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Tailgate Release Actuator Issue

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by JohnGarziglia, Apr 21, 2015.

  1. JohnGarziglia

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2011
    Messages:
    119
    Location:
    Reston, Virginia
    I am having an issue with the tailgate (trunk lid) release actuator which I assume is the solenoid or relay that pulls the cable to the two latches to open the trunk lid.

    About nine months ago, the actuator started working intermittently. I took my roadster to the Tesla service center for repair. Tesla shows this repair at that time:

    Concern: Customer states: Trunk not unlatching often.
    Total Labor & Miscellaneous Items: 78.7500
    Pay Type: Customer Pay
    Corrections: Actuator - Trunk Lid Release
    REMOVED AND REPLACED
    Part Quantity Unit Price
    ACTUATOR TAILGATE RELEASE (2000958) 1 24.42 24.42
    Total Parts 24.42
    Parts Replaced or Added
    103.17​

    Now it is doing the same thing again of operating intermittently. I can take it back to the Tesla service center but is this something I might be able to adjust or otherwise fix myself?

    Is this “Actuator Tailgate Release” a common electrical part that I might be able to get and replace? Or is this a fix for Tesla?

    Does anyone know what might be the issue? Thanks!
     
  2. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    Unfortunately John, this is an ongoing Roadster problem...over the last 4.5 years, I have had to have the Rangers "adjust things" a half dozen times.

    Can you hear the actuator firing (clicking)? ...if it is firing, then the release hasps are probably out of sync / alignment or need lubricating...easy fix for the Rangers...I have never had the actuator out and out fail to fire though...
     
  3. JohnGarziglia

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2011
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    119
    Location:
    Reston, Virginia
    Yes, the actuator clicks. By "release hasps" are you referring to the two hasps on each side of the car? If so, I am pretty sure each of those is OK although I could be wrong about that. Rather, the hasps react as if the cable running to each has stretched or lengthened, or the actuator itself is not pulling in the required distance. Both hasps work without issue using the key manually in the rear.

    Have you ever opened up the rear where the actuator is or watched the Rangers do it, and if so, do you have any advice on how to get in there to inspect the actuator? Thanks.
     
  4. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    No, I'm not much of a tinkerer...having said that, the Rangers have never failed to be able to successfully tweak / lubricate / reset the hasps to allow the inside truck release or the key for release to function properly again.

    Your "cable stretching" analogy accurately describes the ongoing problems that seem to occur around once a year.
     
  5. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    Same here. It's a poor design IMHO to have the two release latches located where there's a large amount of dust and salt blowing around. The actuator at least has a rubber boot to help keep the slider clean but the cables and latches are not protected. The worst thing Tesla does is lubricate them which only attracts more dirt and actually makes it harder to open when it's cold and the grease/dirt combination becomes thicker. Getting it to work right is a combination of reducing friction in the cables, latches, actuator, and also making sure the alignment is right between the latches and catch-bars on the trunk lid.
     
  6. m0rph

    m0rph Member

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    Location:
    Belgium
    I have the same issue, and the parts will be replaced later this month. I also made the remark that my tailgate is not opening completely when a bit of rain or bit of hail is on there. It seems like the pumps are losing their strength over time. I think this is the main cause of the failure to open.
     
  7. JohnGarziglia

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Reston, Virginia
    Thank You - Issue Resolved (For Now)

    Thank you to each of you above who responded to this tailgate actuator issue. Your observations enabled me to diagnose what was going on this time, at least for now.

    For the benefit of those with similar issues, as I note above it was about one year ago that Tesla replaced the actuator after the tailgate exhibited the same failure-to-open issue as I was now experiencing. At the time of replacement, Tesla service commented to me about how difficult it is to get into the area where the actuator was and to work on it. Thus, I was not anxious to try it myself but was resigned to do so if I had to.

    But, in looking over your comments above, I realized that something like the cable stretching or coming out of adjustment did not seem to be the cause of your issues. I thought it might be a defective actuator but if that was the case, why would it work sometimes and not other times. Also, if it was the cable or the actuator, then the key nor the actuator should equally not work in opening the tailgate. Also, even with the intermittent operation, the actuator continued making a clicking noise.

