What to do if my Car Bonnet won’t open?

This article will address the “my car bonnet won’t open” problem. A stuck car bonnet is a common problem faced by many people globally. In addition to the solutions for stuck car bonnets, the article will give you a brief knowledge about the causes of faulty car bonnets.

What to do if my Car Bonnet won’t open?

Apply the following steps if the car bonnet won’t open in your car.

  • Warming up the car bonnet
  • Release the Latches
  • Pull the latch cable’s clip.

The jamming of a car bonnet can be frustrating in the event of a mishap. Moreover, even during car wash cleaning, the components present inside the bonnet are extremely vital. Therefore, opening the stuck hood becomes extremely important to maintain the integrity of the car body. This section will mention a few ways to open the car’s bonnet.

Warming up the car bonnet

Suppose you live in a climate where frequent snowfall increases the chances of car bonnets being stuck. Because due to snowfall, the temperature decreases, and due to the decrease in temperature, the metal hood becomes stiff and tough to open. Moreover, due to continuous snowfall, the bonnet mechanism might get frozen. Thus to make the car bonnet functional again, you need to heat the car.

When you turn on the car, the combustion process starts in the engine. Thus due to combustion, heat is radiated in the surroundings. Due to the liberation of heat in the atmosphere, the ice that has caused the bonnet assembly to jam will melt, and the bonnet will start to move again. 

Release the Latches

Sometimes the car bonnet doesn’t open due to a jammed latch. In that case, you need a helping hand to solve the problem. For opening the bonnet with a jammed latch, you need to begin the troubleshooting process by pulling the bonnet release lever present inside the vehicle’s cabin. Then, the hood will pop up, and with the help of your hand, you need to try to release the latches while the other person will pull the hood open and try opening it simultaneously.

If the pulling of the bonnet doesn’t work, then try pushing the bonnet down. Pressing the hood down will free the latches, and then you can try opening the hood manually.  

If the bonnet mechanism is functional, one of the techniques mentioned above will work and open the car bonnet. Nice the car bonnet gets open, apply lubrication such as engine oil on the latch assembly and any other moving parts. After applying the lubricating oil to the mechanism, move the hood up and down several times so that the lubricating oil gets circulated completely around the latches. 

Moreover, after applying oil to the latches, you can apply lithium grease to increase the lubrication on the latches. Moreover, if you find the latch is bent, use a hammer to fix the bend. 

Even after performing the forming operations on the car bonnet, you still recommend that you take the vehicle to a mechanic and get the hood completely checked for different faults. Moreover, if doubtful, then get the latch system completely replaced.

Pull the latch cable’s clip.

You can also try the following technique ahead of getting the broken latch cable replaced from the car bonnet. Then, if the bonnet still doesn’t open, get the latch cable changed.

In a scenario where you can open the vehicle’s hood, you will find latch cables connecting to the bonnet release handle present under the steering wheel by going below the car. These cables form a connection between the interior release lever and the exterior latches of the system. These cables are accessed through the vehicle’s hood radiator cover in some cars.

To do this technique, you need to get a screwdriver and use it to pull the cable’s clip. Pulling the clip will open up the latch. Once the vehicle’s hood is open, detach the release cable from the latch assembly. 

Now go to the interior of the vehicle and disconnect the release handle. After disconnecting the release handle, replace the cable with a new one and align the cable in the same way it was installed before. Once the cable is in position, attach the cable back to the hood latch, and the hood is ready for operation. 

Causes of car hood getting stuck

Snowy Climate

One of the common reasons behind the stocking of the car hoods is the snowy weather. Many people leave their vehicles outside in the open during snowfall. Due to this, the hood gets frozen and becomes immobile.

The car hood consists of a mechanism that consists of latches. These latches are free to move during normal conditions. But during snowfall, the latches get frozen and stuck in the cold weather. Moreover, there could be a possibility where the latch cable attached to the hood release is frozen, and thus the hood doesn’t move.

Jammed Hood

Since the major component in the car bonnet is the latch, many cars get their bonnet stuck due to a faulty latch. The latches are made out of metal, and since the bonnet is exposed to rains and snowfall, moisture continuously sticks onto the latches causing rusting. Once the latches get rusted, their free movement is hindered, and thus the hood gets jammed. 

Broken Cable

The hood mechanism consists of a lever below the steering wheel. This lever is connected to the latch with the help of a wire, and with time, the wire used to pull the latch for opening the hood might get loose, and in such a case, the hood won’t open. In such a scenario, the best thing to do is to get the wire replaced with a new one.

Broken Lever

Sometimes when we try opening the boot, the lever might get broken. In such a scenario opening the car, boot appears to be an impossible task. Thus, a broken latch lever makes it hard to pull the lever from the interior.


In this article, we have addressed the “my car bonnet won’t open” problem in detail. THe article also gives you a brief explanation about the causes of the stuck car bonnet.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): My car bonnet won’t open

Is it an MOT fail if the car bonnet won’t open?

If a car bonnet doesn’t open, the tester will either abandon or reject to complete the test. The MOT inspection is only for primary catches, which keep the bonnet closed.

How much does it cost to get the hood latch repaired?

The hood latch can be repaired by spending around $223. However, the cost varies between $94 to $351, depending on the model.

How do you open a bonnet with a broken cable?

Grip the hood release handle with pliers and pull firmly to see if it opens. Find the release latches for the hood, which are generally present on the side of headlights if the hood doesn’t open.

Can I leave the hood open in the rain?

Don’t leave the hood open in the rain, as the rain might hurt the electrical equipment present under the hood. The rain might even damage the electrical equipment, costing you heavily.


  1. https://carsupercare.com/car-hood-wont-open-what-should-i-do/
  2. https://wheelzine.com/car-hood-wont-open