Does your trunk not latch? This article describes the process I took to fix this problem. Pictures included.

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.

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.

Trunk catch for a toyota corolla trunk

 

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.

 

Toyota Corolla Trunk Latch Mechanism

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.

 

Removing the trunk latch mechanism on a toyota corolla

Place a thick washer or two underneath the latch mechanism, and then re-attach the bolt.

Trunk Latch Mechanism on on a Toyota Corolla

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.

Thanks for reading PracticalMechanic.com!