Ford Taurus Trunk Poltergeist!

My 92 Ford Taurus (67,000 ish miles- for real.) has a ghost- or at least, thats what the Ford Dealership told me when I called and presented them with this problem.

Every so often, my trunk opens. By itself. I have been driving on a highway, when this has happened, as well as a residential back street. Today, after 9 hours of work, I went out to the parking lot, and my trunk was wide open. This has happened about five times in the last month and a half.

My neighbor, who is a mechanic, took a look at it and declared that there is nothing apparently wrong with it.

As far as solutions, the guy at the dealship (over the phone, that is,) suggested that the ‘trunk actuator’ is faulty. This could be a $300 repair.

He suggested I try and lock the ‘valet lock’ that my trunk has- I was not able to lock the trunk, because that button wouldn’t press down!

Has anyone heard of this happening before/heard of a good exorcist?


As it is a 92 I am assuming you are willing to accept some sacrifices, like pulling the fuse on the circuit that probably will disable all automatic lock and unlock functions, just like the good old days, manual controls only.

I mean, being a broke college student, that seems like an economical solution, however, I like the added safety of being able lock all my doors simultaneously. (You know, for the other things that go bump in the night…)

Also, it seems silly to disable such a young-miled car that way- I’ve been taking careful care of it so I can run it for quite a while longer. (Again- broke college student.) I figure I can at least get another 60,000 miles or more out of it. (Knock on wood.)

But seriously, thanks for the input!

My guess is that the circuit is always hot at the latch solenoid (actuator) and grounded when completed via the trunk release (remote or internal) to release the latch. Im guessing that somewhere in the ground side of the circuit there’s a chafed wire, probably where it goes through a body opening as it travels from the solenoid. It’s probably grounding out the circuit occasionally and energizing the latch release solenoid.

If you can get the schematic (the dealer’s shop might print one for you if you ask nicely) and you can isolate that wire, you may be able to string a new wire.

Or, if the key operation is purely mechanical and does not use the solenoid, you may be able to clip the wire at the trunk release and just use the key for the trunk, still retaining the power door locks.

Thanks for the suggestion! I’m not particularly mechanically inclined, but I’ll pass the idea along to those who are, thanks!!

This has a really simple wiring diagram which I’ve attached. The only thing you won’t be able to tell is what’s going on inside the remote keyless entry module.

Just unplug the electrical connector at the trunk lock. If it’s an electrical problem, this will stop it. You would only lose the ability to open the trunk from inside or with the remote.