Does your trunk not latch? This article describes the process I took to fix this problem. Pictures included.
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A Bit of Background
The problem I was having was that the trunk on the 2004 Toyota Corolla would not stay latched. It came to the point where you would slam the trunk, and it would just pop back open. The latch mechanism never seemed to engage.
I understand that this is a somewhat common problem with Toyota Corollas.
When you finally did get it to latch, it would not stay latched for long. There were other times where I would be driving along, and look in the rear-view mirror, and the trunk would randomly just be open. Obviously this was not safe, as items in the trunk could more easily fall out. Something had to be done. And a bungee cord wasn’t going to cut it. Depending on the issue, a new trunk latch may fix the problem. In my case, I had to add a few spacers underneath the latch.
Why Doesn’t My Trunk Stay Closed?
Upon closer inspection, it became clear that the latch mechanism was not lining up properly with the catch.
You can see that on this close-up view of the catch. Notice the worn region. It is not centered, rather it is near the bottom where the latch mechanism did not have anything to grab.
The latch mechanism is designed to pinch this catch. Unfortunately it was pinching this catch too far down in the picture. So it was grabbing onto the metal, but not latching into the open space.
I believe what happened is that over time, after years of slamming the trunk, the trunk itself had been bent. So that the latch was now pushed too far downward on the catch.
How to Fix a Trunk that Won’t Stay Closed
The solution was that the latch mechanism had to be moved forward, so that it would grab the catch in the correct place.
In order to do this, remove the latch, and place a washer or two beneath it, so that it forces the latch to be further forward.
Use a 10 mm wrench to remove the bolt.
Place a thick washer or two underneath the latch mechanism, and then re-attach the bolt.
Now when closing the trunk, the latch correctly aligns with the catch.
If anyone else out there is having this problem, I hope this helps!
If you determine that the entire latch needs to be replaced, this is a link to the part on Amazon.
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My trunk on my 2003 Toyota Corolla won’t close.I replaced the latch.took it to a mechanic and they couldn’t figure out the problem. They adjusted the strike plate and it still will not latch any suggestions I’m desperate…
If I pull the molex connector off and it sounds like something rewinds then replace connector and you can shut trunk, this trunk latch is new.
I just did this today on my 2011 corolla. Started with one washer, but it didn’t work all the time so I added another. It was so sweet to finally see and hear that bad boy close and latch with very little force. Now it won’t open and the release to lower the back seats is in the trunk. Sooo….I don’t know what to do now.
Oh no! That is a tough situation; I can’t say I could have anticipated that happening!
The trunk can be released in one of three different ways. The first is the trunk release lever by the driver’s seat. The second, is from inside the trunk emergency release, and the third is by using the key hole on the trunk itself. You could try the keyhole if you haven’t already, and maybe actuating both the key and the trunk release lever by the driver’s seat at the same time may help (would require a helper).
There is a way to lower the back seats without accessing the lever from the trunk, but requires some acrobatics and a long arm, see the procedure here:
Very helpful Update 🤗
Happy Holidays 🎅🤶👏💪🙏
Thank you! My trunk on my 2004 Corolla has been finicky too . Its 100 ° outside and it now decides not to close anymore. Going inside to get some tools and hopefully I can fix it myself. 😎☀️🔧🍺
Thanks been fighting this trunk for hours
I pulled the latch apart and relained it put it back together and now works great. Thanks
I’m so glad your trunk is working properly again!
My son’s 2004 Corolla had the same problem – the trunk started to intermittently fail to latch, then finally failed completely. He drove around for a couple of weeks with the trunk duct-taped shut.
I fixed it in 15 minutes with four 1/4″ flat washers – two under each side of the latch assembly. I still don’t understand how or why the alignment has shifted, but I’m not going to argue with success – especially cheap success!
Interesting story, glad to hear it is fixed now!
I think the problem with my trunk was that some time ago I had used a cheap bike rack that strapped onto the trunk. The problem was if you ever needed to open the trunk, even just a little, with a bike on the rack, it put some stress on the hinges, enough that I think they bent slightly… That, and the occasional slamming of the trunk, I think it’s what caused it to bend enough that the latch was now in the wrong position…!