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2004 TDCi 130 boot release mechanism malfunction - Mondeo Doc
I've had this car for about 2 years now and whilst still under warranty several problems occurred (gear box fault - strange whining noise that gradually got worse and needed the whole box replacing; faulty back passenger door lock; odd problem with boot release, where it kept opening itself!; rust on bottom of back doors). All these were fixed by the dealer under warranty and I cannot really fault the dealer at all.

On Sunday though (car now out of warranty), whilst at the supermarket, I opened the boot to put the groceries in and then went to close the boot. It wouldn't latch shut. No matter how much I tried, it would just not latch shut. Luckily, I had a piece of string in my pocket and managed to tie it shut so we could get home.

At home (in the dark and cold) I tried to see what the problem was. When I pressed the boot release button on the dash, I could hear a noise from under the dash (a relay clicking), but nothing at the back of the car. Normally one hears the electric release mechanism whir. It appeared that the catch mechanism would rotate like it does when engaging on the locking pin, but will not lock into place. Anyway, after I could stand the cold no more, I gave in and tied it back down, put it into the garage (fortunate I have one) and left it overnight.

I took a look on the internet to see if there were any quick fixes mentioned, but sadly there were not. I found reference to similar issues on several sites (including this one), but no fixes (one site wanted £12.50 to register so they would provide an "answer" to this problem. Sorry, but no!).

On Monday morning it was the same, so overnight did not allow anything to reset. Since I could not leave the car anywhere, I had to take it to the dealer for them to look at. Despite having a backlog, they did look at it for me during the day and said the mechanism was faulty and needed replacing. Without much option, I agreed and had to take it back today for them to fix. £100 later, I have a working tail gate release mechanism again. I can't fault the dealer. They replaced the part and it fixed the problem (maybe the previous random opening issue was a portent...).

Crucially, I said I wanted the faulty part back (and I had marked it to make sure that they did in fact replace the unit like they said they had to - and they were honest, because I got back the marked part in the box that the new one had been in. I didn't think that they would try to stitch me up, since I have lots of experience of the dealer and trust them, but one can't be too careful...).

Now eventually to the info that others might find useful!

On these cars it looks like the electric release is actually not the only way to get the release to work and the body of the lock / release is designed to also work with a cable (or piece of string if you are desperate!). What appeared to have occurred is that the electric release motor got stuck in "open" position. Normally it pulls back a lever that releases the lock and then when you take your finger off the release button, it returns to the default position by virtue of an internal spring. Interestingly, when I looked at the faulty part, it behaved exactly in this manner, so I guess taking it off the car freed it up.

When looking at the lock mechanism from the back of the car with the boot open and trim removed, on the bottom right hand side, of the upper zink plated part, there is a gap where you can reach up in with a finger / bent piece of wire, etc and pull down on the release mechanism. If, like mine, it is jammed in the open position, this should force it to return to the default position where if you close the boot, it will latch shut. Don't do that though, since you might have problems opening it again! Test the electric release now, since maybe it will now work if all that has happened is that it had jammed open. If it works, you should be okay to use it as normal (but it might indicate that the mechanism is needing lubricating or is about to die - I stull have to test the part they took off mine to see which is the case for mine).

Crucially, what you can also do is tie some string around this part of the release arm (there is quite a big hole in the metal that actually looks like it is designed to have a cable attached to it), then work this up round the side of the casing and pass it through a cut out in the top of the casing (which, again, looks like it is made for a cable to pass through). Now, if you manually close the boot latch by pressing on it (it has two latched closed positions, the fully closed position and a safety latch position), you can pull the string and it will release the latch. It might be possible to drill a small hole in the trim so that this would act as an emergency release in case the electric release failed while the boot is locked (which with the trim in position and the boot closed, would make getting at the release mechanism to operate it very difficult indeed!). I will consider doing this myself just in case! It will not affect the normal electric release.

I have to say that the electric release is a luxury and I don't think anyone ever died from having to put a key in their boot lock to open it! Given that this mechanism does seem prone to failing, it is also annoying quite a lot of people who either cannot lock (like me) or unlock their boots (depending on how the mechanism failed). Maybe Ford should be trying to get back a bit more to their roots - you can have any colour you want as long as it does not need electrickery to make it work!

