If you’re visiting this page, there’s a good chance that you locked your Toyota Camry’s keys inside the car. Either that or you’re preparing for the inevitable. Whatever the case may be, here’s what you can do.
To access your Camry’s trunk without a key, you can try one of the following:
- Pull the trunk latch
- Fold down the rear seats and crawl into the trunk space
- Remove the cylinder lock
- Try the underframe trick
Now, the only question is, what are these things, and how do you do them? In this guide, I’ll explain common causes why your Camry’s trunk won’t open, as well as cover each trunk unlocking method fully in full detail.
Causes for Why You Cannot Open Your Toyota Camry’s Trunk
Let’s examine the potential causes for why your Camry’s trunk can’t open.
- Dead battery—If the battery is dead, it won’t power the electrical system, which will keep all locks in the position they were in before losing power.
- Key fob issues—The key fob will grant you access to the car, as well as lock and unlock the trunk. Check the fob for a dead battery or mechanical problems. Either way, you’ll need to get something fixed.
- Electrical issues—This is a more serious problem that can only be fixed by a professional mechanic. Modern Camry trunks rely on an electrical latch to keep it locked and unlocked. If the trunk isn’t receiving power, the trunk latch will remain engaged.
- Latch problems—This is a simple yet highly annoying cause of why your Camry’s trunk isn’t unlocking. There might be debris in the latch that is keeping it in place, or it might be damaged beyond repair (never slam your trunk shut). After opening the trunk, make sure you take your Camry to the nearest mechanic to get the latch looked at and possibly replaced.
How To Open the Toyota Camry Trunk without A Key
Like our ankles, the trunk lock on a Toyota Camry can only go through so much punishment—i.e., slamming the trunk door shut—before it breaks. The problem is that recent Camry model years use a remote system to lock and unlock the door, which relies on the electrical system to keep it working properly. When the electrical system fails, there’s no way to enter the trunk.
Or is there?
Below, I’ll explain 4 ways to open a Toyota Camry trunk without a key.
1. Pull the trunk latch
Did you know that Camrys with powered liftgates will have a manual trunk button near the driver’s seat? Take a look at the lefthand side of the steering wheel for a series of buttons. The trunk button should have a silhouette of the sedan with an open trunk. Alternatively, the trunk button may be next to the gas cap button near the footwell.
- Enter the vehicle through the driver’s seat.
- Press the trunk button.
- Leave the car and move toward the back to see whether the trunk is open or not.
2. Fold down the rear seats and crawl into the trunk space
Assuming you can open the car doors, here’s what you need to do.
- Fold the rear seats down.
- Bring the rear seats as far forward as they can go. They should be able to rest against the backrests of the front seats.
- Crawl into the trunk space.
- Locate a yellow handle in the trunk space. You may need to lift the carpeting.
- Pull the yellow handle to unlock the trunk door and carefully push the trunk up.
3. Remove the cylinder lock
This trick can be used for highly unique cases where you have locked your car keys in the trunk and cannot crawl into the trunk space via the rear seat but can still open your doors. You may need the help of a roadside assistance crew to jimmy your car doors for you.
- Open the driver’s door all the way.
- Locate a circular plastic plug on the door jam and carefully peel it away.
- Loosen (don’t remove) the metallic screw with a torque-bit screwdriver.
- Pull the handle of the driver-side door and slide the key cylinder out. Be careful not to scratch the car door or handle with the metallic cylinder.
- Look through the empty hole where the cylinder used to be and locate a large Philips screw. That screw is what locks and unlocks your door, thereby engaging or disengaging the alarm system.
- Use a screwdriver to turn the screw clockwise to lock it and then counterclockwise to unlock it.
- Press the trunk button or pull on the trunk latch to disengage the trunk’s lock.
The only thing left to do is reinstall the cylinder lock. This is a bit trickier than taking it out, so I suggest driving to the nearest mechanic and having them do it for you.
It’s worth mentioning that this trick only works for newer Camry models. If your Camry is an older model—e.g., it doesn’t come with a trunk button near the steering wheel—you can the fold-down technique described earlier.
4. Try the underframe trick
If own an older Camry (2005 and earlier), you can try this trick to manually disengage the trunk lock from underneath the frame. Similar to the previous method, doing the undercarriage trick will get people to raise their eyebrows at you. Make sure you’re doing this only in emergencies since this can reveal a lot about how insecure your Camry is.
- Place bricks or other large, heavy objects behind your Camry’s wheels. This will ensure that the sedan doesn’t roll back while you’re underneath the frame.
- Carefully slide underneath the frame on the driver’s side seat.
- Locate a plastic plug underneath the driver’s footwell, which should be directly underneath the trunk latch.
- Remove the plastic plug.
- Use a long screwdriver and carefully push it into the hole. This will force the carpet or mat up and push the trunk level up, disengaging the trunk lock.
- Replace the plastic plug when you’re done to ensure rainwater doesn’t soak your car’s carpeting from underneath.