Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Trunk Striker Plate

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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!


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Theodore

14 years of experience
1091 reviews
Theodore
14 years of experience
Dodge Grand Caravan - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Bellevue, Washington
Second time using Theodore to service my van. He's always professional and detail oriented. He takes extra effort in tracking down issues and explains things well. Very customer oriented. Highly recommend.

Tung

14 years of experience
284 reviews
Tung
14 years of experience
Ram 1500 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Marietta, Georgia
Tung showed up on time and was very friendly. Changed my brake pads in about 30 minutes and gave me recommendations on when to change the rear pads. Will ask for him by name next time.

Victor

33 years of experience
105 reviews
Victor
33 years of experience
Chrysler Grand Voyager - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Albuquerque, New Mexico
Have used Victor multiple times now for work on my vehicle. He is prompt, courteous, knowledgeable, and dependable. I never have to worry about a thing as Victor makes sure work is performed quickly, efficiently and and correctly.

Chuck

8 years of experience
120 reviews
Chuck
8 years of experience
Honda Odyssey - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Coppell, Texas
Had an appointment for replacing Front Brake Pads today. Chuck did a great job and completed the task before the schedule. I will surely refer yourmechanic to my friends as well. Happy Thanksgiving Chuck. Thanks again for your great service.

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