How to Manually Open Toyota Highlander Trunk: Simple Steps for Easy Access




To manually open the Toyota Highlander trunk, locate the trunk release lever inside the vehicle and pull it. This will unlock and open the trunk.

Introduced in 2000, the Toyota Highlander is a mid-size SUV that offers versatility and spaciousness. The Highlander trunk provides ample storage space for luggage, groceries, or any other items you need to transport. In certain situations, you may need to manually open the trunk, such as in the event of a power failure or malfunction.

By following a simple process, you can easily access your Highlander’s trunk manually. In this guide, we will explain how to manually open the trunk of a Toyota Highlander, ensuring a hassle-free experience.

Understanding The Manual Trunk Release Mechanism

Learn how to manually open the trunk of your Toyota Highlander with the manual trunk release mechanism. Discover the step-by-step process to unlock and access the trunk without relying on electronic systems. Master this technique for added convenience and peace of mind.

In some situations, you may find yourself needing to manually open the trunk of your Toyota Highlander. Whether it’s due to a dead battery or a malfunctioning electrical system, knowing how to use the manual trunk release mechanism can be a lifesaver.

This article will guide you through the process, from understanding how the mechanism works to locating the release lever or button inside your car.

How The Manual Trunk Release Mechanism Works:

  • The manual trunk release mechanism is a safety feature designed to allow you to open the trunk from the inside of your car, even if the electrical systems are not functioning properly.
  • This mechanism is typically connected to a cable that runs from inside the cabin to the latch mechanism on the trunk door.
  • When you engage the manual trunk release, it pulls the cable, releasing the latch and allowing you to manually open the trunk.

Locating The Manual Trunk Release Lever Or Button Inside The Car:

  • To find the manual trunk release lever or button, start by checking the interior of your Toyota Highlander.
  • The location may vary depending on the model and year of your vehicle, but it is usually situated near the driver’s seat or the front passenger’s seat.
  • Check the lower part of the dashboard, close to the floor, or look for a small lever or button near the driver’s seat, possibly on the side of the seat or the lower part of the center console.
  • If you can’t find it, refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual or consult with a Toyota dealership for more specific instructions.

Remember, understanding how the manual trunk release mechanism works and locating the release lever or button inside your car are crucial steps to gaining access to your Toyota Highlander’s trunk when the electrical systems fail. Being prepared and knowledgeable about these features can save you time and frustration in unexpected situations.

Step-By-Step Guide To Opening The Toyota Highlander Trunk Manually

Learn how to manually open the trunk of your Toyota Highlander with this step-by-step guide. Avoid the hassle of a jammed or malfunctioning trunk latch with these easy-to-follow instructions.

Preparing The Car For Manual Trunk Release

  • Make sure the car is in park and the engine is turned off.
  • Locate any personal belongings or items that may obstruct the trunk area.
  • Ensure that there is enough space behind the car to fully open the trunk.

Identifying The Manual Trunk Release Lever Or Button

  • Look inside the cabin of your Toyota Highlander for the manual trunk release lever or button.
  • The location of the lever or button may vary depending on the model year and trim level.
  • Refer to your car’s owner’s manual if you’re having trouble finding the manual trunk release lever or button.

Activating The Manual Trunk Release Mechanism

  • Once you have located the manual trunk release lever or button, activate the mechanism by either pulling the lever or pressing the button.
  • This action will send a signal to the trunk release mechanism to unlock and release the trunk.

Pulling The Manual Trunk Release Lever

  • If your Toyota Highlander is equipped with a manual trunk release lever, simply pull the lever firmly in the designated direction.
  • This will disengage the trunk lock and allow it to open manually.

Pressing The Manual Trunk Release Button

  • If your Toyota Highlander is equipped with a manual trunk release button, press the button firmly.
  • This will activate the trunk release mechanism and unlock the trunk for manual opening.

Opening The Trunk Manually

  • After activating the manual trunk release lever or button, proceed to the rear of the car.
  • Use both hands to lift the trunk lid, applying gentle upward force until it fully opens.
  • Be cautious of any heavy or delicate items that may be stored in the trunk.

Using The Mechanical Key To Open The Trunk

  • In some Toyota Highlander models, there may be a mechanical key available for manually opening the trunk.
  • Locate and remove the mechanical key from the key fob or from a separate key slot.
  • Insert the mechanical key into the trunk lock cylinder, typically located near the license plate area.
  • Rotate the key clockwise to unlock the trunk and counterclockwise to lock it.

