Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Trunk Striker Plate

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!

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

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

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.


Post a question and get free advice from our certified mechanics.


More related articles

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia
CraigBurrows / Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore....
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Idaho
The state of Idaho offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the...

Related questions

Q: How do you open the trunk in a 2012 Honda Civic?

Opening and closing your trunk is probably one of the simplest things you’ll do in your car, but there are a few things that you should know about the process. You can open the trunk with either the trunk...

Q: How do I manually release the trunk?

If a discharged battery is keeping the trunk from being able to open, you can manually open it. Just follow these steps: 1. Enter the trunk area through the main cabin. 2. Use a safe and suitable tool to remove...

Q: Automatic Trunk open/close feature not working but button lights up. I soldiered broken wires back together - reset?

Hello, thanks for writing in. Most of the time this is caused by a programming issue with the control module. It usually occurs if the module fails or if there is a loss of power. It can also occur if...