You were travelling down the road the other day when, out of nowhere, your car hood refused to close. An antenna-like flap of metal has protruded from the engine’s lid.
If this happens while you’re driving or shortly after you’ve washed your car, it can be really frustrating to deal with.
You’ll save time and money by not having to take your car to a repair if you know how to fix a hood that won’t close. Despite the fact that some of these steps may seem apparent, don’t give up on fixing it yourself until you’ve completed them all.
How to fix a hood latch that won’t close?
First and foremost, let’s set the stage.
Let go of the wheel!
If the engine is still running, open the hood as quickly as possible by pushing on the hood lever located within the car. As a precaution against electrocution, make sure to turn off your vehicle before beginning any work around the vehicle.
Before starting the car again, check for loose parts and wires that may have come away. Check to see that everything is correctly connected and positioned. It’s possible that one of your cables came undone or that another item was shaken loose while driving. It’s possible to fix this by disconnecting and re-connecting them!
If this isn’t the case, look to see if the hood opening mechanism is stuck. There may be an issue with the metal flap of the automobile hood that causes it to stick up like an antenna when it is closed, such as a piece of plastic in its path. You’ll need to get rid of any obstructions that can prevent you from opening and closing your hood.
How to repair a broken hood latch?
Connected: The handle on the automobile hood can be used to open and close it. As a result, various parts of the car may malfunction, putting your own safety at risk and that of anybody else on the road with you at risk. For those who are unfamiliar with the process of replacing a broken hood latch handle, here are some simple instructions.
- Flathead screwdriver (to pry off plastic panels)
- Open-ended wrench (adjustable preferred; can substitute with another adjustable one)
- Needle nose pliers (for precise gripping/bending of some wire)
- Electrical tape (to secure parts/protect from rust)
- Wire stripper (if you want to rewire the handle as a temporary solution)
- Scissors or wire cutter (same reason as above)
Steps on How to Change a Car Hood Latch Handle
Open your car’s hood and inspect the interior. To access the engine compartment, a latch arm needs be linked to a cable. It is this cable’s other end that attaches to a locking mechanism on the car’s frame, just below the bonnet. Make sure it’s still attached to your body by using your fingertips. When you’re being dragged, you’ll feel a bit of resistance.
An adjustable wrench can be used to release both ends of the cable if it is still attached to the locking mechanism.
Depending on the model of your car, you may need to remove all of the pieces that are specific to that model. A lock plate may be used in place of a handle, or additional pieces may be added to the hood in addition to the lock plate. It’s important to be aware of the function of each item before removing it, as there are several small and easily misplaced components in this compartment. Also, be on the lookout for any sharp corners! Because this repair is so basic, you don’t want to risk hurting yourself.
Make a note of how each item is related to the damaged handle or component that needs to be replaced once you’ve laid them all out on a clean surface. Bolts are used to secure some, while glue/screws or even rivets are used to secure others. Using chemical solvents or a soldering iron, you can soften the glue joint enough to rip it apart if necessary if it’s cemented together.
Compare prices online before choosing on which part(s) you need to acquire for your unique car model.
Then, reinstall the remaining parts of the engine into the vehicle.
If you can, conduct this job in your garage or driveway so you don’t have to move anything once you’re done!
You should, however, open all the windows and doors to allow the fumes to dissipate if you’re doing any work on the inside of the automobile.
A replacement item may not be exactly the same as the original part that was initially installed on your vehicle. Because they didn’t come from the same manufacturer, even though they had similar-looking components, it’s highly unlikely. Taking notes of how each component is connected to the broken part/handle is important because some may need to be rewired or reconnected in order to fit.
If you wish to rewire a new part, try to figure out how it should be done by dismantling an existing wire. First, you may need to cut into it or use other instruments in order to see how everything is interconnected.
It’s time to put your pieces back in their proper places once you’ve completed your repairs!
You don’t want any bolts to break off within their holes if you leave them loose, so make sure they are tight enough but not too tight.
