Many of us store some pretty important belongings in the trunks of our cars. From sound systems to clothes to furniture, it would be a real drag to lose anything out of your trunk while you're driving. To prevent this from ever happening, automakers have installed a light on the dashboard to warn you if the trunk isn’t fully secured. Similar to the doors and hood, the latch for the trunk has a switch so the computer can detect whether the trunk is closed or not.
What the trunk open warning light means
Depending on the kind of car you have, the trunk open indicator may be tied in with the door open indicator lights or it may be separate. Either way, if this light is illuminated, you should double check that the trunk is fully closed. As soon as the trunk is secure, the light should go out. If it doesn’t turn off by itself, then the switch may be broken or malfunctioning. Dirt and debris can get lodged into the latch which can inhibit the opening and closing of the latch. Have the switch replaced or latch cleaned up and everything should return to normal.
Is it safe to drive with the trunk open light on?
Besides items falling onto the road from your trunk, having it open could let in unwanted exhaust fumes or even impede your visibility behind you. Always double check and make sure that the trunk is fully secured if you notice the light come on while you’re driving.
If the trunk open indicator won’t turn off, our certified technicians can help you identify the problem.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as What Does the Trunk Open Warning Light Mean? and was authored by Spencer Cates.