What Does the Hood Open Warning Light Mean?

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Modern cars are filled with switches and sensors to monitor the vehicle as you drive to ensure that everything is working smoothly. One such switch is located inside the hood latch to make sure the hood has been fully closed.

Hood latches have two stages to lock them down — one lever inside the car and another at the latch itself to prevent the hood from opening unnecessarily. Due to this two step system, the hood will not fly open and block your vision if you accidently move the lever on the inside of the car.

What the hood open warning light means

This indicator light only has one purpose and that is to verify the hood is closed completely. If the light is illuminated, pull over safely and check the hood to make sure it is closed all the way. Once the hood has been closed properly, the light should turn off.

If the light remains lit after verifying that the hood is secure, it is likely caused by a connection issue with the switch or the switch wearing out. Locate the hood switch and ensure that the connector is plugged in all the way before trying to replace the switch. Closing the hood can sometimes knock the switch and connector out of place and there may not be any actual damage. If the connector still looks good, the switch itself likely needs to be replaced.

Is it safe to drive with the hood open warning light on?

Since hoods have the two separate latches, they are not likely to open while you are driving. You may have to stop and check if the hood is closed if this light comes on but you can still continue driving normally if it doesn’t turn off even after the hood is closed. However, some vehicles will disable other functions such as the windshield wipers if the computer thinks that the hood is open. As a result, a faulty hood switch could prevent you from driving safely in the rain.

If your hood light won’t turn off, enlist the help of one of our certified technicians to get the problem diagnosed.


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Matthew

31 years of experience
639 reviews
Matthew
31 years of experience
Chevrolet Impala - Warning Light is on - Norfolk, Virginia
First off he was on time....actually 30 mins early which was great. Everything he described was what I was going through and he knew exactly what I needed before he even looked at the car. Other mechanics i feel were trying to take advantage because I am a woman but he made me feel comfortable. Still have to get work done on it but at least I know exactly what the problem was.
Chevrolet Tahoe - Warning Light is on - Norfolk, Virginia
Very detailed and takes the time to explain what is being done. Willing to answer any questions you may have. I would definitely use his services again and have already been telling my coworkers about this site. I have a unique electrical situation going on with my truck that none of the dealers could assess. Just by Matt doing some general maintenance , my truck is already driving smoother. Matt asked that I monitor things to make sure we don't need to troubleshoot anything else. I feel quite confident.

Robert

11 years of experience
2 reviews
Robert
11 years of experience
Buick Encore - Warning Light is on Inspection - Manteca, California
He was great because I didn’t have to go anywhere I just stayed at home and he took care of everything

Travis

11 years of experience
309 reviews
Travis
11 years of experience
Audi A8 Quattro - Warning Light is on Inspection - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Very helpful and very knowledgeable will be using this service again thank you Travis for everything trumbs up

Andrew

23 years of experience
148 reviews
Andrew
23 years of experience
Audi A3 - Warning Light is on - Riverdale, Georgia
Great mechanic! Not only was Andrew on time, but he was professional, knowledgeable and very informative. Highly recommend.

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