How To Open Your Car Hood

March 27, 2017

honda wiki pop hood
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Are you faced with car trouble and need to get a look under the hood? Follow our basic steps to figuring out to open your car’s hood.


Many cars require you to “pop” the hood from the inside of the vehicle first. If there is no lever inside of the vehicle, your latch could be located on the outside of the vehicle and the directions will begin at #4.


  1. Locate the lever within the vehicle. This will most likely be on the driver side near your feet. Sometimes it can be found in the lower area of the dash panel, or situated underneath the dash on the right or left side. You may also find this lever on the floor panel near your seat and/or door jam.

  2. Once you find the lever, grasp it tightly and pull it toward you. Some may also need a pushing motion away, but one of these two motions should do the trick.

  3. You should hear some sort of sound. A “pop” will indicate the hood has been unlatched.

  4. From the point, your hood is unlatched, but not fully. You will then exit the car and face the hood. Use your hands to feel underneath the hood for some sort of lever or additional latch that needs to be pushed, pulled, or jimmied to open the hood. This will most likely be found in the center of the hood.

  5. Many hoods will have your palms facing upward and the latch is opening in an upward motion of your fingers. On additional models, they may have a loose plastic piece to be pulled toward you in order to release the hood.

  6. While locating this latch under the hood, some hoods will require you to gently press down in order to release the latch. If you’re having trouble releasing the latch, this could be your solution.

  7. Once you’ve found the latch and released it, you will be able to open your hood slowly and carefully. Ensure that your hood will not fall by using the metal prop rod draped across the front of your engine, or located on the right or left side. Some hoods may remain raised on their own.


  8. Once the work is done and you’d like to close your hood, close the hood slowly and then quickly release while pushing firmly down to ensure all latches have hooked for safe driving.


About the Author

Kimberlea Buczeke is an automotive expert at RepairPal, the leading online source of auto repair resources and estimates. With many ASE Master certified mechanics on staff who have decades of experience, RepairPal knows all the fine points of car repair.

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