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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > TDI Model Specific Discussions Areas > VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD)

VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old September 13th, 2009, 06:42   #1
RamMan4x4
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Default Difficult Trunk Opening Fix

Writing a how to for this is above and beyond what is required for something this simple, but I had a difficult time finding any info on the topic and everyone pays more attention when there's pictures.

The trunk on my Jetta has always been difficult to open and close, but since it still popped when I pressed the button and didn't fall on my head I didn't think much of it. My wife always complained when we go on grocery runs but I always got a good laugh out of it so again, I didn't think much of it. Then this week two of my friends made a few comments about it on our way to the gym so I figured it was time to fix it...

So lets get down to it...generally speaking if you trunk/hatch is hard to open and easy to close your struts are bad. Basically you are having to lift the entire weight of the trunk on the way up and prevent the trunk from slamming on the way down. If this is the case, a new set of struts is probably all you need. I found some at TDIparts for a decent price http://tdiparts.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=298. However, in my case, the trunk was difficult to open and difficult to close (it would literally stay where ever you left it when you took your hands off). In this case, it could be an internal failure of the strut causing resistance to movement in both directions or it could be stuck hinges. Before I spent any money, I wanted to see what was causing the problem and luckily it only takes a few minutes.

The trunk struts mount using a ball-socket hinge so all you need is small flat blade screw-driver to remove the clip that holds the strut to the trunk mount (leave the lower ball-socket alone for now). There's a small slot on the backside of the strut that makes it easy to get the screwdriver in there and either pry back or lift up. Use caution during removal because the clip could fly out if you're not careful.


You don't have to remove the clip all the way if you don't want to. All you need to do is move it up or back enough to free it from the ball on the trunk mount. You will want to have the trunk/hatch all the way open before you remove the strut. Basically you want to get the strut to the end of its travel before trying to remove it...otherwise its going to extend to the end of its travel as soon as you remove it and these little things are much stronger than they look.


Once the clip is out of the way, you can test the trunk strut to see if it is still providing enough force to lift the trunk. This is why I recommended leaving the lower mount on. With the top removed, rotate the strut so its pointing away from the car. Next get a good grip on the free end of the strut and try to compress it, the goal here is to see if it returns to the fully extended position when you let go. Like I said, these things are stronger than they look, I'm 6'2", 200lbs and I was barely able to get it to compress half the travel length. If your strut moves easily then they need to be replaced.


Since my struts were hard to compress and both returned to the fully extended position, I decided it must be the hinges. Again, this can be tested...not that there is a need to if you can rule out the struts but I did it anyway. With both struts removed, I moved the trunk up and down to see how much resistance was there. As it turns out, it was quite a bit. The trunk was still difficult to open and would slowly lower itself (as opposed to slamming shut, which is what it should have done with no struts).

The hinge joints are permanent connections that are not easily removed so I just used some penetrating oil to loosen the joints. White lithium grease would have been better, but I don't think it would have gotten into the joint as well as PO.


For a Jetta sedan, there are four joints that you will want to lubricate (I'm sure a golf and jetta wagon are similar), give each a few shots of PO and work the trunk lid up and down...you should notice it get easier to move pretty quickly. I did this cycle about three times or until it moved freely.


The last step is to reinstall the trunk strut and test it...now all my trunk needs is a small lift once you press the trunk release and the struts do the rest. Not a bad fix for $0.00. Of course to fully test it, I went for a grocery run with my wife and on the way out had her pop the trunk...I got the usual moans and groans as she was walking over to it about how heavy it was. She jumped back a little when it flew open on its own. Good times!!
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Last edited by RamMan4x4; September 13th, 2009 at 06:53.
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Old September 14th, 2009, 07:37   #2
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Thank you it is on the list of fixes for my 2005. Same exact issue you had.
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Old September 14th, 2009, 08:47   #3
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After dowsing the joints with penetrating oil, clean and spray on some lithium grease (or other permanent)
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Old September 14th, 2009, 09:56   #4
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As part of my 10,000 mile oil change and "lube" service, I hit all of the latches and hinges on the '04 with lubricant. For the rear hatch hinge pivot points, I use 15W-40 "Rotella" oil from an oil can. The oil is what I used in my the '85 Jetta TD's engine I used to have.

This keeps all the pivots nice and free and minimizes wear. I use just a drop on each pivot, work the pivot and come back an hour or so later and wipe up any drips.

The door hinges get the same oil and the door, hood, and trunk latches and the thingys that keep the doors from slaming shut get white lithium grease, as does the sunroof tracks.

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Last edited by PDJetta; September 14th, 2009 at 10:06.
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Old September 14th, 2009, 11:20   #5
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Good call on using the heavier stuff as a future preventative...I need to hit the guides on my sunroof with WLG anyway, I'll get all the other latches/hinges that Nate mentioned while I'm at it.
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Old February 5th, 2010, 19:27   #6
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Any idea how to install new shocks? The ones I just bought seem to be about 1/4 of an inch too long. It needs to be compress ever so slightly. I can't even budge the shock by hand. What do I do?
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Old February 5th, 2010, 19:56   #7
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You might try to compress it with a ratchet strap.

It might take one person pushing and another operating the ratchet.

Just be sure to have the mounting points near the edge of the strap.
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Old February 5th, 2010, 20:12   #8
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Genius! I just did a test run and it looks like its going to work. I'll have to do it in the morning though. It's way too cold out there.
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Old February 6th, 2010, 20:01   #9
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Worked perfectly. Thanks for the advice.
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Old January 20th, 2011, 21:21   #10
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Didn't seem to work for me. I noticed that it is a little easier to open now (can open it with one hand instead of two) but I still have to lift the trunk open all the way and it will stay at any point that I leave it in.

Do I just need to keep cycling this thing and it will loosen up? I really do not want to drop $120 for 2 new hinges plus paint....
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Old January 21st, 2011, 20:13   #11
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Mine was bad when I bought it. Took hundreds of up and downs for it to free up.
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Old January 22nd, 2011, 17:20   #12
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ah, my trunk felt tight. i will try cleaning and greasing that. thank you
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Old January 29th, 2011, 00:06   #13
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Thank You for the how too on this. My 04 trunk is doing the same thing. Stuck and getting worse. I was going to order new struts figuring that was the issue. Now I don't have too.
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Old January 31st, 2011, 11:53   #14
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Can we link this into the How-To's?
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Old February 1st, 2011, 07:15   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pro5utah View Post
Can we link this into the How-To's?

Done
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