Finding Out What Causes Dodge Neon Hood Latch Problems
Your Dodge Neon hood latch releases the hood lock so that you can access the engine components under the hood. If it stops working, it could mean trouble-you won't be able to inspect what's wrong with your radiator or replace your bumper cover. You also won't be able to check for dangerous oil or coolant leaks. When this happens, you can check for the common symptoms of a broken or failing hood latch and either apply a quick fix or replace your hood latch completely. Here are a few signs of hood latch failure and steps on how to diagnose and troubleshoot them properly:
Hood latch won't open the hood
The hood can get stuck and won't open. A quick fix would be to have someone pull the handle while you tap on the edge of the hood with your hand. This will open the hood forcibly. If the hood is stuck, you may have to try opening it from under the vehicle. These two tricks will help you open the hood, but if the problem persists, you should consider replacing your hood latch if you see signs of excessive damage.
Hood won't open all the time
Sometimes your hood latch opens your car's hood, sometimes it doesn't. At times, you'll even have to drive over a speed bump to get the hood to open after releasing the interior latch. An intermittently working hood latch may mean you have to lubricate it. Try spraying some penetrating oil such as WD-40 on the latch. Pull at the handle with your fingers and observe if it moves easier. If it works, finish off by applying some white grease on the latch.
Interior hood latch won't open the hood partially
If the interior hood latch doesn't seem to respond, you will need to check the hood latch at the front of your vehicle. Inspect the hood release cable and spring for damage or looseness. These components are located at the back of the latch assembly. A damaged hood release cable or spring may break the connection between the interior latch and the actual hood latch.
How to Take Care of Your Dodge Neon Hood Latch
You're driving down the highway when you notice smoke coming out from under your car's hood. You quickly step on the brakes, pull over, and run to the front of your vehicle. A reliable hood latch can become your best friend in this scenario. Your Dodge Neon hood latch lets you open your hood whenever you want to look under it. When it gives up on you, you might have to force your hood open, which might cause damage to the hood and other important engine components. Some helpful tips on how to take care of your hood latch are listed below:
Prop up the hood properly.
Every time you open the hood to inspect your engine components, prop the hood up properly. This ensures that the hood will not accidentally fall down. The strong force caused by a hood falling down on the latch might break the latch. If your hood prop is not strong enough to do its job, get a stronger one.
Always make sure the hood is closed.
An open hood can become very dangerous when you're driving really fast on the highway. It can end up bending over the windshield, or worse, it can become detached because of the force of aerodynamics. It can also make the hood bounce up and down, and the repeated movement can damage the latch.
Inspect for rust or damage and lubricate the latch regularly.
Your latch may break either due to excessive force, corrosion, or old age. Regular visual inspection for rust or damage is a must-a broken latch won't be able to open the hood. Apply some penetrating oil like WD-40 regularly to the interior parts of the latch. This will help lubricate its moving parts and make it easier for you to open the hood.
Take care of your interior hood latch.
An interior hood latch may be located near the left side of your car's driver's seat. It is usually placed under the steering wheel, marked with an insignia or text indicating it is the hood latch. Pulling on this interior latch will partially open the door. Making sure you don't use too much force when pulling at it will ensure the release cable going to the actual hood latch won't break.