How to Fix Trunk Latch That Won’t Close

Do you have a trunk latch that won’t close? If so, you know all too well the frustration of not being able to securely close your trunk when needed, leading to potential exposure for the items within. Not to worry – this is a common problem and an easy fix! You don’t need any prior automotive experience or an expensive repair shop bill either – all it takes is some basic DIY knowledge and active problem-solving skills.

How to Fix Trunk Latch That Won't Close

In this blog post, we’ll provide detailed instructions on how to fix trunk latch that won’t close and get your trunk back to functioning like new.

9 Best Methods on How to Fix Trunk Latch That Won’t Close

1. Check for Obstructions:

The very first method to try when your trunk latch won’t close is to check for any obstructions. Sometimes, items within the trunk or debris can block the latch from closing properly. Remove any obstacles and try closing the trunk again. Checking for obstructions should be your first go-to method before moving on to other solutions.

2. Inspect the Latch Mechanism:

If there are no visible obstructions, then you’ll need to inspect the latch mechanism itself. Open the trunk and look closely at the latch – is it stuck or jammed? If so, try gently prying it open with a screwdriver. If successful, clean and lubricate the latch to prevent further jamming. This method often works for minor latch issues.

3. Adjust the Striker Plate:

The striker plate is a metal piece located on the trunk lid that locks into the latch mechanism when closing. If it’s not aligned correctly, your trunk won’t close properly. Use a screwdriver to loosen the screws holding the striker plate in place and adjust its position until it lines up with the latch. Tighten the screws and test closing the trunk again.

Use a Screwdriver to Loosen the Screws

4. Check the Trunk Release Cable:

In some cases, a faulty trunk release cable can prevent your trunk from latching properly. Have someone pull on the release handle while you try closing the trunk – if it latches with this assistance, then you know the cable needs to be replaced. Checking the cable should be done before attempting any other fixes.

5. Tighten Loose Bolts:

Loose bolts can also cause trunk latch issues. Check all bolts and screws that hold the latch and striker plate in place – if any are loose, use a screwdriver or wrench to tighten them. This fix is quick and easy but can make a big difference in getting your trunk to close properly. This will also prevent further latch issues in the future.

6. Replace Latch or Striker Plate:

If none of the above methods work, then it’s possible that your latch or striker plate is damaged and needs to be replaced. You can purchase new ones from an auto parts store and replace them yourself using basic tools. This may require a bit more time and effort but is a cost-effective solution. If you’re not comfortable with DIY repairs, you can also take your car to a trusted mechanic for this fix.

7. Lubricate the Latch:

Lack of lubrication can also cause trunk latch issues. Over time, the latch mechanism can become dry and sticky, making it difficult to close properly. Use a silicone-based lubricant to coat all moving parts within the latch mechanism. This will help your trunk close smoothly and prevent future issues.

8. Adjust the Trunk Lid:

In some cases, your trunk lid may need to be adjusted in order for the latch to close properly. This is especially common if you’ve recently had any bodywork done on your vehicle. If the lid is misaligned, it can prevent the latch from engaging properly. Use a screwdriver or wrench to adjust the hinges and ensure the lid is aligned correctly.

9. Seek Professional Help:

If all else fails, it may be time to seek professional help. A certified mechanic will have the expertise and tools needed to diagnose and fix any underlying issues with your trunk latch. While this will likely result in a higher cost, it’s important to prioritize safety when it comes to vehicle repairs. Some underlying issues, such as a damaged latch mechanism or faulty cables, may require professional attention for a proper and lasting fix.

Your Trunk Lid May Need to Be Adjusted

Following these 9 methods on how to fix a trunk latch that won’t close should have you back on the road with a fully functioning trunk in no time. Remember, prevention is key – make sure to regularly clean and lubricate your trunk latch to avoid any future issues.

With basic DIY knowledge and the right tools, you can easily handle any minor trunk latch issues without breaking the bank. So, the next time your trunk won’t close properly, don’t panic – just follow these simple steps and you’ll be back on track in no time! Happy fixing!

