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    Thread: Stiff Trunk Lid...

    1. 02-02-2004 06:36 PM #1
      How difficult is it for everyone to open their trunk lid? Since I bought my Passat last summer, the lid has been extremely hard to open. It unlocks fine, but it definitely takes both hands and a lot of effort to pry it open. It doesn’t budge, up or down without significant force.
      I have searched the archives most people state that it is usually related to cold weather, but this continues even when I open it in my garage.
      Does this sound normal to you? Any suggestions?

    2. 02-02-2004 08:06 PM #2
      I did not notice it much in the summer, but now, mine is hard to open.
      I am not sure its not designed that way, on my car, if i unlock the trunk but dont open it, it re locks by itself.
      If the trunk poped open, it could not re lock.
      I dont think its supposed to pop open, but it gets way too stiff in the winter.
      Most of the shock things have gas pressure inside, which leaks out over time,
      but that is typicly 5 years or more.
      maybe after they wear out some it will be easier to open?
      Less damping?
      2003 GLX

    3. 02-02-2004 08:17 PM #3
      I had exactly the same problem. I just thought it was supposed to be stiff, knowing Germans may do things differently. I should have known better. My wife said she had trouble with it, so I tried opening some other new ones on the lot one day. Definately a problem with mine.
      They diagnosed that the struts were bad. (2 hours waiting for the car for me.) The dealer had to order the struts. Odd, but, OK. Came back to the second appointment after the struts came in. Turns out that the struts were fine, it was an adjustment that was off (another two hours, now completely wasted, as they could have saved me one of these trips.) The trunk opens easily with one hand now, as it should, winter or summer.
      There's a chance the struts are bad, but there's a chance they're OK and something else is the culprit. Good luck, I hope this helps.

    4. 02-02-2004 08:38 PM #4
      I went out and checked my car.
      I notice the trunk has a lot of hinges, and they look tight.
      I put some 10w30 in the various hinges, 4 each side I think, and worked
      the trunk some.
      Although the oil is thick (its cold out) it seemed to get much better, and I expect
      more improvement as it works its way in
      I should have used something thiner, but the squeese bottle was handy...
      I dont see anything to adjust short of loosening the mountng bolts.
      maybe the trunk shrinks from the cold and puts side force on the hinges???
      2003 GLX

    5. 02-02-2004 09:52 PM #5
      My 2000 GLX has always been reluctant to open/close. Once the trunk release is activated, the lid barely rises, and I have to push it all the way up. To close it requires an assertive force.
      Compared to other VWs and other cars with trunk struts, mine is harder to open. (In fact, I slammed the trunk on a friend's brand new 2001 GLS so hard - being used to the effort on mine - he probably thought I was crazy.)
      A dealer back in IL allegedly changed the struts in 2001, but I forgot to mark them beforehand, so I can't confirm whether they were really changed. The same dealer broke my driver-side mirror housing without telling me, so my confidence in them isn't high. Regardless, I never noticed an improvement.
      I've tried various lubricants. And I've checked the angle and tightness of the hinge linkage. If anyone can shed light on the problem, I'd appreciate it.

    6. Member BrightGreenB5's Avatar
      Join Date
      Dec 7th, 2000
      Northern VA
      '99 Volkswagen Passat, '15 Jeep Patriot
      02-02-2004 10:50 PM #6
      Mine is really tempermental and random. I've learned to live with it. Generally, the warmer the temperature is, the easier it opens.
      But then I gets days like today when it opened easily but it was still cold out.
      I'm way too far out of warranty to "complain" about it.

    7. Member E36BMW's Avatar
      Join Date
      Nov 11th, 1999
      Woodbury, CT
      02-03-2004 11:52 AM #7
      On our sedan, the trunk is stiff in the winter but in the summer its fine. On our wagen its always ok...maybe because of the heavier lid.

      Hers: 2013 Beetle Convertible - Tornado Red, Beige Top & Interior, Tiptronic
      Mine: 2012 Golf - Tornado Red, Titan Black Interior, Convenience Package, Tiptronic

    8. 02-03-2004 03:16 PM #8
      Mine was/is stiff as well. I had the dealer replace the chrome hinges (struts). It helped but only a little.

    9. 02-03-2004 04:00 PM #9
      I never even realized this until I read this thread! Mine is stiff! No matter the weather, I always have to pull and push up on it to get it to open all the way. Maybe I should get the shocks replaced too. No biggie, but it would be nice.

    10. 02-03-2004 04:32 PM #10
      Yeah, me too, and also it is stiffer in colder weather. My poor daughter can't open the trunk unless she uses two hands and all her strength. I pointed it out to the dealer a couple of times, and he lubricated it and adjusted the hinges, but there does not appear to be much difference.

    11. 02-03-2004 10:28 PM #11
      the problem is the gas strut...not a problem - just an inherent design quirk with them. when its colder out, the gas inside the cylinder contracts and wants to stay in the "compressed" state. when you try to open the trunk/hatch, you're yanking against a substantial amount of force. hatches seem to be easier to open simply because you have more "weight" to pick up momentum to open them.
      its not just VW... my A4, Accords, and Civic Wagon all exhibited this in the winter.
      you have to be careful in the winter when the car gets older. when the trunk/hatch starts to droop, it might be time to replace the cylinders. you might not get any warning the first time it decides to drop eye level behind your back. not a pleasant experience to turn around and clock yourself in the head. [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthdown.gif[/IMG]
      i like the application of the articulated hinges for the trunk lid, but in the north east, 50% of the year, its a pain to get into your trunk. 99% of the time you just need to toss in groceries and items that don't fill up the trunk anyway. the good ol' torsion bars and suicide hinges tend to be more practical year round and they pop up everytime... except last week when an ice storm left 3 inches of ice on everything . . . .

    12. 02-08-2004 07:03 PM #12
      So....if my trunk is very hard to open/close, should I replace the struts? I would do that if it would help, but the trunk was hard to open/close from Day 1.

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