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Lock Blog

A resource for consumers, locksmiths, and security professionals

Car Trunk Lock Repair: 3 Ways To Get Your Trunk Lock Working Again

by Ralph November 17, 2021

Until you need to gain access to the trunk of your car, it is usually a part of your vehicle that goes relatively unnoticed. This level of apathy also extends to the car trunk locks that are a prominent feature on your car trunk and your vehicle overall. However, when you try to gain access to your trunk and you realize that you are locked out of your trunk, or that your car trunk lock is not working the way it should, it puts a few things into perspective.

Dealing with issues that revolve around your trunk lock shouldn’t dampen your day because there are always solutions to the problems you may face. Today, we will take a good look at the car trunk lock repair and the ways in which drivers can get their trunk locks working again.

We will be covering a lot in this article, but the three methods of car trunk lock repair are as follows:

  1. Cleaning
  2. Lock Repair
  3. Actuator Repair

How do car trunk locks differ from car door locks?

To dive further into car trunk lock repair and all that it entails, it will help to take a brief look at what sets car door locks and car trunk locks apart. Does carrying out a car trunk lock repair mean that you will have to repair and change your car door locks as well, or that you will have to also handle an ignition cylinder replacement? Although each of these elements makes use of a lock cylinder, they are not exactly linked.

Meaning that if there is a problem that plagues your car trunk locks, it will not necessarily affect your car door locks. The lock cylinders themselves are usually meant to work in the same way that your car door locks work, meaning that they should be controlled by the same key.

However, car trunk locks often work with additional accessories like a trunk lock actuator that is responsible for controlling your car trunk lock via a car key fob, electronic car key, or via buttons and knobs that exist in the vehicle itself.

Why do you need a car trunk lock repair?

In many ways, the need for a car trunk lock repair has similar elements to the need for a car door lock repair or replacement, and the trunk lock replacement cost is similar to the cost of repairing your car door locks as well. Much in the same vein, the reasons why you will need to a car trunk lock repair echo the reasons why you will need a car door lock repair. They are not exactly identical, but they feature some similarities. Here is why you will need a car trunk lock repair:

1. Damage To The Car Trunk Locking Mechanism

The main reason why you will need a car trunk lock repair is that there has been some form of damage done to the car trunk locking mechanism. This can occur in a variety of ways, and sometimes it might not be apparent until it is much too late and you are stuck in a somewhat precarious position.

Damage to the trunk lock shows itself when the key may not enter the lock cylinder in the right way, if the key does not turn in the cylinder, or if the locking cylinder does not engage in the way it should. A damaged cylinder is easy to spot, but also easy to overlook. This is because most modern cars rely on trunk lock actuators and this means drivers do not have to directly interact with their car trunk locks.

2. Broken Car Trunk Lock Actuator

The car trunk lock actuator is a common feature on every modern vehicle, and it also appears on some older car models. A trunk actuator is used in conjunction with the car door lock cylinder and it is used to engage the cylinder without the use of physical car keys.

Car trunk actuators are controlled by buttons housed within the vehicle, or those found on key fobs and car key remotes. The actuator itself is used to release the trunk latch lock, and this is an action that is usually executed by inserting your car key into the trunk lock itself.

What causes damage to your car trunk lock?

It is one thing to understand why you will need a car trunk lock repair, but this is not enough information to make you understand what might have resulted in the damage to your car trunk lock. It is imperative to be armed with the full scope of information so that you know how to go about getting your car trunk lock back in working order. Here are some of the things that will lead to damage in your car trunk lock:

1. Environmental Hazards

Similar to your car door lock cylinder itself, your car trunk lock is constantly exposed to the harsh elements of nature. Nature can be welcoming, but at the same time, it can be very unforgiving. At times, the build-up of natural external elements works against your trunk locks and causes grime and dirt to collect. Although these may seem minor, they adversely affect your car trunk locks.

2. Use Of Excessive Force

Using excessive force to operate your car trunk locks can often be a reason why they end up damaged. Not only can this happen when you are engaging with the locks directly, it can also happen if you happen to continuously close your trunk with excessive force.

Both of these processes can have detrimental effects on the functionality of your car trunk lock cylinder. There are also times where the application of excessive force leads to scenarios where you are dealing with a key broken in your car trunk lock, and this will usually call for a broken car key extraction.

