Hood release cable broken, hood won't open!!!
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Thread: Hood release cable broken, hood won't open!!!

  1. #1
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    Hood release cable broken, hood won't open!!!

    My hood release cable is broken, or has become disconnected. It's intact at the inside lever, but there's no resistance when I pull it. And of course the hood won't open.

    Tried search, got this thread Advice...Hood will not open but it didn't help. There's not anything that I can get to through the grill to lever against and pop it open. Anyone got the magic formula?
    Last edited by Rusty; 01-03-2005 at 04:37 PM.

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  3. #2
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    so you mean the plastic t-handle @ the hood latch is inoperative?

  4. #3
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    Nope - the t-handle is fully operative. The primary latch won't open. I can't get my magnetbra off! :biglaugh:
    Last edited by Rusty; 01-03-2005 at 04:55 PM.

  5. #4
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    Rusty,

    I have been having a similar problem where I could not open the hood. It may not be the same issue, but on my B5 it appears the hood release cable has streched so there is no tension. So when I pull the lever there is not enough tension on the cable to release the latch. What I have been able to do to open the hood is reach above the lever and pull out the cable taking up some slack on it and then pull the lever all the way up with my other hand. I have done this a few times already, probably pressing my luck and should replace the cable before I am really stuck

    Good luck, Hope it works for you.

    Chuck

  6. #5
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    Only thing you can do is pull the handle off, get a big mean pair of pliers and pull the actual cable end with the pliers HARD and hope it is still attached at the latch. I said pull HARD and I meant HARD.

    There is kind of a connector halfway down the cable inside a plastic cover that comes apart sometimes. Pulling the cable this way takes up the slack and goes ahead and (hopefully) pops the latch. Usually works.

    If this doesn't work, you'll have to get evil with it.
    Last edited by Sharky; 01-04-2005 at 02:26 PM.

  7. #6
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    I had mine do the same thing.... due to time constraints & other evil factors, I had to go to the damn dealer. Can't remember what I paid, but it was in the $75 range. It took them longer to open the hood than to replace the cable.

  8. #7
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    Well that is one way for your car to tell you to stop tinkering with it!

    I just took a look at my hood release cable route. If the "pull harder" method that Sharky suggested doesn't work here is the only suggestion I can come up with...

    The only access to the cable that I see is through the gap between the hood and the front windshield. If you shine a flashlight through that gap, just above the left wiper arm pivot, you will see the hood release cable passing upward through a grommet located between the ECU enclosure and the front fender. If you can release the cable from the hood release lever inside the car and can grab the cable with a retriever tool, you should be able to pull the cable out through the hood/windshield gap. I think there is enough slack to allow you to pull it far enough to pull plastic connector that Sharky talked about out the gap. That connector clips on to the inside fender lip just above the left front wheel and will easily pop out of place. If you can get your hands on that connecter, you can pop it apart to access the end of the cable section that attaches to the hood latch. For this to work the other end of the cable must still be attached to the hood latch assembly; if it broken at that point I don't know what you'd do.

    I can shoot some pictures and email them to you if it would help to see what I am talking about.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by jaero; 01-04-2005 at 04:25 PM.

  9. #8
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    Wow, OK, well that's what I'm going to have to try tonight.

    Last night I disconnected the cable end from the release lever, got a crimping tool to hold the end cable sheath (so the cable could slide freely), held the crimping tool with my foot up against the door jamb, and pulled on the cable (with pliers) with everything I had. Nothing, absolutely nothing budged.

    Thanks jaero - tune in tomorrow, same bat-time, same bat-channel...
    Last edited by Rusty; 01-05-2005 at 06:44 AM.

  10. #9
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    Rusty, on the old Golf, I was able to get it open with two long flathead screwdrivers. It involved a lot of poking arond at the latch and trying to work it around. Took me a good half hour to get the right angles and such to spring the latch. I wonder if you can get in there the same way?

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaero
    Well that is one way for your car to tell you to stop tinkering with it!...
    I'm already experiencing withdrawals...
    Last edited by Rusty; 01-05-2005 at 07:51 AM.
    BlakPassat likes this.

