The average price for the hood latch replacement cost in most vehicles on the market is between $123 and $147, with the price of the labor between $48 and $61. As you can see, this process is relatively quick and often takes between 30 and 45 minutes at a local mechanic or auto body shop. Lastly, the total price of hte parts is between $47 and $86 on average.
Hood Latch Function
The hood of your vehicle has to stay open to make sure that a mechanic or a driver can access the engine and the other internal components under the hood. The hood has to be secured and ensure that it does not close or open unintentionally during use. If the hood opened inconsistently, it can crash into the windshield and cause structural damage and higher hood latch replacement cost.
The purpose of the hood latch in the vehicles is to keep the hood closed and ensure the car’s body is safe and reliable. Usually, the hood latch on most cars consists of a hook and latch style to keep the hood closed. If you find the hook or the latch is broken, this can lead to a higher hood latch replacement cost.
A cable typically operates the latch from the front of the car, operated by the mechanic or the driver to open the hood quickly and efficiently. The cable passes through the firewall and then connects to the back of the hood release and lever. By connecting the cable to the hood release, the latch can snap the spring closed and slide over the catch of the hood to prevent it from popping open unintentionally.
Therefore, the hood latch functions to open the latch and pop up past the hood catch. Once this occurs, a secondary safety feature works on the hood latch to fully press open the hood. If you find the hood latch is broken, seizing, or has cracked, the hood cannot close and open, leading to a high hood latch replacement cost.
Hood Latch Replacement Steps
To get an idea of why you need to spend the hefty hood latch replacement cost, you need to know the sites you or a mechanic has to take to repair or completely replace this part in your car.
- First, remove and replace the entire hood latch assembly on your vehicle.
- Next, install the new hood latch assembly. If you feel like you can’t do this process on your own, bring your car to a trusted local mechanic or auto body shop so they can properly install the hood latch assembly and avoid a higher hood latch replacement cost by hurting other internal parts.
- Lastly, confirm the latch is working correctly by testing the hood and the latch mechanism.
Sometimes, based on the model and make of your car, replacing the hood latch can be complex and require more billed hours and a higher labor cost.
Importance of Hood Latch Replacement
Car owners may be wondering why they have to spend a pretty penny on the hood latch replacement cost, which is why every driver must know the importance of the hood watch in their car. It is really important to replace a damaged hood latch, since it can cause a dangerous driving condition if the hood is not secured properly.
If the hood cannot stay closed, it can bounce open while driving and lead to an unsafe and unsecured driving situation for the car and other cars on the road. Even if the hood is closed but inoperable, you still have to access the engine for regulated maintenance and other repair services.
Two-Step Release Process
For drivers to know why they have to pay the hood latch replacement cost, they should know the function and the process of releasing the hood and fixing the internal issues. If you ignore the structural concerns regarding the hood, it can pop open while driving and lead to safety concerns while on the road.
Use the Release Lever
Most car hoods open by first engaging release inside the vehicle. This release lever or button is usually located beneath the dashboard and to the left of the steering column for easy access by the driver. The first step is to pull the hood release, and the hood should lift a few inches while staying attached to the hood latch.
Disengage the Hood Latch
Once this step is done, exit the car, slip your hand underneath the hood, and disengage the hood latch. If you find the hood doesn’t move after you pull the release lever, you have an issue that can lead to a high hood latch replacement cost.
The step in releasing the hood involves two people working together with the hood, with one person pulling the hood release lever while the other person presses down on the hood to free up the hood latch and release the tension.
How to Open the Hood of a Vehicle
To get clear access to the hood latch of your car, you need to know how to open the hood of a vehicle to reduce the overall hood latch replacement cost.
- Press down on the hood while engaging the hood latch. If the hood release cable is broken, stretched, or worn-down over time, it may not engage the hood latch properly. In this case, when you press down on the front of the hood to disengage the cable, it may not work. However, in most scenarios, it should disconnect, and the hood will shift and raise open.
- Pull on the cable from inside the car. Locate the hood release cable under the dashboard near the hood latch. If the hood opens, your cable may have stretched and slipped in the inside of your hood. If you don’t feel any tension with your hod cable, the cable is no longer attached to the hood latch. In this case, check to see whether you can slip the hood back on and whether the cable needs replacement.
- Locate the hood latch through the grille. At this point, you need to reach the hood latch from another angle, which involves seeing the latch through the front grille of your car. In addition, if this is too difficult, you can remove the inner fender well clips of your side fender well and reach in to access the hood latch.
- Trip the hood latch. Once you find the hood latch, reach in with a thin screwdriver to hook over the latch and tug.
- Approach the hood latch from under the hood. If you can’t operate and find the latch from the front, your final chance is to reach under the hood and tug the cable with special tools. If this doesn’t work, you will have to take the car to a mechanic – a step that will increase the overall hood latch replacement cost.
- Park the Vehicle. If you find that your hood is stuck, then park your car on a level surface and turn on the parking brake.
- Locate the hood release latch. If you are not familiar with the car you are working on, look for the interior hood release latch under the steering wheel. If you only have an exterior hood latch release, then look for the hood latch under the front lip of the car hood on the exterior of your vehicle.
- Test the interior hood release latch. When working properly, the hood might have to move up a short distance. If you hear a noise, but the hood does not move, the hood is likely stuck, and you have to unjam the structure.
- Slap the hood to get it unstuck. Stand outside the driver’s seat and reach in to hold the interior release. With the other hand, slap the hood with an open palm to jolt the hood free. If you dent the hood during this step, it can lead to a higher hood latch replacement cost.
- Open the hood with an assistant. Have a friend pull the interior release and keep it open in that position. Stand in front of the car and pull up the hood slowly. If you find the only issue is corrosion, rust, or debris, the hood will pop open.
- Leave the engine running in cold weather. If you find the rust or debris is not the cause of your hood troubles, leave the engine running in cold weather to thaw the internal engine components. After this step is complete, try opening the hood again to see if you can gain access.
- Inspect the hood latch after opening. Once you get your hood open, check for any broken in general components or malfunctioning cables that can cause a higher hood latch replacement cost. If you don’t see any obvious issues with wear and tear or damage, lubricate the latch with oil to ensure it can open easier next time.
The Bottom Line
When looking at the total hood latch replacement cost, you can expect to pay around $130 for this procedure. Although you don’t need this to keep driving your car safely, paying for this fix can help you keep the car hood closed and secured while driving down the road at high speeds!