Common Issues with the Toyota Camry Hood Latch
While seemingly insignificant, the Toyota Camry hood latch can get you in trouble when it gets stuck. For example, if your car's hood does not get latched, it could open all the way while you are driving. This could result in you not being able to see the road ahead, which can get you in an accident. When you notice that your hood is not closing or opening quite right, you should pay attention to fixing this issue right away. Here are some common problems that you might experience with your car's hood latch.
Hood does not latch all the way
When you notice that your hood does not latch all the way and the release lever is not doing anything, then either the latch is stuck or the cable is shot. This is usually a lubrication problem: simply spray the hood latch-and the cable, if you can access it-with WD-40 to make it work again. You might have to do this several times and wait for the lubricant to seep into the mechanism before you add another coating. The cable can be tough to lubricate if it is inside a rubber or plastic guide, but if it's not covered by anything, then just shoot lubricant at either or both of its ends.
Hood does not open
If your car's hood does not open even after you have pulled the release lever, then the latch must be stuck. This is the opposite of the first case. If this is your car's problem, then pull the hood catch handle outward from the radiator grille. You will see it in the right half of the radiator a few louvers down. Just pull the handle outward as far as it will go and lift the hood from underneath.
Other troubleshooting tips
Another reason why your car's hood doesn't latch should be because of its position. There is usually a screw or bolt that you turn to adjust it. However, you will have to figure out which way it goes and how the hood needs adjusting before you mess around with it. You should also mark the first location of the screw or bolt before moving it to another position.
It is also most likely that the latch's hook is tilted forwards-towards you when you're in front of the car. Push it slightly until you see it bend a little. A second quick-fix for this would be to gently lower the hood until it rests on top of the hook-without it latching-and then push it down with some force.