Treating a balky latch; how to get a stuck hood open. Spray a balky latch-release mechanism with an aerosol penetrating solvent; repeat until the latch operates freely by hand. If it remains balky, unbolt and replace the latch.
If the latch of an internal, cable-type release is free but its action is stiff, check the cable along its route; adjust it to eliminate kinks. If there are no kinks, the cable mechanism itself may be at fault. Disconnect it from the latch; if it’s still stiff, replace it.
Universal cables are available but often require improvising of parts to fit. An original-equipment inner cable is the simplest choice.
To install, clip off the wire stop from the old cable at the latch and pull out the cable from the under-dashboard end.
Lubricate the new inner cable with silicone or chassis grease, then push it through the cable housing. As it emerges at the latch end, guide it through the latch.
The replacement cable comes with an adjustable stop. Fit it over the cable end, move it up to leave only slight clearance to the latch, then tighten its retaining screw.
If the hood won’t open on a cable system and you don’t hear the latch operate when you pull the cable, the cable is stuck, overstretched, or snapped. To reach it for service, you must open the hood by tripping the latch, perhaps with a screwdriver.
On some cars, you can gain access from underneath orby removing the grille. If the hood aligns with the grille panel at the front, you may be able to cut apart the latch by working a hacksaw between the parts. Or cut a small hole in the hood above the latch and afterward cover it with a decorative medallion. Rustproof the cut edges of the hole.