Dodge Charger Hood Latch Problems(Solved)

Dodge Charger Hood Latch Problems

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Dodge Charger Hood Latch Problems

One of the most irritating problems is being unable to open your car hood when you need to.

As you know, it’s important to open your car hood regularly to check your fluid levels physically.

While most modern cars take care of everything under the hood by displaying such levels on your dashboard.

Like any other movable part, the hood latch is susceptible to wear and tear and will break after some time.Opening the hood, the interior release lever may get stuck in the “open” position.

Older models still require you to open the hood and get a view of everything every other week or so.

One of the cars that will never make you happy when you want to open the hood is the Dodge Charger, at least most of the time.

You will often have problems when opening the hood if you aren’t aware of how to go about the procedure.  

First, you need to understand that opening the hood in your Dodge Charger is a two-step process.

First, you are required to release the hood latch inside your Charger and release the safety latch under the hood in the front of your car.

But you might find that it won’t pop up after releasing the interior since it’s stuck. If you get to this place, pull up on the hood;

You will be amazed that it will pop up so that you release the second latch. However, in older Chargers, getting your hood to latch after closing it can be problematic.

Indeed, the interior release lever on your Dodge Charger gets stuck in the “open” position.

So you need to push the release lever back and forth a couple of times and then close the hood. This should solve your Dodge Charger hood latch problems.

Is It Possible To Drive With A Broken Hood Latch?

Yes, you can drive with a broken hood latch. But it’s not necessarily safe or advisable.

I am sure you won’t like it if the hood swings up to your windscreen after being blown open by the wind as you speed on a busy highway.

With no idea of what is in front of you, it’s not very hard to crash. Like any other movable part, the hood latch is susceptible to wear and tear and will break after some time.

When the secondary release wears out, the hood cannot close properly. And this leads to accidental opening.

Anyone will agree that this is a dangerous situation to be in when driving your car.

If your hood popped open when driving, try looking underneath the hood at the road ahead. But if that is not a viable option.

Look around the hood by putting your head out of the window. Alternatively, you can try using the lane markings or the painted center line as a guide.

But remember, you are doing this to slow down safely. It’s not a wise decision to drive with the hood open since it can be dangerous.

It’s quite difficult to see with the hood open, so it can make you hit vehicles around you or hit something.

If you realize that your hood is not working as it should, it’s best to fix it before it pops open when driving.

Can You Open Your Hood Without Popping It?

Yes, with the proper idea.The role of the hood latch is to connect the hood locking mechanism with the hood release cable to enhance the hood’s opening.

If, for any reason (like not being able to enter the car or the hood latch breaks), you can’t open the hood using the latch, you can be frustrated.

Therefore if opening the hood using the hood release inside your car is problematic, you will need to devise a way of manually opening the hood locking mechanism.

You can do this through the grill. First, locate the hood locking mechanism by looking through the grill. It’s usually in the middle of the car under the front of the hood.

After this, get an aluminum wire and bend it to create a loop, tying a knot to prevent the loop from coming loose.

After sliding the wire through the grill, loop around the hook that manages the hood locking mechanism.

Dodge Charger Hood Latch Problems

Now depress the hood and at the same time pull the wire in the opposite direction of the hook. This gives the hood a slack, making it a lot easy to pull open.  

While depressing the hood. This will give the hook some slack and make it easier to pull open.

Alternatively, you can still opt to open the hood from under the car. In this option, you will first have to jack up your car.

After securing it with two jack stands, slide under the car so that you can feel your finger behind the radiator, at the center.

Use a pair of pliers to reach up to the hood latch. It should not be hard finding the hook of the hood locking mechanism.

After this, pull the hook from the hood latch using the pliers, a friend lifting the hood as you pull on the hook with your pliers.

Is My Car Totalled If The Frame Is Bent?

It depends on the damage. If you have been involved in a serious car accident, significant damage might have occurred to your car.

Although your car might have bent or damaged the frame, it does not automatically mean that it’s totalled.

Insurance companies have a way of deciding if a car gets totalled.

Mostly, a car whose “Frame” is bent is not necessarily “totalled” as such a declaration is anchored on a mathematical calculation.

Which is based on the vehicle’s estimated pre-damage value versus the required repair cost. Usually, if the repair goes beyond 90% of its pre-damage market value.

The car will be declared a “total.” This is designed as a cushion against repairing a car and incurring repair costs that exceed its actual pre-damage value.

When it comes to frame damage, car manufacturers have published data informing auto body shops on ways to repair structural -“frame”- damage.

If an insurance company decides to have your car “totalled,” they have determined that the repair costs exceed the car’s value.

They also hold the view, at such juncture, that they cannot repair the car and return it to you with no defect.

