How to Install a New Hood Release Cable

by Don Bowman

Installing a new hood release cable is not very difficult. It is very important to look at the routing of the cable. The cable is just long enough to be installed in its original position and does not leave much slack for deviations. It starts at the hood latch and travels under the top radiator support and through a hole near the driver's-side head light. It goes from there along the driver's-side fender well, usually under the air cleaner or whatever is located on the fender well, which varies from one car to another. In all cases, it covers the same path. A close look will reveal its location on the fender well. It should be able to be replaced removing very few items, if anything. It then goes down through the firewall right below the brake power booster. This location on many vehicles is difficult to see, but can always be felt.

Lift the hood. Remove the hood release cable at the hood latch using the needle-nose pliers. Grab the round ball on the end of the cable in the latch, and lift it up and out of the retainer spring. Remove the screw holding the cable to the latch.

Pull the cable from behind the headlight and guide it with your hand until it is out past the headlight. At this point, the loose end just pulled out should all be on the engine side of the radiator. Remove the hood release handle by removing the bolts with the appropriate socket.

Push the rubber grommet through the firewall below the brake booster using the screwdriver. Pull the cable from inside the vehicle by grasping it as high as possible toward the firewall.

Install the new cable by inserting the latch end through the firewall and feeding enough through to grab from the other side. If you can not find the hole (it is hidden in many cases), insert the long screwdriver from the other side and then follow it up to the hole. Pull the cable from the engine side until it stops, which is where the rubber grommet is that fills the hole the cable came through.

Install the rubber grommet inside by pushing it in the firewall. If this is difficult, use the screwdriver to assist you. Pull the cable along the fender well, routing it in the same manner in which it came out. Push it through the hole at the headlight and under the radiator support.

Install the cable to the latch by installing the cable end first into its spring lock. Put the cable into the cable hold-down bracket. Tighten the hold-down bracket. Bolt the release handle on, making sure the bolts are tight.

Items you will need

About the Author

Don Bowman has been writing for various websites and several online magazines since 2008. He has owned an auto service facility since 1982 and has over 45 years of technical experience as a master ASE tech. Bowman has a business degree from Pennsylvania State University and was an officer in the U.S. Army (aircraft maintenance officer, pilot, six Air Medal awards, two tours Vietnam).