Anyone who wants to pay me £12.50 for this information, please feel free. I reckon 8 donations should just about cover the cost of the job the dealer did....
2004 TDCi 130 boot release mechanism malfunction - cheddar
Useful info, thanks, I reckon that these mechanisms are usually quite reliable.

You could have mentioned the dealer as you have noting but praise for them.
2004 TDCi 130 boot release mechanism malfunction - Marlot
I have to say that the electric release is a luxury and I don't think
anyone ever died from having to put a key in their boot lock to open

On my 2004 TDCi estate, there is no key hole - the boot only locks and unlocks electronically - by pressing the button on the dash, by pressing the button on the tailgate or by double-pressing the button on the keyfob.
2004 TDCi 130 boot release mechanism malfunction - cheddar
>>On my 2004 TDCi estate, there is no key hole - the boot only locks and unlocks electronically>>

That is the OP's point I think, that there is no harm in having a key hole.
2004 TDCi 130 boot release mechanism malfunction - Mondeo Doc
Yes, Cheddar, that's exactly what I meant! All my previous cars (including a ford Sierra) had boot locks that needed a key to operate them. None failed and none jammed open / shut (of course that is just my experience and of course simple locks do jam). However, not to have the option of using a key if the electric fails seems short-sighted. I guess that 99.9% of the time that someone opens their boot, it is because they want to access it. How do you access it? From the front of the car?! No, you have to be at the back...! Where you could just as easily put a key in a lock....

Anyway, enough of the dig at Ford for the design.

A slight update on the story.

I have just used a meter to check out the "broken" mechanism and both the microswitch that registers whether the lock is closed or open and the actuator motor check out as functional. I have not tried hitting it with 12 volts across the motor yet, but that will be done as soon as I get a chance. I suspect that the mechanism did jam open for some reason (I have worked it open and closed manually now many times and it has not jammed again, but that is different from using the motor). I therefore suspect that changing it was (as far as the Ford technician was concerned) what needed doing. Rather annoying though if a bit of oil in the right place would make it 100% healthy again. Will probably never know this, since I am not about to mess about with the new one by taking it off and putting the old one back on (I got a one year guarantee on the new one and I fully intend using it if necessary!).

Just wish I knew at the start what I know now... I might have been able to fix it rather than spend £100. Hence the post in case it helps anyone else.
2004 TDCi 130 boot release mechanism malfunction - dogsbody
Sounds good to me. Mine has started plying up tonight, I have a 54 plate 2.0 estate that only has electronic locking, but mine is a slighly different issue. My boot catch decisdes to release wheni t feels like it - normally when the ignition is started, but did happen when i stopped earlier (so came home with boot unlatched!)

also my radio seems to have grown a mind of its own and changes to whatever channel it decides to when i start the car!!!
2004 TDCi 130 boot release mechanism malfunction - Mondeo Doc
Hello dogsbody,

The release on mine also did a similar thing this time last year. It had been parked at an airport over Christmas and when we returned, I opened the boot to put stuff in. Closed it and got inside. Before I had a chance to do anything else, the boot lock opened (I heard the motor whirring). Got out, closed it again, waited at the boot and after a few seconds, it opened again! Did this several times and began to wonder if I was ever going to get out the carpark! Eventually I found out that if I closed it, got into the car as quick as I could and locked the doors from inside, this stopped it from opening again! At least meant we could get home.

Took it to the dealer to look at under warranty and they diagnosed a dodgy switch (I think it was the one on the dash). Don't know if they replaced the switch or just jiggled something. Anyway, it was fine after that until it jammed open on Sunday. You might try just taking the switch out of the dash and jiggling something or even just disconnecting it totally to see if this stops the boot releasing. If is not that switch, it is probably the one on the tailgate itself. The release mechanism is a simple electric circuit and so what is happening is that voltage is getting to the release when it should not be (probably because the contacts in a switch are touching when they should not). I take it that you are hearing the electric motor operate when the boot opens? If not, then I think it is probably the mechanical part of the latch that is failing to hold shut.

I don't think it will be the same gremlin that is changing you radio channel!