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by atomicalex
    Rusty, on the old Golf, I was able to get it open with two long flathead screwdrivers. It involved a lot of poking arond at the latch and trying to work it around. Took me a good half hour to get the right angles and such to spring the latch. I wonder if you can get in there the same way?
    Well, I already tried that. There's neither enough visibility nor range of motion through the holes in the black plastic cover to be able to pull that off. So I've already decided that if jaero's method doesn't work out, I'm gonna take the stanley knife to the plastic cover. Once I get that opened up, I'm pretty sure I can get it open.

    Nice to have that notch in the top of the Kamei grill, otherwise I'd be SOL...

  13. #12
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    On the plastic cover, you will see two square or round markings, just to the left and right of the hood latch, cut those away, as they are what's actually holding the plastic piece in place (along with the gasket at the front of the engine bay) Better then trying to hack away at it and eventually hitting something else (like your grill)

  14. #13
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    I had the same problem and it turned out the latch mechanism had broken so it wouldn't release. Took it to my indie mechanic and they tried to get it open from the front with no luck. They ended up having to reach up from underneath and unbolt the latch mechanism. Apparently it was not easy. The new latch cost about $75 if I remember correctly.

  15. #14
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    I was too tired to deal with it last night.
    And will be again tonight and tomorrow.
    Will forge ahead on Saturday...

  16. #15
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    Rusty- My owner's manual says that the hood release cable is a lifetime part, but I hear that VW will be sending out a bulletin recommending a replacement interval of 500 pulls. Apparently, you have already exceeded that interval, so they will likely deny warranty coverage on anything under the hood...especially oil sludge, on the basis that if you opened your hood that many times you were obviously up to no good!

    Seriously, I don't know if it will help, but there are a couple of closeup photos of the latch mechanism in my timing belt writeup...maybe that will help you figure out how to "break in". Of course...you could always remove the belly pan and crawl in from below!

    I've gotta move a pool table on Saturday...I'll think of you and my burden will seem lighter!

  17. #16
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    I don't understand the references to removing the belly pan and "coming up from below". This engine is so tight you have to pull the bumper to do the timing belt. Don't understand how there would be room to get up in there, and even if you did, don't understand how you could see to do anything... If I thought I had a prayer using that method, I'd have already tried it, 'cause it's a cinch to take the belly pan off...

    belly pan. now there's something to ponder. wouldn't a belly pan be in the middle of the car? it should be a "chin pan" or maybe a "neck pan"...

  18. #17
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    Rusty- Lighten up...it was a joke, okay? BTW, you've got mail...I sent you some bigger pictures of the latch.
    Last edited by DaddyMatt; 01-06-2005 at 08:11 PM.

  19. #18
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    Oh, sorry - when I used "search", I found a couple of threads where people said their indy mech or dealer did that very thing.

    Thanks for the pics! They will help. I can see that spring through the existing square hole in the front of the plastic piece. I believe it has to go toward the pax side - the primary latch opens toward the pax side, and the secondary to the driver side. I think the cable attaches down underneath the primary latch, to pull in opposition to the spring.

    Now that I've seen your pics, if I can get enough leverage pax-wise on that spring tab, I may be able to get it open w/o enlarging any of the hood holes.

  20. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaddyMatt
    Rusty- My owner's manual says that the hood release cable is a lifetime part, but I hear that VW will be sending out a bulletin recommending a replacement interval of 500 pulls. Apparently, you have already exceeded that interval, so they will likely deny warranty coverage on anything under the hood...especially oil sludge, on the basis that if you opened your hood that many times you were obviously up to no good!
    ...
    LOL! :biglaugh:

  21. #20
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    Rusty, you get it open yet? If you get frustrated and have to take a crow bar to the hood, it would be a good way to justify for a carbon fiber replacement.

