Why Your Nissan Maxima Hood Gets Damaged
The hood needs to be very sturdy because it is tasked to cover and protect the engine. However, due to its location in the front-most area of the vehicle, it can get easily damaged. You would definitely find it inconvenient if you are not able to open and close your hood properly. Here are the most common causes of damage in your Nissan Maxima hood and what you can do about them:
Sometimes, even if your hood is made from tough materials, it can still get damaged pretty badly. This is especially true if it crashes into something, causing a hideous dent on its surface. Don't worry, though. If the dent is not too huge or too deep, you can still repair it by lightly tapping the center of the dent with a rubber mallet. Gradually increase the force you exert on each hit until the dent pops out and the hood's surface levels. Consider the size of the mallet you are going to use, though. Make sure that it is large enough. If it turns out to be too small, you might end up creating new dents.
Your hood usually gets jammed because of a defective latch. Oftentimes, the latch malfunctions due to rust. First thing you need to do is to open the hood. Try releasing the lever while someone else props the hood open. If it does not work, you can try pushing down on it and then pull it open. Remember not to push down too hard, though.
Check the latch for corrosion. If rust has eaten away a huge part of it, it would be advisable to just replace it. However, if only a small portion has been affected, you can try lubricating it with oil. Cleaning the latch with a hydrocarbon cleaner before oiling it is recommended.
Examine the alignment of the latch assembly. Adjust this part only when you are 100% sure that it has really been moved.
Inspect the cable connecting the lever to the lock. Make sure that its tension is just right. Usually, the cable gets stretched out too much, preventing the release of the lock and therefore jamming the hood. In this case, you only need to tighten the cable.
Keeping Your Nissan Maxima Hood in Good Shape
Although your Nissan Maxima hood is built from durable materials, getting damaged especially on its surface is still a likely occurrence. It becomes an eyesore, causing your vehicle to look old and worn out. If you intend to keep your hood looking good for a long time, the usual enemies you must watch out for are rust, dents, and scratches. Look out for such problems and follow these simple tips to restore and keep the appearance of your hood:
Wash your hood regularly.
Using household cleaning agents or dishwashing soap in washing your hood is not really advisable. A ph-neutral car shampoo would be more appropriate and effective than these cleaners. Also, use a wash mitt in scrubbing off dirt and grime from the hood's surface. In wiping it dry and clean, a microfiber cloth would be the best.
Look closely for scratches.
Should there be scratches on your hood, you can get rid of them by sanding the scratch with a fine sandpaper. Don't forget to soak the affected area with sponge before gently sanding around the edges of the scratch. If the scratch appears to be too deep, you would have to fill it with a thin coating of putty or apply a few coats of body primer.
Examine the hood for deformities.
Dents are pretty obvious, and they can be fixed easily. Use a rubber mallet or a lightweight hammer to tap on the dent until the hood's surface becomes level once again. However, if the dent turns out to be too deep, drill a hole into its center and pull the dent out with pliers. Remember to thread in a metal screw through the hole before pulling.
Clean off the rust.
Use an orbital sander when grinding off rust from your hood and make sure that you leave no rusty spot. To keep your hood safe from corrosion for a long time, apply a rust-removing acid such as phosphoric acid. This substance can eliminate even the tiniest of rust particles, ensuring that all traces of corrosion are gone. Finish this task by putting on prime and paint on the hood.