3. Lack Of Proper Car Trunk Lock Maintenance

This particular point ties in well with the first two elements of damage, in the sense that proper car trunk lock maintenance can offset the adverse effects that the use of excessive force and environmental hazards bring to the table. However, if it is not done on a regular and routine basis, it makes very little difference.

Taking the time to regularly clean and maintain your car trunk lock will prolong its productivity. This also applies to the maintenance of the trunk and the overall vehicle itself.

4. Internal Wiring Problem That Offsets The Lock Actuator

As was briefly mentioned, the door lock actuator can be controlled by internal mechanics within the car itself, or it can be engaged via a car key fob or car key remote. There are times where the car trunk lock mechanism itself may not be damaged, and the problem might actually stem from the internal wiring protocols that relay actions from to the car trunk lock actuator.

How can you get your car trunk lock working again?

Locksmith Picking Car Trunk Lock

Once you have a basic understanding of the reasons why you will even need car trunk lock repair, as well as the elements that may bring this to bear, you are now ready to approach the solution with all the information you need.

There are a few different approaches that drivers can take when it comes to car trunk lock repair, and this will all depend on the the problems that are exhibited. Some of these approaches include relying DIY solutions or taking advantage of the services of a professional auto locksmith in your local area. Let’s get right to it:

1. Examine And Clean The Car Trunk Lock

One of the easiest ways to get your car trunk lock back in working order is to thoroughly examine it and clean it. Some of the car trunk lock repair options are easy to handle and may not require additional service unless it is a rather extreme case. There are cases where your car trunk lock might appear to be damaged simply because the cylinder itself is blocked and obstructed by foreign objects that might be present due to the accumulation of dust and debris.

To successfully repair car trunk locks, prior examination of the lock is critical for you to understand the extent of the damage. Doing so gives you the luxury of being prepared and it gives you time to prep the tools you need to carry out the appropriate solution. All that has to be done in this case is to clean the lock cylinder and then apply a lubricant that keeps it in good condition. Good examples of lubricants that can be used include WD-40 and Tri-Flow.

In other cases, the obstruction in car trunk lock may be something like a broken key piece. In this instance, the broken piece will have to extracted, similar to the way a broken car key extraction would be handled. The cleaning and lubrication is something that drivers can handle on their own, the car key extraction process is often best left to an auto locksmith.

2. Repair Or Replace The Car Trunk Lock

If the trunk lock mechanism itself is broken, then it will have to be repaired or replaced. This usually means that the lock itself will have to removed from the trunk so that it can be properly examined and then the right solution will be applied.

When it comes to the trunk lock, it could either be that the lock cylinder itself is damaged, or an auxiliary part such as the trunk lock retaining clip is broken. This is why it is important to always examine the lock before any work is done.

Unlike the first car trunk lock repair solution, this solution will likely have to be carried out by a professional who has some idea of what they are doing. If you attempt to remove your car trunk lock without having the proper skills, tools, and knowledge, you run the chance of damaging your car trunk lock further and this can be extremely costly.

Consulting with an automotive locksmith will greatly expedite the process and give you the appropriate help that you need to replace, or repair, your car trunk lock.

3. Repair Or Replace Car Trunk Lock Actuator

The first step to repairing or replacing your car trunk lock actuator is verifying that it is, in fact, the root of the problem. As you know by now, there are several different culprits that might be the cause of a faulty car trunk lock, and before you settle on the car trunk lock actuator, you need to make sure that it is the right choice.

The simple way to determine this is to test how the car trunk locks work with your car key as compared to how it works when the operators controlling the actuator are engaged.

If the actuator is, in fact, the problem, there is still a further investigation that has to be done. It needs to be determined if the actuator itself is the problem, or if it is the wired connections that bear the fault. Once you have honed in on the problem, you can begin to take steps to adequately fix it. For instance, if the actuator itself is broken, then it will have to be replaced.

Talking with an auto locksmith is the best way to get the parts and the service you need at a single location. On the other hand, if there is a burnt fuse or internal wiring problem, and an auto locksmith can run a diagnostic that shows you where the problem stems from, and then work to get you the right solution.

Closing Thoughts

Dealing with a broken car trunk lock can be somewhat of a taxing affair, especially if you don’t know where to begin to turn to find a solution. I hope that the points listed above help you navigate the issues that arise when your trunk lock is not working so that you can find the right solution to help get it working again.

Remember, you can always reach out to a trusted locksmith to see how they can best assist you. There are some problems that are better left to the professionals so that it reaches a swift and proper conclusion.

Category: Automotive, How To's

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