Why won’t my car trunk lock?

This article will explain the “my car trunk won’t lock” issue. While explaining the issue, we explain the six different reasons behind the faulty trunk. In addition, we will also give you a brief description of solving the problem of the faulty trunk lid.

Many drivers throughout the globe experience a similar problem where they will shut the car trunk, but the trunk latch won’t lock. This problem can be extremely frustrating when the driver is moving to a far destination. The tailgate, not closing, can be due to the five possible reasons mentioned below.

Why won’t my car trunk lock?

  • Latch Assembly is faulty.
  • The trunk striker is misaligned.
  • Latch gets misaligned due to rear-end collision.
  • Latch is rusted
  • The release cable’s plastic retainer is damaged.
  • The damaged electric latch release

Latch Assembly is faulty.

The latch assembly on the trunk is similar to what is found on the car’s doors. The latch and striker mechanism is actuated with the help of a lever present inside the car near the driver’s seat. Unlike the bonnet latch, whose parts are visible, the parts of the latch present on the vehicle’s trunk have the parts hidden and are much more complex. Therefore in such a scenario, if the trunk is not closing, then the fault might be due to latch failure. In case the latch is faulty, then you must get it replaced.  

The trunk striker is misaligned.

Since the trunk area is the only proper space for storing different equipment, big or small, the chances are while putting the luggage in the car. It might strike the striker and misalign it from the original position. Thus when the striker gets misplaced from the original position, the latch won’t accurately meet the striker, and the hood will not close.

Latch gets misaligned due to rear-end collision.

The latch of the trunk is present on the lower end of the vehicle’s tailgate. Thus, it is highly exposed to getting broken during accidents. So if the car by chance has been hit by a vehicle coming from behind, then the area around the lock will get bent. Hence, in such a scenario, the tailgate won’t close. For getting the hood back to working condition, you need to adjust the striker back into its original position.

Latch is rusted

With the car’s age, exposure to moisture causing corrosion, vibration and continuous usage can cause the latch of the trunk to be faulty. Moreover, there are chances that the release lever used to open the car’s trunk is broken so that the hood won’t close. In such a scenario, replacing the latch mechanism is the only option.

The release cable’s plastic retainer is damaged.

A plastic retainer is placed on the latch cable of the car. The damage in the plastic retainer might result in cable misalignment, which will prevent the directional pull to the release lever. It is best to get the release cable replaced in such a scenario.

The damaged electric latch release

In an electric-powered tailgate, there is a solenoid responsible for the tailgate operation. Thus, when the key is pressed on the car’s button, the solenoid is responsible for the trunk’s opening. However, when the solenoid gets damaged, the electric release button or the fob button will not open the trunk. Thus you need to get the solenoid replaced in such a situation.

Troubleshooting method for fixing the car hood

  • The trunk mechanism consists of a latch that is present on the vehicle’s tailgate. Meanwhile, a striker is present in the frame of the car.
  • The striker is highly exposed to the luggage, which might be kept in the car trunk. Thus, there are chances to put luggage inside the trunk or move it outside the trunk. The striker gets hit and bent from the original position.
  • Generally, the striker needs to be at the right angle for the latch to attach to it when closing the vehicle’s tailgate. If the striker isn’t at the right angle, then the tailgate won’t close.
  • Suppose your car has an adjustable striker. Then with the help of a torque wrench, lose the bolts of the striker and move it up.
  • Once the striker reaches an accurate position, try closing the vehicle’s trunk. If the trunk closes, then the striker is at the correct position.
  • However, if you have a non-adjustable striker, then, in that case, you will need a pry bar to straighten the striker.
  • Place the pry bar between the gap between the striker and car body. Now apply force on the pry bar to bring the striker back to the original position. 
  • Once the striker comes to the accurate position, close the tailgate, and if the tailgate closes, the problem is fixed.


This article addressed the “my car trunk won’t lock” problem in this article. To address the issue, we have explained the five reasons which might be responsible for the faulty bonnet. Out of these five problems, the most common problem the drivers face is that the trunk of the car doesn’t close the bending of the striker due to an accident or the striker being hit by an object. Therefore, since it is one of the most common reasons behind the hood not closing, we have also explained how to solve it.

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

Can a car trunk open on its own?

The trunk’s opening on its own depends on what’s broken in the trunk opening mechanism. For example, if the switch on the trunk is only open, it mightn’t be an issue because the hood won’t open while driving. However, if the fob is opened, then the trunk might open.

Why is the trunk latch not working?

A trunk latch that doesn’t release or appears to be stuck can be fixed. If the vehicle is kept outside, a latch generally sticks, and moisture corrodes the latch mechanism. Thus, if you cannot open the trunk from the outside, you need to open the trunk from the inside. 

What does the tailgate actuator do?

The power tailgate actuators permit the trunk and liftgate to open or close. But when the power tailgate actuator on a vehicle starts to fail, it can hinder the opening and closing of the tailgate. You can identify this problem with the motors making noise and the hatch struggling to open.

How to drive with a trunk open?

Driving with a trunk open is not recommended. However, if you are transporting a large object, you don’t have an option. So for transporting the large object, you need to tie the object properly so that it doesn’t move while travelling. Moreover, also make sure that the trunk stays open.


  1. https://www.youcanic.com/6-trunk-wont-closeopen-problems
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYJLXsTzqIY