Is it Safe to Drive With the Hood Open?

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.


The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Related articles

Car Safety Ratings: Who to Trust and What They Mean
When When searching for a new or used vehicle to purchase, safety plays a major part in the decision. Luckily, you have a selection of agencies available that rate vehicles for safety according to a variety of factors, including the...
What Are the Dangers of Driving a Vehicle With a Broken Suspension?
Every car, truck, and SUV has a suspension, the collection of parts that holds the car off the ground, cushions passengers and cargo from bumps,...
Is it Safe to Drive With a Bad Axle?
The axles transmit power from either the transmission or the differential to the drive wheels on your car. If one of your...

Related questions

How do I release the parking brake?

You should always release your parking brake before driving, or else you can do damage to your brake system. To release the parking brake, press the Parking Brake lever all the way down and release, at which point it will...

What does the passenger airbag off Warning Light mean?

The passenger airbag off Warning Light is located on your instrument panel. This light illuminates when the vehicle has detected that the front passenger seat is unoccupied, or occupied by a small child. When the light is on, the front...

What may cause the starter to engage when shifting the shifter?

Hi there. Check the neutral safety switch and the shifter circuitry. It is possible to have a short in the wiring causing the starter to engage while shifting gears. Look for any wires that may be shorting out with the...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com