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Safest Way to Close the Frunk?

There's a lot of discussion about risk of damaging the hood by slamming the hood down when closing the frunk.

TM recommends two open palms evenly spaced around the center of the font edge, with a gentle but firm press.

Alternatives are discussed here, but apparently they too are vulnerable, so play it safe - avoid closing the frunk a lot, and if you need to use it, read up on what TM says about doing it right. This thread provides user experiences for additional insights into how and why it can get damaged.

I studied the frunk latch mechanism and experimented, and found what I thought was a better way (but some report problems with this too).

I use firm palm pressure at a single point directly above the latch. It can be one or two palms, but the point is for all the force to be right above the latch hardware (Caution! Latch is set back about 4-6 inches from the front edge of the hood, so don't press at the front edge or you will crease it. Owners have reported creases when doing this.

By not straddling the latch with a wide stance, the idea is to reduce the risk of uneven side forces that might tweak the aluminum hood stamping. Applying cantilevered forces perfectly in balance is hard for a human to do consistently. The single point press may be easier to do right, to prevent any tweaking torsional force (but if you are too close to the front edge, you can cause the same crease problem from front to back - so be careful).

Anybody else looked at this?

Some owners have reported creasing their hood even when carefully applying pressure at a single location directly over the latch. Others have reported creases when using two separate palm pressure points with both hands as Tesla recommends. A consensus among many owners is forming that the current frunk closing procedure is too subtle and too delicate to be consumer-grade.

Hoping that TM updates this latch setup to make it a simple auto-closing operation.

Other comments in other threads, but the consensus is that many frunks are very difficult to close, some just mildly so.

I push/lower it down with one hand until it seems to be halfway closed, then give a firm push with the two-hand technique and it latches. Would gladly have paid extra for a power hood like in the rear.

I've stated in other threads that I do not have a problem with it. My five-foot tall wife and 10 year old son are incapable of closing our frunk.

I let it close to the first click and then put some of my 230 pounds on the left and right of the center and it makes a second click and it's closed.

I do admit to treating it gingerly due to the crease threads and perhaps I've instilled that caution into my wife and son.

I have also "heard" that later models (we have a early sig) have an added strengthener. I would like to
know if this can be added to earlier models. We have a very small gentle crease even though we have
been quite careful.. Seems like a form fit backing panel(s) could be added on the underside with epoxy or some other adhesive.
Would be interested if anyone has compared the frunk hoods from early to late models to confirm
and describe..

I vote the auto close... I put a little dent on the frunk at the latch in my first month of having the car... 6 months later that is the only thing that keeps it from looking like the day I picked it up.

cgiGuy's method seems to be a good, but very expensive option.

I place my right open palm on the front edge of the frunk lid. Then put the left hand over that. Push down once for the click. Then push down again for the second click. It's not a long distance push. Just a short but firm stroke. It's pretty much the CPR stroke. My thinking is as long as you are directly over the latch you transfer the pressure to the latch, not into deforming the hood.

Given the experience of GeekEV and sarahsdad, looks like the best way to operate the frunk is:

Leave it closed.

With the high sensitivity to either operation, (1 or 2 hands), if we don't want any creases, looks like we have to avoid using it.

That's a shame, given it is such a cool new feature of Tesla's skateboard implementation.

Hope TM beefs it up soon.

Given how my car fits in my garage when parked - using the frunk is much more convenient for me than the trunk. So I use it every day when going to/from work - and with the stop at the fitness center, I average 5 open/close cycles per day. Only took a few weeks for the procedure to become 2nd nature. 9 months of this and no issue observed with closing the frunk. So my input is to heed the advice we were given at pick-up and use the frunk all you want.

The single push makes no sense since what you are trying to do is compress the circular rubber seal so the latch can catch. Distributing the force across a larger area will compress the seal more effectively.

Pushing on the latch area would be like trying to seal a plastic food container by pushing on the center of the lid rather than the edge that needs to seal.

For smaller lighter people the key is to lock your arms straight and push with your shoulders and upper body. All my ladies close the Frunk with no issue. Not sure it's worth adding 500 to 1000 dollars to the price of the car for such a minor thing. But then I also don't use the Frunk very often so to me it's not a good cost Benefit.

Teaching petite women how to pull the slide on a semi auto hand gun works the same. If they try to muscle it with arm strength they struggle to grip and pull. When I teach them to lock their elbows point the weapon down and use their shoulders to produce the push and pull force they can do it instantly.

Palms toward the car hands centered and spaced a foot apart and push with your upper body. Very easy. I would do it the way Tesla recommends to prevent damage to the car.

4rhansen - I thinks it's more subtle than that.

The system has two elements - a spring latch and a seal. When you close it, you must cause the latch to deploy by overcoming its built-in spring. When you do so, the seal compresses as the latch hooks down.

The seal force has to be less than latch retention force, so the latch dominates this operation.

The Tupperware analogy is not a perfect match. There, the latch and the seal are one and the same, i. e. the lip. So pushing on the center of the lid does not load either element since they are both at the periphery of the lid (that lip around the edge). But here they are disparate elements.

Based on his this works, I'm still concerned that with either method, the force may be too great to guarantee no distortion of the hood.

I haven't used Tupperware in years, but I do recall that there was always a circle in the center of the lid, marking the location you were supposed to push to close.

