What to Do if Your 2009 Toyota Corolla Trunk Won’t Open

If your 2009 Toyota Corolla trunk won’t open, it is likely because your car is in “valet mode.”
Written by Matthew Lynaugh
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
If your 2009 Toyota Corolla trunk won’t open, it is most likely due to inadvertently putting your car into “valet mode,” which disables access to the trunk. All you have to do is turn your key as far right as possible until you hear it click back into “driver mode.”
Although this is the most common cause of a trunk that won’t budge, it is certainly not the only cause. That’s where
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What to do if your 2009 Toyota Corolla trunk won’t open

If your key fob or trunk latch won’t open your 2009 Corolla trunk, you should try troubleshooting before bringing your car to avoid any unnecessary repair bills.

Most common cause: valet mode activated

Your malfunctioning trunk may not be as big of an issue as you think—it might just be the triggering of a Toyota security feature!
The 2009 Corolla has valet mode, which is designed to restrict everything other than lock and unlock in the event of someone other than yourself driving your car. Although the name comes from handing over your keys to a valet, it can also be useful when bringing your car into the shop or lending it to a friend.
It can be easy to forget when valet mode has been activated. The 2009 Corolla comes with two sets of keys: driver keys and valet keys. The former grants access to every part of the car, while the latter can only unlock and lock the doors as well as start the engine. Make sure you are using the correct key before calling a locksmith or bringing your car to a service center. 
It is also possible that you locked your trunk with your driver key, which prevents it from being opened with the latch or key fob. If the trunk lock is horizontal, that means it is locked and you’ll need to turn it vertical with your key to unlock it. 

Other possible causes

If you are able to rule out valet mode as the culprit of your trunk not opening, you could be facing various issues—here are a few to look out for:
  • Broken key fob: If the latch on the driver’s side floor opens the trunk, your key fob may be the problem.
  • Faulty door switch: If your key fob is the only thing that opens your trunk, it’s possible your trunk match is broken.
  • Electrical problem: Cars are full of electrical components and faulty wires, and damaged actuators or blown fuses could cause your trunk’s malfunction.
  • Damaged latch: If the trunk lid will not unlock, the latch itself might be to blame.
If you have reason to believe that any of these issues are causing your stubborn trunk, bring your Corolla to a Toyota dealer so a specialist can properly diagnose and fix the problem. By inspecting the door locks, electrical system, and fuse box, they will be able to uncover the reason your trunk will not open.
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How to manually open a 2009 Toyota Corolla trunk

Bringing your Corolla to a dealer is a great way to make sure your trunk is fixed properly—but what if you need the trunk opened immediately? Don’t sweat, there’s an emergency trunk release cable located inside the trunk. 
We know what you’re thinking: how can you access this cable if you’re locked out of the trunk? Well, all it takes is a little determination and elbow grease—no tools required!
  • Begin by going to the seat behind the driver’s seat and pulling back the backrest until you have enough room to fit your arm behind it.
  • Locate the three holes at the top of the trunk frame, and reach for the release cable in the middle hole.
  • This cable will allow this seat to fold all the way down, giving you access to the trunk.
It’s certainly not the most efficient way into your trunk, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

Cost of trunk repair for 2009 Toyota Corolla

A Corolla trunk repair will vary depending on its specific problem and your location
A new trunk lock cylinder, for example, will cost about $95 if you purchase it from the
Toyota Online Parts Center
—but if you add in the cost of labor, your bill could be sitting well near $200. You could be facing similar fees if you bring your Corolla in for a
trunk latch release cable replacement
trunk lock actuator replacement
For the most part, trunk repairs are relatively affordable—that is unless the problem comes from major body damage. If you need an entirely new trunk lid, you could be looking at a bill of $300 to $500 before labor charges!

How to save on Toyota Corolla insurance

Your locked trunk could be the result of simply forgetting to take your car out of valet mode. If the trunk won’t open due to a collision or a tree falling on top of it, though, you’ll wish you had
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