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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve google searched and searched the forums on here & haven’t had any luck finding a guide or tips on changing the hood release cable for a 2003 Volkswagen Passat (1.8t Sedan). I ordered a replacement cable from PartsGeek (see picture) but it doesn’t appear to be the same/correct cable. Even if it is the correct cable I have no idea how to disconnect the old one from the interior release handle. Is this something I’m gonna have to take to a VW dealership to be repaired?

It looks like the cable can be disconnected from the hood latch assembly (most likely by removing the bolts/screws and then removing the old cable. If you follow the cable back to the inside of the car, there doesn’t seem to be anywhere to disconnect the old cable. I can post a hood picture and pics of where the cable connects when I get off work if it helps.
 

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The release cable for the hood is actually a 2 piece system. It's 2 separate cables that are spliced together around the area where the hood strut is.
 

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This is the splice or connection that is in the engine bay near the hood strut. Usually concealed by the rubber seal that runs along the inner fender channel.

Circuit component Electronic component Cable Font Electrical supply
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
This is the splice or connection that is in the engine bay near the hood strut. Usually concealed by the rubber seal that runs along the inner fender channel.

View attachment 104925
Thank you!! I’ve definitely seen this splice/connection, so now I’m headed in the right direction. Any tips for un-splicing/replacing the cable with the one I have?
If it doesn’t work I’d assume the other part of the cable is broke, the interior handle is broken, or it’s the hood latch assembly.
 

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The splice/connection is just a plastic sleeve type thing that opens up.
As far as advice...
I guess I would ask, does the hood latch mechanism spring back when the cable is released?
Does the hood release handle (under dash) return when you let it go?
Process of elimination.
Don't know your location, but in the northern section of the country (rust belt region) the hood latch mechanism has a tendency to bind up from corrosion.

The section that goes from the hood release handle to the splice/connection (VAG# 3B1 823 535 D).
The section that goes from the splice/connection to the hood latch mechanism (VAG# 3B1 823 531 D).
It looks as though you've got the section that goes from the splice/connection to the hood latch mechanism.

FYI.
If you need to replace the cable that goes to the release handle to the splice/connection, you'll have to remove the drivers front tire, fender / wheel well liner to gain access to that portion of the cable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Currently to open the hood I pull the release handle and my wife barely has to lift the hood and it will release (primary release) allowing me to pull the exterior handle (secondary release) to fully open the hood. The release handle returns when I let it go.
Also, you can see the cable pull all the way to the hood latch mechanism (when hood is fully open). That would lead me to believe it’s the either the portion of the cable I have (VAG# 3B1 823 531 D) or the hood latch mechanism.

I already ordered a hood latch mechanism that should be here in a day or 2 (ordered a week or so ago, before I knew what part truly needed replaced), would you recommend I just replace it since I’ll have the part anyways or try the cable first and return the hood latch mechanism if the cable fixes the issue? It’s only $25, but I’m just wondering if I’m going to have to access the hood latch mechanism to change the cable anyways it seems like I should just change both.

Thank you for all your help, I was really starting to lose hope cuz I couldn’t find much online!
 

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You might only need to raise the rubber springs that pop the hood when the release is pulled. It should look like this one from my car, next to the orange scraper on the right side of the picture. They just thread into the front carrier like a giant rubber screw:
Vehicle Car Motor vehicle Hood Automotive design
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I fixed it!

First I replaced the hood release cable that goes from the hood latch assembly to the splice (VAG# 3B1 823 531 D). You just take a small flathead or like a trim removal tool, stick it in between the latch & hole of the splice connector(someone posted a pic above), and then it will allow you to remove that side of the hood release cable. Then for the other-side, I completely removed the hood latch assembly (remove 2 torx screws and nut). Then you can remove the old cable and replace the new one. This slightly fixed the issue. It didn’t truly “pop” but I could get it open.


I went ahead and replaced the hood latch assembly as well (using same steps as above) & that fixed the issue with it not popping. Both parts were rusty and probably needed to be replaced so I’m glad I got both.
 
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