This may affect the operation of your vehicle as they have liability if such a thing should happen. Your insurance company will play it smart and safe.

How Do I Stop My Hood From Failing?

When you open the hood, you want it to stay up until you are done with whatever reason you lifted it for.

Unfortunately, your hood might gradually or suddenly close on its own. Other times, it might not feel stable.

Slowly, you begin to realize that your shocks are worn out, and they need replacing. However, before you rush to the auto care shop to buy your new hood shocks.

You will need to be sure that they are spoilt. Try to find out if there is an apparent leak of the oil from the shocks.

If the hood shocks or your car are fairly new, there might be another reason your hood does not rest on the supports.

If you establish a leak, the most probable for the leak will be at the cap on the air fitting opening. Once you remove these types of shocks.

The auto care shop should put a threaded plug into this air hole instead of some cap on it.

Your hood shocks can be salvaged by completely draining them and re-filling them with an appropriate oz of 10wt Showa Suspension oil.

Why Is My Car Hood Not Closing?

When your car has its hood latch stuck, you will be grounded, unable to open or close the hood. But there are solutions to this problem.

Indeed, at times, all that will be required is cleaning the hood latch. And because I touched on how you can open your hood without the latch.

Let me talk about how you diagnose a problem with your hood, hence the inability to close.

If your hood is not closing, it means that the latch is broken. Usually, the hood latch comes into contact with many outside elements as it sits behind the grille.

As you know, the grille has openings designed to let air pass through to cool the radiator.

However, elements including moisture, dirt, and road salt will always find their way onto the latch.

Consequently, the latch will rust and rot, culminating in either breaking or the spring not functioning. If the spring fails, the latch can remain disengaged.

Still, the tensioner can lose its ability to pull the latch, making it remain in the “open” position.

Understandably, all hood latches(Amazon Link) are made the same. If a latch doesn’t open or close, this could result from a bad lever or cable.

Again, the latch cable or handle can be broken, leading to an inability to close the hood.

Again, a misadjusted hood latch and a misaligned hood latch can cause the hood not to close.

Why Does My Hood Keep Popping Up?

When you close your hood, and it keeps popping up, it means that there is a problem. First, the return spring used by the cable from the inside of the car might not be functioning.

This means that once you pull the lever from inside your car, it remains in the “pull” position.

Therefore, you might need to find a way to force back the latch into the closing position. This can only be possible from the latch.

On the other hand, your latch might be wrongly adjusted, meaning it doesn’t close well. Still, look at the hook at the end of the latch and see if it’s broken.

Without a hook, nothing will hold the hood in place. Another reason for the hood not popping up would be a problem with your spring.

The spring is the one that returns the hook into place once it’s pressed by the hood’s hook to ensure that these two interlock.

If this spring is weak or incorrectly fitted, it will not force back the latch’s hook, forcing the hood to pop up.

Some cars have a spring fitted on the front part of the car where the hood rests to push it slightly once the latch releases.

This is meant to give you a space to hold the hood and pull it up (if the car does not have hood shocks).

How Do You Fix A Hood Latch That Won’t Close?

To fix a hood latch that won’t close, clean the hood latch with parts cleaner and a brush. Ensure that all rust is removed before you apply rust penetrate to lubricate it.

Again use a protective coating to protect it from moisture. If this doesn’t help, you might need to replace the hood latch.

Why Is My Hood Not Closing All The Way?

If your hood doesn’t close all the way, there might be something in the way of the closing mechanism.

Probably, you might have placed something on the car’s body where the hood rests. Another cause would be a faulty latch striker or a hood latch assembly failure.

This happens due to repeated use and over time.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Car Hood Latch?

A hood latch replacement cost will vary according to your vehicle make, year, and model. For instance,  a 2010 Toyota Sequoia will cost about $192 ($96.54 for parts and $94.99 on labor).

On the other hand, a 2012 Porsche Boxster will require $259 (%154.96 in parts and $104 in labor).

Still, a 2007 Infiniti FX35 will cost $253 ($158.32 in parts and $94.99 in labor). CLICK HERE to check current prices on Amazon Prime

Depending on your car, it’s not too expensive, considering the damage you might experience if your hood pops up and opens when driving.

Where Is The Hood Latch Sensor?

The hood latch sensor is on the hood, under the plastic covering over the hood latch.

You should see the hood latch sensor once you remove the plastic retaining buttons that attach the cover to the frame.

While this might be vehicle-dependent, it never deviates much from there. If you wish to disconnect it, find the wire that comes out of the latch assembly and disconnect it.

Do not get confused by the latch release cable used to open the hood. That’s its work; to open the hood.


You can drive with a broken latch, but it’s not safe. Get it fixed as soon as possible.

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