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Q: Hood can’t stay shut

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I was terrified when the hood latch failed on my 2012 Kia Soul with about 36k miles on it. When going up onto a highway, the latch opened and caused the hood to crack my windshield. Luckily there was enough of a shoulder to pull over. How common is this problem? I thought cars would have something to prevent this from happening as it is very dangerous. What parts should I replace?

As far as I know, all vehicles meant to be used in the United States should have a double latch system. These systems have a primary latch which holds the hood down all the way and is released by the inside latch pull handle. The secondary latch catches and holds the hood about two inches up after the primary latch is released. These latches need to be lubed on a regular basis with a waterproof lithium grease or manufacturer approved lubricant. You can check your latch for sticking and binding if it is not working properly. You can also contact a trained technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to check the hood latch for you.

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