    So, a long way around to saying that I tried the simplest of things first which was to lubricate the part which, if was lacking in lubrication, would cause the hasp not to open. That part is shown in the red circle below.

    I put silicone lubricant on the catch within the red circle, on each hasp. Amazingly, the intermittent issue went away. The lubrication, at least for the last several days of operations, has resolved the issue. I use the tailgate at least twice each day so it gets a lot of use.

    The strange thing is that I seem to recall trying lubrication as the first thing I did previously when the same problem exhibited itself resulting in the actuator replacement. I guess this time I simply assumed that the actuator went bad when at least for now, lubrication resolved the issue. I am thinking that the actuator simply does not have enough "pull" in it to release the catch in the red circle if it is not lubricated.

    Tesla Hasp-Web.jpg
    One other thing. Note the green circle. A while back, I ran into another issue in which one side of the tailgate simply would not close and remain latched. I tried every adjustment I could with the hasp to no avail. Finally, I tried removing the small rubber pad which is in the area shown by the green circle.

    To get to the rubber pad, the hasp must be unbolted using the two very apparent hex bolts. When I removed the small rubber pad, the hasp worked perfectly. So, I tried shaving a very small portion of the rubber pad off where it makes contact with the tailgate latch pin.

    Once a small sliver of the rubber was removed, the hasp now works and the tailgate stays firmly closed.

    I am passing this along in the event anyone else should have this issue. Until I fixed it, it was rather distressing to be driving along and have one side of the tailgate pop open.
     
  8. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    Thanks for this info. The reason lubrication might not have worked previously is because it was colder. One time Tesla "fixed" my sticky latch in their shop by lubricating it. Then they moved the car outside in the cold for a few hours before I came to pick it up. Naturally the service tech was quite upset that it wouldn't open when I got there! The lubricant they put on was too thick for cold weather. If you used a dry silicone lubricant you should be OK.
     
  9. Rik

    Rik Member

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    John - great write-up! I had my actuator replaced last fall for same reasons as you. I am starting to find the driver side harder to close than the right (than normal) and am going to adjust the rubber bumper mounted to the underside of the trunk lid. Hoping that cuts down on the force I need to apply to the side of the trunk when closing.
     
  10. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    Thanks John, I appreciate your notes and pictures...I'll try the silicone lubricant next time.

    Cheers!
     
  11. augkuo

    augkuo Member

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    Here's what Dennis had to say about this issue -

    The real issue is that the "stuck in my trunk" release mechanism causes the trunk not to open. He finally removed the release system and works well now. He thinks that
    Tesla is just replacing the actuator and by chance lubricating everything back up again so it works but it'll eventually fail again. The cable rusts and drags/sticks in the housing
    plus it binds up the latches right at the clip end.
     
  12. Bradleybang

    Bradleybang Member

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    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    My actuator broke years ago. They sent out a ranger to fix it. He needed to jack rear end and take off left tire to get to the release. Problem was my lug lock was in the trunk. So I took it to Big O tires where I know the guys and gave them $20 bucks to let us use the lift.
     
  13. Perrin21

    Perrin21 Member

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    Location:
    uk
    I am having an issue with the tailgate actuator not working. Does anyone have instructions how to remove and replace this part? I have Telsa sending me a replacement actuator but they won't supply instructions.
     
  14. PV4EV

    PV4EV Member

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    #14 PV4EV, May 14, 2015
    Last edited: May 14, 2015
    For what its worth, I also had a stuck tailgate latch .. with my charge cables stuck in the trunk/boot. I called in at Tesla Service HQ at West Drayton and they did some tricks to access the old one, replace it, and I was good to go within the hour. I was charged about £90 all in.

    However, looking at the photo earlier up the thread at Johns post #7, the latch appears to be a Ford part for Fiesta/Fusion cars, 2001-2008 and is available elsewhere for £20-£30. EG :-
     

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