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My Car Hood Won't Open

by Gail Delaney

Opening the hood of your car is easy if the latch and latch cable work. If not, you can run into headaches getting it to open. Potential problems include a broken latch or latch cable, a latch that didn't close properly, or a release handle that might have come off. You can try a few simple steps to correct the problem. If these don't work, you might want to consult a professional mechanic.

Step 1

Pull the hood release handle located inside your vehicle. Listen for release sound.

Step 2

Push down hard on the hood a couple of times, but don't push so hard you dent the hood. This might jiggle the hood latch open and let you open the hood. If not, move to the next step.

Step 3

Pull on the release handle while someone else tries to manually lift the hood.

Step 4

Shine a flashlight through the grill at the front of the car to help you see the hood latch better. Push on the release latch with a long screwdriver. You might need to exert some pressure.

Work the screwdriver in a way that you can manually release the hood latch. When it releases, press down on the hood slightly. This releases the secondary latch under the hood, letting you raise the hood.

Items you will need

  • Flashlight
  • Long screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Assistant

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