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2001 Cavalier trunk won't open

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  • siai47
    replied
    Re: 2001 Cavalier trunk won't open

    The later model Cavaliers came standard with an electric lock release--for obvious reasons. The button is located on the dash. Find a car in a junk yard with the electric release and install it in your car (you don't even have to re-key your existing lock). You could wire a button in permanently or just run the two wires from it to some place you could energize it with a 12 volt source.

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  • lidiam
    replied
    Re: 2001 Cavalier trunk won't open

    Just had the same problem and unfortunately the lock got ripped out before I found this post (which did not help getting the trunk open). Anyhow, it's all repaired now, but it took a considerable amount of time and effort and I'm wondering if there is a way to add some secondary release, in case there are any problems with the locking mechanism in the future (in my case the cable broke). Does the locking mechanism from later years come with a secondary release? If so, can it be installed on a 2001 cavalier?

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  • chamoruz
    replied
    Re: 2001 Cavalier trunk won't open

    good info and thanks for sharing...the dealer here in Hawaii quoted me $337 for that cheap plastic release mechanism for my 98' Cavalier!! Cable snapped inside the flex housing.Got lucky and found one online for $13.95 so hope it fits. The manual says to remove the plastic screw which attaches the release mechanism to the latch. I did that but i can't seem to separate it from the latch. Release mechanism is plastic so i don't want to tug on it too much for fear of breaking it. Is there a trick to separating the old latch release box from the latch?

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  • jcurtiscropper
    replied
    Re: 2001 Cavalier trunk won't open

    Thanks, this was a life saver for my 2000 CNG cavalier. After removing the nuts and plate from under the bumper, I was able to push the lower bracket out of the way enough and using some up and down force, was able to pop the plastic liner out of the way and guide the bottom bracket through a hole in the body and fully open the trunk. In my case the trunk mechanism was jammed by an over stuffed trunk and I was able to reassemble everything and it worked fine. Thanks again for posting the solution.

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  • vayapues
    replied
    Re: 2001 Cavalier trunk won't open

    Thank you getwilde. You are a lifesaver. Grateful you took the time to show how you fixed this.

    Mine did the same thing, with the comcast cable box in the trunk. I got to comcast, and could not open it up. There I am, left with a cable box, and will have to pay for another month of service.

    Thanks again. The two bolts are easy to reach, without having to remove the bumber. 10 mm wrench worked perfectly.

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  • getwilde
    replied
    Re: 2001 Cavalier trunk won't open

    I was able to get my trunk open, thanks to the great tips from siai47. Apparently, last time my wife closed the trunk, there was a toolbox resting near the striker, and the plastic release mechanism hit it and it broke off. This seems like a poor design, and I can easily see this happening to me again in the future, especially since our CNG tank leaves so little space for other stuff. I'll post details here in case others experience the same problem.

    As siai47 suggested, there are two screws outside the trunk, under the rear bumper. I was able to reach them from underneath the car with a 10mm wrench. I didn't have to remove the bumper. Once removed, the striker inside the trunk became loose enough for the trunk lid to raise just slightly.

    From there I was able to I tugged upward on the lid, pretty hard, numerous times. My hope was to dislodge and remove the striker, but its two bolts were catching on a lip of metal within, and because the striker was still attached to the latch, I wasn't able to angle the striker to remove it.

    After tugging on the lid some more, the striker slid higher, and I was able to get my fingers in and feel that the 4-ft plastic trim had partially released from the clips holding it. Using a screwdriver, I was able to pry off the two ends and release it completely. No damage done, either. That caused the striker to slide another inch or so, and I was able to reach into the truck (with my skinny forearms ).

    Some people, at this point, might be able to feel around for the hole on the back of the latch and use a screwdriver to release it. I tried for a long time, but it didn't work... maybe because of the screwy angle that the striker now sat within the latch...? I finally ended up removing the two bolts that attach the latch to the lid, with a 10mm wrench. The trunk was finally open.

    I've attached a photo of the broken release mechanism. I bought a replacement part at the dealership. $45! (No local salvage yards had any that they were willing to sell without the entire trunk lid.)