Good luck.
2004 TDCi 130 boot release mechanism malfunction - Mondeo Doc
Final part to the story. Hooked up the "broken" release mechanism to a 12 V supply and it operates perfectly. I am rather sad to say this, because I put my faith in the dealer based on previous good experience. I think that all the mechanism needed was freeing up. It could well be that it is on the way to being broken, but it certainly is not all the way there!

If anyone else has one of these things that jams, use the info above to free it up before taking it to the dealer in case they do the same as they did with me....
2004 TDCi 130 boot release mechanism malfunction - paulyoung666
sad to say but dealers only seem to swap parts out nowadays , fiddling and sorting is a lost art :(
2004 TDCi 130 boot release mechanism malfunction - cheddar
Freeing up the mechanism would have been an extra 30 mins labour and would have been a repair that they would not want to guarantee.

You would have been peeved paying for a repair only for it to reoccur in a few months and then having to pay again.
2004 TDCi 130 boot release mechanism malfunction - rtj70
The boot release failed on my Mondeo too. Replaced under warranty and dropped off at the dealer for safe storage in the meantime. We have a garage but that's where we keep my wife's car.
2004 TDCi 130 boot release mechanism malfunction - indymorg
i have an 02 estate my lock playes up but mine wont open, i do have the key option if you look under the the boot release button you will see a 5mm hole for the key i nearly missed it it was full of crap but it works ok. seems crazy if they have removed this on yours
2004 TDCi 130 boot release mechanism malfunction - Waino
I know this is a massive generalisation but, in most cases of 'dodgy release-catch' mechanisms, a liberal squirt of WD40 is enough to sort the problem out. The last one I had was the petrol-filler cover on my old Mondy estate which wouldn't release. I was fretting under the assumption that the cable had stretched etc - but the Backroom suggestions of WD40 proved sufficient to effect a cure.
2004 TDCi 130 boot release mechanism malfunction - dogsbody
many thanks Mondeo Doc, well, to update you, Ford cant look at it for at least 2 weeks! but it has now stopped releasing itslef and the only thing that will open it is the dash switch! not even the one on the key!

yes i could here the whirring noise.
2004 TDCi 130 boot release mechanism malfunction - cheddar
Noticed for the first time today the mine HAS GOT A KEY HOLE up by the release button so the OPs should have as well?
2004 TDCi 130 boot release mechanism malfunction - rtj70
Does the use of the key hole (which I never spotted in four years of having a Mondeo) allow you to lock the boot so it only opens with the key/keyfob or button in the car?

I ask because I always locked the car when driving because the boot could otherwise be opened and perhaps a laptop stolen. I'll have to take a look at a Mondeo out of curiosity now.
2004 TDCi 130 boot release mechanism malfunction - wooooody64
Hi everyone,

I have the same problem on my 02 mondeo, only my boot is shut and will not open.

When I press the button on the remote/dash button or key, I hear the right sound, but the boot stays shut.

I dont seem to be able to get the plastic trim off from the inside as it is quite difficult with the boot in the closed position.

Gonna have another go tomorrow ;-)
2004 TDCi 130 boot release mechanism malfunction - peter perfect2
Thanks Mondeo Doc for this excellent information! I had exactly the same problem with my TDCi '03 estate.

I followed your instructions (a simple operation if you have the right screwdriver heads), took out the lock assembly, wiggled the mechanism a bit, put it back and hey presto it works again!

Looks like you have saved me £100, I owe you a pint!

I agree with the comments about the Mondeo design faults - the electric boot release mechanism is a stupid idea. And can somebody tell what's the point of a cam shaft sensor and why does it disable the whole engine when it goes wrong?
2004 TDCi 130 boot release mechanism malfunction - jc2
A camshaft sensor tells the module which cylinder is coming upto compression(before the valve closes obviously) so it knows when to inject the fuel;no signal=no fuel.
2004 TDCi 130 boot release mechanism malfunction - Chad.R
I agree with the comments about the Mondeo design faults - the electric boot release
mechanism is a stupid idea.

I have to agree too - I've never seen the point of the remote boot release when you still have to physically open the tailgate anyway.......now if it was a fully automatic boot release aka Honda Accord, then that would be worthwhile.....

