Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Cables that unlatch and unlock tailgate have rusted out, and I do not have a way to get into the trunk.

asked by on

First, the cable to the gas cap stopped engaging. I did not feel the lever "catch" when pushing it, so I knew it was a cable issue. We made a temporary fix with zip ties to keep the two ends of the cables together. Turns out the cable was eaten by rust which caused it not to engage the gas cap.

A couple days later, the trunk stopped engaging just like the gas cap did. The gas cap is still working, but I am unable to stick a key into the trunk and open it, and pulling up on the lever by the driver's seat does not open it. So far my research (and poking around my car) suggests there isn't a way to put the back seats down from the inside of the car; that you can only do it from the trunk.

I know the cables need to be replaced, possibly the cable to put down the back seats, and maybe the locking mechanism for key access on the door? But how do I get into the trunk to even look at what's going on? And how do I stop rust (that's causing all of this) from spreading and causing more issues?

My car has 86000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there, thanks for writing in. Most truck lock cylinders can only be accessed by removing the rear seats, the trunk cover and crawling inside the trunk or contacting a locksmith to unlock the trunk from the outside. As far as stopping the rust, that depends on where you live and how exposed your vehicle is to saltwater or road salt (for cold weather conditions). My advice would be to contact one of our professional mechanics to replace the trunk latch cables that are coated with plastic or other polymer to resist corrosion or rusting. Hope this helps and best of luck!

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Cables that unlatch and unlock tailgate have rusted out, and I do not have a way to get into the trunk.

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Car will not start. No noise when key turned. New battery. Yes

Hello There, It sounds like you may have a weak battery which is usually an indication when getting a clicking sound while turning the key to start the car. This happens when the battery simply does not have the requisite...

Q: How do you operate the turn signals?

Your turn signals provide vital information for other drivers. They tell people behind you or approaching you that you’re about to turn. They’re also used when you turn on your hazard lights. Here’s how to operate them. Locate the...

Q: Will the Check Engine Light turn off by itself or do I need to manually turn it off after I fix the problem?

The computer will run self tests as the vehicle is turned on, and while the vehicle is driving. There are certain circumstances for each test that must be met for the computer to turn off the check engine light. The...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.