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      12-22-2017, 12:27 PM   #1
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DIY Hood Latch Stuck

Hello everyone. Two weeks ago I faced an issue where my right hood latch was suck and would not open. This was the first time I had this problem. Here is a brief background and what I did.

Background: I have a 2008 328xi E90 with 123K miles. The car is mechanically sound. I went on a 1,100 mile trip, stopping only for fuel. When I arrived to my destination I checked the car top to bottom, making sure everything was okay and no damage. Lastly I lifted up the hood and checked the engine bay, everything was fine.
The next morning, I wanted to replace the cabin filter and the hood would not open. Clearly it was releasing for the left side but not on the right. After doing some research, I found that the method is to push a thin rod against the latch that is stuck and hopefully it would release.
This did not work for me because I was not able to reach and visually see the latch mechanism. Therefore, I had to find an alternative way. I found this to be easier and less time consuming. Here are the items you will be needing and the steps:

1 Microfiber Cloth
1 2x4 wood
1 WD-40
1 Flashlight


First pull the hood release.



This is what my hood looked like, slightly open on the left side and stuck on the right.


Most videos I've watched, a metal rod was used. It was to be wedged between the hood and headlight to push the latch open. I didn't want to scratch or damage anything. For me I could not see the latch at all.


This is what I used. A small piece of wood and a MF cloth.


Wrap one end of the wood with the MF cloth. Ensuring no damage to the car.


On the left side, the side that is open, you will need to pry open a bit more so we can get a better look under the hood. Carefully and slowly lifting the hood and wedging the piece of wood in between so you can see.


This is what you'll be seeing.


A closer look.


This is what you'll be looking for. It's the Bowden cable hood mechanism.


The are two black cables directly behind the headlight. The short cable is connected to the left side. The longer cable is connected to the right side. The latch that is stuck is on the right side. What you'll need to do is carefully and firmly pull on the longer cable.


Please make sure you are not pulling on this black box. What I did was grab the long cable right behind the headlight and gently applied force. You might need to pull it back till you hear a the latch that stuck click open.


#11 Bowden cable hood mechanism.




The faulty latch on the right side.


A different view of the latch.


I sprayed white lithium grease on the dry component. I guess WD-40 would be fine to use as well. I haven't any problems since.

I hope this helps. It's my first time writing a DIY. Please excuse me if I made any mistakes. This stuck latch was super frustrating but this method works great. Only took me 10-15 minutes.
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Last edited by tsm007; 12-22-2017 at 06:56 PM.. Reason: Images did not load.
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      07-12-2018, 07:54 PM   #2
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THANKS!

I just joined this board so I can say thank you for your post. This same thing happened to me Monday while I was 250 miles away from home on a work trip. My problem was that the "add 1QT oil" came on. I couldn't open the hood, as it was locked on the passenger side latch. Drivers side had no issues- just like your situation....I thought it would be an easy AAA fix, but they quickly said NOPE.

I couldn't drive back to MA from NJ tomorrow without adding oil, so I scoured google and found your post. It worked exactly as you said. Saved me about $500 based on labor, etc from what I learned. I'll take it to my local, very trusted mechanic when I get back.
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      07-12-2018, 10:21 PM   #3
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I second that. I wasn't able to wedge the hood open enough to reach the cable with my hands, so I bent a hook into the end of an aluminum strip I had laying around, and used that to pull the cable. (The passenger side cable is the one closest to the outside of the car; that wasn't obvious to me until I got the hood open.)
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      08-16-2018, 12:41 PM   #4
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Just had this exact issue come up with my 2011 328i. Was working in the engine bay, closed the hood, and it wouldn't unlatch at the passenger side.

I was able to wedge a piece of wood in as above and get my large hand in there to pull the release cable. It required quite a bit of effort to pull, more than I would have thought. I suspect my force pulling the hood up made that worse, and having someone push down at the latch would have helped.