Edited by Chad.R on 03/12/2008 at 15:13

2004 TDCi 130 boot release mechanism malfunction - wooooody64
Any ideas how I open the boot? or access the latch in any way with the boot closed?
2004 TDCi 130 boot release mechanism malfunction - mcyoon
I had a similar problem once, the boot opened and wouldn't shut. I got the car home and took the unit in the house and got to work on it when it suddenly released. It's never done the same since, but now it sometimes won't open using the boot handle, this is only when it is cold though. Usually holding on the handle or operating it repeatedly makes it work eventually, or I just use the key fob.
2004 TDCi 130 boot release mechanism malfunction - GingerTom
They must have changed the design in the later models because of this.

My 06 just has a button under the tailgate handle. If the car is unlocked so is the tailgate. If the car is locked you just double press the remote to unlock it.

It is very simple and so far reliable.
2004 TDCi 130 boot release mechanism malfunction - rtj70
My 03 Mondeo was exactly the same as were earlier ones. No design change.
2004 TDCi 130 boot release mechanism malfunction - mark16
My 2003 model boot release failed to respond to remote or cabin switch.
It failed to close shut too.
I removed a screw from each recess in plastic cover, on the inside of the boot.
Forced off the plastic cover easily.

Fixed to the metal work of the boot near (and above) the fastening latch there is a silver3" by 3" metal box.
Towards the top and left of this there are two brass coloured screws which fix an electric lock motor. Try unfastening these by one half turn, as if the box is fastened too tight it can compress and so jam the movements.

Alternatively take out the black screws in the latch to release the( latch with box mechanism).
Then take out the brass like screws to remove the motor switch from the metal box.
With a knife gently prise open the plastic grey white motor box by less than 1 mm. the mechanism may then losen.
2004 TDCi 130 boot release mechanism malfunction - David Horn
I drove several newish Fords when I was in the USA last year. All had an electric boot release but an extra cord inside the boot with a tag on it depicting (and I'm dead serious), a bloke pulling on the cord and then leaping out of the boot and running away from the car. Could be a requirement over there, hence the missing cord over here.
2004 TDCi 130 boot release mechanism malfunction - bobin

i had same problem with this mechanism but all i done was take it of and ust a knife to separate to diferent plastics a bit and hey presto it works i also oiled it but mabey if i had oiled it first it would have worked saved me a fortune for about 15 minuites of my time considering what you paid


2004 TDCi 130 boot release mechanism malfunction - Mondebee
Thanks for this thread guys. I have been having problems with the tailgate release on my 04 TDCi 130 Estate. It started with the tailgate switch failing to do anything and then started randomly releasing on starting the engine and other odd manifestations such as operating every so often while the tailgate is raised. The release button in the cockpit sometimes also stops working.
I just got inside the tailgate, checked the wiring visually and dismantled the bit behind the "Ford" badge until I got to the switch that appears to be a small microswitch sealed into the plastic housing with a brass rocker that presses down on the microswitch.
Since I could get no further and was nowhere near a parts counter, I put plenty of WD40 into the switch, reassembled everything and it seems to be working again.
2004 TDCi 130 boot release mechanism malfunction - GarryK

Thanks for all the info. Also have a 04 Mondeo 130 TDCi estate. The boot latch has a mind of its own and opens when it likes. It seems to do this when I start to break, thinking that the change in momentum is causing a short. Definately going to try the WD40 solution before anything else. Will let you all know. Garry.

2004 TDCi 130 boot release mechanism malfunction - gibber

Hi i have a 51 plate mondeo and my boot as also started to open when it feels like it. I have been told to change my grey relay box! I was woundering if anybody had tried this? Mine only seems to open on its own after i have been in the boot and no matter how many times i close it just opens again when driving and when i lock it up it seems to reset its self until i open the boot. Lee

2004 TDCi 130 boot release mechanism malfunction - ReginaldPerrin

Just to say - many thanks for this thread. Saved me circa £100 on a new latch.

I just:-unscrewed the main unit, unscrewed the small electric motor and unplugged it (little white and grey unit with what looks like a bubble blower coming out of the end). Applied some WD40 then after a bit of trying to twist it realised that it pulled in / out of the motor mechanism (doh!)... Then pushed in and out a few times, rebuilt it and I now have a working boot latch. Fantastic!

Many thanks all!!


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