Additional Tips and Tricks to Fix Trunk Latch That Won’t Close

1. Check for debris or obstructions in the latch mechanism. Sometimes, dirt, leaves, or other small objects can get lodged in the latch and prevent it from closing properly.

2. Lubricate the latch with a silicon-based lubricant. Over time, the latch can become dry and stiff, making it difficult to close. Applying a lubricant can help loosen up the mechanism and allow it to function properly.

3. Inspect the latch for any damage or wear. If the latch is bent, broken, or worn out, it may need to be replaced in order to properly close the trunk.

4. Adjust the latch striker (the metal piece on the body of the car that the latch hooks onto). It may be misaligned, preventing the latch from fully engaging. Use a screwdriver to loosen the bolts and reposition the striker until it lines up with the latch. Then, tighten the bolts back up.

5. If the latch is still not closing properly, it may be a sign of a larger issue with the car’s trunk or body. Take your car to a mechanic for further inspection and potential repairs.

6. Regularly cleaning and maintaining your trunk latch can help prevent future issues and keep it functioning smoothly. Make sure to remove any debris and lubricate it periodically.

Maintaining Your Trunk Latch

7. If you live in an area with extreme temperatures, be aware that the latch may become more difficult to close during certain weather conditions. In this case, using a stronger lubricant or adjusting the latch striker may help.

8. Lastly, always make sure to handle your trunk carefully and avoid slamming it shut as this can cause damage to the latch over time.

Following these tips and tricks can help you keep your trunk latch in good working condition, ensuring that your trunk stays securely closed while driving. Remember to always prioritize safety and address any issues with the latch as soon as they arise. So, take care of your car’s trunk latch and it will take care of you!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Causes a Trunk Latch to Not Close?

There are several reasons why a trunk latch may not close properly. It could be due to misalignment, damage or wear and tear over time, or an issue with the locking mechanism. Sometimes debris or objects stuck in the latch can also prevent it from closing.

Can I Fix a Trunk Latch That Won’t Close?

Yes, in most cases you can fix a trunk latch that won’t close. Depending on the cause of the issue, there are different steps you can take to resolve it. In some cases, simple adjustments or cleaning out debris may do the trick. If the issue is more serious, such as a damaged latch or locking mechanism, it may require replacement parts or professional repair.

How Do I Know if My Trunk Latch Needs to be Repaired?

If your trunk latch consistently does not close properly, then it is likely in need of repair. Other signs include difficulty closing the trunk, a loose or wobbly latch, or unusual noises when trying to close the trunk. It is important to address any issues with your trunk latch as soon as possible, as a malfunctioning latch can be a safety hazard and potentially cause damage to your vehicle.

Can I Fix a Trunk Latch Myself or Should I Seek Professional Help?

The answer to this question depends on the nature of the issue with your trunk latch. If it is a simple fix, such as adjusting or cleaning the latch, then you may be able to handle it yourself. However, if the issue is more complex or requires replacement parts, it may be best to seek professional help. Trunk latches are an important component of your vehicle’s safety and should be properly repaired to ensure they function correctly.

Are There Any Precautions I Should Take When Fixing a Trunk Latch?

If you are attempting to fix a trunk latch yourself, it is important to take precautions to ensure your safety. This may include wearing protective gear such as gloves and eye protection, using the proper tools, and following any safety guidelines or instructions.

Wearing Protective Gear

If you are unsure about how to properly fix the trunk latch or feel uncomfortable doing so, it is best to seek professional help. Overall, it is important to prioritize safety and caution when attempting any repairs on your vehicle.


Now you know how to fix trunk latch that won’t close. By understanding the common causes of a malfunctioning trunk latch and taking appropriate steps to address the issue, you can ensure your vehicle’s safety and functionality.

Remember, if you are unsure or uncomfortable with fixing the trunk latch yourself, it is always best to seek professional help. Don’t ignore any issues with your trunk latch, as they can potentially lead to bigger problems down the road. Stay safe and happy driving! Overall, it is important to prioritize safety and caution when attempting any repairs on your vehicle.

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