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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.

I'd pay good money for an after market auto-close system. I don't mean from full open, I mean you close it to the first position and it pulls it closed the rest of the way.

cgiGuy, +1!

+1 for the servo closer. TM should phase this in over time, so people don't need to think about it.

From the other thread - GeekEV reports creasing the hood by closing with one hand.

GeekEV can you post more details here - my guess was that the press wasn't over the latch and caused the imbalance.

Risk of being off center does make a case for the redundancy of two hands, but even there, if you're off center, you can create a torsional imbalance.

In any case, it would be good for TM to engineer this out of the picture. My MB SL has an aluminum hood and I just drop it from 10 inches without a problem.

This latch is a minor nit, but should get crossed off the list over time.

Absolutely, a great idea for the servo-closer on first latch. I don't know why they didn't think of that as a way to avoid unbalanced hand closures!

Ok, I may be dim but why does the frunk need to close and latch differently from the hatchback.... Which just pushes a button to a secure close?

I am closing the frunk with two hands knuckles down on each side. No problems to date except the well mentioned skin oil marks on the hood.

Actually such a servo mechanism already exists and has been fitted to Lexus LS car doors for at least 12+ years! I had the release Lexus LS 400 in Australia and it came with this mechanism. So, no development program required, just speak to your investors over at Toyota.........

I also use the one-palm-directly-above-the-latch method, as it seems least likely to hurt anything.

Center-press closing is recommended nowhere, though it may be OK with the new heavier-duty lids.

Right palm only, as I have a ring on my left. My wife prefers not to close it as she wears rings.

Our concern of course is not to scratch the hood. I really don't like the way the frunk closes though, especially on a car that has the power lift gate. I prefer not to use it when possible.

If you wear rings, make 2 fists, and use the edges of your hands.

Sailor, the frunk has to latch differently and double latch per government regulation because if it came unlatched while driving, the hood would fly up blocking the view of the driver suddenly. The hatch in back if it is undone doesn't present the same problem.

You know what I do? I turn around and put my ass on the very front edge of the hood and I sit on it! Works every time :)

..or you could hire one of these "frunk closers."

Hmm, the spacing seems about right ... Are they firm enough?

Following Tesla Motors recommended protocol, I'd recommend one on each side of the latch center point.

"3... 2... 1... sit!"

Now there's a cheeky servo.

I find myself never using the frunk because it's a mild pain to close. A full power lift and close would be sweet.

fluxemag - true point. It's a great feature that people avoid due to trepidation about the latch.

This undersells the benefit that TM worked hard to create. Improving the latch is worth doing.

@Mark K - It was the latch area. My reasoning was the same as yours. It is the latch mechanism mounting hardware in the hood that actually caused the crease. My technique a single palm push over the latch... Word is they HAVE improved the hood strength and latch in later cars.

@dborn is absolutely correct. My aunt and uncle have an LS460, and they always tell me not to slam the doors because it hurts the servos that seal the doors. The funniest part of this is that TM and Toyota have an extremely close business relationship. They often work on joint development projects, and TM is a major supplier for the RAV4 EV. I'd say TM could easily secure a contract for those motors and install them. I'm always scared about closing the frunk because it seems so thin and flimsy compared to the doors. Some kind of motorized closer or sealer would put my mind to rest.

i think the one-palm-directly-above-the-latch method is a great idea as it seems logical this method is the least damaging way to close the fragile frunk.

@mikefa Your way sounds perfectly logical so I wonder why Tesla recommends the two handed close, each hand at the outside front of the panel.

Wrong. Two hands, about a foot on either side of center is recommended. The newer frunk lids are stronger, though.

Logically, if it is weak, loading with imbalanced cantilevered forces should not reduce risk.

Still, given GeekEV's experience, we should all use caution. Lighter forces reduce risk in all cases.

Just carry around a boxing glove for such occasions.

Since key fobs can be accidentally pressed by the seat belt while in a pocket with other items, it would be nice to be able to restore the frunk without stopping and exiting the car.

Maybe a software fix?

Biggest issue for me with frunk lid is when it is wet and slippery -- quite hard to close with bare hands. Any ideas?

I was told the other day by the technicians’ at Tesla, that the safest way to close the frunk hood is to use both palms at the front far edges on both sides, applying equal pressure until it is locked.

Sounds vaguely familiar.

Word of warning, I closed my frunk yesterday with one hand over the latch and was left with a subtle but definite hood crease! This is an early September delivery so presumably the "stronger" hood. I'm going back to the two hand close technique. I have to use a fair amount of pressure to close the hood or it doesn't latch - do others feel that is true? If not I may have the SC take a look at it...