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Trunk Release Cable Replacement Cost

Know what price you should pay to get your vehicle fixed.

The average cost for a Trunk Release Cable Replacement is between $102 and $202. Labor costs are estimated between $79 and $156 while parts are priced between $23 and $46. Estimate does not include taxes and fees.
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What is a Decklid Release Cable?

The deck lid on most cars has a lock and latch assembly that is operated remotely by a button on the key fob. And while some of those cars also have an electric switch that opens the deck lid from inside the passenger compartment, most have a lever located near the driver's seat that manually opens the trunk. The deck lid release cable is attached at one end to this lever, and at the other end to the latch on the deck lid.

How do Decklid Release Cables work?

The deck lid (sometimes called a trunk lid) release cable serves to actuate the deck lid latch assembly. By pulling up on the release lever next to the seat, a driver can open the trunk from inside the vehicle, whether the key is in the ignition or not. When the lever is pulled, the cable moves inside its protective sheath and puts tension on the latch release mechanism. When the driver lets go of the lever, spring tension in the latch returns the lever to its original position and resets the latch so the deck lid can be closed again.

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What are the symptoms of a bad Decklid Release Cable?

If the deck lid release lever will not retract after it has been pulled, the cable could be at fault. Likewise, if the latch is unusually difficult to pull, the cable is one potential cause. Sometimes the deck lid will refuse to latch shut if the cable is bad. Other times, it will refuse to open.

Can I drive with a bad Decklid Release Cable?

Access to the cargo area in the trunk may be a matter of convenience. Or it may be urgent if a vehicle has a flat tire and the spare is needed. A car can certainly be driven with a faulty deck lid release cable, but at some point it will be necessary to open the trunk. If the cable is beginning to show signs of failure, the problem will not go away. It will get worse. It is also possible that the same symptoms could be related to a faulty latch mechanism in the deck lid, which could lead to problems with the central locking and alarm systems.

How often do Decklid Release Cables need replacement?

The deck lid release cable should last the lifetime of the vehicle. Excessive force exerted on the release lever can shorten its lifespan, as can poor vehicle maintenance (failure to keep the inside of the vehicle clean).

How are Decklid Release Cable issues diagnosed?

A technician will operate the release lever for the deck lid and observe how it reacts to normal usage. The technician will also inspect the latch assembly for signs of damage or corrosion. It may be necessary for the technician to remove the latch from the vehicle for inspection. At this time the latch actuator - the electrical component that unlatches the deck lid when the key fob is used - will also be inspected.

How are Decklid Release Cables replaced?

To replace a deck lid release cable, the technician will remove the deck lid interior trim panel and the latch assembly. The cable is disconnected from the latch. The technician will carefully pull the cable from the deck lid, making sure to remove any retainers holding it in place. Next, the cable is detached from the release lever inside the car. The door sill panels are removed along with any other interior trim panels that are covering the cable. The rear seat may need removal as well. Using the old cable as a guide, the technician will snake the new cable through the same pathway that the original cable was led. With the new cable in place, the cable ends are attached and the latch is reinstalled. The technician will manually close the latch without closing the deck lid in order to test the installation of the new cable. If it works properly, the trim components are reinstalled.

RepairPal Recommendations for Decklid Release Cable issues

On today's cars it is easy to neglect the release mechanisms and lock cylinders on a vehicle. It is so much easier to simply push a button on the key fob. But, should the battery die for some reason, manual forms of entry are the only way into a vehicle. RepairPal recommends that the release cable and lock cylinders, whether in the deck lid or in the doors, be operated periodically as part of routine vehicle maintenance. This will help to prevent the components from seizing up and failing prematurely.

What to look out for when dealing with Decklid Release Cable issues

When the interior trim panels are removed for access to the deck lid release cable, it is possible to come into contact with sensitive components, such as fiber-optic cables, electronics, or SRS system components (airbags and wiring). Extreme care should be taken when working around these vehicle parts.

Can I replace the Decklid Release Cable myself?

Replacement of the deck lid release cable can be done on most vehicles by someone with intermediate DIY experience. Keep in mind that several interior trim panels may need to be removed. Care should be exercised to avoid breaking the trim. It may be challenging to route the cable through some parts of the vehicle body. One way to facilitate running the new cable is to tape the old and new cables end-to-end and use the old one to pull the new one through any hard to reach areas.

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