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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is how to repair a flaky trunk switch. I'm not sure if this will resuscitate a completely dead trunk switch. Mine did need 4-5 presses to activate. After testing this for a month, the trunk switch opens the trunk on the first or second press.

Tools/supplies needed:
7mm and 10mm sockets
Body panel tools
Small flat-bladed screwdriver
Scissors
Clear RTV silicone sealant
Quick-dry electronics cleaner
220 grit sandpaper
Q-tip
*Recommended* Nitrile gloves

First, remove the 7mm bolts holding on the trunk handle:



Next, start popping off the body panel clips holding the trunk liner on:



I found it easy to use a set of body panel tools to first pop off the center locking pin, then dig under the body of the clip like so:





Then, pop off the plastic latch cover:



Push in and twist with the tool. It should come right out with some persuasion.

There are about 15 clips that need to be removed. Most of them are visible and easy to get to:



Remove the trunk liner, and put it into a safe place.

The green wire loom is the one that leads to the trunk switch. Disconnect it using the quick-disconnect:



The green wire loom terminates into a grommet. Push this out:



Locate the 4 10mm nuts holding the trunk switch into the trunk. They are easy to locate. Two are located next to the grommet that was pushed out earlier:



Two more are located further outboard, slightly hidden by the bodywork:



Remove the nuts with an extension as needed:



Wiggle the trunk switch out gently:



The trunk switch itself is not sealed very well, as we can see:





Our goal is to clean out and seal up the switch.

These are the products I used to get this done:



To clean the switch, pop it out gently with a small flat-blade screwdriver. No picture here.

Switch out:



Dirt can fall into the switch and collect, ruining the switch:





Now that the switch is out, liberally spray it with the electronics cleaner. Get it sloshing in there, dump it out, and spray more. Click the switch a bunch of times to work it into the contacts. Let the switch dry for a few minutes while taking a beverage break.

Next, scuff the inside of the switch holder to give the RTV silicone something to grip to. Clean it out with a Q-tip:



Cut the tip of the RTV silicone small, and apply a bead around the outside of the switch holding area:





Make especially sure to get lots of sealant into the corners!!!

After applying the silicone sealant, push the switch into place and spread more sealant around the outside:



Make sure there are few bubbles or non-filled areas.

I put a glob of sealant over the wires on the inside to deflect any water on the wires from running into the switch. I elected not to seal the switch completely to make any eventual removal easier.



Lastly, use a clean Q-tip to clean up any excess RTV silicone on the outside of the switch area for a clean finish:



Let the RTV dry for a few hours, and then commence re-assembly by following the directions for dis-assembly backwards. The switch should be far more functional now.
 

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Great write up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks! I had my switch replaced once under warranty. The replacement started to fail again, and I decided to have a go at repairing it myself instead of spending the time/gas to get the car to the dealer.
 

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I got the cleaner lastnight.
It's been freezing here in Pa (light snowing past two days) so I am going to have to borrow a garage to do this...

My only question is.
This is a mechanical switch (two metal contact points) right? It's not a computer chip right? So is there any reason that I couldn't bring it back from the dead?
I'm assuming that the dust is just inhibiting the two contacts from touching.


Sent from my iPhone using AutoGuide.com App
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm thinking it's a mechanical switch. It sure has a switch-y feel to it and makes click noises like a real switch. It's not a touchpad, even though it says "touchpad" in the photos.
 

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They make a black silicon gasket maker also, so it blends in a heck of a lot better. I did this a while ago to my license plate lights after going to LEDs and seeing how much dirt and salt got sucked up in there.
 

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Great write up, great pics. Mine failed < 3,000 miles. Since the car was under warranty, I have a choice of screwing around for several hours at the dealership having them fix it, or doing it myself. At this point since it not a 5 minute job, and the old one is probably corroded, I going to have them replace it with a new one, then do the silicon thing after I get it back.

Too often these repair writeups forget one very important aspect. You've included it. Loved the "dry for a few minutes while taking a beverage break". Every repair job should include a beverage break
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'm wondering. So if your trunk switch is working ok, can you simply put gasket sealer around the switch from the outside?
Yes. If your trunk switch is fine right now, putting sealant around the switch from the outside should keep it functional for a long while. After going through a NY winter with my repaired trunk switch, it still works on the first press.

What you're accomplishing is sealing the sealed part of the switch to the plastic. That way, water cannot splash up past the sealed part of the switch to the unsealed part of the switch.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
so would you just lather the whole button up with this stuff and then wipe off the excess or just put the stuff in the gaps at both ends of the button?
Put it in the gaps, just like in my how-to. It's doable with the button already seated in the recess if the tip is cut fine enough on the silicone tube's applicator. Make sure to wipe off any excess immediately.
 
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