Turn the ignition key to the “on” position and begin pulling the handle. Make sure the end of the cable is attached to the locking mechanism! You can use an adjustable wrench to tighten it if it’s still a little loose.
Step ten should be repeated several times after you have given the latch handle a thorough tug to ensure that everything is working properly and that this part will no longer leak!
See how you did with this first car repair, or repeat any parts that don’t feel right or sound right yet.
How to lubricate a car hood latch?
Hinge-and-latch systems secure a car’s hood to the rest of the vehicle. A car’s functionality would be severely impaired without the inclusion of such components. These parts can wear out and stop working properly over time. While driving, you may notice that your hood isn’t totally closed, and the hood may open while you’re driving.
When the hood is closed, apply a lubricant to any parts that come into contact with each other. WD 40 can exacerbate the problem; instead, use silicone spray to coat one of them with lubricant. After applying the lubricant, wipe off any excess oil with a paper towel.
A car hood that won’t close because something is lodged between two pieces of metal or plastic that are designed to move around each other while the hood is closed can benefit from the use of silicone spray. See what happens when you apply some on both sides of the obstruction and wipe off any excess.
What if the hood won’t close after an accident?
Make sure the hood of your automobile is positioned properly. Having a metal flap that won’t open or close all the way may be because there’s a piece that’s out of place. Get your hands on the hood and check to see if anything looks like it might be interfering with its operation!
Make sure the screws keeping your automobile hood in place are tightened. While driving on uneven roads, it’s imperative you tighten any that have come loose from the collision!
Previously, we discussed the importance of hinges in securing the hood to the vehicle. Each side of your vehicle should have one, however it’s possible that each side has more than one.
The hood’s hinges bear the bulk of its weight, so they need to be durable enough to do so without breaking.
It’s a good idea to replace them if they’re bent or broken throughout the process of tightening them.
If you’re not sure if the hinges on your hood are functioning properly, you may learn more about what they look like in the following paragraphs.
Having a powerful light source on the underside of the hood helps when inspecting these hinge-like elements. Both the overhead latch and the side latch may be seen from under the hood, however only when the hood is opened are the latches used to hold most car hoods in place.
Older cars are more likely to have overhead latches, but newer models that share components with older models may also have them. In order to secure the latches in place, two bars pivot over each other. Check to check if one of the bars on your overhead latches has been turned slightly inwards to see if they are broken.
Unless this bar has been bent back into itself or pushed too far, the clasp will no longer work and will need to be replaced.
Unlike overhead latches, a side latch does not swivel over another piece to secure itself. Instead, the aside latch secures when you pull it away from the hood and swivel it (the opposite motion of opening the hood). To examine your car’s side latches for broken ones. Each hinge/latch assembly has a hole in it. This means that if either hole looks to have enlarged in such a way that there are marks around its circumference on both sides of the hinge (this frequently appears as a U shape), then that latch is inoperable and must be replaced.
Following the steps outlined in this article, you should be able to determine whether or not your hinge/latch assemblies are broken. Rust may be to blame if one or both of your latches don’t open or close properly, even though neither appears to be broken.
How to prevent car hood corrosion?
Every time you wash your automobile, be sure to apply a little layer of wax to the area where the metal part of the hood meets the plastic edge protection. This will keep both sides from becoming rusty and from having to interact with each other too frequently.
How to get rid of small rust spots on the car hood latch?
Check the metal hood edge of your automobile for rust. If the rust on your car hood is causing the issue, you can remove as much of the corroded metal as possible by cutting it with a metal blade. Smooth down any rough edges with sandpaper afterward, and then paint it to your heart’s content!
The hood of an automobile may not close for a variety of reasons, including rust, incorrect alignment, or damage from an accident. Despite the fact that they can be dangerous if your hood rises while driving, these issues can be simply remedied.
Avoid needless repairs by following the recommendations in this article before going to a mechanic.