How to Fix a Hood Latch That Won’t Close: The Complete Guide

Hood latches can be temperamental, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with a hood that won’t close. There are many reasons why your hood latch might not be working, and we’ve got the solutions for you.

Here are 4 ways how to fix a hood latch that won’t close:

  1. Repair Internal parts of the latch.
  2. Clean off any corrosion.
  3. Replace corroded parts beyond cleaning.
  4. Go to an auto repair shop.

This guide will help you fix your car and get it back on the road as quickly as possible. With the easy-to-follow instructions, you’ll be able to repair the internal parts of your hood latch and get it working like new again. Keep reading to learn more about fixing a hood latch that won’t close.

Fixing a hood latch that won’t close.

1. Repair Internal Parts

The internal parts of your hood latch may be broken or damaged, causing the machine not to close correctly. To fix this issue, you’ll need to take apart the latch and repair the internal components.

The following are steps to take to repair the internal parts of your hood latch:

  1. Remove the screws holding the latch together.
  2. Take out the springs and pins.
  3. Clean any corrosion off of the parts with a wire brush.
  4. Replace any broken or damaged components.
  5. Put everything back together and reattach the screws.

2. Clean Corroding Parts

Cleaning the corroded parts is one of the solutions you can do to fix a hood latch that won’t close. Below are the steps of cleaning corroding parts:

  1. Assemble your cleaning supplies, including a wire brush, solvent, rags, and safety glasses.
  2. Spray the area cleaned with the solvent, then use the wire brush to scrub off all corrosion. Make sure you wear your safety glasses as this can be a complex process.
  3. Wipe away any remaining residue with a clean rag and allow to dry completely before reassembling.

3. Replace Corroded Parts

If cleaning the corroded parts doesn’t fix your hood latch, you may need to replace them. The process is more involved and will require removing the latch from the vehicle. Once the old parts are removed, clean and grease all new components before reassembly, be sure to follow all manufacturer instructions for installation.

The following are factors to consider when buying a new hood latch:

  • Type of vehicle – It’s essential to make sure you get the correct replacement part.
  • Latch handle type – There are several different types available, and it’s essential to select one that’s compatible with your latch.
  • Spring strength – If the springs on your old latch have stretched, you’ll need to find replacements with a higher spring rating.
  • Corrosion protection – Look for a latch with corrosion-proof pins and springs.
  • Price – Hood latches can vary in price depending on the brand and features.

You can get your AeroCatch 120-2000 Above Panel Hood Latch on Amazon. This kit is a universal fit and provides a sturdy latch setup with a good, solid feel when opening or shutting.

4. Go to an Auto Repair Shop

If you aren’t comfortable fixing the hood latch yourself, take it to a qualified mechanic. They’ll diagnose the problem and either repair or replace the faulty part. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the parts beforehand to make it easier to communicate and receive a proper diagnosis.

Hood Latch Parts

The hood latch refers to the locking mechanism that keeps the car hood closed. It’s made up of various parts, including:

  • Latch handle: The part you pull to open the hood. It’s usually made of plastic or metal.
  • Pins: They hold the latch handle in place and keep the hood closed. There are two pins at the top and one at the bottom.
  • Springs: These help to tension the pins and keep them in place.
  • Latch striker: This is a metal piece on the car body that the hood latch rests against when closed.
  • Hood bumpers: These are located on the inside of the car hood and keep it in place when it’s closed.
  • Hood lock: This is a mechanism that locks the car hood in place.

Reasons Why Your Hood Latch Won’t Close

There are a few reasons why your hood latch might not be closing properly:

  • The adjustment is off: This is the most common reason for a hood latch not closing. If it’s too loose, the hood won’t close all the way, and if it’s too tight, you might not be able to open it at all.
  • Corrosion: This could be on the pins or broken latch handles.
  • Issues with the springs: Sometimes, they don’t stretch enough to pull the hood closed completely.

Wrong Adjustment of the Hood Latch

Improper adjustment can be the most common problem with hood latches. It’s easy to fix, but you need to know how to do it properly. The adjustment should be just tight enough so the hood latch doesn’t sag, but not too fast, or else it won’t be easy to open and close.

There are two ways to adjust a hood latch:

  • Loosening or tightening the screws on the side of the latch
  • Changing the bolt located at the back of the latch.

If you’re having trouble finding this bolt, it might help to take off the plastic cover on top of the hood. Then, once you’ve seen it, use a wrench to loosen or tighten it until the hood latch is in the proper position.

If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, or if the adjustment doesn’t seem to be helping, then you might want to take your car to a mechanic. They’ll be able to fix it quickly and easily for you.

Corrosion on Proof Pins

The next most common problem is corrosion on the pins. If the pins are corroded, they won’t be able to move smoothly, which will cause the hood latch to stick. Again, it can happen over time due to weathering or chemicals in the air.

Your hood latch is metal and lives at the front of your car, so it’s constantly being bombarded with corrosive elements. The good news is there are ways to prevent this from happening. One way is to use corrosion-proof pins. These are made out of a different material that doesn’t corrode as quickly, and they can be purchased at most auto parts stores.

Another way to protect your hood latch is by using a sealant or wax on the metal surfaces. It will help create a barrier between the metal and the corrosive elements in the air. Be sure to apply it regularly, especially if you live in a particularly wet or humid climate.

To prevent corrosion, it’s essential to clean the pins regularly. You can use a wire brush or some steel wool to scrub away any build-up of dirt or rust. Once they’re clean, apply a coat of corrosion-resistant paint or sealant to keep them protected.

If your hood latch has been damaged by corrosion, there might not be anything you can do besides replace it. Corroded parts are often too brittle to be repaired, and they can quickly cause more damage to the latch. So if you notice your pins are corroded, it’s best to replace them as soon as possible.

Broken Latch Handle

The last common problem is a broken latch handle. If the handle is broken, it won’t be able to move the latch mechanism, which will prevent the hood from closing.

If the handle is broken, you can fix it yourself by replacing the grip or using a screwdriver to move the latch manually. If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to replace the entire latch. It can be a difficult task, so it might be best to take your car to a mechanic.

Springs Don’t Stretch

Sometimes the springs don’t stretch enough to pull the hood closed completely. It might be due to age or wear and tear. To fix this problem, you’ll need to replace the springs with new ones in good condition.

Replacing springs can be difficult, so it might be best to take your car to a mechanic. They’ll be able to do it quickly and easily for you.

Signs a Hood Latch Isn’t Closing Correctly

If you’re experiencing any of the following problems, it means your hood latch isn’t closing correctly:

  • The hood won’t close or open.
  • You hear a rattling noise when opening or closing the hood.
  • The hood pops up slightly when you try to close it.
  • It takes extra effort to close the hood.

If you have any of these issues, take your car to a mechanic as soon as possible. Failing to do so may result in damage to your car’s engine because the hood won’t be able to close all the way.

Can I Drive With a Broken Hood Latch?

You can drive with a broken hood latch safely as long as you don’t need access beneath the hood. Also, in most circumstances, driving with a broken hood latch isn’t prohibited. However, if safety is your utmost concern, you might want to avoid unnecessary driving until you get it fixed.


Fixing a hood latch that won’t close can be a daunting task, but it can be done with the right tools and instructions. The most common problems that cause a hood latch not to close are:

  • Corrosion of the internal parts
  • Maladjustment of the hood latch mechanism
  • Broken latch handles

If your car is under warranty, you may want to take it to an auto repair shop to have the problem fixed. However, if your vehicle is out of contract or you don’t feel comfortable setting the problem yourself, there are ways to fix it yourself.




Scroll to Top