On some models the hood release cable breaks at the hood release handle.Google+
Car Problem Reports
Honda Civic Hood Release Cable May Break at Handle
Honda Civic Problem
Average Mileage: 142,190 mi (12,000 mi - 248,000 mi)
Visitor, 1996 Honda Civic, 128,000 mi
The plastic part broke off the cable but the cable is intact. I now carry vise grip pliers in the car to open the hood. You will need to push the cable back in for the hood latch to catch.
Broken handle on hood release cable. Replaced with dealer part . Cost about $25.00 & 2 hours of my labor.
Visitor, 1997 Honda Civic, 125,000 mi
i went to pull the handle to open the hood and it broke now i have to use pliers to pull open the hood
Visitor, 1999 Honda Civic, 199,500 mi
HOOD RELEASE CABLE BROKE
Handle broke and I now use a vice grips to open the hood.
Visitor, 1998 Honda Civic, 160,000 mi
use pliers to open hood
Visitor, 1996 Honda Civic, 130,000 mi
Hood handle release broke off. I can't find a solution without calling the pdealership.
Visitor, 1997 Honda Civic, 137,000 mi
Replaced Hood cable after it broke--fixed the problem
Visitor, 1999 Honda Civic, 241,000 mi
Plastic Handle broke when I pulled strongly. Now have to use tongs to pull the cable
Visitor, 1999 Honda Civic
The hood release cable's handle broke from the cable. Had to use vise grip to pull open the latch. I later discovered that it is a recall repair provided by manufacturer at no cost. Or you can replace with replacement part at around $10.00 plus shipping thru various websites for Honda parts!