Things to Look for in a Hood Cable
Popping the hood is made fast and easy with the help of a good hood release cable. Without this simple yet important device, access to the engine compartment for repairs and tune-ups become very time consuming. Eventually, this cable snaps or break due to repetitive pulling and opening. When that happens, you must buy a replacement as soon as possible. Since aftermarket hood cables are made to fit specific models, here are a few things to look out for that may make picking a new one for your car easier.
Common causes of hood cable failure are the following: regular wear and tear due to opening, natural elements, and heinous theft. Look for a replacement that is protected from any form of tampering. To combat rain, ice, dirt, and other elements, look for a cable that is encased in a cover for protection. There are ones that use tougher material built to last for years. A stronger cable also gives car thieves a harder time cutting through it to steal anything from your car.
There are plenty of hood cables on the market that offer quality OE replacements. These are designed to be a close match to the original part used on your car. If you want an improvement to your stock cable, look for a set that uses a different and improved material for the lever and ends. For example, some aftermarket sets do away with the plastic lever of stock cables and replaces them with a sturdier aluminum or steel one. These are also secured by tougher screws and bolts to ensure that each pull of the handle results to an open hood.
Opening the hood means pulling and putting stress on the cable. Do away with ones that don't have free replacement and service attached to the purchase. To spare yourself extra cost and unnecessary stress when it breaks, look for a cable that has a long warranty period. This can span from 1 to 5 years. Despite the higher price, it's best to go for those that have multiple-year warranties.
Installing and Rerouting a Hood Cable
One pull of the hood release lever should give you an open hood in one try. However, with a broken hood cable, you won't have that certainty especially during an emergency. When you think you start to have some difficulty opening your hood, it is important to do a replacement at once. This is also a good time to reroute the cable to give your car a crude anti-theft feature.
Difficulty level: Moderate
- Socket set
- Wrench set
- Screwdriver set
- Needle-nose pliers
- Floor jack
- Jack stands
- Small cutter
- Zip ties
- Replacement hood cable
Step 1: Park your car on a flat surface and open the hood. With your needle-nose pliers, detach the hood release cable from the latch. Carefully pull and guide the cable out of the engine compartment. Remove any clips holding the cable along the car's body if there are any. By the end of this, the cable should be dangling freely inside. Set it aside on a safe area.
Step 2: Step inside the driver-side of your car to remove the foot rest and the kick panel. There should be a couple of bolts holding it in place. This will expose the insides of the hood lever with the cable. Use a wrench to disconnect the hood release lever from the frame. Carefully pull the lever-end of the cable. You should now have both ends of the cable dangling.
Step 3: Completely guide the cable out of the car. Most hood cables are lined near the fender area. For some cars, the rest of the cable is located inside the driver-side wheel well. To access this, raise your vehicle using a floor jack and secure it with jack stands. Grab a screwdriver to remove the screws of the wheel well. Peel it off afterwards. Push the lever-end of the hood cable through the firewall and into the engine compartment. Once you are done pulling, return the wheel well and lower the car.
Step 4: Before you install the replacement cable, prepare the engine firewall for rerouting. Use a cutter to make a small slit on the driver-side rubber firewall for the cable to pass through. Be careful not to damage any sensitive wires.
Step 5: Grab the new hood cable and connect one end to the release latch. Next, run the cable along the other lines and hoses of the car up to the slit on the firewall. Secure the hood cable to the body with clips and on the other wires and hoses with zip ties. Inside the car, connect the other end to the release lever.
Step 6: Finish the repair by lowering the car and returning the other interior panels removed.