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Discussion Starter #1
I am so pissed off. I had the trunk lock replaced late November and tonight I try to get it open and it's not working for some reason. It worked okay up until now.
Can anybody tell me what might have happened by these symptoms? I put the key in I turn it to the right, and nothing clicks and I can't turn it as far to the right as I did before. If I turn it to the left it goes all the way horizontal. It kind of sounds like something in the latch detached, but I don't know how that would happen. Or does it sound like someone's been trying to Jimmy it like they did before on the old lock. Any ideas would appreciate it, thank you
 

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2004 Toyota Camry, 2017 Toyota Camry, and many many more lol
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Sounds like it could of been installed wrong, it could of been fooled with too.
 

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1997 Corolla
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Can you open the trunk? If you remove the key in the horizontal position you can not use the trunk release by the driver's seat. If you remove the key in the vertical position then you can use the release lever.

My trunk lock is always finicky especially when it gets colder out for some reason. The key won't turn. Sometimes removing the key and turning it 180° helps. Sometimes moving the key after inserting it helps, like in the direction of the slot one way or the other then trying to turn it.

I put some graphite lock lubricant in which only helped a little. Then later I removed the lock mechanism and tried to clean it the best I could and it's worked a lot better since, but I still need to sometimes give the key a wiggle to get it to turn. This could be from the key being old too.
 
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1997 Corolla CE
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The lock body and tumblers are most likely worn if it's an old reused lock. I experienced this with my driver's door lock. The lock body had deep grooves with some burs wornnin, and one of the tumblers has mushroomed a bit. This would cause the key to insert, but the tumblers wouldn't fully retract and the lock would partially turn and bind.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Can you open the trunk? If you remove the key in the horizontal position you can not use the trunk release by the driver's seat. If you remove the key in the vertical position then you can use the release lever.

My trunk lock is always finicky especially when it gets colder out for some reason. The key won't turn. Sometimes removing the key and turning it 180° helps. Sometimes moving the key after inserting it helps, like in the direction of the slot one way or the other then trying to turn it.

I put some graphite lock lubricant in which only helped a little. Then later I removed the lock mechanism and tried to clean it the best I could and it's worked a lot better since, but I still need to sometimes give the key a wiggle to get it to turn. This could be from the key being old too.
Thanks, but this is a new lock with new keys. It was cold the last time I opened it the cold didn't seem to be affecting it. Also the handle to the trunk release inside the car is broken off because they place it right where your feet go in of course it was going to disappear at some point. I bought this car used from an individual
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I was hoping someone would have an idea that would preclude having to remove the back seat to get into the damn trunk. But I guess not. Cuz I don't know if the mechanic can get into the trunk because the trunk is so small. But here is hoping he's very creative LOL.
Across all those so-called OEM replacement parts are made in China.
We used to say made in Japan to denote things that are not up to so-called standards LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Okay, neighbor helped with looking at the broken trunk latch lever on the driver seat under the driver seat and it's a no-go. Too small space even to put a locking plier onto.
Only way now is through the back seat back. I guess.
Does anyone know if there is an emergency release somewhere in the trunk area that can be accessed with the back seat back off?
 

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2004 Toyota Camry, 2017 Toyota Camry, and many many more lol
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I’m not sure on that generation if their is or not. I know the later ones have a yellow lever on the trunk lid to release it.
 

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1997 Corolla
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There is no trunk release from inside the trunk.

Can't you somehow remove the lever and pull the cable with pliers? This will only work if the lock is set to the vertical position.

I have folding rear seats which leaves an opening into the trunk, but some models don't come with folding seats (maybe base models). With non-folding seats, the seat back is still easy to remove. Just a few bolts after your remove the bottom cushion. The bottom cushion is only held down by snap in clips. You just have to reach under the seat cushion and give a tug upward. The 2 clips are located right between where your legs would be if you were sitting back there.

I'm still not sure what you could do even if you can crawl into the trunk
 

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2006 Corolla XRS
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The rods that pull the latch when turning the key could be interfering with using the key.

If the trunk release lever inside the car works to open the trunk, then the only issue left isn't the lock itself. You'll need to pull the whole assembly out of the trunk to inspect it for malfunction.

The lock is using rods to release the catch on the trunk lock to open it. Sounds like the assembly is not working anymore with the key and need to find out why.
 

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Most likely you're going to need to get better access to the trunk release cable. . . If it's functional. Off the top of my head, even getting inside the trunk through the back seats won't be of much help, unless you don't have a trunk lid liner. I'll try to describe the lock setup as best I can recall because I've swapped trunk garnishes and had to remove the trunk lock. The trunk lock body is secured by two screws to the trunk lid. These can only be accessed by removing the trunk garnish, which is secured by ~4 studs with nuts and plastic clips. The nuts are facing the inside of the trunk and require removal of the trunk lid liner which is secured by multiple little plastic clip/screw things. The rear of the lock body attaches to the trunk release cable and has a little plastic elbow that helps secure it. It's possible this piece broke or the cable popped out and won't allow proper tension to be applied if you yank the release cable. I can't recall 100% where the release cable goes. I want to say when looking into the trunk from the rear, it goes to the left and up near the left rear passenger seat belt mounting bolt, but after that I don't remember. It could be in the door track with the wiring, under the door sill panels. I forget though. The mechanism in the trunk lid contains the actual hook that keeps the lid closed. The bottom part secured to the car's chassis is simply a bracket with a horizontal bar the hook catches. There's also a plastic trim piece surrounding this. Not sure if there's clearance there to wiggle a screwdriver inside to release the hook, but I doubt it.
 
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