How do you close your rear trunk without damaging the paint?

How do you close your rear trunk without damaging the paint?

An old Model 3 showed up at work the other day driven by a musician with rings on his fingers and the edge of his trunk's paint was all scratched up (all the way through the paint to the white undercoat beneath his black outer paint) from him closing his trunk and scratching the paint (with his rings, most likely). I noticed that I'm starting to scratch the paint a bit on my trunk edge from closing the trunk as well once the car starts to get dirty and my hands try to close the trunk by pushing down hard on the edge of the trunk.

I've tried closing by pushing down on the metal license plate frame, but that started to bend. Then I tried using the plastic handles inside the trunk, but that requires quite a crazy maneuver of pulling your whole body down and trying to get enough momentum going to have the trunk slam shut.

What approach do you use to close your trunk in order to cause the least amount of damage to the car?



lilbean | 13 janvier 2020

This is how I do it and I’m lil. My Pilates instructor does call me tiny but mighty though.

gballant4570 | 13 janvier 2020

Use the inside handles. I don't put my hand on the trunk lid due to finger/hand prints, but a lot of rings would be an other reason. Just close it using the inside hand holds.

gballant4570 | 13 janvier 2020

"An old Model 3 showed up......."

An OLD Model 3? It was just yesterday we were all waiting to get one.....

yudansha™ | 13 janvier 2020

Get a spoiler or follow the video above.

EAPme | 13 janvier 2020

Excellent question and wondered the same.

I used lilbean's method for the past year or so until my wife showed me her way of closing the trunk w/o touching the paint. Women are smarter and more resourceful, what you can do...

step 1: Pull the trunk down from the inside handle until it's about 1ft from closing. Easy motion.
step 2: Push down on the license plate itself (not the frame) to complete close the trunk. I tend to just use a few fingers since I don't have to worry about scratching the plate. Takes only a few pounds of force to send it home/closed.

Try it out.

jamilworm | 13 janvier 2020

I just pull from the outer edge with my fingertips (or like the last 2 segments of each finger), so my wedding ring doesn't come in contact with the paint. There is not that much resistance so I don't think you need to wrap your whole hand around the top edge.

drift | 13 janvier 2020

Add the handle that goes below the bottom of the license plate that is available from one of the after market sellers or add the electric soft close system. I started with the first option and have since added the second.

Atoms | 13 janvier 2020

You can buy a bracket which goes under the license plate. It creates a lip to pull down on. Works great for me.

spuzzz123 | 14 janvier 2020

Yes lilbean schooled me on this one a year ago been using it ever since. The simplest solutions are often the most elegant

spuzzz123 | 14 janvier 2020

Oops sorry lilbean, just watched your vid....that is not my method. Seems like a lot of effort why not just use the license plate method?

kevin_rf | 14 janvier 2020

You could just not wear your ring.... Your significant other will understand that not scratching the paint is more important :-)

That said, mines got buried somewhere in the yard while installing the dog's invisible fence.

ODWms | 14 janvier 2020

I’ve been using the license plate since day one. Zero problems.

edwardjstewart | 14 janvier 2020

Ditto on the license plate - minimal finger prints on the car, no risk of scratches. Although I understand shorter folks may not be able to reach it.

Gordon87 | 14 janvier 2020

I bought this bracket on Amazon. Very easy to install and to use.

Cruiser Accessories Clear wi. Handle 1 Mount 79001 Tuf Trunk Grip

NorthValley | 14 janvier 2020

So my choices are: a couple of prints on the lip, a 2-step license plate maneuver or the angry person method where I slam down the trunk? I'll go for the prints!

82bert | 14 janvier 2020

As mentioned earlier. I always grab one of the 2 inside handles and pull down to close. Never touch outside paint.

Pg3ibew | 14 janvier 2020

I close the trunk like I have closed every other trunk on every other car I have ever owned. Never had an issue with scratching the car.

WW_spb | 14 janvier 2020

I heard Subaru doesn't have this problem! So unsafe. And terrible thin paint... Bahahah

rasinas | 14 janvier 2020

We close it by using the license plate. Easy enough to pull down and close it.

WW_spb | 14 janvier 2020

By the way getting close to 2k on model 3 and my wife twice already cought debris to the front on interstate. At this point I think she will destroy paint all over by first 10k :( oh well

hokiegir1 | 14 janvier 2020

+1 @NorthValley. I use mu fingertips on the bottom edge of the lid to mostly close it, then just press a bit from the top to latch it.

If you are *really* that concerned, there's a $900 aftermarket "auto" kit that opens and closes it from the app.

I have more issues with my watch band hitting when I'm closing the frunk than I do with the trunk at all.

kevin_rf | 14 janvier 2020

WW_spd, regretting not getting a front wrap. Recently took a bunch of rocks to the front on 495. (Yeah I was in the left lame)

That said, I've been thinking about a few small sheets of the stuff for the drivers door. The puppy with long nails loves to jump up on it. Maybe do the same to the trunk... Or a "My other car is a Tesla" bumper sticker to grab?

