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Bill
Bill, Buick Technician
Category: Buick
Satisfied Customers: 1666
Experience:  GM Certified Master Technician
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2003 Buick Century: the trunk release button..glove box..unlocking

Resolved Question:

I have a 2003 Buick Century. When I use the trunk release button on the remote OR glove box there is a whirring sound (like a motor) from the trunk but the trunk never opens. I've tried unlocking it with the key but the key won't turn. Door locks open fine with remote. Any suggestions on how to get into my trunk?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Buick
Expert:  Bill replied 2 years ago.

Welcome to Just Answer.com. I'm here to help you and your 100% satisfaction is my goal. Please Accept if you are satisfied.

Hello,

Does your vehicle have a folding rear seat back? We may have to gain access to the trunk through the back seat. The lock actuator or the lock cylinder itself may be frozen.

Thanks

Bill

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I removed the backseat yesterday and managed to get the trunk open. Now that I have a way IN to the trunk, can someone help me diagnose what is wrong with the mechanism so I can purchase the replacement part?

Expert:  Bill replied 2 years ago.

Sorry for the delay. What I thought would be a simple upgrade to windows 7 turned out to be a problem.

We'll have to get back in there to the latch assembly and remove the two bolts. the trunk should come open. You may have to work the latch a bit with a screwdriver or similar tool. Bring a flashlight. :)

Disconnect the actuator cable that attaches to the lock assembly. Press the trunk release with it disconnected and see if it moves freely. Also see if the lock turns freely with the key with the actuator disconnected. Replace whichever one is frozen. The cylinder will have to be coded however you may ask if the parts person at your dealer can code it for you if that is the failure. No way to know until it is removed and seperated and we discover which one of the two won't turn. There is an outside chance it's the latch itself however most of the time it is the actuator and sometimes the cylinder.

Cheers

Bill

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Oy! An upgrade problem....you can have ALL of that! LOL

 

I'll check it out this weekend and let you know.

 

Thanks

Expert:  Bill replied 2 years ago.

Ok.... Let me know :)

 

Bill

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Bill,

 

Sorry for the delay...life! Okay...so I'm not sure if I disconnected the right thing. With the trunk open, there are two black screws facing me. Underneath there are two silver screws that look like the hold the whole lock on. What exactly am I unscrewing? How am I identifying the actuator cable? There are cables on the left and on the right. Is the actuator the gizmo with the black screws that connects to the thing with the silver screws? (Technical terms...I know!)

 

You're going to have to make this as idiot proof as you can, my friend. =)

 

Thanks,

 

Janet

Expert:  Bill replied 2 years ago.

See if these pictures help a bit. One shows the latch assembly with the actuator still attached and the other shows just the actuator (the part with the electrical connector) and the cable that goes to a plastic part that fits around the lock cylinder where you put your key . If I remember correctly the latch assembly is held on by nuts and the actuator with cable is held on by two bolts. With the lock not working I figured you would probably have to take the nuts off the lock assembly to get the trunk open. The good news is you must have it open and that's half the battle.

The idea was to remove the actuator with the cable and then insert your key to see if it turns. We want to know if its the chicken or the egg here. The cylinder holding up the lock actuator or the lock actuator holding up the cylinder. Take a look at the pictures and see if it helps. I'll be back on in a while... heading home from work.

Thanks

Bill

 

Expert:  Bill replied 2 years ago.

Figured it might help if I actually attach the pictures :)

 

Billgraphicgraphicgraphic

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yup, the pictures helped. I disconnected the actuator cable from the actuator (it has a little piece that has to be pushed in to remove it, right?). Then I put the key in the lock but it won't turn. So I'm guessing that it's the cylinder that's kaput, huh? Any chance of getting after-market parts for any of this?

Expert:  Bill replied 2 years ago.

I don't believe aftermarket parts are available for something such as a trunk lock cylinder. It shouldn't be terribly expensive. Sometimes it is not necessary to replace it. With care and a steady hand, the cylinder can be taken apart and inspected. There is a pressed on cover over the springs and tumblers. The part that presses on will likely be damaged during removal but any gm parts department will have it in stock. Each tumbler goes in a specific spot to match the key cuts but if you have one damaged tumbler (which is enough to keep it from turning) you can simply remove the damaged one and leave it out (or replace it of course). Having one less in there still makes it an effective lock. There is a number on each tumbler that you may need a magnifying glass to see if one needs to be replaced. . If you decide to replace the entire cylinder or if it is necessary due to it being damaged, the new one will come uncoded anyway as the correct tumblers must be installed to match your specific key.

Bill

Bill, Buick Technician
Category: Buick
Satisfied Customers: 1666
Experience: GM Certified Master Technician
Bill and 10 other Buick Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Bill replied 2 years ago.

Have you tried recoding the cylinder or or disassembling it?

Bill

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I'm thinking that disassembling is going to be beyond my skill set. It sounds like I'll have to make a trip to the dealership even if it is just to code the cylinder. The trunk has been opened and I know now what I'm dealing with. That's what I needed.

 

Thank you for your assistance. I'll be accepting the answer now and plan on leaving positive feedback.

 

Thanks again for your help.

 

Janet

Expert:  Bill replied 2 years ago.

Thank you!

 

I can't speak for all but where I work, the parts department codes them for our customers as a courtesy.

 

Bill

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