How to Open a Broken Car Hood

by Ken McCarron

If you have ever needed to get your car hood open to add fluids or for a repair and it just wouldn't budge, you know how frustrating it can be. There are a few different reasons why your car hood won't open when you pull the hood release lever. Usually, it is either the latch cable that has broken, or the latch assembly itself. Opening your hood from the outside takes a little maneuvering, but it can be accomplished.

Pull on the hood release lever inside the car, while at the same time having someone pull up on the hood itself. This will rule out the hood just being jammed shut.

Determine the reason for the hood not opening. Pull the latch handle. If it doesn't go back into place when you release it, the cable is likely broken or damaged. If it does and you can feel it trying to release the latch, it is probably the latch assembly itself.

Shine a flashlight up into the grille of the car. Locate the latch assembly. When you can see it, stick a long screw driver in through the grille and attempt to pop the latch until it releases. You may have to move it around quite a bit before the latch opens. It is spring loaded, so you will need to use some pressure. After popping the latch, slightly press down on the hood and release the secondary latch to open the hood.


  • check Be careful not to puncture holes in anything with the screwdriver.
  • check If the latch cannot be opened, you can remove the latch handle on the inside and pull the cable with pliers to open.

Items you will need

About the Author

Ken McCarron has been a freelance writer for five years. He has written online articles too numerous to mention. He has also written copy for websites, direct mail, sales letters, new releases, brochures and ads.

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Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Bright yellow and black American muscle car image by Christopher Dodge from