What to do if my car bonnet won’t close?

This article will explain the “my car bonnet won’t close” problem. Moreover, we will explain the various techniques you can use to fix the bonnet that is not closing. In addition, we will explain the diagnosis and troubleshooting process of a stuck hood due to rusting in the latch mechanism.

What to do if my car bonnet won’t close?

Steps for fixing the car bonnet which isn’t closing are as follows:-

  • Check the hood release handle inside the car.
  • Locate the hood latch which is present on the slam panel.
  • Examine it for corrosion or debris.
  • Check the locking mechanism.
  • Apply WD40 lubricating spray to get rid of the corrosion.

The hood assembly of every vehicle consists of a hood lock, release lever, safety catch (hook), and secondary components such as hood striker and pull handle. Since there are so many components in the hood assembly, there are possibilities of the hood not closing due to several reasons. In this section, we will explain the different reasons behind the hood not closing.

Corroded Hood Latch

A latch is installed on the car to lock the car hood in a particular place. This latch helps in locking the hood in the engine bay. But since the latch is made out of metal, there are chances of rusting or getting physical damage.

Thus once the latch is affected, it will be difficult to close the car’s hood to the clip of the engine bay. Therefore the hood wouldn’t close properly when you try closing it. The corroded or physically damaged latch is one of the main reasons behind the hood not closing.

Lack of lubrication

Since the car’s hood is open to exposure to different climatic conditions, the chances of corrosion in different regions such as the hinges, latch cable, latch mechanism, etc., are high. Therefore, once one of the mechanical components gets corroded, the movement of the hood will become stiff, and slowly the hood will become inoperable. 

To avoid such a condition where the hood becomes inoperable, it is highly recommended to lubricate the mechanical components of the hood. To lubricate the mechanical components, you can apply silicon-based grease on the important parts of the latching mechanism.

The lock mechanism is blocked.

Since the locking mechanism is exposed to foreign particles, there are possibilities that some debris gets stuck in the locking mechanism. Thus the locking of debris in the lock mechanism might be a reason behind the stuck hood.

The latch handle is faulty. 

The other reason behind the hood, not closing might be that the hood latch handle becomes faulty, or the latch cable that actuates the latch when the hood release lever is lifted is damaged due to pressure or stress. In such scenarios, there are chances that the hood won’t be able to close.

Diagnosing a sticking hood latch

  • To check the sticking hood latch, you need to begin from the first step. To begin with, you need to check the hood release handle inside the car. Lift the handle, and if it stays in an open position, then the return spring in the latch is corroded because it gets stuck in one position.
  • To check whether the return spring of the hood is damaged, you need to locate the hood latch which is present on the slam panel. The slam panel is the panel that faces you when you open the car’s hood. The latch may be visible or hidden by the plastic protection. Some high-end cars even use two latches.
  • Once you have located the latch, examine it for corrosion or debris. Moreover, check the condition of the spring as well. There will be a stout spring for the lock and a finer return spring for the safety catch. Some people also have a safety catch on the hood assembly.
  • The hood release handle is connected with the help of a cable to the latch mechanism. The release lever often sticks in the open position when the hood latch suffers from corrosion. Thus preventing the lock from holding the hood firmly.
  • To check the locking mechanism, use a long screwdriver and close the lock with its help. To check the lock, pass the screwdriver into the lock, and that’s where the hood striker will activate the lock.
  • When passing the screwdriver through the lock, the lock will offer high spring resistance, and with that, it should eventually get into the locked position.
  • If the lock doesn’t feel stiff, grab a wire and WD40 lubricating spray to remove the corrosion.

Cleaning and Application of lubrication

  • Take a small wire. Some people also use a brush, but using a brush is not feasible as there isn’t sufficient space for the brush to enter. But if there is ample space in your car, then using a brush is the best option.
  • Rub the surface of the latch with the help of a brush so that the excess debris and dust are removed from the surface. 
  • Now take WD40 lubricating oil and use a straw attached to the spray. Apply the lubricating oil on the latch. While lubricating the latch, remember to apply lubrication on the pivots. 
  • Once the lubrication of the latch is completed, with the help of a screwdriver, again check the working of the latch. 
  • Now apply WD40 on the safety latch hook and make sure the safety latch look moves freely. Moreover, examine whether the return spring pulls the lever firmly.
  • Once you have sprayed lubricant on the different parts of the latch, it is time to apply lithium grease on all the parts on which the lubricant was sprayed so that the moisture is restricted from entering again. 

Conclusion

In this article, we have addressed “my car bonnet won’t close.” Moreover, we have also explained the various reasons behind the hood not closing. In addition, we have also explained the diagnosis and troubleshooting process of a hood stuck due to corrosion.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): my car bonnet won’t close

Can I drive my car with a broken hood latch?

If your hood is stuck closed, and it is not opening, you can safely drive your can until you are not required to do anything below the car’s hood. 

Why is my hood not opening?

To open the hood, you need two people. One person will lift the hood release lever from the inside while the other will press the hood from the outside. Once this procedure is performed, the hood will open up.

Can I drive without a Hood?

Driving a car with no hood will have severe effects on the vehicle’s fuel economy. Because since there is no hood, the aerodynamic drag on the vehicle will increase; thus, more fuel will be required to travel a certain distance.

How long does it take to fix the hood latch?

Fixing the hood latch is a tricky process because the latch is generally protected with the help of plastic covers. So to get the latch repaired, you will at least need 1 hour. 

References

  1. https://autocareaids.com/car-hood-wont-close/
  2. https://rustyautos.com/car-hood-wont-close/#:~:text=The%20most%20common%20cause%20of,grease%20will%20fix%20the%20problem.

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