Two Questions Away from the Right Trunk Actuator
We're lucky nowadays. To "pop the trunk" now requires just the click of a button. Back then, you had to fiddle through a lot of keys to find the right one. It's the trunk actuator that's at the center of it all, allowing you to engage the trunk without physically handling it. Choosing one that fits your car is really simple-you just have two important things to keep in mind.
A trunk's basic functioning is the same across different cars. The only problem is that the mechanism itself varies due to considerations of space and position. Actuators all do the same thing; they just look vastly different from one another. Short of holding your old trunk actuator in your hands while shopping-which can be a tiring and difficult task, you can also refer to the part number.
These 6- or 5-digit numbers allow you to match the actuator to one in a catalog or with an online retailer. You can find the number in the owner's manual for your car or, if it already is a replacement, on the box that the part came in. These numbers make it easier to get the right one that works!
The next things you'll also want to take note of are the specific wiring layouts. You don't have to be an electrician to do that. Look at the actuator you have on: how many wires are directly connected? When you have the answer, double check the one you're getting to confirm the match!
So you figured out the part number, and are confident that that actuator is going to be a snug fit in your truck. The question now is whether you should go for that pricey OEM, or the more affordable Replacement. The truth here is that either one is a good bet to go for. You should be guided more by quality beyond what the price tag tells you.
Some replacement parts come from brands that do a far better job than even the original equipment manufacturers! There's a little trick here you can try: say you spot a replacement part that's cheaper than the ones sold at your dealership. It's appealing because you save up on a few more dollars. Search it in Google-if it comes up top, people are buzzing about it-then look through the reviews too.
We have to say that being "OEM" is no longer the only benchmark of quality. Just line up those part numbers, do the research and you should be good to go!
The Essential Trunk: Changing Out Your Trunk Actuator in 8 Easy Steps
Having a malfunctioning trunk actuator may not seem as bad as all that. It's when you need easy access to your stuff stowed in the back-and can't get to it-that you will wish you had it replaced. But who wants to drive down to a shop and spend money on labor costs? For a trunk, to boot. Well, that's because many people don't realize that, as far as do-it-yourself jobs go, this one's a breeze-15 to 30 minutes tops with a couple of tools and a cup of patience.
Difficulty level: Easy
Things you will need:
- New trunk actuator
- Paint can opener
- Torx driver
- Trim clips [optional]
Step 1: Pop the trunk, and locate the bulging lock housing right behind the trunk's lock.
Step 2: Pry off the screw cover-if there is one-and remove the Philips-head screw underneath.
Step 3: Ease out the two holding plugs on the same side as the main body of the locking mechanism.
Step 4: Tug off the four attaching clips.
*Note* Do this carefully-four is the average number of screws, but there could be one more or less. You can use your hands for this. If ever, a flathead screwdriver gently applied can do the trick.
Step 5: Take out the three Torx screws from the trunk lock.
*Note* Again, it is normally three in number-one on each side and a central screw-but however many it may be, take them all out.
Step 6: Look over the actuator to determine its attachment-sometimes they are just clipped-on-and carefully take is out along with the wiring harness.
Step 7: Remove the last two screws that hold the trunk actuator to the lock mechanism.
Step 8: Put in the new trunk actuator, and reverse the process to reassemble the trunk lock-voila! You're done!