Broken trunk latch on the Ford Focus!

Hi! My beloved 2003 Ford Focus sedan has recently developed a problem with the trunk latch. When the button is pressed, the trunk tries to latch 3 times, then gives up. I’ve had sporadic problems in the past where it would get stuck in the locked position, when the trunk was open. I fixed it by repeatedly hitting the trunk unlock button, and it worked. Now it’s consistently not latching when I close it until maybe 20 tries and a lot of frustrated banging on the trunk. I have a travelling office and depend on my trunk daily to transport files, so this is a problem. I’m a social worker and just replaced the water pump, so I don’t have the cash to take it in for every problem. My uncle is a mechanic 4 hours away, so if this is a quick fix with a part I can get from Auto Zone, I would love to have that option. Please help!

Call them and ask. A good cleaning with wd might help but replacement would be better.

A replacement latch may be only available through the dealer or a salvage yard. Try the local dealer’s parts counter to see if one is available. Generally, these are easy to replace, maybe having to remove a trim panel or two in the trunk lid. Only 2 bolts old them on. The trickiest part is getting it adjusted right. A few trials loosening and tightening the bolts will get it right.

And, don’t worry. The key latch is a separate part with a rod or bar connecting it to the latch. No need to get it re-keyed to work.

Try some graphite lube inside the lock and on the latch before you replace the part. Be pretty liberal with the stuff. Work the key back and forth a few times to spead the stuff around inside the lock.