Audi A3 8L 98 boot lid won't open


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Aug 5, 2017
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Hi all, hoping someone here might be able to help me out. I'm new to the forum and searched high and low but can't find anything directly relating to this exact issue.

I'm unable to open the boot lid on an Audi A3 8L T-Sport 1998 model. The central locking pumps appears to be working correctly as when I unlock the car using the key, I can hear the boot mechanism (I think it's the actuator) working but when I then pull the opening levers nothing happens.

Unfortunately the car doesn't appear to have the remote locking functionality for me to try it via fob (been told it doesn't so assume its one of the central locking pumps without remote receiver/antennae - that's my next project), and the keyhole for the boot is corroded and I can't get a key in to try it that way either!

I did try getting into the boot and trying to remove the trim underneath the boot handle by removing the 4 Torx screws and the 4 philips heads for handles for securing luggage, but as far as I can see the boot lid needs to be open in order to actually unhook and slide out the trim to look at the hinge/latch directly. I also took it into a local mechanic who says he thinks the boot lid opening was a manual mechanism rather than an electric mechanism. I have my doubts about that, but if that's true then please somebody let me know. Also, if the boot trim can come out without actually opening the boot, then could someone run through step by step with me to tell me how this is done? Sorry, I know it's amateurish but just feel like I'm missing something stupid here.

I'll post some pictures of my issues as soon as I can to see if that helps.

Any help at all would be much appreciated and all issues aside, finally glad to be part of the Audi owners network (now to set my sights on a S3 :D)

Cheers guys

I've been a bit of an idiot in that I completely overlooked the top part of the boot trim with the pull handle - it has 2 screws that I've removed and managed to take the trim off so that i can now see the full mechanism.

It turns out that the mechanic was right, and that the boot levers on the back are manual, and once car is unlocked I can see the mechanism moving the latch as it should when the handle is pulled, but it still won't open. My suspicion is that the latch is seized as even with manual intervention the latch moves to the left but there is no click, and no release of the latch. Here's a picture of what I mean:

IMG 0611

I've now removed the 4 Torx and 4 philips head screws for the bottom half of the boot trim to try and see below the golden latch piece, but I can't remove it without opening the boot so bit of a catch 22 (no pun intended :p)

I'm wondering if anyone can point me in the right direction - is there a way to manually release the latch besides what I'm doing? Or do I need to WD-40 it up and see if it eases etc?

Again, any help would be much appreciated. Got loads of other wee things to do in the car, and they all depend on getting the boot open (removing the bumper, sorting a new central locking pump etc)

Thanks again guys
Just a thought but if you spray wd-40 on it and let that do its work could u not gef a screw driver and force the hook part back with a bit of force and that might open it.
Hi mate, thanks for the reply.

I spent all day yesterday looking at it with my wee brother who is far better at these things than me, and we managed to get it sorted so figured I'd post my findings for anyone else who might have the same issue.

We first of all unhooked the little golden mechanism from the latch itself by unhooking the little white plastic coupling, and we moved the golden release arm to the left as far as it would go but there was no release or click for the lock itself.

Plastic coupling

Since we were unable to get in to look at it because of the 'catch 22' of not being able to remove the lower boot trim without having the boot open, we firstly disconnecting the small white connector for the sensor (think it operates the boot open warning light and the 2 boot lights in the boot aswell)


then removed the 2 golden bolts on either side of the mechanism which essentially holds the boot lid in place above the lock itself.


Once these were undone and removed, the boot lid opened up and we were able to slide the lower boot trim up and off exposing the lock itself.

It is cased in a plastic housing. With the lower boot trim removed we were able to pry the lock open and once we removed that we could see there was a huge deal of corrosion and that the lock arm itself has seized in place and that the golden release arm wasn't moving it at all.

So we gave both the plastic housing and the lock itself a thorough clean with brake cleaner, degreasing, WD-40'ing and regreasing and it eventually slackened up enough to lock and unlock (nearly had a heart attack at this point with the thought of actually fixing it).

From there it was just a case of re-assembling the metal lock into the plastic housing, re-attaching onto boot lid and re-attaching the golden arm which moves the lever itself. We then reconnected the white sensor connector and gave it a bash. At this point it just bounced when it was closed, so with a little tinkering of the metal catch itself attached to the boot just above the bumper, we were able to move it up ever so slightly so it engaged the lock when closed and voila! Working and closing, and opening.

I appreciate this isn't the best description but hopefully it will help someone else out down the line! I'll also try and get some more pictures of the lock itself, and the catch on the boot above the bumper so it's a little clearer.

Thanks again

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