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How to enter Model S with flat 12v battery?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by Gunnar, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. Gunnar

    Gunnar Member

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    How do you enter the car when the 12v battery is flat? It won't respond to the key.. are there any mechanical ways of opening the doors?
     
  2. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    12V power to terminals behind nose cone.
     
  3. captain_zap

    captain_zap Electron tamer

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    There are a couple threads on this. Here's one: http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/11851-Procedure-for-exposing-the-nose-cone-charging-lugs-for-the-12V-battery

    The nosecone can also apparently be removed without tools: http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/21469-The-proper-way-to-remove-the-nosecone-ZERO-TOOLS-REQUIRED-OTHER-THAN-YOUR-HANDS

    I believe jump starting only requires a quick touch to the terminals from another 12V source to close the main contactor, then the DC-DC converter will start charging the 12V and the door will open. By the way, you can't kill your 12V by leaving the headlights on, etc for a few hours or a week for that matter, there has to be something wrong with the 12V battery itself for this to happen.
     
  4. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    It depends "how flat". There is a level where the car won't start, and then a level when the 17" doesn't wake up, and then a level quite a bit later when the doors won't unlock.
     
  5. Puyallup Bill

    Puyallup Bill Member

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  6. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    You can remove the nosecone without any tools, prying, or having the frunk open if you just grab it on the underside and pull straight out.
     
  7. techmaven

    techmaven Active Member

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    This is precisely why I think a small solar panel hooked up to the 12v system would be a great option.
     
  8. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    The solar panel doesn't seem to help Leaf owners much. Plenty of dead 12V batteries there too (at least there were the last time I looked at the Leaf forum).
     
  9. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    You can bend a jumbo paper clip into a hook tool which is similar to what Denver Service uses to remove nose cone. Credit card is next to useless as a tool; you end up basically using just your hand strength. Stronger tool would be made of metal coat hanger wire, but I couldn't find one. Here is the shape to make one using coat hanger wire:

    MS-nose.removal.tool.jpg
    --
     
  10. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    My last car, a Cadillac CTS had an "emergency key" hidden inside of the fob along with a keyhole in the driver's door. What I discovered, though, is that using the emergency key didn't actually unlock the door... turning it activated the electric solenoid and the door would just pop open without even pulling the handle. Great if the fob is broken, but useless with a dead battery (and the Caddy didn't have a removable nosecone with 12v terminals!).
     
  11. islandbayy

    islandbayy Active Member

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    #11 islandbayy, Sep 23, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016


    This is what you must do. You can open the frunk if the battery is dead, though, you cannot enter the car (unless the windows rolled themselves down).
    The above video is the process for jumping your 12v battery.
     
  12. Puyallup Bill

    Puyallup Bill Member

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    How do you open the frunk with a dead 12 volt battery?
     
  13. islandbayy

    islandbayy Active Member

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    If you can get in the cabin. In the front passenger footwell, their is a Manual Release lever under the glove compartment. I will make a video demonstrating how. Will post it tomorrow.
     
  14. Mayhemm

    Mayhemm Model S P85+ "Lola"

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    Let me elaborate; How do you get access to the frunk with a flat 12V and no access to the cabin (doors locked, etc)?
     
  15. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    As far as I know, the only way is to remove the nosecone and jump the 12V battery. This can be done without opening the frunk (just not as easily). It might also be possible to use a slim jim to open the door. I don't know if anyone has actually succeeded opening a door that way.
     
  16. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    That's a good question... I doubt it would work. The door works via an electric switch in the handle and a solenoid in the latch. There might not be an actual mechanism for the slim jim to catch on to.
     
  17. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    #17 wycolo, Sep 25, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2013
    Oh, no!! Ten hours waiting for a tow 'cause I forgot or never knew about this feature. Not as simple as an external (hidden) cable release, but if a front window is down enough to open door, then you are home free.

    Hope you didn't just dream about this one (as I have done). Ok, I went out & checked: there it is. Aaargh!
    --
     
  18. islandbayy

    islandbayy Active Member

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    #18 islandbayy, Sep 25, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    Videos uploading, will report back in about 2 hrs.




     
  19. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    Removing nose cone is a destructive process, more or less, depending on how skillful and careful one can be. The bottom row of clips actually are part of the cone and can be broken or worn (reportedly). Replacement cost of nose cone has not been listed yet(?).

    If it is impacted with bugs & dust (my car!) it is really hard to do. This video uses 2 thick credit cards which is much more feasible than just one card. A coat hanger hook is the proper tool, but if it is kept IN your car then only useful to help out another MS. IF your nose cone is squeeky clean, also your hands, then you might be able to just grab & pull it off using NO tools.

    FRUNK LATCH - Well kept secret. Eight MS enthusiasts did not know about this (myself included), even as just a concept. If I had half a clue (!) I could have rooted around and perhaps located it. No mystery about the LEVER - it is on the bottom edge of the dash exactly where just about every car made in recent memory has one - except it is on the PASSENGER SIDE. If the passenger window is open enough a wire coat hanger could be opened up into a hook to pull up on this lever, possibly. That is how close it is to the top of the window. Suzuki Sidekick/ GM Tracker also had the hood release on the passenger side - it was a tee handle inside the glove box.

    Once inside the FRUNK you can simply remove the fuse box shroud (below the wipers) and then your 12 volt battery positive terminal is exposed. For a negative terminal you can clip onto any steel or aluminum chassis contact that is clean. You have to reach down a bit with the positive clamp to get to the battery terminal, but it should be doable.

    There are so many possible MS FAILURE MODES that we really need to know about all MS features in order to be prepared. These videos are very helpful.
    --
     
  20. montgom626

    montgom626 Active Member

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    Nice video!!!!!!
     

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