How to Pop Your Frunk if the Battery is Dead
EV owners, may be a good idea to take note.
One of the interesting side benefits of the electric vehicle (EV) revolution is a whole new storage area on modern vehicles — where the old internal combustion engine used to live. In many EVs, that space is now a storage area.
What Is a Frunk?
Though it still sounds a little funny to say, a frunk is a front trunk, a sometimes capacious storage space that you may commonly see in Porsches.
Tesla was an early adopter among EVs using an engine-less front space for frunk storage. And with the debut of new EVs such as the Ford F-150 Lightning and Mustang Mach-E, to the GMC Hummer pickup and the Rivian R1T, many EV drivers now have an additional front storage space for groceries and gear. Some are even equipped with drains so you can fill ’em up with tailgating beverages, or access another power source inside like the F-150 Lightning’s “Mega Power Frunk.”
However, owing to the ultra-aerodynamic nature of EVs, they’re all designed to use your key fob remote, smartphone apps, or a button or latch inside the cabin to open them.
What Happens When the (Smaller) Battery Dies?
We’ve become familiar with the large batteries EVs use to run their propulsion systems, but even EVs still rely on a traditional 12-volt car battery to run accessories. And, as owners have found, if that smaller battery runs out of juice, you may not be able to remotely pop your frunk.
For the Tesla Model 3, it’s a relatively easy procedure that ultimately requires a portable jump starter to regain access. You’ll have to take off the lid of the tow hook attachment cover on the front bumper to find a set of positive and negative low voltage power supply connectors.
Make sure you’ve connected the right leads, turn on the jumper power, and the hood latches will pop. Unfortunately, you can’t charge the 12-volt battery this easily.
The story is similar for the Ford Lightning and Mach-E. There’s a small access panel in the front bumper which also reveals low-voltage power supply leads. Connect a portable jump starter to the correct leads, and the frunk will pop open.
How Does It Work on Other Models?
Porsche’s new Taycan has a cool, keyless “comfort opening” feature to open its frunk by simply waving the back of your hand over a sensor. But if the 12-volt battery dies, you're locked out. The unlocking procedure involves accessing the fuse cover in the driver-side footwell and connecting a booster pack to the copper strips, which will pop the frunk.
If the doors are locked, you’ll also need to use the physical key hidden in your key fob to open a hidden keyhole in the outer door latch to actually get into the car, as is the case with newer gas-powered Porsches.
Things are a bit trickier with the Rivian R1T, which requires accessing a mechanical emergency hood-release cable. To get to that cable, you must unscrew the left-front wheel well liner and pull on a cable loop located behind the liner. On the GMC Hummer EV, a small manual front trunk release cable is located just above the driver-side footwell.