    While I had the latch removed, I took some time to create a thin metal 'shield' that wrapped around the $45 replacement plastic release mechanism. I have no idea if it will actually protect it from breaking off again, but that's my hope. I had sheetmetal and tin-snips on hand anyway,k so it wasn't a big effort. I just cut it and bent it to connect via the three screws already on the latch. (I've attached a few photos to show it.)

    Replacing the striker and latch were very straight-forward. On the latch, I kept the screws loose while visually lining it up with the striker. After adjusting the placement of the latch slightly, I tighted it down, and tried it out. Phew! It worked. Good as new. (Maybe better than new!)
    Attached Files

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  • getwilde
    replied
    Re: 2001 Cavalier trunk won't open

    Wow! Thank you siai47! That is incredibly helpful information. I will try this out, and report back here on whether it works (in case anyone else experiences this same problem).
    Last edited by getwilde; 07-09-2008, 05:29 PM.

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  • siai47
    replied
    Re: 2001 Cavalier trunk won't open

    It looks like there is a chance that you can get this open from the outside. I took a look at the car and it appears that you can get the latch apart from the outside. It isn't easy but I think it will work. You can go to the dealer and have the parts department print out a copy of the trunk lock parts breakdown. It is shown on sheet MJ12-044. On the drawing you will see parts items 14,15, and 16. These are the lock striker, seal and two nuts. (one shown) The nuts that hold on the striker are accessible from outside of the vehicle. The bumper cover may need to be removed to get at them. (the parts department can also get you a breakdown on this) After the two nuts are removed you should be able to push the striker into the trunk far enough to clear the body and then try to raise the trunk lid. Item 35 on the drawing (which is a trim piece inside the trunk held in with clips) will prevent the lid from opening until the clips come off. Because the trim piece is long and has at least four clips holding it on, it may break but thats a small price to pay. At that point the turnk lid should be able to be opened. The fit were the striker goes though the body is tight and may need a couple of attempts to get it open. Look at the shape of item 14 as you are pushing that part thorough an opening in the body and the trim piece. This looks like your only chance without real damage to the car. Good luck

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  • getwilde
    replied
    Re: 2001 Cavalier trunk won't open

    Thanks for the reply. I've been hoping to run into a fellow 2001 Cavalier owner at the pump, so he can show me what the latch looks like. Some guy online said he used a screwdriver to release his from the inside... but he also didn't have a giant CNG tank in the way. Has anyone ever removed their CNG tank? Is that even possible?

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  • siai47
    replied
    Re: 2001 Cavalier trunk won't open

    I was looking at the trunk latch after reading your post. Boy, I have no idea how you would get it open if the thing broke. My 2000 has a manual release, however, I noticed that the 2002 has a remote trunk release as standard equipment. Could never understand why you would need a remote release on car with wind up windows and manual locks. Guess GM knew about this problem in advance. I am going to the junkyard and pick up the remote release latch and run a couple of wires from it up to the rear seat area. This way you could pop the trunk if necessary.

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  • getwilde
    started a topic 2001 Cavalier trunk won't open

    2001 Cavalier trunk won't open

    Last week, my wife closed the trunk on our 2001 Cavalier, and now it won't open again. The key will insert and turn (beyond 360 degrees), but the trunk latch won't release, and it's stuck shut. (Our car doesn't have a front-seat release lever/button.) I can fold down the rear seat, but the CNG tank, brackets, and black plastic 'shell' prevent me from reaching the latch internally.

    From what I'm reading online, it looks like Cavaliers are known to develop this problem with the trunk latch. Just wondering if any fellow CNG'ers have had this problem, and how they resolved it. Or if anyone has removed the tank, or even just the plastic shell, from the inside of the car, and what that involves. Or if anyone has any other ideas.

    (Incidentally, when we bought our bi-fuel Cavalier last month, we noticed a couple shallow 'dents' on the trunk directly above the latch keyhole. I now suspect that the previous owner also had this problem and caused the dents while banging on the trunk with a fist or something.)

    Thanks in advance
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