Remote Start Opens Trunk: Why and What to Do

Remote Start Opens Trunk: Why and What to Do

A car’s remote start feature allows you to start the vehicle from a distance with a key fob or via an app.

Some are so powerful that they can transmit up to 3000 feet through walls. They’ll unlock the trunk, turn on heated seats, and open sliding doors.

Remote Start Opens Trunk: Why and What to Do

The problem occurs when your car starts and the trunk opens. This side effect of the trunk opening is likely due to a system malfunction or programming error.

It poses a security risk, as any malicious person could fold down the rear seats and crawl into the passenger compartment, waiting to attack.

We wrote this article to explain why this happens and offer troubleshooting tips.

Reasons Why Remote Start Opens the Trunk

The trunk opens when you press remote start because the trunk release system is defective. It could also be a software problem or a misconfigured setting.

We’ll go into the details below.

A Computer or Electrical Wiring Issue

If the trunk opens when you engage the remote starter, it could be a computer issue. The problem may be in the electrical systems or software that control the vehicle’s trunk release.

When you remote start the vehicle, the electrical system is triggered, and if there are problems with the trunk release, it could cause the trunk to open unexpectedly.

Also, a software error in the vehicle’s control system may cause the trunk to open.

In addition, when you were changing the dashboard of your vehicle to upgrade to your liking, some wires may have been crossed.

It could also be a problem with the remote start system, and the manufacturer of the remote start system can help you.

You can also contact a dealer or a professional mechanic to determine the problem and the best way to fix it.

Incorrect Configuration

If the trunk release button is set to activate when you engage the remote start, the trunk will always open. Check your vehicle’s settings to see if this feature is enabled.

You’ll need to turn the feature off if it’s on by changing the default setting.

This setting varies from vehicle to vehicle depending on the make and model, so check the instructions in the manual.

A software upgrade will also change the settings. Check to see if this could be the reason.

It’s also possible that the trunk opens due to a malfunction of the remote start system or the trunk release mechanism for the following reasons.

Malfunction of the Trunk Release Components and Troubleshooting Tips

The trunk may be opening due to one or two faulty trunk components.

There are five components in the trunk opening system that work together. These include:

  • The latch
  • The striker
  • The release cable
  • Release lever 
  • Hydraulic tubes

If one of these parts is faulty, the trunk will open when you start your car with the key fob. Here are common issues with the components.

Remote Start Opens Trunk: Why and What to Do

The Latch Is Partially Closing and Not Getting a Good Lock

A trunk stays closed because the lid’s closer engages well in the latch.

If the lock is defective, it may not engage the striker well, and the trunk will pop open again and again.

You may also notice that water occasionally enters the trunk, even if the seals are fine.

A defective latch will reduce its strength. If the latch is rusty, the tailgate won’t lock properly.

You’ll need to replace the entire lock to ensure a secure fit and prevent the trunk from opening during remote start.

A Non-aligned Striker

A strike plate is the metal plate on the vehicle body that engages the latch mechanism of the trunk. It holds the trunk lid in a closed position.

If it’s damaged or not aligned with the latch, the trunk will be difficult to close.

Problems with the strike plate may be due to a dent in the rear of the vehicle pushing the strike plate out of its original position.

To fix this, loosen the screws securing the striker to return it to its original position. Then tighten the screws again.

You can also use a screwdriver to apply force to straighten the strike plate.

Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for adjusting the strike plate to ensure that it’s done correctly and that the trunk closes securely.

If the strike plate is damaged or worn, you’ll need to hire a professional mechanic to repair or replace it.

A Non-aligned Latch after Collision

A misaligned latch won’t grip the striker well after impact. To fix this, work on the dent around the latch.

Also, check the latch for damage, such as wear on the bolts, and replace it if there are problems.

A Rusting or Rusted Release Cable

Water and dust can cause the release cable to rust. In this case, the release cable cannot actuate the latch, and the trunk lid pops open automatically.

It will not unlock when you pull the handle, and the trunk lock handle feels loose.

Have the unlock cable replaced by a professional mechanic to fix this problem.

A Damaged Electric Solenoid

The trunk assembly in some vehicles comes with an electric solenoid that opens and locks the trunk.

If the trunk opens when you remote start the car, it could be a short circuit issue with the electric solenoid.

To resolve this, put in a service request to check your car.

A Sensitive Trunk Opening the Trunk Unexpectedly

A sensitive trunk release button that keeps opening the trunk may also be the reason why the trunk pops open.

You can resolve this by installing a 2-way trunk release relay or doing any of these.

Buy a Key Fob Padded Cover

A padded key fob cover reduces the chances of accidentally pressing the trunk release button. You can find these on Amazon for almost all types of keys.

Ensure you get the silicone rubber ones with exposed button openings.

Remote Start Opens Trunk Why and What to Do

Flip and Lock the Trunk Release Switch

Some cars have a switch that stops the digital key from opening the trunk or contains the trunk release switch.

Look for the switch to stop trunk release by the digital key.

The trunk release switch could be in the jockey box, trunk, or armrest console.

Open the Key Fob and Look for the Trunk Release Button

Use a screwdriver to open the key fob like you do to change the battery.

Observe how you trigger the trunk release button and try to disable it for it to stop working altogether.

There is also an excellent way to make it harder to open the trunk instead of disabling it. Take a look at this.

Open the key fob with a key and cover the trunk release button with an insulator. Afterward, you must press the button firmly to open the trunk.

You’ll need a thin insulator, and splicing tape does a good job. Cut two pieces and tape them to both sides of the trunk release button before closing the key fob.

Final Thoughts

While it is unusual for motorists to find their trunks open after a remote start, it does happen. Usually, it is due to a defective trunk latch component.

The most common cause is a rusty or misaligned lock that needs to be replaced. The striker, the release cable, or the electric solenoid can also be defective.

We have described solutions to these problems above.

In the meantime, we recommend you not use the remote start system. Switch to the original key and open the trunk with the lever on the driver’s side.

Removing any valuable or sensitive items from the trunk is also advisable to prevent them from being lost or stolen.

Have your vehicle checked by a certified mechanic to fix the problem as soon as possible.