How to Fix a Hood Latch That Won’t Lock

Suppose your car’s hood latch has stopped working correctly. Don’t worry; there is likely a simple fix. In this article, we’ll show you how to fix a hood latch that won’t lock. We’ll also provide tips on preventing this from happening again. So, whether your hood latch is stuck shut or won’t stay closed, follow these steps to get it fixed up!

How to Fix a Hood Latch That Won't Lock

The Hood latch is connected to the hood with a rod. This is connected to a locking mechanism attached to a plastic or rubber cap on the hood itself. It is associated with a spring on one side. The hood latch has four rods coming out of it connected to the locking mechanism. When you push down on the plastic cup, it pushes against these rods, and they bend inwards.

Reasons You Need To Know Why Hood Latch Won’t Lock.

It is a routine thing to find your car hood not locking correctly. You need to know why your hood latch won’t lock so you can use the proper steps to fix it. You may have experienced having a hard time opening and closing your car hood because of this problem.

You would get frustrated when you cannot figure out what happened, leaving witnesses who get ticked off at your face. Instead of panicking, take note that there are many possible causes, but there’s one thing for sure, if you don’t fix it soon, the consequences might be direr than what you think of right now. Here are some reasons:

Broken Latch Handle

One of the most common reasons the hood latch won’t lock is a broken or worn-out latch handle. It will be worse if you see rusts on it with some dirt inside. How about checking your hood latch to see if it doesn’t seem right, bent, or wobbly then replace what needs replacement or repairs immediately.

Cable Damage

You must know that hard pressure may only break the cable resulting in the inability of your hood to close securely. To fix this problem, replace the damaged part, especially with rusty cables, because corrosion will surely damage your car parts more than what you think of now. A professional mechanic should do these repairs so no further problems will arise.

Your Car Hood and See if the Gap

Faulty Hood Latch

If you need to replace your hood latch, test if it is faulty by opening and closing it twice as fast as the usual time. If it fails to lock or close immediately twice, better call a car shop near your place so they can give professional assistance. The same thing applies with those latches that have been wet for quite some time or even oiled up because these kinds of things take much more work than what you think now.

Wrong Adjustment of Hood Latch

This is one of the most dangerous reasons the hood latch won’t lock. You need to take a closer look at your car hood and see if the gap between the part that closes into the body of your car is even or not. In addition, note how your hood latches because if it gets bent outwards, then there’s something wrong with it. How about checking whether or not it has been oiled up or wet because rusts will surely make any car part malfunction in no time at all.

Other Possible Reasons

There are still other probabilities for hood latch won’t lock such as * Oil/grease build-up * Worn out Hood, Lock Cylinder * Worn out hood lock knob * Getting closed by kids * Damage on hood release cable or handle itself.

A Detailed Guide on How To Fix A Hood Latch That Won’t Lock

Way 1: Clean Corroding Parts

The first step to fixing your hood latch that won’t lock is to clean the parts. First, you need to take off the plastic shroud that covers the latch assembly and then use some metal polish on a cloth (or fine steel wool) to remove any corrosion. Once you’re done, apply car wax with another clean cloth or applicator pad.

Way 2: Change The Catch Assembly

If cleaning doesn’t work, it’s time to replace the catch assembly. This is located under the driver’s side of the dash (it’s next to where your knee would be if you were driving). To access it, you’ll need to take out the lower dash panel, which is held in place by three bolts with 10mm heads. Then unclip the catch assembly from the wiring harness and replace it with a new one. Once you’re done, reattach everything in reverse order.

 Use the Proper Steps to Fix

Way 3: Change The Latch

If cleaning and replacing the catch assembly doesn’t work, it’s time to replace the latch itself. To access this, remove the glove compartment door by taking out its two screws located at the top of the drawer. Next, remove all three mounting bolts from underneath (these have 10mm heads), and push inward on both sides of the plastic cover until it pops out of place.

Then disconnect any wiring harnesses attached to the old latch and put your new one in its place before finally putting things back together again in reverse order. NOTE: You’ll need to test the new latch after putting it in.

Way 4: Replace The Cable

If changing all of those parts doesn’t work, it’s time to replace the cable itself. To do this, start by removing the glove compartment door as described above and disconnecting any wiring harnesses that may be attached to the old cable. Then use a screwdriver or pick to carefully lift on one end of the cable cover (a small metal stopper inside).

Pry this upwards until you can see where the cable is attached; once you’ve done, remove the clip holding it and reattach it right below your hand. Now release and pull up on both ends of the cable cover and repeat these steps with your new cable until installed. Finally, replace the cover, secure the glove compartment door back, and you’re good to go!

Way 5: Replace New Hood Latch Assembly

If changing the catch assembly, latch, and cable didn’t work, you may need to replace your complete hood latch assembly. Start by removing the plastic shroud around the latch assembly (as described above). Then take off the entire dash panel to get down to your old unit.

Unclip any wiring harnesses attached to it before detaching it from its mounts (be careful because there might still be power running through the unit). Once you’ve done that, you can pull out your old hood latch and put your new one in its place. If everything checks out, reattach all of these pieces back in reverse order and enjoy!

use a oil spray

Way 6: Get Help From Professional Mechanic

If cleaning, replacing the catch assembly, changing the latch, and replacing the cable didn’t fix your hood latch, that won’t lock issue. Then you might have defective wiring or a faulty solenoid somewhere in your car, causing this malfunction. If this is the case, I suggest visiting a local mechanic for help since they’ll need to perform some diagnostic testing on your vehicle to figure out precisely what’s wrong before fixing it up again. These ways will help in how to fix a hood latch that won’t lock.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Know if My Hood Latch Is Bad?

Check to see if the hood of your car or truck will lock. If it doesn’t, you need to fix your hood latch before anything terrible happens. Just try slamming down hard on your closed hood.

There should be some resistance when you push down (so that the hood doesn’t fly up and hit you in the face) but not enough where you ram yourself into it like Mike Tyson against an opponent with a chin made out of C4 explosives.

The resistance is needed because there are springs inside the latch assembly attached to your hood, which counter-act gravity so that even though things get heavy, they don’t weigh too much for you not to move them anymore. So, just grab each side of your hood and slam it closed a few times.

Can I Drive With a Broken Hood Latch?

Assuming that your hood latch isn’t completely broken and is still working somehow, you can use the car with a broken hood latch. However, driving without a fully secure hood can be dangerous for yourself and other drivers on the road.

For example, an unsecured hood could fly up when you go over a bump, limiting your visibility through the windshield. A flying car part could also contact another vehicle or damage property, which gives you legal responsibility if it happens. Therefore, it would help if you considered having your car’s hood secured before taking it out for a drive again.

You Can Check It Out To Make a Leather Dog Harness


Hood latches are an essential part of your car, and it’s necessary to make sure they’re always in good condition. If you’re having trouble with your hood latch, there are a few things you can do to try to fix the problem. We’ve outlined how to fix a hood latch that won’t lock for you above.

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