Yesterday, I opened my hood to add windshield wiper fluid. I closed the hood and continued on my voyage, and about a mile down the road a gust of wind popped the hood up to the safety release latch. I pulled over and tried to close the hood, and after about 30 attempts, I was afraid of bending the alloy hood from slamming it, so I drove home with the hood held down only with the safety release, buffeting up and down with the gusty winds.
Today, I figured I would try to remedy this so I read some through threads on what needs to be done to get the latch to not stick and move freely (degrease, clean, and regrease), but no threads I read detailed what this actually entailed as far as disassembly and reassembly.
To do this, you will need:
- 12mm socket with extension
- flat head screwdriver
- lithium or other grease
- brake parts cleaner or other cleaning solvent
- PB blaster or other penetrating lube/cleaner
- Raise hood
- Use flat head screw driver to pop up the 8 push fasteners between the radiator support and the front fascia
- With the new-found wiggle room, pull the front fascia forward to fit screw driver behind the center grill and push in the 4 plastic clips holding the center grill in place; remove center grill
- Using 12mm socket and extension, remove the two upper bolts and lower bolt holding the hood release assembly to the radiator support
- With latch assembly free, remove the release cable end and push the cable out up of the latch (it will take a little force to get it to pop out)
- Remove the wire on the end of the big spring from the stop
- Spray the crap out of every nook and cranny of the latch mechanism. Make sure to move all movable parts (easy with the spring unclipped) through their range while spraying to free any dirt
- Spray the crap out of every pivot point with PB blaster or similar. Let soak for a while.
- Shoot lithium grease or similar into every pivot point, between each pressed layer, and move every moving part repeatedly through their range of motion to ensure full penetration and distribution of grease
- Assembly is the reverse of removal. You may need a screwdriver to leverage the big spring back to its clip, and will need a little pressure to pop the release cable bushing back into the latch assembly. Also, make sure when attaching the latch back to the radiator support, you line up the marks where the washers contact the latch assembly so it is aligned. Before pushing the center grill back in place, you may want to test that the latch works as it will be much harder to get the hood open with the grill in place in case you screwed something up.
If you did this right, it will open and close like new.