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Old 04-04-2016, 07:04 AM   #1
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Another Dead Battery- Locked Frunk Thread

I know there are many threads on this topic, but given that there are probably many who are getting their cars out for the spring driving season I thought I'd post up my experiences should anyone find themselves in the situation I did this last weekend.

Here is what went down:

- 2000 Boxster had been sitting in the condo parking lot and hadn't been started in about 8 weeks

- It was time for an oil change and I was preparing to drive over to the my garage to do the deed.

- Unlocked door using metal key has the remote function deactivates after 5 days of being dormant.

- Got in the car and attempted to start it to no avail, starter didn't even click. Battery was dead.

- Since I live in the city I do lock my car, which means the battery died in "lock-mode" and even though I could get in to the car, I could not open the front/rear trunk to get access to anything that would allow me access to the battery, which obviously needed charging.

I read on some of the forums that you could get enough charge to the battery using a charger plugged in to the cigarette lighter. Figuring this might be the easiest route I bought one of these devices from Advanced Auto and plugged it in.

Immediately after plugging it in to the cig-lighter the car alarm starts going off, albeit very quietly. I get out of the car and use the key to lock the door which deactivates the car alarm. So that worked...

However, even after having the car hooked up to the charger for a few hours, and locking/unlocking the door with the key, I could not get the trunk release levers to release thus giving me access to the battery.

So I decided to try the other method...

I went to work taking the lining out of the passenger side wheel well in hopes of accessing the double-secret emergency frunk release cable that lives a dark and lonely life tucked in where abouts unknown in the front fender. Some observations from this exercise....

- The plastic rivets that secure the wheel well lining can be difficult to extract if you're working with the wheel still on, the car on the ground, and with limited tools like I had (car was stuck in the condo parking lot that is ~2 miles from my garage where all the good tools live). The method for extracting these that worked best for me was using a large flat head screw driver to partially pry the plastic rivets out, and then using the claw end of a hammer to pry them the rest of the way out. Getting good leverage can be somewhat challenging if the wheel is still on the car.

- There are some plastic bolts that hold this lining in as well, but there not on tight and can be removed with pliers if you don't have access to a wrench.

- The bottom of the wheel well liner is secured to the front bumper cover with Phillips head screws. This sounds straight forward but if you're working with the car on the ground like I was, you'll need a VERY short screw driver to be able to unscrew them from the car.

- While we're talking about those screws... they were all in awful condition and full of gunk after living 16 years and 154,000 miles on the front of a car that has seen rain and road gunk. Be prepared for this to NOT be as easy unscrewing as screw. The heads on 3 of the 5 screws I took out were completely shot. However, some of the screws can be backed out with pliers because the other end of the screw is accessible via the lip on the bumper cover.

- With the front rivets, plastic bolt, and Phillips head screws removed, I was able to peel back the wheel well lining enough to get access to the secret hole that houses this double-secret release cable.

- In order to reach this life saving cable, you'll need to go full-shoulder deep in to the compartment in front of the wheel. I found the cable by reaching up and along inboard side of the alien skull headlight assembly. Given that I couldn't see anything, my best advice for finding this cable would be to reach around up there wildly like a scared raccoon until you find something.

- You will know this cable when you find it. In a pinch I think this release cable could also double as a guitar string (Definitely the "E", maybe even the "A" string). It feels very foreign compared to everything else you'll find in that cavity.

- Once you locate the cable, you'll be so excited that you found it that you won't even care that the cable is so thin that you're likely to slice your finger once you pull hard on it. F-it, you're almost there.

- Pull hard on the cable. It will move approximately one millimeter and then all of the sudden "THRUMP!". The frunk is released. You've conquered the fire swamp. You'll scream with excitement, open a bottle of champagne, and confuse the hell out of your neighbors because no person should be this excited about just getting the trunk open on a car that won't even start. Disregard them and joyously celebrate your achievements. You've earned it my friend.

Since I live in a condo, I took the battery out and hooked it up to a tender the dining room. The girlfriend came home for dinner and instead of flowers she found a Bosch battery on the dining room table. Oh well, she should be used to it by now.

After about three hours on the tender I couldn't contain myself and took it out to the car and the old girl fired right up! I then removed the battery again and took it back inside for a nice long session on the battery tender that should have it fully charged in a day or two.

I guess I'll be changing my oil next weekend now...

Hopefully you guys have better luck than I do... but for those who don't, I hope you can find this thread useful if you're ever in this situation and have limited access to tools, jacks, and electricity.

Thanks for letting me share!