Removing The Trunk Access Cover And Pulling The Emergency Trunk Release Handle

  • If you are unable to open the trunk using the manual trunk release lever, button, or mechanical key, there may be an emergency trunk release handle located inside the trunk.
  • Open the trunk and locate the trunk access cover, which may be a removable panel or piece of trim.
  • Remove the trunk access cover to reveal the emergency trunk release handle.
  • Pull the emergency trunk release handle firmly to disengage the trunk lock and open it manually.

Remember to always refer to your Toyota Highlander’s owner’s manual for specific instructions and illustrations related to the manual trunk release process. Prioritize safety and take caution when attempting to open the trunk manually.

Safety Tips And Considerations

In this safety guide, learn how to manually open the trunk of a Toyota Highlander, ensuring the protection of yourself and your vehicle. Discover step-by-step instructions for a smooth and secure process.

Ensuring the car is parked in a safe location:

  • Choose a level surface: Park your Toyota Highlander on a flat and stable surface to prevent any accidental rolling or movement while you’re working on opening the trunk.
  • Avoid narrow spaces: Make sure you have enough space around the vehicle so that you can move freely without bumping into any obstacles.
  • Keep doors locked: Before proceeding to manually open the trunk, ensure that all doors of the vehicle are securely locked to prevent any unauthorized access or interference.
  • Engage the parking brake: Activate the parking brake to provide an additional layer of safety, especially if you’re parked on an incline or uneven terrain.

Taking precautions to prevent any damage to the vehicle:

  • Protective tools or cloth: Consider using a soft towel or cloth to protect the car’s paint from accidental scratches or scuffs that may occur during the manual trunk opening process.
  • Avoid excessive force: Be careful not to apply excessive force or pressure while handling the trunk, as it may lead to damage or misalignment of the latch mechanism.
  • Handle with care: Take special care while manually opening the trunk to ensure that you do not damage the trunk release handle, as it is a delicate component.

Being aware of any potential hazards while opening the trunk manually:

  • Watch out for sharp edges: Some trunks may have sharp edges or protruding parts that can cause injuries. Be cautious while reaching inside the trunk to avoid any cuts or bruises.
  • Beware of heavy items: In some cases, the trunk may contain heavy or bulky items that can shift when the trunk is opened manually. Be aware of the potential for these items to fall out or cause injury.
  • Stay clear of moving parts: When manually opening the trunk, be cautious of any moving parts such as hinges or springs. Avoid placing your fingers or body parts in the path of these components to prevent any accidents.

Remember, following these safety tips and considerations will help ensure a smooth and incident-free manual opening of your Toyota Highlander trunk. Stay cautious and enjoy the convenience of accessing your trunk when needed. Safe travels!

Frequently Asked Questions Of How To Manually Open Toyota Highlander Trunk

How Do You Manually Open The Toyota Highlander Trunk?

To manually open the Toyota Highlander trunk, locate the trunk release lever inside the vehicle and pull it.

Where Is The Trunk Release Lever Located In A Toyota Highlander?

The trunk release lever in a Toyota Highlander is usually located on the driver’s side, near the floor, or on the side panel.

Can I Open The Toyota Highlander Trunk With The Key Fob?

Yes, you can open the Toyota Highlander trunk with the key fob. Simply press the trunk release button on the key fob.

Is There A Manual Trunk Release Button On The Exterior Of The Toyota Highlander?

No, the Toyota Highlander does not have a manual trunk release button on the exterior. It can only be opened from the inside or with the key fob.

What Should I Do If The Trunk Release Lever Is Not Working?

If the trunk release lever in your Toyota Highlander is not working, you can try using the key fob to open the trunk or check if the trunk latch is functioning properly.

Is There A Emergency Trunk Release Mechanism In The Toyota Highlander?

Yes, the Toyota Highlander is equipped with an emergency trunk release mechanism. It is usually located near the trunk latch inside the trunk.


To wrap up, opening the trunk of a Toyota Highlander manually is a straightforward process that can come in handy if you ever find yourself without access to the key fob or power liftgate. By following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can successfully unlock and open your Highlander’s trunk with minimal effort.

Remember to check if your vehicle is equipped with a manual release lever or button, locate it, and use it to pop open the trunk. Should you encounter any difficulties, consult your vehicle’s owner manual for specific instructions. Whether you’re loading groceries or packing for a trip, having the knowledge and ability to manually access your Toyota Highlander’s trunk is a valuable skill to have.

So don’t fret if you find yourself in a situation where you need to open your trunk manually – now you know how to do it!

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