Silicone lube at the latch and it's smooth as butter. No rust in the area, so I'm not sure what caused it to bind.

This thread was extremely helpful, thanks!
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      08-19-2018, 05:00 PM   #5
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worked......almost

had same issue. needed more oil and hood was stuck. this post came in VERY handy. but i could not pull HARD enough on the cable to open the right latch.
i think the twist in the hood due to the block of wood put too much force on the right latch and i could not pull it open. i used the tape from a ratchet strap, looped it around the cable in question and pulled it outside. now i could remove the wooden block that was prying the hood open. it released the force on the right latch. with my wife (the owner of the bmw) pushing onto the right side of the hood, near the latch and me pulling on the tape the latch sprung open.
thanks for the great advice. saved us lots of money and trouble.
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      09-03-2018, 08:52 AM   #6
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easier way to get this is to take a flat small crow bar, it has the right curve to hit the lock, nail it with a hammer on the end sticking of out the hood, and then replace the latch, it popped right open for me
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      09-04-2018, 11:12 AM   #7
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Had this happen a few weeks ago, but was able to lift it with one hand while reaching in with the other and yanked on both and was able to pop the passenger latch. Replaced the cable with a $12 part on ebay. Very quick and easy fix for something a dealer would charge north of $500 for
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      03-29-2019, 09:47 AM   #8
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Quick update, cleaning and silicone didn't last, same thing happened again. Ended up replacing the cable.
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      03-29-2019, 10:07 AM   #9
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Hey how wide is your garage? Seems like a perfect size for DIY work. Is it a regular 2 car garage?
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      01-01-2020, 09:30 PM   #10
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E9xhood latch 5 cent fix

I had the same passenger side hood latch issue. Your post of making a hook for grabbing the cable did work for me, but was not a permanent fix and lubricating the latch worked about 3 times and failed again. Examination of the latch appeared to be just fine. I surmised it was more likely a stretched cable. I added a medium size fishing line split shot to the end of the cable to take up the slack and problem solved. A needle nose pliers is all that is needed.
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      08-08-2020, 02:00 PM   #11
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so we had this problem and ignored it for about 6 months and yesterday our battery died with our convertible top half open and half closed about 30 minutes from our home yesterday. Left the car overnight in the parking lot, put our bmw car cover over it and hoped for the best.

Went to the car this morning and tried the hack and nothing worked, had the tow truck there and the guy was clueless, unwilling to help and said he couldn't tow the car with the hood half open.

I tried again to tug on the bonnet cable and after a bunch of tugging not much happened, then i went over to the release latch by the front seat and tried opening it again and it released!!!!!.

Charged up the battery and drove home. Still unsure if i need a new battery but most importantly bonnet cable problem solved with hack and hood opens and closes. thanks and just remember if it doesn't work on the 20th tug or 30th tug it may work on the 40th tug
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      01-25-2021, 08:20 PM   #12
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I also joined the board to thank you. I did not want to stick a rod as was suggested to an area I couldn't see. I was able to open it with your system. The only thing I did different was after tugging with no success I had my wife pull the hood release in the car as I tugged and that worked.

Thanks again.
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      02-01-2021, 12:02 AM   #13
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My hood was stuck shut not long ago, and I still haven't completely fixed the issue meaning I'm driving around with the hood not completely latched lol. I noticed the cable is not looking to good and I plan to replace it. Also, my interior hood latch handle became stripped (BMW plastic at its finest) so I couldn't get the hood open.

What I did...
I pulled the driver front tire and wheel well liner off and reached in to grab the black box that is pictured in the post. I took out the line connecting to the handle and left in the line connecting to the hood and pulled on it till the hood popped open. It has work twice so far (I didn't learn my lesson the first time and could happen again lol).

