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Delay in trunk opening when cold

5434 Views 11 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  c180w20294
The nights here in the Bay Area are getting cooler and my car is parked outside. Every morning when I unlock the car with remote, all the doors are unlocked right away except the trunk. It takes 40 seconds or more for the trunk to get unlocked. All this while I can hear buzzing noise from the trunk and finally it opens. The switch on the console does not help either. After I have driven the car, everything works fine.

I drop my son and his friends to school every morning and they put their bags in the trunk. I am scared that some day I will take them to school and the trunk will not open and they will not be able to get their bags.

Any idea on what is going on? Also if the trunk does get locked is there any way to force it open?

Thanks for your help.
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Dec, thank you for this great information. For the past 18 years I have had this car, I have never lubricated the trunk lock mechanism. I very seldom use the trunk switch on the remote fob. I usually just unlock the car and then push the trunk lock button. I have not tried using the remote fob or checked the fuel flap. I will check it and report in the next few days.

Again thanks for the information.
With the central system locked, I tried using the metal emergency key blade to open the trunk. It does not work. The metal key does not turn either left or right and it cannot open the trunk. Now even with the car warm, the trunk takes little time to unlock. Even with the remote fob, switch, it takes some time and I can hear the motor humming just above the battery inside the rear right panel (fender?).

Any thoughts?
Dec, again thank you for the advice. I will lubricate it and see if that helps. I will update with results.

As the key blade won’t turn in either direction then the lock is seized.

Make sure the key blade goes fully into the key hole, if you aren’t sure; compare how far the key blade will go into the glove box key hole or the driver’s door key hole.

Open the trunk lid fully and squirt/flood with WD40 or Penetrating oil into the key hole through the Red aerosol straw, Pic 12 above, push the key in and out of the lock and turn it side to side as much as it will go. Keep trunk lid fully open for 20 minutes to let oil spread down throughout the lock, repeat above every couple of hours.

Don’t use force with pliers to turn the key blade, you can use finger force if the key is equipped with a key ring as illustrated in pictures above, you will get a better grip on the key if there is a ring on it.

The use of the emergency key blade to open the trunk is purely mechanical, there are no electronics involved, the vacuum pump, remote fob or switch inside car play no part in unlocking trunk with the key blade.


Dec, You hit the nail on the head. I undid the two bolts on the trunk lock and sprayed everything visible with WD40. I put lot of WD40 in the keyhole and around it while pushing the key slot in and out.Then I put the lock back and pushed lot of WD40 in the key hole and kept the trunk open as you said.

It did the trick! Now the metal blade key turns both ways and I can lock and unlock and open the trunk with the metal key.

So the mechanism was definitely frozen.

However, I am not sure if the following is normal.

1. When the car is centrally locked with the remote fob and if I use the metal key blade to unlock the trunk, all the doors also get unlocked and all the four windows roll down half way.

2. When the car is locked and I use the remote fob to to unlock the car, it still takes some time for the trunk to get unlocked before I can push the keyslot button to open it. Before it was never a problem.

3. If the car is locked, the trunk open button on the remote fob does not always work and when it works, it takes a long time to open the trunk

In any case, I want to thank you for solving a major problem. At least for now, my mechanical key is working again.

This forum is AWESOME!
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Dec, thank you for you advice. You have been a great help.

I tested the alarm according to the above instructions and it works fine.

The trunk is working fine most of the time if I use the central locking/unlocking switch on the remote fob. At time it still takes may be up to 15- 20 seconds for the trunk to get unlocked and I can hear the vacuum pump running all this time.

But when I use the metal blade key or the trunk open button on the remote fob to open the trunk, strange things happen.

1. With the car centrally locked, if I open the trunk with the metal blade key, all the doors get unlocked and the all the windows roll down as long as I hold the metal blade key in the counter clockwise position

2. With the car centrally locked, If I use the trunk-open button on the remote fob to open the trunk (or the metal blade key), the trunk opens. But after I close the trunk and centrally lock the car with the remote fob and then if I press the trunk keyhole button and release it, the vacuum pump turns on and after about 10 - 15 seconds the trunk opens and the alarm turns on. After I reset the alarm with the remote fob, everything returns to normal.
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Again thank you for your detailed response. I will tackle the vacuum pump over the weekend and report.

Everything here is original. Many years back, when the car would be parked centrally locked, occasionally the alarm lights would come on, but not the siren. It would be on for few minutes and then turn off. That kept on happening and then the problem went away. I don't know if it is related.
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