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How to Remove a Trunk Lock Cylinder

by Nathan Fisher

Whether you are working on a sports car, family sedan or SUV, usually the most difficult part of removing a trunk lock cylinder is accessing it. On some vehicles the trunk lock cylinder may be readily accessible, while on others you will need to remove a piece of interior trim or a cover panel. Held in place by a clip and a couple of bolts, once accessed, a trunk lock cylinder can be removed with a screwdriver, pliers and socket wrench.

Open the trunk and examine the covered area on the inside of the trunk opposite the keyhole. Depending on make and model, use a screwdriver or a socket wrench to remove the trim panel, if necessary.

Detach the remote trunk-release cable. On most vehicles you should be able to pull it off the cylinder with your hand by pulling straight back. On some vehicles there many be a small retaining screw. If so, remove it with the appropriate screwdriver.

Remove the retaining clip, at the base of the lock cylinder, with the pliers. On some vehicles, the trunk-locking cylinder will instead have a retaining ring that screws onto threads on the lock cylinder. Use the screwdriver to loosen and remove the ring.

Remove the retaining bolts from the mounting bracket with the socket wrench and remove the lock.


  • If the license plate mounting bracket is located in the trunk, you may need to remove the tag-light assembly to reach the lock cylinder.

Items you will need

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