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3 Methods: How To Open Nissan Altima Trunk Without Key

Uh oh, is the Nissan Altima trunk release not working? Or perhaps, it may still be working, but the key could be lost?

Well, allow us to help solve the problem by reading this list! Written here are the ways a driver can use to fix their trunk problem.

There could be various reasons for the trunk release’s malfunction, but the good news here is that there are many ways to fix that!


Why is My Nissan Altima Trunk Release Not Working?

The trunk is one of the most important yet straightforward components of the car, but, unfortunately, it’s not immune to complications and malfunctions. In cases where the trunk won’t open, here are the possible reasons why:

Latch is broken

The latch in a vehicle is in charge of releasing and unhinging the door and trunks.

The latch is attached by a unit connected to the car’s internal frame.

If that connection is broken, that particular function can no longer work and permanently lock the release.

The trunk cable is damaged

Some cars can manually open the trunk from the back, while most trigger in the driver’s seat.

The trigger is connected to the trunk through a cable; this is convenient until the cable becomes damaged.

Broken button

When the button in the car or the key fob meant to open the trunk is pressed, it tells the locking mechanism to release.

If the buttons themselves are broken or out of battery, it definitely can’t open the trunk.

A malfunction in the actuator

The actuator of a lock is the small motor that determines the security of the car’s trunk.

This mechanism uses gears to shift the latch that holds the trunk. If broken, the trunk won’t be able to lock and unlock.

When Does The Nissan Altima Trunk Release Not Work?

Simply put, the reason a Nissan Altima trunk release isn’t working could be when either the latches are broken or the button to open the car trunk isn’t functioning.

There are many plausible reasons why. It could be that the vehicle encountered an accident that affected the latches of the car.

Poor car maintenance is also a factor in the damage of the trunk release. And, in rare cases, it could have been a malfunction during production.

Regardless, there are solutions to the problem that one could do!

Using The Emergency Function

If one doesn’t have the key or if the car remote’s battery is dead or disconnected, but one can still enter the car’s interior, then this is the best way to open the Nissan Altima’s trunk:

  1. Find the bind that can release the back seat into a folding position by the car’s rear seat.
  2. Remove items and the net that get in the way of moving closer to the trunk’s door.
  3. Once there, one will find three slits in the lower center of the trunk’s door.
  4. Take a flat yet lengthy and thin tool (such as a flathead screwdriver) and insert it into the hole that’s found in the first slit.
  5. Move the tool around until the spring-loaded portion of the hole is reached.
  6. Push towards the right until the trunk gets opened!

If truly locked outside, use the Slimjim Technique! This age-old method has existed for decades and continues to remain in today’s time.

The technique is for the car owners who wish to use the first method this list has mentioned but still can’t find a way to get into their car.

The first step-by-step procedure fell only exclusively to the lucky drivers who aren’t locked in. So, to access the Nissan Altima trunk’s emergency function, do the following:

  1. Within the gap between the car door’s window and its trim, slip the hooked half of a slim jim down.
  2. Continue to feel around the inside of the car door until one can find the rod for the lock, which is commonly close to the car’s door handle.
  3. Once the slim Jim’s hook holds the rod, pull the tool up.
  4. Then, when the lock clicks, the door would then open!
  5. Proceed with the step-by-step guide listed above.

Screwdriver Method: Opening From The Inside

Sometimes, a flat screwdriver is all it takes to make the problems disappear. This method of opening the trunk more or less applies to the general car population.

Even if one can still get into the car, this is another way to open the trunk by going inside.

  1. Use the screwdriver and pry it between the car’s frame and door, making a small opening. Prevent damaging the car door and its lock by doing this away from the hinges.
  2. Take a coat hanger (or any long, bendable yet strong tool) and slide it into the created opening. Then, get to the unlocking key.
  3. Before removing the coat hanger, take the screwdriver out to ensure that the Nissan’s locking mechanism won’t get broken.
  4. Open the door and get inside.
  5. Collapse, then push the car’s front seat forward as much as possible; this is so there’s enough space.
  6. Remove the backseat by finding its bolt underneath. Unfasten the bolts with a wrench.
  7. Then remove the seat’s bottom and back, as well as insulation if there is any.
  8. Take a flashlight, then go crawl into the trunk.
  9. Once inside with a flashlight, find a rectangular bar made of metal near the trunk’s lock, and on that bar would be a box.
  10. Use the screwdriver to access that box.
  11. Then, in a clockwise direction, turn that box. Once opened, the trunk has become unlocked!
  12. Reassemble the parts removed, and the task is completed.