Cheers,

-Rob



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Old 04-04-2016, 10:01 AM   #2
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I use a jumper pack on the positive fuse block in the fuse panel. Way easier than trying for the cable.

Last edited by jdraupp; 04-04-2016 at 10:12 AM.
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Old 04-04-2016, 12:32 PM   #3
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Yeah...

....what he said.

Next time, use the jumper on the fuse box. Just get a battery and some jumper cables and pop goes the frunk.

At least you have a great garage story to share.



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RTFM.
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Old 04-04-2016, 12:46 PM   #4
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I agree... fuse box would have been much easier! Since I wasn't getting anywhere with the cig lighter, I wasn't sure if I was getting enough charge out to battery charger due to having to daisy chain three extension cords from our living room to reach the car in the parking lot. Certainly a sub-optimal situation to have a total fail.

I really like the folks who have re-routed this cable to their tow-hook area and will most likely be doing that in the future. We're certainly lucky with our cars that there is more than one way to skin this particular cat.
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Old 04-04-2016, 01:59 PM   #5
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Roger....

....that.

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Old 04-04-2016, 02:03 PM   #6
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Another thing you can do that may help, is after you locate the cable end, put a large zip-tie thru the loop. This will give you more leverage when you have to yank the cable. It also gives you more length to the cable and makes it easier to reroute to a more accessible place.
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Old 04-04-2016, 04:35 PM   #7
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Is the tender you are using a charger too? Some are and some aren't. A maintainer sometimes won't charge at all if the battery is below a certain voltage (8.5 IIRC).
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Old 04-05-2016, 09:49 AM   #8
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I'm using a Deltran Battery Tender Plus

Battery Tender® Plus

That's a link to the exact unit I'm using... I'm now beginning to question it though. How long should it take hooked up to that thing to charge my dead Boxster battery? I've done two 12 hour charges on the battery, but it still isn't registering as fully or even 80% charged. I read the manual from the charger, and if the battery is below 3 volts, the unit will flash red and not function (built in sensor from what I've read). However, whenever I hook this battery up to the charger the steady red "charging" light is on leading me to believe all is functioning properly.

To see if the battery was bad, I took it in to Advance Auto parts and had them test the battery on their battery tester. Elmer, the battery guy, was surprised that the battery in fact tested good! Here are the results from the battery test:

Results
Good- Recharge
Voltage: 12.30V
Measured: 820 CCA
Rated: 690 CCA
Temperature: 74 degrees

"Battery meets or exceeds industry specifications, but is low on charge."

Should I just continue charging with the old Deltran is do you guys think something else is going on here? I'm interested in your thoughts... Thanks again!
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:54 AM   #9
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I used this old Black&Decker jump starter that fed juice through the cigarette lighter. It didn't actually jump start the car but fed just enough current to light up the dash and activate the trunk release. Everyone should own one of those, there must be many off brand versions now.

The B&D unit is discountinued but here's one I'm going to try from Amazon. I also keep a Cobra Jump pack (connects directly to battery) in the cubby, I used it a couple of weeks ago to jump start the car after the 5 year old battery kicked the bucket. It only had half a charge but the car fired right up. So this Wagan thing will go in the cubby too.

http://www.amazon.com/Wagan-EL9796-Quick-Jumper-Jumpstarter/dp/B00005OWK2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1459879767&sr=8-2&keywords=cigarette+jump+start

by the way where is the positive terminal here:

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Old 04-06-2016, 09:03 PM   #10
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The best opportunity to re-route the Frunk release cable is when you remove the front of te car to clean all the debris out of the rad(S) and condenser.
If after 154,000 miles that job has not been done , now would be the time !
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:11 AM   #11
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Really Dirty Thirty: it's been a long time but did you ever resolve your issues?. Had Same 'issue' here but 48 attached hours later in a 30 degree F garage we were solid green.

Last edited by zoomster1776; 01-03-2017 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:25 AM   #12
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Check out how this guy opens the front trunk lid... never seen this method before, but he grabs the cable from the driver's side...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRjO1xJ-5DY
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Old 01-03-2017, 11:20 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxtaboy View Post
Check out how this guy opens the front trunk lid... never seen this method before, but he grabs the cable from the driver's side...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRjO1xJ-5DY
I'm not certain but I think think only works on the models that use the lever (not the switch) to release (up to 2002?)
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Old 01-03-2017, 11:43 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coaster View Post
I'm not certain but I think think only works on the models that use the lever (not the switch) to release (up to 2002?)
I think you're right. 97-2000.

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