NorthValley | 14 janvier 2020

@hokiegirl1....I'm not concerned at all! I was just teasing the people who are seemingly abhorred by the thought of touching the paintwork! I just grab the trunk with my hand and pull down then hand on top of trunk to press it shut! Holding license plates or slamming the trunk with the interior handle 9as per video) or buying something to avoid having to put my hand on the trunk itself just tickled me a little!

hokiegir1 | 14 janvier 2020

@NV - Sorry -- the first paragraph was toward you -- the rest was in general to the thread. :)

CharleyBC | 14 janvier 2020

Kinda like hokiegir1, I pull it most of the way closed with the inside handle, and then use the edge of my hand (the fleshy bit about halfway between the base of the pinkie and the wrist) to push it closed gently. I press on the corner where a spoiler would be if I had one. I figure the side of my hand won't leave oily fingerprints, and the corner is smaller contact than the flat part on top. Based on no scientific analysis. But I think I'll try the license plate thing some of you have mentioned--I hadn't thought of that. I don't think I'm elegant enough to do lilbean's method consistently!

lilbean | 14 janvier 2020

@spuzzz123 This method is pretty easy for me. It's just one quick step.

lilbean | 14 janvier 2020

@CharleyBC You can do it. I actually improved my technique since that video was done.

Robdabuilder | 14 janvier 2020
CharleyBC | 14 janvier 2020

@lilbean: If you say so! :) I think I'm taller than you, which might be a factor. And 50% of the time I'm holding something that I just removed from the trunk... But I'll work on both my lilbean and my license plate techniques!

lilbean | 14 janvier 2020

@CharleyBC I think most people are taller than me. Haha!

CharleyBC | 14 janvier 2020

I guess that's the "lil" part!

lilbean | 14 janvier 2020


andy | 14 janvier 2020

Pull on the inner handle and a small push on the registration plate.

CharleyBC | 14 janvier 2020

New voice command: "Close sesame!"

ADinM3 | 14 janvier 2020

I put PPF wrap on the top of the trunk lid and the top of the bumper below the trunk opening. Very clean, easy and cheap. No scratch worries now.

Primary reason was because semi-flat trunk lids are magnets for bird poo and unnamed family members whom always seem to want to set their school books, grocery bags, etc on it and scratching it. The lower piece protects dragging suitcases and other things while loading or unloading.

Helping protect the lid from scratches when closing it is a side benefit.

lbowroom | 14 janvier 2020

TLDR. How about not being a ham handed Neanderthal?

Shesmyne2 | 14 janvier 2020

First world problems

Still Grinning ;-)

WW_spb | 15 janvier 2020

Tesla trunks are so last century )

sonywega17 | 15 janvier 2020

The manual trunk was the main negative component of the car. I hated manually pulling down the inside trunk handles because It was difficult to be consistent with the prefect amount of force used. Sometimes too hard of a slam and sometimes not enough. Like others, I hated having to touch parts of the painted trunk areas if I didn’t close it with enough force.

Ended up buying and installing power lift gates for the frunk and trunk. It took some time and patience to install, but well worth it in the end. Love using the power frunk now!

syclone | 15 janvier 2020

If not getting fingerprints on the paint finish is an important thing in your life, just get a pair of soft cotton gloves and keep them in the driver's door pocket. put them on when you want to close the trunk, or frunk.

ADinM3 | 15 janvier 2020

@syclone, Not sure if your post was meant to be serious or funny, but I now have a picture stuck in my head of a Tesla guy walking up to his car next to a bunch of burly boys in their pickup trucks at a football tailgate event and picturing their react as the Tesla guy stops to slip on a pair of white gloves before opening the trunks. lol

lilbean | 15 janvier 2020

It's not about fingerprints. It's the scratches.

TabascoGuy | 15 janvier 2020

Sheesh. Just duct tape some bubble wrap to the trunk and frunk lids.

This is why I stopped going to the optometrist. My car looks pristine from any distance.

To me.

Pg3ibew | 15 janvier 2020

I still dont GET IT. I have never scratched amy trunk before. Why would I scratch this trunk.

TabascoGuy | 15 janvier 2020

Who's amy?

NorthValley | 15 janvier 2020

I think there are 3 parties here: 1 party is 'fingerprint and/or scratch phobic', 1 party is 'ease of closing' and the last party is 'I don't care'. I firmly sit in the last one but it doesn't take much to understand the others...

Pg3ibew | 15 janvier 2020

@tabasco, Amy is the woman I keep in the trunk!!

Joe M | 15 janvier 2020

I try to keep my vehicles perfect but even fingernails under the door handles etc happen and show scratches. After it’s scratched Turtle Wax “Wax and Dry” does a fantastic job of hiding the scratches at least long enough to sell it :-)

lilbean | 15 janvier 2020

Let me see it. I’ll show you the scratches. Haha! I have great near vision.

WW_spb | 15 janvier 2020

Just drive the damn car