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When your trunk suddenly won't open

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by racevpr, Jun 12, 2016.

  1. racevpr

    racevpr Member

    Feb 22, 2015
    Phoenix, AZ
    So this happened yesterday. I get home, ready to unload groceries I had just placed in the trunk, and I hear Click, Thunk, and only one side opens slightly.

    I then fiddled with the dash switch, key fob, and placing the key in the rear lock, and all I hear is Click, Thunk, and only one side ever opens slightly. I try everything including pushing on the trunk lid and praying to Mecca while actuating, all to no avail. It is Saturday night, and the groceries will have to wait, or bake til morning. Luckily, there is no ice cream in the trunk, but this is Phoenix Arizona in June, and it's over 100 degrees.

    Sunday morning is here, I am suitably caffeinated with a Venti Breve Latte, and I decide to tackle this beast. After all, how hard can it be right?

    Somewhere I read there is a child protection release lever in the trunk. I can kind of reach inside from the one side that opens, and I finally feel a small handle which I proceed to pull. I allows me to pull 2" or so, but no matter what I do, it will not release the closed side. At this point my patience is wearing thin and a bit of cynicism creeps in as I ponder the wisdom and design strategy behind an internal trunk release mechanism, but more interestingly - how a child might:

    1 - Get in the trunk (no problem), and then manage to close the trunk without any handles on the inside considering even closing from the outside requires a decent amount of downward force.

    2 - Then, in a pitch dark trunk, find a handle on which are inscribed images depicting the function, worse than airplane safety hieroglyphics, and have the presence off mind to follow these invisible instructions.
    (Pardon my digression...this is certainly food for another post at some later date)

    My next plan of attack is to make the latch visible so I can see what ails my Roadster. I prepare to remove my rear wheel, only to realize my wheel locking key is in the trunk which is being held hostage. After groping around groceries for a while, I finally maneuver under the trunk floor and retrieve my tool kit. I briefly considered retrieving all groceries through the 3" gap but the watermelon convinced me to continue to go for a fix first.

    After removing the rear wheel, and an assortment of wheel well liners, I can finally kind of see the bottom of the latch holding my trunk lid hostage. After removing a rear fender bracket, the trunk lid sensing switch bracket, I have cleared everything possible.

    I then see the trunk release cable that is inserted in the trunk latch mechanism, pull on it with no results.

    I decide to pry at the hood latch pin from the inside, and after struggling for a half an hour to finally get 1" of sideways movement hitting the limits of this strategy, I am still at square one since it appears this pin is still too long to slip it out of the latching mechanism.

    The next hour were spent modifying Allen wrenches and trying to work in spaces that would challenge the best contortionists, all in an attempt to unscrew the latch mechanism, and trunk pin assembly, with minimal damage to the interior portion of the rear bumper assembly. After enough knuckles scraped knuckles, the trunk finally released.

    The problem turned out to be a 90 degree pin that had slipped out of the latch mechanism release lever which explains why the manual release lever had no impact. Some carb cleaner dousing of the assembly, injecting lithium grease (most suitable considering the primary battery technology), and reinserting the release cable in the mechanism, and my Roadster was again able to open it's trunk.

    This 3.5 hour project gave me a healthy appreciation for Roadster mechanics, and a full understanding why Tesla hourly service rates are highest for the Roadster.
    • Informative x 2
  2. supersnoop

    supersnoop Tesla Roadster #334

    Mar 24, 2014
    The release latch glows in the dark.
  3. Habious

    Habious Member

    Sep 30, 2014
    Springfield, VA
    I do agree that the emergency release latch in that particular trunk is a little silly.

    One, the trunk really isn't big enough to put someone in (a kid...maybe).

    Two, if someone climbed into the trunk, (as @racevpr pointed out) there's no way someone INSIDE the trunk could ever close it (there's nothing to grab onto).

    No one is getting "accidentally" locked in that trunk. So, the only way someone is getting locked in the trunk is if I (from the outside) intentionally throw them into the trunk. And, if I'm throwing someone into the trunk, the first thing I'm doing is removing the inside trunk release!
  4. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

    Apr 29, 2012
    Santa Cruz, California, United States
    You have to think about the mentality of young kids and yes, a kid can get locked inside, just as you mentioned if another kid shut the trunk on him, for example a hide & seek game or even intentional due to a grudge.

    If you do remove that latch make sure there's no kids / neighbors kids who can get locked in your trunk or monitor it closely. Its really protecting you against a lawsuit which are prevalent these days.

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