How do I fix a hood latch that won't open?

The hood of my car won’t open—when I pull the hood release from inside my car, absolutely nothing happens. How do I fix a hood latch that won’t open?

Nick Kunze · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
Fixing a stuck hood latch isn’t too hard of a task, so long as you can reach the latch with a screwdriver. Here’s what you’ll need to do:
  • Let the engine cool: Don’t start messing around under the hood unless the engine has been off for at least thirty minutes. Otherwise, you might burn yourself!
  • Pull the hood release: With the engine cool, the first thing you’ll want to do is pull the hood release lever from inside your car. 
  • Access the latch: From there, you’ll need to find a way to reach the latch. If your car has a grille, you should be able to reach through the grille or remove it from the front of your car to access the latch. If your car doesn’t have a grille, you’ll likely have to get underneath your vehicle to access the latch. 
  • Use your screwdriver: Once you’ve located the latch, you can use your handy screwdriver to trip the latch manually. If that doesn’t work, try lubricating the latch to get it unstuck. Or, check to make sure the latch is correctly aligned with the latch mechanism. 
If none of this works, you might need to take your car to a mechanic to get the hood open. On the bright side, if your hood latch isn’t opening due to a bent hood after an accident, you can likely get the repairs covered through your
car insurance
, depending on the type of coverage you have. 
View full answer 
Jerry partners with more than 50 insurance companies, but our content is independently researched, written, and fact-checked by our team of editors and agents. We aren’t paid for reviews or other content.

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