How to Align a Car Hood

by Jenny Carver
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Bright yellow and black American muscle car image by Christopher Dodge from

Replacing and installing a new hood on your car is not easy because of the awkward size and shape of the hood. Getting it on the car and bolted down is hard enough, but once you go to close the hood, it may not even line up correctly. This can leave odd-sized gaps on each side of the hood, between the fender and the hood. It can also keep the hood from closing properly. Align a car hood using a few tools and less then 10 minutes of your time.

Step 1

Open the hood and use the ratchet and socket to loosen the bolts on the bracket that attaches the hood to the car. Loosen them only slightly. Loosen the bolts on the hood, not the bolts that are on the car.

Step 2

Gently close the hood to see how the hood lines up with each fender. The gaps on either side of the hood should be the same. Push the hood gently while the bolts are loosened to close the gap on either side of it. Once the gaps are even, tighten the hood bolts completely.

Step 3

Close the hood slowly and check the hood latch to make sure it is properly latching and that the gap along the front of the hood is even. Open the hood and find the hard rubber stoppers on either side, just near the edge of the where the hood sits when closed. Use your hand to loosen or tighten these until the gap along the front of the hood is even. These stoppers raise and lower the height of the hood when it is closed.

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