seems like a simple question, but I can’t figure it out. here’s the story:
I bought an 01 corolla s a few weeks ago and it’s in great shape except for some seemingly minor body damage and 3 bent rims. got the rims taken care of, then noticed that the trunk would not stay closed. it stayed closed through my test drive and getting it home after i paid the guy, then just magically won’t shut anymore. figures! all in all he kept the important parts of the car well maintained so i’m still happy with it.
I took a look at the trunk latch and went to the junkyard to hunt down a new one. I quickly realized that the reason the latch would not work is because it was missing a small spring that snaps the latch open or closed. I replaced it, tested the latch, and it seemed to be working fine, so i try to close the trunk - and it opens right back up. knowing that it was going to rain soon and starting to get desperate since I couldn’t get the thing tied down tight enough to keep out water, i took off the part that the latch latches on to (what is that thing called anyway?) and moved it up, screwed it into the top mounting hole so that it was about 1" above where the factory put it. checked the lock mechanism again, made sure the release cable was in place and working and shut it (with my tools and other parts inside of course), and breathe a sigh of relief when the latch sticks and it stays shut. then i hurl some new expletives at it when i figure out that the release lever no longer opens the trunk and neither does the key. the trunk looks like it’s slightly open because of the new position of the thing the latch latches onto, but it keeps the rain out.
there is very little resistance on the release lever now, but i can feel the latch mechanism moving if i stick my fingers into the slightly open trunk. at this point i’m ready to take it to a pro to get it fixed, but who deals with stuff like this? body shop? dealership? grease monkey? regular mechanic shop? I’m going to call around regardless but i was hoping for some advice that would help me narrow it down, or some new ideas as to how to open it and fix it. I’m only open to taking out the backseats if i’ll be able to fix it the same day - i’m not really into the idea of ripping the seats out every time i need something from in there. if i take the seats out and open it manually, i’m still back to square one with a trunk that either won’t shut or won’t open, and of course at that point i would also have no backseat. no one else on the internet seems to have this particular trunk malfunction. i think it may have to do with the fact that somebody backed this thing into something as there is a dent in the trunk near the latch. it looks minor but there could be some non visible damage keeping the latch from lining up or releasing.
any suggestions are welcome. thanks!