I've mostly been using the two hands at the sides of the front hood edge (as recommended) without any damage to the hood. That said, it makes a horrible creaking when closing, and I rarely use the frunk.

@Oliver With Tupperware you were also attempting to remove as much air from the container as possible while you close it ("Burp") to preserve freshness. Not so with the Frunk.

You should not get a crease unless you press too hard. Ease toward that click.

Two hands symmetrically placed is a lot easier on your body than one hand atop the other in the center.

@SarahsDad - See? Told you!

As for the stronger hood, I've been told by the service center there's no truth to that myth. The loaner I recently had (VIN 12,xxx) was the exact same hood as I have (VIN 4,xxx).

The irony is that I was showing off the Frunk to some co-workers when the crease happened - but for the record the palm of my hand was directly over the latch, I leaned on it until it "clicked", and got the crease anyway.

Requiring two hands to close something that's designed to keep items that you're likely holding in one of those hands isn't the best engineering concept, in my opinion.

sarahsDad;
Um, if you've put said items in frunk, wth are they doing still in one of your hands? Sense no makes it.

Um, if you just took something out of the frunk . . .

Not to over discuss a silly issue but the latch is just a latch.

The thing you are compressing that is pushing back with lots of square inches of surface resistance is the seal.

Take you seal off and it will latch with a breath of air. Well almost.

The key here is leverage. The farther you are from the seal the greater the moment arm you have available to compress the seal. If you think it thru the front edge is the longest lever point.

The real proof is that it seems from these posts that everyone who invents a new way to close it has a crease.

I agree w/ @4rhansen - and that aligns with the input I received from Tesla at my pick-up. And yes, I have to put my gym bag down to get a proper 2 hand push. It really isn't that hard, but if you try and short-cut it, I can see how that could result in the issues noted.

Unfortunately, I too have the dreaded small depression now on my frunk hood, because when I got my P85 Sig, the delivery reps were still telling owners to close the frunk hood with two hands, placed evenly toward the middle edge (not at the far edges, as it should be).

When I brought my P85 Sig into my local service center, and explained what happened, and how rarely I even use the frunk, and if they would be willing to fix it, they kind of washed their hands of it (even though it's a known design flaw on the early MS's).

Like one of the other posters here, if it was't for the frunk hood depression (dent), my P85 Sig would be still in showroom condition :-(

GeekEV,

When I had my loaner S85 a few months back, it is VERY evident the new MS have a reinforced hood latch (I could not only see the new thicker front part near the latch, I could feel the extra weight (compared to mine).

If a Tesla rep tells you otherwise, they are either misinformed, or new.

GeekEV Thank your for your direct comparison on reinforced frunk for at least the loaner 85.
Would be nice to confirm if all models after some date had it added and also if it is something
that could be added later..

Next chance I get I will compare my early sig to a recent delivery...

4rhansen - something seems amiss with that thesis.

If this were all driven by the seal compression force, and the latch isn't any influence, then why does the back hatch work so easily?

By comparison to the frunk, the back hatch is very sturdy and you can close it with a simple one-hand slam. The back hatch has a full seal too, so this is an existence-proof that it is not the seal.

It is the latch that defines the frunk operation. The front latch has special double engagement safety elements to prevent accidental opening at speed (not an issue with the hatch at the rear of the car).

This compound latch has spring pawls and they take force to actuate. They take more force than the single latch at the back, which is why you have to work it more carefully.

In my view, the current latch config is not consumer-grade, and TM will end up redesigning it.

It already has a servo in it for remote release. It's not a stretch to redesign that servo so that it tugs down the last bit of travel and locks it in place for transit. That way you'd simply lower it and software does the rest.

I think TM will end up with something similar to that. Hopefully we can get a latch upgrade kit at some point.

For now, I simply don't use the frunks in our two Model S's just to play it safe.

Could people with a creased hood describe the shape of the crease? Is the part of the hood directly over the latch higher or lower than it should be?

If it's higher, that would tend to support the latch-is-hard-to-close theory. If it's lower, that would tend to support the seal-is-hard-to-compress theory.

@MarkK;

+1

I would think a final gap motorized pull-down and lock would not only be a comparatively simple retrofit, but add safety.

@SarahsDad - Yeah, I was always careful to put my palm directly over the latch plate too.

@ye - The crease seems to be caused by bending of the aluminum hood against the bottom edge of internal mounting plate for the latch. It's very subtle, most people wouldn't notice unless the light is just right or you point it out to them. Here's a picture, though it's hard to photograph. I've added a note box around the crease if you click through to flickr.
Tesla Model S Hood Crease

Everything you need to know about closing the frunk is explained in this video...

http://www.teslamotors.com/models/walkthrough/playlist#2

Yep my crease is in the same spot. http://sdrv.ms/GzQNJo

Crazy how depressed I am now that my car isn't "perfect" any more.

@GeekEV, SarahsDad & ye
I too, have scrupulously followed the instructions for closing the frunk, and decided to try one hand (other hand holding groceries) at the top of the Tesla logo, and precisely the same thing happened! Really, VERY TEMPERMENTAL!!!!
@GeekEV How did you upload a photo directly to this site? I took one of my own to add.

If you really only have 1 free hand and must risk closing the frunk, I've had success with 1 hand + 1 knee. Not recommended, but I must have been lucky.


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