How to Fix Trunk Lid Pull Down Actuator Motor Problems
Is the trunk lid in your not closing completely in your car? The pull down motor actuator might be the culprit. A key element of the automatic pull down function in automobiles, the motor actuator is also one of the parts that are most prone to malfunction. And once the actuator goes on the fritz, the lid may not close properly or may not close at all. Thankfully, problems with the trunk lid pull down motor actuator are pretty straightforward and can be easy enough to repair on your own.
Difficulty level: Moderate
What you will need:
- Torx screwdriver
- Small open-ended wrench
- 9V DC adapter
Step 1: Remove and test the motor switch. The switch is usually held in place with one or two Torx screws and a plastic latch. Take the screws and the latch off and slowly wiggle the switch off its mounting. Connect the black wire of the switch to that of the ground/negative wire. Then, connect the positive wire to both the black wire with the stripe and the red wire at the same time. Once everything is connected and the switch open, place the leads of the meter to the switch connectors. If you press the switch at this point and there is still current running through, discard the switch and get a replacement.
Step 2: Test the motor. Place the negative and positive terminals of the adapter to the metal tabs connecting the switch to the motor. If the motor whirs but the latch doesn't move up and down, the actuator is definitely the source of the problem. But if the motor remains silent, it may be the source of the problem.
Step 3: If the motor actuator is indeed the source of the problem, take the actuator apart and clean it with a brush. In most cases, actuator failure is caused by gunk buildup that hampers the actuator's moving parts. In the case of rust, scrub the corroded areas with sandpaper. However, if the actuator already appears severely corroded or worn, it may be better to replace it with a new one instead.
Step 4: Reassemble the actuator and place it back on the motor. Reconnect all the wirings and put the switch back into place.
Step 5: Test the unit again. The motor should come to life and the latch moving once the switch is activated. If the motor doesn't work or if the latch doesn't move, detach all of the parts again and check if the connections are in order. If the latch still doesn't move, replace the actuator.
- Make sure that you double check all of the connections between the switch and the motor. Keep in mind that if the wrong wires connect with each other, the motor may short circuit and lose its ability to function.
- Don't forget to test everything from the switch, the motor, and to the actuator itself. Testing is essential in repairing the actuator as it will help identify the problem areas and fix them accordingly.