Form and Function: What to Look for in a Hood Release Handle
500 horsepower is nothing if you can't even open your hood. Fast cars nowadays are prone to overheating and a faulty hood release handle might just get you in big trouble. What happens if your engine suddenly stops in the middle of traffic and you can't open the hood just because of a broken hood release handle? We know it sounds trivial and that a broken handle isn't that a serious problem as a broken engine or smashed exterior, but this doesn't mean we should ignore the role played by smaller car parts such as the hood release handle. The hood release handle is an important part of any car as it gives you the privilege to easily access your engine for checking. Leaving it broken is not an option, so follow this simple guide to help you choose the ideal hood release handle.
One thing to consider when looking for a hood release handle for your car is its coherence with the overall aesthetic of your vehicle. Aside from the color, the design should not serve as a distraction to the latch and other parts of the handle. Each element of the hood release handle should equally emphasize the latch, car logo and its overall appeal. Its visibility should be just enough to notice it at first glance carefully avoiding the tendency to be a glaring vehicle part. Most of these things can be achieved by asking for custom made handles that you can personalize however you like.
Form becomes irrelevant if it's not even functional in the first place. Function is the more important aspect of hood release handles. Make sure to test how the handle will work according to your car's specifications. Also, make it a point to look for handles with longer warranties and broader service guarantees. Most standard handle models are dedicated units for specific car companies, makes and models which gives them a fitting advantage over form-centered hood release handles.
How to Replace a Broken Hood Release Handle
Imagine you're in the middle of a traffic jam when suddenly, your engine overheats and you need to open the hood. You try to turn the latch desperately, but the hood release handle won't budge leaving you stranded in a sea of angry drivers with their cars stuck in heavy traffic because of you. The hood release handle is responsible for automatically opening the hood through an interior latch. This type of handle is connected to the hood hinges by a cable that sends signals which will open the dent once the latch is on full extension. Hood release handles are often taken for granted, but their value is definitely disguised and only surfaces in situations like what has been exemplified above. If you think your hood release handle is broken, you better not take chances and replace immediately.
Here are the tools you'll need and the steps you need to follow to replace your broken hood release handle.
Difficulty Level: Easy
Tools you'll need:
- 8mm socket
- 10mm socket
- Phillips screwdriver
- Large slot screwdriver
- Wrench (optional)
Step 1: Locate the latch near the lower left corner of the steering wheel. Most hood release handles are not bolted or screwed so it would be an easy task to take if off using a large slot or Phillips screwdriver.
Step 2: Insert the large slot screwdriver into the grill and into the opening of the latch. Turn the screwdriver clockwise to remove the broken hood release handle.
Step 3: If you also want to replace the hood release cable, use your 8mm socket to unbolt the endlink connecting it to the old handle. Open the hood and locate the latch. Unbolt it using a 10mm socket and pull it out.
Step 4: Connect the new hood release cable to the new handle. The brass endlik on the other side should fit back to the latch inside the hood. Bolt it back using a 10mm socket.
Step 5: Close the hood and get into the car to test if the new hood release handle is properly working.
- Slowly insert back the new hood release cable carefully avoiding it to incur bending or damage.
- Use gloves and eye protection gear when working inside the hood.