Screwdriver Method: Opening From The Outside

Now, this is a more dangerous technique for getting that car trunk open.

We may have to warn that this increases the risk of damaging the trunk lock further while decreasing the chances of actually opening the trunk.

But, if one is brave enough, here’s what needs to be done:

  1. Take a flathead screwdriver and wedge it into the trunk’s lock.
  2. Wiggle the screwdriver from left to right until it opens.

Sounds super easy. Well, don’t be too relaxed with this method as it can damage the trunk more than it already is, ruin the screwdriver, and cause injuries to the body. Do proceed with absolute caution!

If these methods haven’t worked, then there may be a more complicated problem at hand.

It could be that the issue lies on the vehicle’s latches or even the actuator; This may require professional attention as it would require a more intense disassemble procedure, along with having to buy the right materials that need replacing.

DIY vs. Professional

All experienced car owners will say that any damage inflicted upon the vehicle will lighten the wallet.

Materials aren’t the only problem one has to worry about, but certified mechanics’ professional service.

By taking the car to a professional, there will be an average of 80 dollars for inspection and another 80 dollars for labor.

The price varies on location, but their service charge won’t include parts.

There is an upside to going to a mechanic, and that’s because they can assure their customers that their car won’t be further damaged during the repair.

Still, some patience is needed as it’s likely that they will have multiple customers to accommodate first. A week or more is the expected waiting period to finish repairs.

But, if one is truly confident with their hands, there’s no need to worry about the 160 dollars or the extra wait.

A DIY job can undoubtedly help cut costs and save time. However, it may come as a price as one may risk further damage due to just even one misstep.

The warning signs

Broken latches and locking mechanisms are quite hard to predict regardless of the maintained state of the Nissan Altima.

But, even a mild car accident should raise concern, especially if the damage is centered at the back of the vehicle.

Even if the trunk isn’t broken immediately after an incident, the latches or mechanisms may have weakened and become a problem soon.

For the more common case where the problem is lying on the state of the key fob, then watch out for the following symptoms:

  • The strength of its signal worsens
  • Repeatedly clicking to work
  • Unpredictable outcomes; sometimes working, sometimes isn’t

How to prevent this problem

There is always a way to avoid this problem from occurring again by being mindful of the vehicle.

Ensure that the car is carefully maintained and don’t ignore one issue because it will only create more.

Furthermore, if the Nissan key fob is experiencing the symptoms mentioned, it’s time to get a new battery to ensure that one won’t have to go through a lot of hassle. Remember, prevention is better than cure!


Is it possible to start the Nissan Altima without a working key fob?

Yes, of course. With the key fob faced down, there is a small hatch on its backside.

Pull that hatch to release a concealed key saved for emergencies. Use that key to start the engine, and it is good to go.

What is the hotline customers can use to reach Nissan?

To reach the international service hotline of Nissan, contact them through the number: 800 NISSAN (800-647726)

What is the Nissan Altima trunk release power cancel switch?

The release power cancel switch is a function that prevents the car’s trunk from being opened through traditional means.

In other words, using the key fob or the trunk release switch in the car won’t open the trunk if this feature is activated.

How does one activate the trunk release power cancel switch?

The security feature can be activated by finding the switch inside the glovebox.

After turning the switch off, remove the mechanical key concealed in the key fob and use it to lock the glovebox.

The mechanical key could also use to close the interior trunk access. Access to the trunk will be exclusive to the holder of the mechanical key.

How does one replace the battery which is used for the Nissan key fob?

First, one has to take the concealed mechanical key from the key fob. Then, disassemble the device and remove the dead battery while remembering its position within the device’s housing.

Place the new battery in, making sure that the battery’s position is still the same as the old one’s. Begin reassembling the key fob and test if it works.

Why is my trunk release button not working?

It’s like that the reason why the trunk release button isn’t working is that there’s damage with the internal latches of the vehicle or the key fob has a dead battery.

However, it is also likely that one has accidentally activated the “trunk release power cancel switch.”

Final Words

Owning a Nissan Altima can feel utterly great for many out there.

However, there will be times when its drivers will encounter small yet hassling problems such as this one.

The whole thing about a locked trunk with no way in is an obstacle for many.

However, there’s don’t need to worry! By thoroughly understanding the reasons for the malfunctions and inspecting the vehicle to find the problem, drivers will be enjoying their car again in no time!