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Accord hood latch doesn't lock hood

Old 03-18-2013, 10:50 AM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 1
Question Same problem, not sure how to go about fixing it.

Okay, I have been having the same problem with my hood latch, it will shut, but won't lock. I want to fix it myself, but I also don't want to break anything. What all do I need to take off to get out of the way of the latch mechanism, and the cable?

Also, when you were having this problem, did the hood release lever inside your car stay pulled out a little bit? That's what mine is doing. My husband thinks the cable may be stretched out, but he doesn't do Honda, and I have owned 4...I can usually fix things myself, however this is the first time I have had this hood problem. Can anyone steer me in the right direction to fix this, or should I just take it to a shop...
Old 03-19-2013, 05:44 PM
poorman212's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Youngsville, NC
Posts: 11,819

Walla - is this a 97 like the original poster was?

There is "some" adjustment to the latch....then again a good cleaning and the re-lube of the latch might help as well.

Two cents from me, before starting any adjustment. Take a marker and make some marks on the latch and the "plate" it attaches to......that way you can at least put it back where it was if your adjustments make it worse.
Old 03-20-2013, 02:03 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 110


Please read post #6. Here is a qoute:

I have figured out why my hood won’t lock properly. It is not the latch as I believed to the point of almost going out and purchasing a new one. My hood is not closing properly because the locking mechanism of the latch is being maintained in the “open” position by the cable that is partially stuck inside it own sheave (see Latch 1 photo). All the dirt and other road grime had worked its way into the cable jacket. The stuck cable is pulling on the locking arm of the latch placing itself under excess stress. In time this stress can cause the cable to break.
Yes, when this happen to me the latch lever inside the car had slack.

The quick but not always the best way is to place a rag or heavy paper towel cradling where the cable meets the cable sleeve. This is to keep the mess down and allow the soaked rag to puddle right at the opening of the sleeve. Spray it with WD-40 as it doesn't dry and repels water. Patience is important. After a while of this try gently to move the locking jaw of the latch as it is being maintained in an open position due to the cable tension in its sleeve. At some point it should move and continue spraying and repeat.

The best way is to mark the latch mechanism where its mounted so it can be reinstalled after cleaning/lubing. It will also make removing the cable with the "ball" end from the latch much easier. Mainting the now freeded cable and sleeve vertically it is much easier to introduce what ever lubricant of your choice. You can spray the WD-40 into its own cap and drizzle the liquid lub unto the cable and allow gravity to take into the sleeve. At some point you want to pull on the cable to see if it moving. Then pull the hood lever inside the car. Continue spraying and pulling until resistance can't be improved.

Every once in awhile spray the latch and cable with something. It's almost been four years and I haven't had this same problem with this 17 year old car.
Old 06-22-2013, 09:36 PM
Newest Of Newbies
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 21
Talking Fix for hood latch

I had the same problem with my '99 Accord. Hard to keep the cable freed up, so put lithium spray grease on the latching assembly.
On mine, I have to manually push the safety latch down with my thumb, or with a screwdriver.
Works every time! The hood release cable gets internally dirty, making it hard to work right. It's also kinda hard to 'thread' a new cable through the sheet metal, so I just manually push the safety latch down before closing the hood.
Old 08-20-2013, 02:31 PM
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 1

The posts in this thread saved me. Thank you all for your help.
I was about to go to the "bay" to buy a $30 oem latch.

Mine just needed the gunk cleaned out, now it locks the hood down instead of just holding it down.
Old 06-25-2018, 09:17 PM
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 3
Default Penetrating oil did the trick

The upper latch held, but not the bottom latch. I squirter Liquid Wrench in the mechanism and let it soak several hours. It worked properly then. I then used a rag to wipe off what goo I could get, and squirted WD40 branded aerosol white lithium grease. I

With some luck, it will hold another 13 years!

Old 06-26-2018, 11:28 AM
Been Around A Long Time Member
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Kimball MI
Posts: 961

I was having the same issues as described here, but in my case I just replaced the cable as it had a kink in it that wouldn't allow it to work freely (even out of the car not attached). Just something to keep in mind.
Old 04-03-2019, 11:39 AM
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 1
Smile Easier solution

On my 1997 Accord, I tried lubricating the cable -- detaching the one cable connector over the radiator and extending the cable up about 3 feet in the air, then spraying silicone spray into it and working it back and forth many times. The cable still stuck, though; the spring didn't pull it back. I took the whole mechanism apart and cleaned all the dirt and old grease out of the latch assembly. Still wouldn't latch. That is, the cable would stick.

So I bought a bigger, stronger spring, and IT WORKS great now! I bought the spring at Lowe's, in their nuts and bolts (and springs) section. It's a 1/2" x 2" x 0.072" Extension spring made by Hillman. It has a "Safe Working Load" of 6.32 Lbs. It's a bit shorter and fatter, and strong enough to put enough tension on the release cable to keep it where it belongs. Much easier than replacing the cable.
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