How to Open the Hood When the Release Cable Breaks

Apr 8, 2020

Welcome to Grafco Electric, your trusted resource for automotive maintenance and repair tips. In this guide, we will walk you through the steps on how to open the hood of your car when the release cable breaks. Dealing with a broken hood release cable can be frustrating, but with our detailed instructions and expert advice, you'll be able to overcome this issue with ease.

Why Does the Hood Release Cable Break?

Before we delve into the solution, let's briefly discuss why the hood release cable may break. Over time, the cable can become worn out or rusted, leading to its failure. Additionally, if the cable is improperly adjusted or subjected to excessive force, it can also experience damage.

Tools and Materials You Will Need

  • Gloves
  • Pliers
  • Wire Cutters
  • Lubricating Spray
  • Replacement Hood Release Cable (specific to your vehicle make and model)

Step-by-Step Guide: Opening the Hood

Follow these detailed steps to open the hood safely and efficiently:

Step 1: Preparation

Park your vehicle on a level surface and engage the parking brake. Put on your gloves to protect your hands throughout the process.

Step 2: Locate the Release Lever

Depending on your vehicle make and model, the release lever is typically located inside the cabin, either under the dashboard or near the driver's side footwell area. Consult your vehicle's manual if necessary.

Step 3: Inspect and Assess the Cable

Visually inspect the hood release cable and check for any visible signs of damage or breakage. This will help you determine the best course of action for opening the hood.

Step 4: Accessing the Cable

If the cable is partially intact, try locating the exposed part near the release lever and carefully pull it using a pair of pliers or your fingers. Apply gentle and steady force to avoid any further damage.

Step 5: Using Wire Cutters

If you cannot access the exposed part of the cable, you may need to use wire cutters to carefully cut the cable near the release lever. Be cautious not to damage any surrounding components.

Step 6: Manually Release the Hood

After cutting the cable, use your hands to lift the front edge of the hood slightly. This will allow you to locate and release the secondary latch mechanism, typically located in the center of the hood near the grille. Once released, lift the hood fully.

Step 7: Check the Cable and Make Repairs

Inspect the broken cable and assess whether it can be repaired or if a replacement is necessary. If a replacement is required, consult your local car parts store or dealership to obtain the appropriate hood release cable for your specific vehicle make and model.

Step 8: Installation of the New Cable

Follow the instructions provided with the replacement cable to properly install it in your vehicle. Ensure all connections are secure and functional before proceeding.

Step 9: Test and Ensure Proper Functionality

Before concluding the process, test the newly installed hood release cable to verify that it works effectively. Open and close the hood multiple times to ensure smooth operation.

Step 10: Regular Maintenance

To prevent future issues, it's important to regularly maintain and lubricate your hood release cable. Apply a lubricating spray recommended by your vehicle manufacturer to the cable and its components.


Opening the hood when the release cable breaks doesn't have to be a daunting task. By following the steps outlined in our comprehensive guide, you can overcome this challenge with confidence. Remember to exercise caution, evaluate the condition of the cable, and, if necessary, replace it to ensure the proper functioning of your hood release mechanism.

At Grafco Electric, we strive to provide you with the most reliable and practical solutions for all your automotive needs. If you require any further assistance or have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact our team of experts. We are here to help you get back on the road safely and efficiently.

William Fuller
Nice! Thanks for sharing these helpful instructions.
Oct 18, 2023
Elizabeth Leal
Great tips! 😊 Dealing with a broken hood release cable can be a headache, but these instructions make it seem easy to fix!
Oct 6, 2023