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.

A: Hi there, thanks for writing in. Most truck...

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

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Brake light not turning off

Hi there. It sounds like your brake light switch may be stuck. It is located under the brake pedal and when the pedal is pushed it turns the brake lights on. It may have become stuck or broken. I would...

Q: How do you automatically transfer a call from a phone to the HandsFreeLink?

Your HandsFreeLink® (HFL) system is pretty advanced, and offers the ability to transfer a call from the phone to the car even if the call is already in progress. Here’s how to set up automatic transferring: Press the phone...

Q: Why does it do this??

All modern cars are equipped with an Evaporative Emission Control (EVAP) system. The EVAP system prevents fuel vapors from the fuel tank from escaping into the atmosphere. The EVAP system collects and temporarily stores the fuel vapors in the charcoal...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...