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Hood Release Cable Replacement Cost

Know what price you should pay to get your vehicle fixed.

The average cost for a hood release cable replacement is between $118 and $215. Labor costs are estimated between $70 and $167 while parts are priced at $48. Estimate does not include taxes and fees.
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What is a Hood Release Cable?

For most vehicles, opening the hood reveals the engine, and is done by pulling a lever from the inside of the vehicle. How does the lever inside the vehicle cause the hood to open? The answer is that a cable connects the hood latch to the lever inside the vehicle, and pulling the lever is indirectly pulling the hood release. about 99% of the cable is hidden from view by the dashboard, frame rails, and front bumper cover, so it is difficult to see, but just know that if you pull a lever to open the hood, you have a hood release cable.

How does the Hood Release Cable work?

The hood release cable is attached at one end to the the hood release latch, as discussed. Also as discussed, it is attached on the other end to the hood latch, which is the same part at the front of the hood that is seemingly impossible to find once the hood release has been pulled. Pulling the hood release lever pulls the hood release cable, which, in turn, pulls the hood latch. Once the hood is released, the hood should pop up a few inches, leaving you enough room to search for a few minutes until you find the safety catch for the hood. The safety catch is mounted on the hood latch, and you must push, pull, or lift it in order to raise the hood. Note that the end that can actuate the hood latch is tucked safely away in the cabin so it cannot be accessed without the door key or remote.

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What are the symptoms of a bad Hood Release Cable?

If your hood release cable is defective, your hood will do nothing when you pull the release lever, and the satisfying pop that signifies accomplishment of opening the hood will not be heard. Also, the hood latch release may be loose and easily moved with little to no force. Finally, the hood release lever may feel fine, but again, that satisfying pop is never heard, and the hood doesn't budge until you give it a tug in an upward direction while giving it a whack in the middle.

Can I drive with a bad Hood Release Cable?

Since the only time the hood latch release lever and hood release cable are used is when something is wrong or maintenance is being performed, a broken or stretch hood release cable will likely require immediate replacement. This is because a faulty hood release cable will make servicing the vehicle impossible without understanding how to open a hood without a release lever or release cable. In some situations, the hood may be released easily without the lever and hood release cable, but other situations may require significant disassembly of the vehicle in order to open the hood manually.

How often do Hood Release Cables need replacement?

There is no timeframe for the obsolescence of a hood release cable, but locations where road salt is used or there is extremely high precipitation or humidity, these, along with the rest of the vehicle, will require more frequent replacement. This is due to corrosion and breakage caused by corrosion. Also, these are replaced due to pulling the cable too hard repeatedly or collisions resulting in destruction of the cable at the latch assembly.

How are Hood Release Cable issues diagnosed?

Simply put, if the technician cannot operate the hood latch, they will immediately suspect that the cable is broken or stretched, especially if there is no resistance on the release lever. Further inspection must be conducted if the cable is intact, however, and this may include inspecting for worn bushings on the hood release latch assembly, the hood release cable sheathing not seated properly, or the hood latch mechanism being defective. If all else checks out in this small system, the cable will likely require replacement.

How are Hood Release Cables replaced?

First, the trim will be removed from the kick panel area or other location where the hood release lever is mounted. This grants access to disconnect the hood release cable from the hood release latch assembly. Next, the cable is removed from the hood latch assembly before it is threaded out of the vehicle body and replaced. The rubber grommet that surrounds the hood release cable where it makes entry into the body of the vehicle will be replaced, even if it is not included on the new cable assembly. Once the new cable is threaded in and connected to the hood latch and hood release lever, the interior trim can be replaced. Finally, if adjustment is possible and necessary, the servicing technician will adjust the cable so hood release lever is lightly held in position when not being pulled, and the hood latch has very slight tension as well. This will prevent vibration while driving.

RepairPal Recommendations for Hood Release Cable issues

We do not recommend replacing a non-adjustable cable with an adjustable cable as a means of compensating for hood release lever assembly or hood latch that may be out of adjustment. The reason for this is that the malalignment is likely due to wear hood release lever assembly or hood latch. If this is the case, even installing an adjustable cable will not correct the issue, and the hood will likely remain defective, or become defective very soon after replacement.

What to look out for when dealing with Hood Release Cable issues

Failing to replace the water sealing grommet which surrounds the cable will result in water intrusion into the vehicle. For hood release cables which exit from the firewall, behind the engine, this will also lead to harsh smells from the engine bay entering the vehicle. It is always necessary to reseal the exit point of the cable to prevent these undesirable consequences. Some vehicles do not use a hood release cable, and the release may be on the exterior of the vehicle, or just a button. For models with electronic hood release mechanisms, there is normally a way to open the hood with a battery charger or jump-box from inside the vehicle. Check your owner's manual for more information.

Can I replace the Hood Release Cable myself?

This is a perfect job for a DIY project that takes less than an hour. Diagnostics is as easy as listed above, and replacement requires few tools in most cases. The only concern is how and where to route the hood release cable, and this can be simplified by taping the end of the new cable to the end of the old cable before pulling the old cable out.

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