Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Trunk Striker Plate

The trunk, or cargo area, of your vehicle likely gets used on a pretty regular basis. Whether for groceries, sports equipment, the dog, lumber on the weekend, or whatever - the trunk or tailgate lock mechanism is a frequently over-used “door” in your vehicle. The trunk lid, tailgate, or hatch locking mechanism is composed of a lock cylinder, a latching mechanism, and a striker plate – a passive component which the latching mechanism engages to ensure the door stays closed. This keeps your passengers and contents inside the vehicle as desired.

The striker plate absorbs some of the repetitive force when the trunk lid, tailgate or hatch is closed. The striker plate may include a round bar, opening or other passive connection which the latching mechanism engages to secure the door. The striker plate absorbs a great number of repetitive impacts as the door hinges wear out over time and bumpy road conditions allow the door, and the door latching mechanism, to slam against the striker plate. These repetitive impacts wear the striker plate, further increasing the shock and wear from each impact. There are a few symptoms indicating the striker plate is going bad or has failed:

1. “Door Open” warning comes on when the door is actually closed

Wear on the striker plate may be enough to allow micro-switches that detect when the trunk is “closed” to incorrectly register an open door. This may well be the first indication that the striker plate is worn enough to require replacement. The door may remain safely closed for now, but increasing wear is a safety concern.

2. Banging noise from the trunk lid, tailgate, or hatch when going over a bump or pothole

Trunk lids, like car doors, are cushioned by rubber gaskets, bumpers, and other shock absorption devices which allow a controlled amount of suspension, or “give” between the trunk and the rest of the vehicle structure when going over bumps or potholes. As trunk hinges and these shock absorption devices wear, the striker plate is also worn, potentially allowing the trunk lid, hatch, or tailgate to physically impact the vehicle body structure and create banging noises coming from the back when driving over bumps. This is excessive wear on the latch mechanism, a great safety concern.

3. Trunk lid, tailgate, or hatch comes open when going over a bump or pothole

This level of wear is clearly a safety issue, and the striker plate, and any other worn latching or hinge parts should be replaced by a professional mechanic immediately!


Next Step

Schedule Vehicle Body Mechanical Inspection

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Vehicle Body Mechanical Inspection. Once the problem has been diagnosed, you will be provided with an upfront quote for the recommended fix and receive $20.00 off as a credit towards the repair. 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 2,000 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

(155,820)

Rating Summary
146,033
5,326
1,087
769
2,605
146,033
5,326
1,087
769
2,605

Jeff

33 years of experience
441 reviews
Jeff
33 years of experience
Toyota RAV4 L4-2.0L - Check Engine Light is on - Sacramento, California
Jeff brought a lot of experience and kindness with him. He gave me practical advice on the upkeep of my vehicle.
Dodge Neon - Camshaft Position Sensor - Elverta, California
Arrived on time. Very nice. Second time he has done work for me. I will request him again.

Ben

41 years of experience
1274 reviews
Ben
41 years of experience
Nissan Sentra L4-2.0L - Check Engine Light is on - Humble, Texas
Toyota Camry - Radiator - Bellaire, Texas
Thank you, Ben! Your timely repair was appreciated!

Alex

16 years of experience
435 reviews
Alex
16 years of experience
Ford F-150 V6-3.7L - Fuel Pump - Dallas, Texas
Very knowledgeable and very courteous. He explained everything along the way.
Honda Accord - Brake Rotor/Disc Replacement (Front, Rear) - Plano, Texas
I did my Brake Rotors/PAD Replacement, he is very patient and does the good work. But he has to come with the good tools, bcoz my rotors were rusted, he has to go and get tools from outside twice, it wasted time for both of us. i would recommend Alex for the next service.

CURTIS

6 years of experience
8 reviews
CURTIS
6 years of experience
Nissan Altima L4-2.5L - Vehicle Body Mechanical Inspection - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Curtis was outstanding and went out his way to education me about my car! I am very happy with the service I was provided!

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

Related articles

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Trunk Latch Release Cable
Common signs include the trunk not unlatching when the handle is pulled and the trunk latch handle feeling loose.
How to Replace a Trunk Lock Cylinder
A car trunk is secured by a trunk lock, which works via a trunk lock cylinder. Replacing a bad cylinder is imperative to your vehicle’s security.
Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Trunk Lock Cylinder
Common signs include the key not going in, lock not turning or feeling stiff, and no resistance when turning the key.

Related questions

How do you open the trunk without using the key or remote?

While you can definitely use the remote or the manual key to open your trunk, you can also open it from inside the vehicle. Here’s what you need to know: Locate the trunk release button. Push the button. The...

How do I use the emergency trunk release?

The emergency trunk release is a system that allows a person to escape from the vehicle if they are trapped in the trunk. The trunk release is a plastic handle that hangs down from the inside of the trunk. To...

If drain is clogged, could the water also get into the trunk?

Hey there. The sun roof system runs the full length of the interior of the vehicle under the roof interior panel. The drains for the sun roof are on each front corner of the roof system and run down each...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com