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Trunk Lock Actuator Replacement Cost – You’ll Pay Around $270 To Secure Your Valuables!

Trunk Lock Actuator Replacement Cost - You’ll Pay Around $270 To Secure Your Valuables!

The average trunk lock actuator replacement cost in most vehicles is between $263 and $278, with the labor costs between $53 and $66, and the cost of the parts around $210. Since the labor is fairly inexpensive, car owners can expect the total billed hours for this procedure to be just 60 minutes or less. 

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE


Let’s find out the trunk lock actuator’s function, symptoms of a failing actuator, and if it is safe to continue driving your vehicle with a non-working trunk lock! 

What is the trunk of your car?

The trunk area of your vehicle is the car’s main storage or cargo compartment, almost always located at the rear of the car. The trunk, or luggage compartment, used to feature an exterior rack mounted on the rear of the vehicle, with later design integrating the storage area into the interior of the car.


This integration added more storage space and protected your valuables from inclement weather or exterior trauma in the event of a crash. The main storage section in vehicles is usually located at the opposite end of the vehicle’s engine. 


For the trunk to work correctly, you need to ensure the trunk lock actuator is functioning at a high level. If not, it will be very difficult and tedious to access your cargo space. The only way you will be able to secure valuables in the trunk is if you reach over the back seat or use a manually-operated trunk to lift the door. 


When calculating the total trunk lock actuator replacement cost, you need to take into account any additional damage to the structure of your trunk’s door. 

What is the trunk lock actuator?

The trunk lock actuator is the electric motor in charge of turning it on via the key fob or by the user of the car. Various makes and models of cars have individual designs and locations of the trunk actuator, unique depending on the vehicle’s make and model.


All, clueing in car owners to bring their car to a certified mechanic as soon as possible.

  • Trunk Does Not Open Even After Hearing an Audible “Click” Sound

If you hear the click sound, chances are you automatically assume your trunk is going to open. The audible click provides car owners and users with the feedback the trunk lock is working correctly. However, if you hear the click but the trunk does not open, this is a major issue that can occur with the security of your vehicle.

  • Motor Is Working, Lock Mechanism Is NOT

If this happens, it is a sign the motor is working, but the trunk lock actuator mechanism is not operating correctly. The locking mechanism has many components inside the trunk lock actuator, with one being the linkage system that moves the lock to the ‘open’ slot when the actuator is turned on. If the linkage system does not move according to the electrical signals, this can cause a higher trunk lock actuator replacement cost.


The linkage can become damaged due to trauma or extreme wear and tear over time. If the electronic wire attached to the linkage comes loose, it can lead to internal issues that increase the trunk lock cost and reduce the vehicle’s safety.


If you notice the trunk lock does not open when you press the fob remote or the button in your car’s cab area, bring your car to a local mechanic as soon as possible to get a quote for the trunk lock actuator replacement cost. 

  • Release Buttons Are Not Operating

Every driver knows the sinking feeling of pressing a button in your car or on your key fob for something to happen, and then nothing responds. This is the sign of electrical damage or broken connections. If you find this signal interruption, this is a symptom that the electronics connecting to the trunk lock actuator have short-circuited.


If there is damage to the internal fuses, electrical circuit, or wires, it can cause a higher trunk lock actuator replacement cost. 

  • Trunk Actuator Does Not Stop Making the “Click” Noise

The trunk lock actuator is electrical and communicates via signals – we learned that already. This electrically-powered mechanism needs a constant stream of power and information to avoid shutting off mid-use. If you find the trunk lock actuator consistently makes the click noise, this could be the symptom of internal short-circuiting that has led to a rapid turning on and off during use.


If this happens in your car, you need to disconnect your car’s battery. Suppose you notice this sign and let your battery continue running. In that case, it can lead to further internal damage to the electrical or battery system, causing a higher trunk lock actuator replacement cost. 

  • Manual Locking Mechanism Operates Correctly 

If you find that unlocking the trunk with the fob or switch in your car does not work, but manually you can insert the key into the lock and open the trunk, this is a clean-cut sign that something is wrong with the trunk lock actuator. Unfortunately, if this is happening, there is no repair that can be done, and you must pay for the trunk lock actuator replacement cost. 

Steps to Replace a Trunk Lock Actuator

If you want to save on the total trunk lock actuator replacement cost, you can try to do the labor on your own by following these steps in the exact order. Even with varying car makes, models, and years, the procedure remains the same. 

Step 1: Disconnect the Old Trunk Lock Actuator

For this first step, you must first acquire a few tools to make the procedure seamless.

  • Make sure you find or purchase the following – Replacement trunk lock actuator, Screwdriver, Needle Nose Pliers, Socket wrench, and Trim panel removal tool.
  • Once you have the necessary tools, the first move is to access the trunk and find the trunk lock actuator. If your vehicle is newer than 2002, you can open the trunk manually with the emergency release lever if the actuator is completely broken. However, if both the key and manual release fail to open the trunk, you have to perform this next step to locate the actuator.
  • Remove the plastic cover and trunk liner. The plastic cover should pop off while praying around the edges with your hands. If needed, you may have to also remove the trunk door carpeting by popping out the plastic retainer clips with the trim panel removal tool.
  • Next, remove the actuator cables and electrical connectors. If your trunk will not open and you are in the back seat, trigger the mechanism manually with a screwdriver if needed.
  • Finally, remove the old actuary using a socket wrench or screwdriver to remove the bolts holding the actor in the car.

Step 2: Install the New Trunk Lock Actuator

Once you have removed the old actuator, the second part of this procedure is to install the new trunk lock actuator. Finishing this process on your own can significantly reduce the overall trunk lock actuator replacement cost!


  • First, mount the new trunk lock actuator by sliding the connector over the tab and pushing on it until it clicks into place.
  • Next, reconnect the trunk lock actuator cables.
  • Thirdly, reinstall the trunk liner and the trunk lock actuator cover. 
  • Finally, test what you did! You should be proud of yourself for doing this on your own. Test the functionality before patting yourself on the back by simulating the closing of the latch mechanism on the trunk lock actuator. If it works, you’ve saved yourself hundreds on the trunk lock actuator replacement cost! 

Sample Trunk Lock Actuator Replacement Costs

To give you an idea of how much you could spend on the trunk lock actuator replacement cost, we have included some sample prices for common car models on the road today. The price depends on the type of car you drive, the repair shop’s location, and the specific mechanic or dealership you visit. 


  • The 2009 Ford F-350 Super Duty’s total price comes out to around $144, with a parts cost of $63 and a labor cost of nearly $80. If you visited a dealer instead of a local mechanic, you would expect to pay about $30 extra for the trunk lock actuator replacement cost.
  • For the 2016 Dodge Durango, the average price is estimated to be around $353. The total cost of the labor is around $80 for one hour of work, while the cost of the parts is nearly $273. If you brought your car to a dealer instead of a mechanic, the average price would be $25 more expensive. 

The Bottom Line

Although you can use a manual trunk lock cylinder to open your car’s cargo area of your car, keeping your power trunk lock actuator functioning properly is crucial to the longevity and accessibility of your vehicle. Paying around $270 for this procedure will keep your valuables safe and secure!

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