How to Open The Hood Of A Car With A Failed Latch or Cable

How to Open The Hood Of A Car With A Failed Latch or Cable

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Any work on the engine or oil change or if you want to access your car?s grille you have to do it by opening the hood. The latch or cable of your hood failed? Don?t know how to open the hood of your car? Well, this is a frustrating scenario many of us face. Ignoring simple problems may well lead to bigger problems. You can easily solve this. You just have to be a little patient and know a few tricks to get that hood situation under control. There is no point in wrestling with the hood of your car, you may even damage the car or worse the hood ornament if you have any. Here are a few tips on how to open the hood of the car with a failed latch.


One common problem that occurs is that the hood doesn?t open properly if the cable between the hood and latch is sticky or stretched in some way. At that moment you have to press down on the hood while someone else is pulling the interior latch. The hoods are designed to disengage when the latch is pulled so once you set it in place and it opens the hood will shift and pop open slightly. Then you can just pull the exterior latch key and open the hood.


When you see your hood isn?t working then you can try finding the interior latch key wire. If you pull it and see what happens. If the hood opened up normally then the cable or latch must have slipped or got displaced. If the latch is damaged or broken you need to replace it, this rarely happens. Or if you see that it just got displaced you can easily adjust it from the front-end.

If you feel no tension at all then the cable has been severed from the latch and you won?t be able to do anything with this method.


If you can?t open the hood with the previous two methods then you need to approach the latch from another angle. At this point, you may need to probe under the hood of the car. If you are lucky then you will be able to see the latch through the grille. Use a flashlight and a small mirror to find a small hook-shaped object inside.

In many cars there the interior latch can be found in the driver side fender well. If that is the case then remove the inner fender well from the driver?s side. After that reach in for the cable of the latch and then pull. The hood will open as long as the latch wire is still attached and has not been severed.


You can trip the latch to have the hood pop open. For this, you would need a long thin screwdriver and then start poking from under the hood to find the latch. If there is no way to insert a screwdriver then use a wire coat hanger. Once you locate the latch tug on it and the hood should open.

You can open up your grille to have better access to the latch. Even removing and replacing a non-removable grille can be less expensive than taking your car to the mechanic. Obviously, the cost depends on your car and its model.


The last thing you can do is to approach it from under the hood. Reach under the hood with pliers and try to find the latch. After that tug on it lightly and the hood should open up. Now, you should never try this when you have just used your car. Give it a few hours to cool off. When you are doing this use a jack stand to jack your car. This gives you a better vantage point and you can access it better.

Last Hope

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If you still can?t get it to open then I?m sorry there is nothing more you can do. You should take it to the mechanic. If you try doing something then you even cause more damage. When you are at the mechanic you can even fix the little problems or even have the coveted hood ornament placed. You will be able to find a lot of auto body parts in wholesale even with amazing discounts. So make sure you are prepared when going to the mechanic. You wouldn?t want to make regular trips to the mechanic now do you?


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