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Honda Civic Hood Won’t Open/Close/Latch/Lock

It can be very frustrating to deal with any type of car issues, especially if you don’t know what the cause could be or how to fix it. Luckily, we have the internet nowadays, and you don’t immediately have to take your car to the dealer.

A Honda Civic hood that won’t open or close is often due to a misaligned or stuck latch. The latch can become misaligned from regular use or after a frontal impact. To fix this, first try lubricating the latch mechanism with a penetrating oil, like WD-40. If the hood still doesn’t open or close, inspect the latch for damage or misalignment and adjust as necessary. It may require loosening the latch bolts, realigning, and then retightening.

Another common reason for hood problems is an issue with the release cable. Over time, the cable can stretch or fray, making it difficult to operate the latch mechanism effectively. If the release handle feels loose or doesn’t return to its original position, the cable might need to be adjusted or replaced. This can often be done by accessing the cable from under the dash or near the latch.

Honda Civic Hood Won't Open/Close/Latch/Lock

This article will discuss why your Honda Civic might have issues with opening or closing the latch and how to fix these, why the latch won’t lock, and how to replace a latch.  

Honda Civic Hood Won’t Close (All the Way)


If your Honda Civic’s hood isn’t closing (all the way), it is most likely due to a defective hood latch or a hood latch that isn’t aligned. Another cause could also be the cable. Additionally, you could have a damaged hood because of an accident, in which case I advise you to take your car to a shop to let it get looked at further. 

How To Fix It


What you can try to do to fix it first is try to adjust the hood latch upwards. If that doesn’t solve your problem, lubricate the hood latch with lithium grease. If the latch is misaligned, loosen the latch bolts and slightly move the latch-up. If you can close it now: Congratulations! If it still doesn’t, you might have to think about getting a new hood latch.  


The release cable can at times pop out of the latch holding mechanism, which can cause the hood not to close all the way. In this case, you need to put the cable back in the right place. When it comes to older cars, the cable can get rusted, so it needs to get replaced. 

Honda Civic Hood Won’t Open

Honda Civic Hood Won't Open


In the previous paragraph, I have discussed what could be the causes for a hood that doesn’t close (all the way). But what if you can’t open your Honda Civic’s hood? Usually, it is a similar reason why your hood doesn’t close, so a misaligned or defective latch or a cable that’s causing issues. 

How To Fix It

There are two things you can do to try to open your Honda Civic’s hood. It could be beneficial to have another person there to help you to get the hood open. The first way requires a few straightforward steps that you can follow to get your hood open most of the time. If you have someone there, try the following steps:

  1. Push down the hood where the latch is found and keep holding it down.
  2. The other person can pull on the hood release while holding the cable pulled. 
  3. You should now be able to lift the hood instead of pushing it, holding it down. 
  4. If the hood didn’t open yet, repeat this a handful more times at varying spots and pressures applied to see what works.

This pushing and pulling method can release some of the hood latch pressure, which can make the opening process easier. 

The second method you can try is a little less easy, and you will need a coat hanger. First of all, it’s important to have a cold engine. If you do, open the front hood and find where the latch is. Maneuver the coat hanger so that it’s in a position to pull the cable or the release. After this, get underneath the car and take away the plastic skid shields right after the front bumper. You’ll be able to grab the hood cable, which you can pull firmly so that the hood will open. 

Honda Civic Hood Stuck

Honda Civic Hood Stuck

I’ve already discussed why your Honda Civic hood won’t open or close and how to fix it. If your hood is stuck, I will first advise you to try either one of the methods I’ve already explained since they might work for a hood that’s stuck as well. However, there is another thing you could try to get your hood unstuck. So, if the other methods haven’t worked for you, try following these steps:

  1. Make sure your Civic is in first gear or park and turn off the engine. Turn on the parking brake. 
  2. You have to find the hood latch release lever, which is on the right side of the hood latch mechanism. You can find it if you look through the car’s front grill, just above the Honda logo. 
  3. Take a flat-head screwdriver into the grill and pry the hood latch release lever to the right until the hood releases. 
  4. The hood should be released now!

Honda Civic Hood Latch Won’t Lock

Honda Civic Hood Latch Won't Lock


There could be several reasons why the latch of your Honda Civic won’t lock. First of all, it could be that the spring that makes sure that the tooth in the latch closes has failed; it could be too weak to close the latch. The cable will try to pull the spring back, but the spring won’t go forward on its own anymore. The latch could also be dirty or rusted, which could be why the lock won’t work. 

How To Fix It

What you should try to do first is clean the latch and pull the spring back somewhat. Sometimes, cleaning the latch will be sufficient if this was the issue in the first place. If that didn’t do the trick, it’s most likely the spring that is the cause. It is held in place by a steel tab, which you should try to wind back just a little bit more. It will make the spring stronger and could very well solve your problem. 

Honda Civic Hood Latch Replacement

There could be many reasons that the latch on your Honda Civic needs replacement. If any of the issues discussed in this article is something you’re dealing with and it hasn’t been solved by trying any of the solutions I’ve given you, it might be time for a latch replacement. You can either get this done at a shop, or you can try to do it yourself by following these steps:

  1. Remove the kick plate in the corner that’s located underneath the driver’s seat of the dashboard. You can easily take this off with a flat screwdriver. 
  2. Now you have to remove about 1 inch of the plastic molded to the cable’s outer end. You can use a pair of cutting pliers to nibble down at the plastic. You can use a little bit of heat from a lighter to make the plastic soften. Caution is advised since it can cause a fire hazard. It’s also not necessary to use the lighter, but it might make it easier if you’re having trouble. 
  3. Install the new hood latch. Slip the new hood latch onto the end of the exposed cable.
  4. Put back the corner kick plate, and it’s all done!

How To Open the Hood of a Honda Civic From the Outside

If you want to find out how to open the hood of a Honda Civic from the outside, I would like to refer you to a paragraph that says “Honda Civic Hood Stuck” and follow the steps that I’ve laid out for you there. This is the way to open the hood of your Honda from the outside. 

Proper Way To Close Honda Civic Hood

This might be something that many of us don’t even think about because we don’t realize that this relatively easy thing should require any thought. If you want to make sure you’re doing it right, first, you want to find the hood release inside of the cabin. It’s usually located near the driver’s door at the bottom of the dash or the bottom of the dashboard under the steering wheel column. 

Some cars, however, have completely unmarked levers, in which case you’re just going to have to try something out to find out if it’s the hood release.

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