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Trunk latch opens, but doesn't close always

The trunk opens when I use the lever near driver’s door, by key on the trunk and by the emergency latch lever inside the trunk (as they are supposed to). However, when I pull the lever inside the car near the driver’s side door, the trunk won’t close till I manually move a piece of metal inside the latch. This won’t happen if I am opening the trunk using the key.

What am I looking at here?
Frayed cable or a missing spring or corrosion in the cable? Or, something else?

Vehicle is a 2005 Toyota Corolla S.

Remove the latch access panel inside the trunk.Spray lithium grease on the latch mechanism,springs and cable.Work it in a few time until the binding stops.I usually clean the gunk first with aerosol brake cleaner then spray the lube.


I would do what @COROLLAGUY1 recommends but the actual problem is the cable is stretched. Cleaning and lubricating will reduce the tension on the cable when you use it and that may be enough to get the latch to open completely. Also a smoother operating latch will contribute to it not jamming as well.

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Concur w/the above posts, very important to make sure the latch mechanism is well lubed. If it ever really sticks you may not be able to open the trunk at all, and figuring out how to correct that might be a real pain. I also own a Corolla, never had a problem with the trunk, but one time the hood wouldn’t pop open when I pulled on the release lever (near the driver). This was a very difficult problem for me to solve. After that I’ve been diligent in keeping the latch mechanism well lubed, never had the problem since. In fact I lubed that latch just the other day as part of a routine service.