What are the Symptoms of a car trunk that won’t stay open?

This article will address the “my car trunk won’t stay open” issue. While explaining the problem of the car trunk not staying open, we will explain the symptoms which can tell the user that there is a fault in the trunk lift support. In addition, we will also explain what trunk lifts support shocks and how to do a trunk lock.

A car trunk is installed to provide storage space in the car. The car trunk is secured with the help of a lid which is controlled with the help of shock supports. However, continuous actuation and exposure to the environment damage the supports.

What are the Symptoms of a car trunk that won’t stay open?

  • The trunk lid is hard to open.
  • The trunk lid doesn’t open.
  • The trunk lid does not open at all.

Symptoms of a faulty car trunk 

The trunk lid is hard to open.

The shock absorbers used for supporting the car lid when it opens consist of gasses, mostly Nitrogen. These supports keep the trunk lid open under pressure. However, in some cases, the gasses build up too much pressure inside them, which will cause excessive vacuum inside the shock. Therefore, when a vacuum develops in the supports, opening the car’s hood becomes difficult. Thus there is no way to fix the support, and you need to replace the supports.

The trunk lid doesn’t open.

Since the trunk lid support consists of gasses, there are chances that the gasses present inside the support might exhaust into the atmosphere. Therefore, there will be no pressure inside the support shock to keep the trunk up in such a case. Thus, if there is a strong breeze, then the car’s trunk will automatically close. In such a situation, you can only replace the trunk support shock.

The trunk lid does not open at all.

In the worst-case scenario, there are chances that the support shock will get jammed in the closed position. Thus, if the trunk support shock gets completely jammed, it will be extremely difficult to open the trunk. In such a situation, to open the trunk, you need to enter the trunk from the back seat of the car and remove the bolts of the trunk lid supports. This will allow the trunk to open and then call a mechanic to easily repair the broken or frozen shocks. 

Thus if you see any of the symptoms mentioned above, you should directly contact the local mechanics because you don’t want the storage to become inaccessible.

What are trunk support shocks?

The trunk lift support shocks are hydraulic equipment used to hold the trunk of the car up when you are taking or putting the items in the trunk. Hydraulic shock supports allow the user to avoid holding up the trunk. Therefore, it makes the movement of equipment from the hood easy and hassle-free. Mostly, the trunk lift supports are filled with gas, generally Nitrogen. The gas provides the required tension needed for supporting the car’s trunk. However, in some cases, the gas might leak, and in that case, you need to replace the support.

Due to the advancement in technology, modern-day hoods are installed with sensors to make human life easier. These sensors are proximity sensors and have replaced the button used to open the vehicle’s hood. The sensors are proximity sensors, and when the driver slides their feet below the sensor, the hood automatically opens up.

The hood supports are delicate and can be damaged easily. For example, sometimes, when the passengers are putting their luggage in the car’s trunk, the luggage might hit the support and create punctures or leaks on the support. Once the trunk lift support becomes damaged, they need to be replaced. 

Working of Trunk Locking Mechanism

Like the car hood, the car trunk also consists of a latch and striker mechanism. The latch and striker mechanism is operated with the help of a mechanical release mechanism or an electronic release mechanism if the trunk locking mechanism consists of sensors for opening the trunk. 

When the car trunk is locked, the striker gets locked with the help of a latch. The locking of the striker in the latch causes the hood to stay in one place. For opening the car trunk, a release lever is pulled from the driver or from the trunk handle to open the trunk. In the case of the electric release button, the latch is released with the help of a solenoid.


In this article, we have addressed “my car trunk won’t stay open.” Moreover, we have also explained the various symptoms, which one should keep in mind if they observe any fault in the trunk mechanism. In addition, we have also explained the working of the trunk latch mechanism.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): My car trunk won’t stay open

How Do I Know if my trunk struts are bad?

Symptoms of bad or failing trunk support shocks

  • The trunk lid is hard to open.
  • The trunk lid does not stay open.
  • The trunk lid doesn’t open at all.

What is a Trunk Actuator?

Most modern trunk actuators can now be opened wirelessly with the help of a key fob or by pressing a button on the vehicle’s interior. These motors then send signals to the trunk that engage the process to rotate the lock cylinder and activate the release latch. 

How long do the tailgate struts last?

The tailgate struts on every car last for about 60,000 miles or 5 years. The liftgate is generally damaged due to the excessive use of the tailgate.

Can a trunk open by itself?

A tailgate will open itself when something is broken in it. If it’s just the switch on the trunk, it won’t be an issue when driving the vehicle. However, if the fob is damaged, then there are chances that the hood might open when locked.


  1. https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/symptoms-of-a-bad-or-failing-trunk-lift-support-shocks
  2. https://www.youcanic.com/6-trunk-wont-closeopen-problems