Is it Safe to Drive With the Hood Open? | YourMechanic Advice

Is it Safe to Drive With the Hood Open?

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The hood of your vehicle covers the engine and is kept down by a latch. The hood can be opened by a latch on the interior of the vehicle, right below the steering wheel. Once the latch is pulled, the hood pops up slightly. Once the hood pops up, you can further open the hood from a secondary switch located underneath the front of the hood. This safety feature is designed just in case the hood accidentally releases while you are driving down the road. Obviously, driving with the hood open can be a very dangerous maneuver.

Here are some things to think about if you are worried about your hood popping open while driving:

  • If your hood happens to pop all the way open while you are driving, obstructing your view, slow down and try to look underneath the hood. If that is not possible, put your head out the driver’s side window to see around the hood. Follow the painted lines as a guide to point you towards the side of the road. Safely pull off the side of the road with your hazard lights on and shut your hood.

  • The hood latch is prone to wear and tear and can break after a period of time. The secondary hood release may seize up and not release properly because it is exposed to the various weather conditions. If the secondary release seizes, the hood may not close properly, causing it to pop open. This is not a safe situation to be in while you are driving down the road.

  • The secondary latch works with a tension spring. By keeping the spring lubricated, it will help to lengthen the lifespan of the latch. Check your hood latch system on a regular basis and lubricate it as needed. This way, your hood latch system will be more reliable and you will not have to worry about your hood opening while you are driving.

  • Part of the hood latch system is the cable. If the cable starts seizing, the hood will not open or close properly. If you wait too long to get this looked at, the cable will need to be replaced.

Do not drive with the hood open as it can be dangerous. It is difficult to see with the hood in your way, so it can cause you to hit something or hit vehicles around you. If your hood is not working properly, it is best to have it inspected at by a mechanic before the hood opens unexpectedly.


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Chris

21 years of experience
1861 reviews
Chris
21 years of experience
Mini Cooper Clubman - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Silverado, California
He arrived early, went straight to work, and it should have been quoted higher as it’s a Mini which takes longer than the average break job. He didn’t try to get more than the quoted amount. He even set out to replace a running light for me when he was finished. I thought there would hard sales telling me I needed more work but there wasn’t. Because he didn’t try to sell me more work, I will use him again. When I hired a mechanic I don’t want a salesman. 
Land Rover Range Rover Sport - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Irvine, California
Chris again has provided great Service. Everything was great. I was very happy with the work and will definitely have him return for any other work.

Bryant

11 years of experience
408 reviews
Bryant
11 years of experience
Ford Fusion - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Indianapolis, Indiana
Bryant has done great work on my car before, the latest work is no exception. He's very flexible, and goes the extra mile to get you back on the road.
Scion iA - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Carmel, Indiana
This is my first time using this service. I am very happy with it. Bryant was very knowledgeable and did quality work. I will use this service more regularly.

Edmar

21 years of experience
184 reviews
Edmar
21 years of experience
Chrysler 200 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Euless, Texas
Edmar always does a very good job. He's done a few different things on my car the last two years. Each job was performed very fast and top quality. Thank you once again.

Mazyar

7 years of experience
255 reviews
Mazyar
7 years of experience
Jaguar XF - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Lawrenceville, Georgia
He was early, courtesy and actually helped me save some money since i didn't need all the work that i thought i needed done. Honest guy. Very knowledgeable. Great attitude.

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