Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Trunk Latch Release Cable

Schedule Vehicle Body Mechanical Inspection
Service Area

$0.00

Upfront, Transparent Price
Average rating from 134,456 customers who received a Vehicle Body Mechanical Inspection.

Most new cars, trucks, and SUVs are equipped with electronically controlled trunk latches that open once a button inside the vehicle or on a remote is depressed by the driver. Older vehicles, on the other hand, have manually operated and secured trunk latch release cables that pop the trunk when the lever is pulled by a handle. This handle is typically located next to the driver's seat or underneath the dashboard on the left hand side near a hood release. In some cases, this cable can become damaged and when it does, it will need to be replaced by somebody that has knowledge of how it's installed in order to avoid damage to other mechanical components.

A trunk latch release cable is simply that – a cable that releases the trunk latch when it is pulled. In most cases, the cable only is used when the driver is inside the vehicle and pulls a lever to open the trunk. The cable does not impact the trunk latch's ability to open when the key is inserted to the lock or triggered remotely through a solenoid. Some of the most common reasons why a trunk latch release cable might become broken in the first place include:

  • An accident where the vehicle was struck on the driver side
  • The cable connections on the latch or the rear of the trunk are damaged due to rust
  • Water or salt water corroded the cable

Most trunk latch cables are made out of steel wire and are very difficult to damage. On some imports however, the cable is a strong plastic material, which commonly becomes detached to the connections if the handle is pulled too hard or aggressively. Regardless of the materials or location, there are some times when the trunk latch cable will wear out and become damaged. When it does, it will display a few indicators or warning signs that the trunk latch cable is damaged and needs to be replaced. Noted below are a few of the common symptoms of a damaged or failing trunk latch release cable.

Trunk does not unlatch when the handle is pulled

If the trunk latch cable is damaged, the first indicator is that the trunk will not unlatch when the driver pulls on the handle. This can be caused by the cable being broken somewhere in between the handle and the trunk latch, the cable's connection on the latch being damaged, or the connection that secures the cable to the handle is broken. It's always best to contact a mechanic so they can inspect the issue before making the decision to replace the entire cable. Most of the time the cable runs underneath the vehicle and may be difficult to replace without the right tools and experience.

Trunk latch handle is loose

Another indicator that the trunk latch cable is broken is when the handle is loose on the side of the driver's door. When the cable is secured to the handle and the trunk latch, it causes the handle to be tight and does not have "play" in the handle at all. However, when the cable is damaged or broken, the handle near the driver's door will be very loose. Obviously the trunk latch will also not work correctly if this symptom is found.

If the trunk latch release cable is damaged, it should be replaced by a professional mechanic. If you notice any of these symptoms or suspect that your trunk won't open because of a bad cable, contact a local ASE certified mechanic to replace the trunk latch release cable or complete a full inspection to determine the right course of action to make sure your trunk is operational.


Next Step

Schedule Vehicle Body Mechanical Inspection

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Vehicle Body Mechanical Inspection. Yourmechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7 days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 10k cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Recent Vehicle Body Mechanical Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic Vehicle Body Mechanical Inspection Service

Average Rating

4.9/5

Number of Reviews

134,456

Rating Summary
125,658
4,892
972
681
2,253
125,658
4,892
972
681
2,253

Travis

12 years of experience
392 reviews
Travis
12 years of experience
BMW X3 - Stabilizer Bar Links Replacement (Front) - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Travis is a real pro and I will be trying to book him exclusively. Travis communicates very well, does quality work and is honest about what needs to be done and when. Can't ask for anything more from a mechanic.
Jeep Grand Cherokee - Oil Pressure Sensor - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Nice guy. Very friendly. Looks like the problem is fixed. No check engine light so far. Thanks!

Steven

13 years of experience
425 reviews
Steven
13 years of experience
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 - Thermostat - Peoria, Arizona
Steven was on time, did excellent work and cleaned up! He was professional but very friendly and talked me through as he worked. Great Job!!
Chevrolet Impala - Serpentine/Drive Belt - Phoenix, Arizona
Great communication!! Great knowledge!! Very prompt and efficient!! Would definitely recommend Your Mechanic and Steven to anyone that needs their car serviced!! Best mechanic experience without the overblown prices!!

John

26 years of experience
562 reviews
John
26 years of experience
Dodge Ram 1500 - Power Steering Pressure Switch - Friendswood, Texas
As long as John is around Your Mechanic will always have my business

Abdul

10 years of experience
419 reviews
Abdul
10 years of experience
Jeep Grand Cherokee - Differential / Gear Oil Replacement (Rear) - Atlanta, Georgia
Great work and straightforward service. In and out with no problems.

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE