TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Trunk release issues

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by ravng, Jun 30, 2015.

  1. ravng

    ravng Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2014
    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    Norway
    Hi guys.
    For the last 6 months I have had problems with my trunk/tail gate.
    Tesla service has helped me out several times, replacing and lubricating stuff, last time beeing 5 weeks ago, but now it's stuck again.
    Pushing the button gives no response (no sound). The key have been working for some time, but now it's completly stuck shut. During the winter putting the car in a warm and dry garage over night would solve it, but now it's summer so ice/freezing is not the issue.

    The only guy with roadster knowledge at my local tesla service shop has moved, so they cannot/will not help me until they have arranged for another guy to come have a look, in the mean time I cannot use the trunk at all.

    I have seen threads here on what to lubricate and how to adjust things, but nothing on how to get a stuck trunk opened?
    This is the third time it has happened, so Tesla clearly have a way to force it open, but how easy is it to break into your own trunk?
     
  2. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    3,007
    Location:
    Grimsby, Canada
    When you try to open the trunk with your key fob, do you hear the latches "firing"...or no noise at all?

    If you can hear the latches firing, try pressing down on one side of the trunk (near the latch) whilst trying the fob button...this has worked for me in the past...
     
  3. ravng

    ravng Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2014
    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    Norway
    Thanks for your reply.
    But as I said the physical key would not open it either.

    However after a lot of fideling last night I managed to get it open by, as you said, pushing down on both sides and turn the (spare) key with a lot of force.
    I found that the right latch mechanism was totaly dry, no lubricant at all.
    The car was at the Service center 3 weeks ago for a 1-year service, I suspect that they cleaned it but forgot to relubricate that side.
     
  4. m0rph

    m0rph Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2014
    Messages:
    488
    Location:
    Belgium
    I have the same from time to time. I suspect the "pumps" are not strong enough to push it out of the latches.. When it's raining, the little water on the trunk makes it open 10cm less then when it's dry.. I will try to find stronger ones.
     
  5. xytor

    xytor Roadster #221

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2015
    Messages:
    97
    Location:
    Seattle
    Yep, I've had this problem too. Apparently it's common. Eventually the physical key will open it after some fiddling...
     
  6. tennis_trs

    tennis_trs 2010 2.0 Roadster Sport

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    Messages:
    302
    I've had similar problems and have the actuator hardware from Tesla and directions on how to replace when I get around to it.

    One hint from my experience:
    Once you get the trunk open after it's been stuck, tie a relatively thin strap or rope to the manual trunk release inside the trunk. Then when you close the trunk leave the strap hanging a few inches out the back of the trunk. So you can use it to pull the release if needed until fixed. I also then used the trunk very infrequently. It takes some playing around with it to get it so it works well repeatedly; I believe that after you pull the release, you have to then push the release back in so the latches reset to be able to hold the trunk closed again, but you should also pull the release handle out a little since pulling the strap just along the back of the trunk doesn't easily pull the release out of its fully set in position. Thinking about it now, you might be able to have the strap hang out the front edge of the trunk which would then pull more in the right direction for the release. I'm not sure if that will work since I hadn't thought of it before to try it and now wonder if the strap will stay in a reasonable place when put like that.

    It's a pain to have to deal with but, with the little playing around with it I have done, this works pretty well.

    [Sorry, or luckily, I don't know the answer to the initial question, i.e., I never had to "break into my trunk", I was able to get in playing around with the key in the lock and various pushing down on the trunk.]
     
  7. ravng

    ravng Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2014
    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    Norway
    Good idea, however the EU versions does not have the inside trunk release handle (at least not mine).

    A bit concerned when I witness my local Tesla center just using some kind of spray lubrication, I am sure that stuff will do no good over time. I would guess some kind of grease would be better?

     
  8. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,537
    Location:
    Vermont
    Grease is actually worse IMO. I don't like the spray lube either unless it's dry, and even then I don't like it much. My cables (and trunk opening ability) were effectively ruined by Tesla spraying more and more spray lube and eventually grease on the cables and latches. They were unable to fix it until they replaced the cables. The problem is the cables and latches are located in a part of the car that sees a lot of road dust (and salt in some climates). Grease just attracts more dirt which creates more friction. In the winter the grease and so-called "dry" lubes are too thick and cause too much friction. Add lots of dirt attracted by the grease and you can forget opening your trunk.
     
  9. jaanton

    jaanton Roadster NA #1026

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Messages:
    312
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    I had problems with the trunk release around my last yearly service so they looked at it. The replaced an actuator. That helped, but I had problems about a month later. I think the struts are just old now. That problem was in deep winter and if I was gently lifting up the trunk when I tried the release it worked. In warmer weather now I'm ok. I'm going to ask about replacing the trunk struts at my next annual service (In about six weeks).

    Does anyone know a part number for those struts? I'm still in my extended warranty but it's the kind of thing you know has to be replaced from time to time. I doubt they are a special Tesla part.
     
  10. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,537
    Location:
    Vermont
    There's a thread about those struts. Ultimately nobody could find the exact same strut in the US but they may not have looked in the right place.

    I always thought the winter trunk problems were caused by too much thick grease on the cables and latches. As soon as Tesla stopped greasing my cables, it worked fine in the winter. But if gently lifting up helps then it may be the struts. It would be good to find a source for those.
     
  11. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2012
    Messages:
    2,722
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, California, United States
    #11 wiztecy, Sep 16, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2015
    I believe there's a few threads on this issue, would be nice to merge them. But I find the odd thing is that multiple people were having a similar issue of the trunk not opening or being sporadic including me :) I finally got locked out of my trunk for good, so I had to dig in. I have some pics and will update hopefully at a later date.

    So my trunk release issue was a combination of multiple factors that caused it to stick, then work, stick then work and so on. I ended up removing the inside trunk emergency pull and that helped, it reduced drag of the whole linkage trunk system. But be warned that if there are kids in your family, don't do that. However, that thing won't work anyway if the trunk sticks. Its mostly a lawsuit thing with your neighbors. So be warned.

    So I first had to remove jack both rear wheels up, remove the wheels, remove the rear fender liner, then find and pull *gently* on the trunk cable. But be very careful, there's a plastic grommet that houses the cable end to the latch. I can break easily and get damaged. I cracked the one on the drivers side, but its still functional and no issue with it now in terms of negatively affecting functionality. Once I successfully popped the trunk, I then removed the drivers tail-light to get to the actuator and linkage. The actuator no longer worked, pressing the trunk release inside or via key was a fail. Also using the key still didn't release the trunk. So anyway I was able to unbolt the linkage and actuator. Be warned, take a pic of how this thing is put together before you take things apart. Its complicated. I discovered the rubber sleeve that is like an accordion had deteriorated. That allowed dirt and dust as well as water to enter the actuator. So I took the entire actuator apart, cleaned it, lubed with wd-40 lightly, and then hooked it to a 12v motorcycle battery to work it. It at first was very slow and weak. But I kept helping it out and it got better. I did find a similar actuator on Amazon, two of them for something like $8.62 with free shipping. It had the same look, same sleeve, etc. But that didn't show up quickly, so I ended up fixing this one. I then put the actuator back on the Roadster as well as the assembly and tested. I could hear the actuator working and see it working, but again the trunk was stuck again.

    I then took everything apart, making sure the actuator fired properly and that the linkage moved freely. It did. Installed it again, and still locked out. So then popped the trunk and looked closer at the cable route. From the drivers side on the inside of the rear bumper I could see a cover 1/4 the way from the latch in the cable run. I removed that cover and low and be hold, an adjustment barrel. So I ended up loosening the cable giving it more slack. I then found where the passenger side cable adjustment was, behind the Tesla name in the rear. You have to get to it from where the actuator sits. Its a pain but doable. I then loosened that one. Closed the trunk. Tried opening it via the inside trunk release, and waaa-Laaa, the drivers side popped open but not the passenger side, so trial & error, played with the barrel. And got both working. Next I had to tune the Key remote. For some reason that behavior is a little different, but I ended up finding a sweet spot for that which worked for both trunk release mechanisms. And the key just worked! I put everything back together and the Roadster has been fine not locking me out at all. I believe over 6 months have passed already and no issue. Also my Amazon.com actuators showed up, but I have no need to use them just yet. My actuator boot is still gone. I pulled off all that was left, so the actuator is still being exposed to the elements. But when it gets sticky I have 2 spare actuators which I believe will work in terms of strength. They look identical. And if that does not work, I have 2 extra boots for the original one. So I can always revive the old one again if needed.

    Below are the actuators I ordered:

    Amazon.com: CrazyforDeals Universal Car Power Door Lock Actuator 12-Volt Motor (2 Pack): Automotive

    actuator.jpg

    - - - Updated - - -

    Here are the pics... As you can see, the trunk release mechanism is an overly complex piece of hardware, more than it has to be. Hence all the drag everything gets over time and with crud.

    IMG_8209.JPG IMG_8193.JPG IMG_8192.JPG IMG_8204.JPG

    That pic above with the white plastic, well that's the drivers side latch. You can see the fragile plastic housing I described earlier when you try to release the trunk by pulling on the cable. So be careful, don't just pull haphazardly on the cable, ensure you're not stressing this part as you try to break into your own trunk. I had to take the latch off since the cable came undone from the latch due to all the monkeying around. .
     
    • Informative x 2
  12. m0rph

    m0rph Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2014
    Messages:
    488
    Location:
    Belgium
    Thanks. We learned something new today! :wink:
     
  13. Botbldr45

    Botbldr45 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2011
    Messages:
    513
    Location:
    Sedona, Az
    Thats a great write-up...... thanks!
     
  14. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2012
    Messages:
    2,722
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, California, United States
    You're welcome, always happy to help and contribute.

    By the way, if anyone digs into this repair like I did please take a pic and post in this thread in of where the spring goes and is hooked. You can see it in the first pic, its a long tightly wound spring. Like I mentioned before, its complicated how all this stuff is put together and that spring popped off before I could see where it was originally latched on. So I placed it where it is in that pic for that it was my best guess and also that it gave for what I could find the best retention that latch mechanism needed to return/reset the actuator arm into is starting position which is out.

    Also a pic of where the "emergency pull" arm is hooked on, again mine popped off before I dug into this mess which helped buy me some time. But others may need to know what's going on and how to hook that thing back in there...
     
  15. MLAUTO

    MLAUTO Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2014
    Messages:
    315
    Location:
    SW Florida
    Its a lot easier to see without the bumper. The bolt with the other end of the spring is attached to the bumper.

    trunk release 004.JPG
     
    • Informative x 1
  16. 21miDay

    21miDay Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2014
    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    Phoenix
    Just in case nobody has checked this site: I found struts for my non-Tesla car at liftsupportsdepot.com. They list the Lotus Elise - would the Roaster use the same struts?
     
  17. MLAUTO

    MLAUTO Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2014
    Messages:
    315
    Location:
    SW Florida

    No. The Elise doesn't even use any support struts. The Exige does, but it only has one small lightweight one for the rear hatch.
     
  18. Curt

    Curt Roadster Signature #55

    Joined:
    May 13, 2013
    Messages:
    310
    Last night was my first really cold night with VIN# 55.

    When I came out this morning, I found that remote opening of the trunk would not work at all - no sound when using the key remote button or the button on the dash. However, opening with the key in the lock works fine.

    Am I bound for a failure and lock-out here? Is this related to cold temperatures (-7C), or is it a coincidence?

    Many thanks. I never had this problem with VIN# 76.
     
  19. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2012
    Messages:
    2,722
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, California, United States
    That's how mine started acting up. Using the remote failed. Using the inside button worked. Then eventually that started failing, then my key was the only thing that worked. Then nothing worked and I was locked out.
     
  20. bobinfla

    bobinfla S-Vin 4086 Rdstr-Vin 0019

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Messages:
    182
    Location:
    Land O'Lakes
    Yep. Same exact sequence for me.
     

Share This Page