  22. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaero
    Rusty, you get it open yet? If you get frustrated and have to take a crow bar to the hood, it would be a good way to justify for a carbon fiber replacement.
    Hah!
    I spent all day Saturday working on domestic, around-the-house issues.
    I spent all day Sunday in my pajamas watching football and "24".
    Screw carbon fiber hoods - they don't save enough weight to justify the expense - I'll get a Braille battery instead - IF I EVER GET THE @#&@*!* HOOD OPEN AGAIN... :biglaugh:

  23. #22
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    But NOT too hard!

    I had the same problem...and tried the pulling real hard trick. I looked real stupid standing there with the little plastic latch in my hand, the hood still closed, and the fellow who stopped to help me holding the jumper cables had a good laugh.

    My dealer quoted me $32 to fix this including parts and labor. I thought it sounded like one of the more reasonably priced fixes.

    -MAK

    Quote Originally Posted by Sharky
    Only thing you can do is pull the handle off, get a big mean pair of pliers and pull the actual cable end with the pliers HARD and hope it is still attached at the latch. I said pull HARD and I meant HARD.

    There is kind of a connector halfway down the cable inside a plastic cover that comes apart sometimes. Pulling the cable this way takes up the slack and goes ahead and (hopefully) pops the latch. Usually works.

    If this doesn't work, you'll have to get evil with it.

  24. #23
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    It would be worth $32 not to have to fool with it. But that would betray the plucky spirit of DIY...

  25. #24
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    Rusty- Worse comes to worse, you can always do what the Hummer owners do when their hood release cables break :biglaugh: :

  26. #25
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    :biglaugh:

  27. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaddyMatt
    Rusty- Worse comes to worse, you can always do what the Hummer owners do when their hood release cables break :biglaugh: :
    I like it! Maybe you can mount the intercooler up there! Then it would really be tough to open the hood.

  28. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaero
    I like it! Maybe you can mount the intercooler up there! Then it would really be tough to open the hood.
    Maybe, but just think about all the deep water or snow you could drive through! :biglaugh:

  29. #28
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    So I've decided that it's actually far more fun to just talk about working on cars, than it is to actually work on them. I haven't tried anything yet - the hood is still unopened...

    *sigh* the plucky spirit of DIY dies a sordidly lazy death...

  30. #29
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    my 20yr old daughter fixed the stuck hood!

    I was replacing the hood lock mech' on a buddies 1.9 TDi, I loosely tightened the 3 retaining bolts, lowered the hood to check position & OH NO, the weight of the hood clicked it shut & I had yet to connect the release cable!
    I tried everything I could & 4+ hours later, arms cut & bruised, called VW, who said it would cost a minimum of 2 hours at $230/hr +17.5% VAT (UK) & parts costs for whatever they has to 'smash' eg hood & or front end etc!

    We put the car on the vehicle hoist & removed the front belly pan. With a strong light, you could just see the back of the mech, 3ft or so above & blocked by rad' fans etc.

    I poked around with various long poles for 30mins but to no avail. My 20yr old daughter, 2nd Yr degree student studying Aeronautical Engineering uncoiled 4ft of 2mm fence wire & made a small hook on the end. We said 'that wont work' but she studied the old mech' for a whole 30seconds, pushed the wire towards the mech & 10seconds later, pulled down on it & the most wonderful sound in the World was the 'click' of the hood mech' popping.

    Needless to say, she got a 'rib braking' hug from me & $50 to go have a few drinks and I am sure not the last 'thankyou' money she will get, especially as it could have personally cost me up to $3000 (UK aint cheap) :-)

    + a final note, we fitted a 'diesel tuning box' (~$580) to my buddies car ~2weeks ago & it was already quite fast. I drove it back to his house, accelerating as I would normally in my 2litre Toyota petrol car & scared the crap outta myself. The acceleration is awesome + he reported 10+mpg fuel saving!
    Last edited by UKDave; 06-27-2008 at 11:57 PM. Reason: spell check

  31. #30
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    I know i'm reviving a dead thread, but I'm stuck... I pulled apart the under part of the dash to get to the lever... Pulled the lever off and tried the HARD pull method, to no avail.... Any other suggestions? I'm going to call the dealer just to get a price... But the only VW dealer around, I'm not too thrilled to deal with.

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