How to Open the Hood of a Vehicle

This article was co-authored by Rocco Lovetere. Rocco Lovetere is the Owner and a Master Mechanic at Rocco’s Mobile Auto Repair in California. With over 20 years of experience, he specializes in Honda, Acura, Toyota, Nissan, Infiniti, and Volvo cars. He is an ASE Certified Automotive technician and has worked in automotive repair since 1999.

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When your car needs an oil change but you can’t pop the hood, a minor mechanical problem turns into a major frustration. A few tricks and a little patience will usually open a stuck hood, but there are worst case scenarios that take protracted fiddling. Once you do open the hood, always address the underlying problem before you close it again.

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About This Article

If the hood of your vehicle is stuck, one way you can open it is by pressing down on the hood while someone else pulls the interior release latch near the steering wheel. When done correctly, the hood should shift and raise slightly, which you can then open with the exterior latch. For cars where the interior release latch doesn’t work at all, try locating the latch through the front grille using a flashlight and tripping it with a screwdriver. If you can’t get to the latch through the grille, reach under the hood and attempt to tug the release cable with a pair of pliers. This can be difficult, so refer to the owner’s manual before reaching under the hood. For more help from our Automotive co-author, like how to lubricate a stuck latch, scroll down.

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