota Corolla Trunk Opens by Itself

A picture of the inside dashboard of a Toyota car

Toyota Corolla trunks opening by themselves are common. The quick fix to this is to realign the latch striker so that it’s centered and able to latch the trunk closed again. To do that, refer to the solution for repairing a Toyota trunk that won’t latch. You’ll need a wrench to readjust the latch to its proper place.

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KnowMyAuto is the sole owner of this article was published on Feb 23, 2021 and last updated on .

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