Skip to Content

Kia Optima Trunk Latch Not Working

Kia Optima Trunk Latch Not Working

Kia Optima contains a trunk latch mechanism to close and release the tailgate according to your needs. The trunk can make a secure connection with the car’s body. Moreover, it also keeps the cargo area safe by providing closed connections. These contain the latch assembly and striker plate for the locking and unlocking purpose.

Kia Optima trunk latch not working can be due to remote control issues, damaged battery, broken cable and actuator, poor lubrication, broken latch, corrosion, misalignment of latch, obstructions, and cold weather.

The trunk latch mechanism usually contains the actuator or cable, which disconnects the latch from the striker plate. You can open and close the trunk by using the button that is present inside. In addition, you can also control them with buttons present on the key fob. Sometimes, it won’t close due to the following problems.

Problems Solutions
Remote control issues Change the batteries of the remote
Damaged battery Test your car batteries
Broken cable or actuator Close doors, windows, and trunk while parking
Poor lubrication Spray WD-40
Engagement of valet lock Disengage the valet lock with a master key
Broken latch Maintain cleanliness and lubrication
Corrosion on latch Avoid de-icing solution
Misaligned latch Tighten the nuts of latch and striker plate
Obstructions Clean dust from the trunk area
Cold weather Use De-icing sprays

Remote control issues

You can open and close the trunk by using the key fobs of your car. Sometimes, it does not work because of the damaged and faulty key fobs.

It causes Kia Optima trunk lid to get stuck in the closed position, and you cannot open it to arrange your luggage. The key fob signals the actuators or cables to release the latch from the striker plates.

The broken button on the key fob causes the issue. Sometimes, these buttons become faulty because of their daily use and mishandling.

In addition, remote controls also become bad because of water exposure. Water can enter these devices when you forget to remove them from your pocket during swimming.

Key fobs cannot activate the release mechanism because of the dead batteries. These remotes contain small batteries inside, but they are not rechargeable.

You have to replace these batteries when they become dead. Replace the batteries when trunk lights are only producing a beeping sound but not opening the lid.

Operate the buttons of the key fob carefully and avoid pressing them frequently.

Damaged battery

Trunk latch in Kia Optima are electronically controlled, and these stop functioning because of a lack of power supply. Actuators and release cables need electricity for their functioning.

These help release the latch from the striker plate. The issue comes because of the cars’ weak batteries and faulty actuators.

Moreover, your vehicle’s batteries also become dead because of poor maintenance. They cannot hold the charge longer because of high and low-temperature exposure.

You can identify your vehicle’s dead and weak batteries from the ignition issues. In addition, latch also get stuck when you are opening the trunk.

You can also hear the beep sound, and the indicator light comes on when you press the key fob button for their opening.

Broken cable or actuator

Kia Optima contains the cables and actuators that help connect the release mechanism with the latching mechanism. These become irresponsive, and you cannot open them because of broken wires and damaged actuators.

In addition, these trunk lids get stuck in the closed position, and you cannot open them with the key fob. These cables can break because of their repeated use.

Rust can also come on the actuator because of the water exposure. Internal components get stuck because of the corrosive components.

Rodents can also enter your vehicle because of the food inside. These can chew the wires and damage the latch assembly.

It is necessary to keep your vehicle closed during parking. Close the doors, trunk, and engine hood completely so rodents and pests cannot find any way to enter inside.

Poor lubrication

The latch mechanism of the trunks also stops functioning because of the poor lubrication of their parts. Insufficient lubrication and poor maintenance disturb the smooth functioning of their parts.

In addition, the issue also comes because of the increased friction, which can increase the risk of damage. Latch cannot come from the striker plate because of their poorly lubricated parts.

These get stuck inside, and you can feel that the trunk lid takes more time to open. It is better to spray the component with high-quality lubricants for smooth functioning.

I always prefer WD-40 lubricant spray for lubrication because these last longer and are safe for all components.

Engagement of valet lock

Latch does not allow trunk opening when the valet lock is engaged. A valet lock is the safety feature in most modern cars, including the Kia Optima.

These are helpful to provide additional safety when you are giving your vehicles to your friends. In addition, you can also use this feature when you are taking your car to the service centers.

Valet locks allow you to lock the trunk and glove box of the car completely. It is necessary to ensure that the valet lock is not engaged in your car when opening the liftgate. You can disengage the valet lock by using the master key.

Broken latch

Latch that is present on the trunk is not designed to last forever. The risk of their wear and tear increases because of their age. In addition, these are frequently used parts to open and close the liftgate.

Repeated and regular usage can also affect their working performance and increase the risk of damage. These can also wear out because of mishandling during the loading and unloading of luggage. These can also get damaged because of poor maintenance and cleanliness.

Moving parts of latch assembly, including springs and lever, need proper cleanliness and lubrication for smooth functioning.

Clean these parts and regularly spray them with WD-40 lubricant so trunks cannot get stuck in the closed position.

Corrosion on latch

The latch mechanism also becomes faulty and does not allow the trunk lid to release because of its corrosive parts. Corrosion can come on them because of environmental factors, including high humidity.

Moreover, the issues also come when your car is exposed to water splashes and rainwater. It usually happens when you park your vehicle outside in rainy weather.

In addition, scratches on trunks allow corrosion to come there. Corrosion from the scratched parts can also damage the release mechanism. Avoid using de-icing solutions on them because it can also damage the metal material.

Misaligned latch

Latch on the car trunk also stops functioning because of the misaligned latch and striker plate. Misalignment of their components occurs when you frequently slam the liftgate.

In addition, the alignment of these components also gets disturbed because of their frequent use and age. These are attached to the vehicle’s body with nuts and bolts.

Misalignment occurs because of loose nuts and bolts. These cannot remain in their place because of the loose bolts and nuts.

Tightening their nuts and bolts is necessary when you see their wiggling movement.


The trunk latch wont close because of dust debris accumulation and other physical obstructions. It does not allow the liftgate to release because of the obstructive material.

You cannot close them properly because of the overloading of the cargo area that is exerting pressure on the latch.

Avoid overloading the cargo area and arrange the luggage carefully. Clean the dust and debris from the Kia Optima trunk area using a brush.

Cold weather

Adverse environmental conditions affect the various components of the cars. Several components get stuck in the closed position because of the freezing temperature.

Freezing weather also negatively impacts the trunk latch and its internal components. They do not allow the opening of the liftgate because of their seized parts.

Latch get stuck with the striker plate, making it difficult for cables or actuators to release them.

The locking mechanism also freezes in cold weather and does not allow the opening of the tailgate. You can use the de-icing spray to remove the snow accumulation.

I have never used hot water on the seized components during winter because it can damage the Kia Optima paint.

Related Articles:

Why is Kia Optima trunk light not working?

Kia Optima voice recognition not working