Check your interior handle first to see if is stripped so you don't have stick a 2x4 under your hood. That's some last resort stuff none of us want to do, but I'm glad there is a post. Thanks!
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      01-25-2022, 09:43 AM   #14
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I had been struggling with the same problem and wasnt sure what to do until I found this thread. I used the method with a strap to pull on the cable for the right side latch, while a helper worked the hood release back and forth. Worked on the second try.
I found that the cable was pulling the release, but the spring was not moving the latch. I worked it back and forth several times and then blew out debris with air. Then, it was free and the spring did its job. I lubed both latches with waterproof grease. Works perfectly now.
I'm VERY happy.
Thanks!!
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      03-26-2022, 03:45 PM   #15
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Cool Method Still works but.....

So glad you posted this thread. I had the same issue with driver side fine but passenger side not releasing. I was able to pry up driver side enough to get my hand on the cable but could not get it to release. I had my neighbor come over and apply downward pressure to the passenger side while I was pulling on the release cable and that did it. So keep in mind that too much upward tension on the hood will prevent the hood release mechanism from releasing. Ordering a new cable now......
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      04-26-2022, 12:58 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsm007 View Post
Hello everyone. Two weeks ago I faced an issue where my right hood latch was suck and would not open. This was the first time I had this problem. Here is a brief background and what I did.

Background: I have a 2008 328xi E90 with 123K miles. The car is mechanically sound. I went on a 1,100 mile trip, stopping only for fuel. When I arrived to my destination I checked the car top to bottom, making sure everything was okay and no damage. Lastly I lifted up the hood and checked the engine bay, everything was fine.
The next morning, I wanted to replace the cabin filter and the hood would not open. Clearly it was releasing for the left side but not on the right. After doing some research, I found that the method is to push a thin rod against the latch that is stuck and hopefully it would release.
This did not work for me because I was not able to reach and visually see the latch mechanism. Therefore, I had to find an alternative way. I found this to be easier and less time consuming. Here are the items you will be needing and the steps:

1 Microfiber Cloth
1 2x4 wood
1 WD-40
1 Flashlight


First pull the hood release.



This is what my hood looked like, slightly open on the left side and stuck on the right.


Most videos I've watched, a metal rod was used. It was to be wedged between the hood and headlight to push the latch open. I didn't want to scratch or damage anything. For me I could not see the latch at all.


This is what I used. A small piece of wood and a MF cloth.


Wrap one end of the wood with the MF cloth. Ensuring no damage to the car.


On the left side, the side that is open, you will need to pry open a bit more so we can get a better look under the hood. Carefully and slowly lifting the hood and wedging the piece of wood in between so you can see.


This is what you'll be seeing.


A closer look.


This is what you'll be looking for. It's the Bowden cable hood mechanism.


The are two black cables directly behind the headlight. The short cable is connected to the left side. The longer cable is connected to the right side. The latch that is stuck is on the right side. What you'll need to do is carefully and firmly pull on the longer cable.


Please make sure you are not pulling on this black box. What I did was grab the long cable right behind the headlight and gently applied force. You might need to pull it back till you hear a the latch that stuck click open.


#11 Bowden cable hood mechanism.




The faulty latch on the right side.


A different view of the latch.


I sprayed white lithium grease on the dry component. I guess WD-40 would be fine to use as well. I haven't any problems since.

I hope this helps. It's my first time writing a DIY. Please excuse me if I made any mistakes. This stuck latch was super frustrating but this method works great. Only took me 10-15 minutes.
Thank you! Had similar issues and this fixed it
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      10-11-2023, 03:26 PM   #17
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Thank you

2009 328 xit 206,000mi
Experienced the same problem, right side wouldn’t release. Your method saved the day. The new Bowden cable was stretched on the right side. Replacement requires removing 4 torx screws on the top of the center piece (holding the kidney grills) and massaging it out in order to remove both latches.
Again, thanks for the tip.
Peter
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      11-10-2023, 11:47 PM   #18
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I managed to do this an easier way. Pull wheel and front liner. Reach up in and unclip the cable box. That allows you to open it in the wheel well, pull the cables Individually.
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