The trunk lid works partly like a car's door as it employs the same type of latch and striker, and it needs to be properly seated against a rubber weather strip for it to serve its purpose well. But to some extent, it's also like a hood as its hitch mount is fitted with elongated bolt holes that allow up-and-down as well as left-and-right adjustments. Since its task is to protect everything you store in your vehicle's trunk, the lid should always close snugly, without any looseness that could cause rattles or without any gap between its edge and the weatherstrip that could allow water and dust into the trunk and your baggage.
To keep this component in perfect shape, it is important that you include trunk lid alignment in your maintenance routine. Doing so won't just help protect the lid against rust formation but also prevent water and dirt from harming the trunk and anything you put on it. To help you pull the task off even if you don't have prior DIY experience, here are the steps on how you can correctly align your trunk and its lid:
Difficulty level: Easy
What you'll need:
- Wrench set
- Clean cloth
Step 1: Turn the engine off. From inside the cab of your ride, pull on the trunk release button to pop open the trunk. With the clean cloth, wipe the trunk lid clean, particularly its edges. It's also wise to make sure the weatherstrip is free of dirt before starting off with the maintenance task.
Step 2: Open the trunk lid just halfway up and ask your assistant to hold it as you access the bolts on the supporting arms. You will normally find two bolts on each side. Loosen each of these bolts.
Tip: You just need to loosen and not to take them off as you will have to change their position by millimeters. Don't be surprised by the degree of play inside the bolt holes. That's due to the clearance in between the bolts themselves and the walls of the bolt hole. By loosening the bolts, you shift or adjust them inside the bolt holes.
Step 3: Lower the lid without engaging the trunk latch and ask your assistant to continue holding it. Put the calipers on the right side seam, measure the gap, and take note of the measurement. Do the same on the left side and compare the two measurements. The figures should be the same. If there's a difference, tell your assistant to adjust the trunk lid until you get the same measurements on both sides.
Step 4: Now, proceed to measuring the gaps at the front and back of each side of the lid. This is important to be sure that the lid isn't slanted to one side. Once it's been aligned, let your assistant hold it still.
Step 5: Get inside the trunk from the vehicle's cabin by folding down the rear seats and crawling inside the trunk. With the wrench, tighten the bolts, starting from the outer bolts on the left, working your way to the inner bolts on the right until they are snug. Again, just snug, not tight. Now that the lid's in place, start tightening the bolts all the way down.
Step 5: Get out of the trunk via the vehicle's interior, put the rear seats back up, and ask your assistant to close the trunk.