A Common Hood Fault and How to Fix It
If you have a car that you’ve been using for some time now, you may have noticed that the hood mechanism is not working properly. It just does not seem to hold up that well, or you cannot even get it up that easily anymore. And considering auto body parts are not exactly the cheapest things to replace, you may be wondering if there is something to be done to fix the thing.
A lot of people start to think that maybe there is something stuck in the mechanism, or that maybe the gas strut is giving up (if there is one in the first place). However, it is likely that there is another culprit. Have you ever considered to check what is going with the hinges or the springs?
Think about it – the springs of the hood mechanism are under tension. It is obvious that with time they will lose their power, or at least a bit of it. Furthermore, the hinges themselves may not be without fault either. Considering that they hold the hood in place, every bump you go over transfers some of the stress on them. And with the hood being fairly heavy, this can cause more problems down the line. So what can you do about it?
How to Treat Common Hinge and Spring Problems
First of all, you need to identify whether the hinge is too loose or too stiff. If it becomes too loose, it will not be able to hold the hood in place, or worse – it will hold it just barely, until it doesn’t and the heavy hood falls on you.
You can try to tighten up the loose hinges. However, it is possible that they operate via a special mechanism, which you can’t really adjust that easily. Some may even require flathead screwdrivers, or Allen keys, so be prepared.
Alternatively, the hinge can be very stiff. At that point you may consider two things – the screws there may have gotten misaligned because of the bumps. This is not very common, but it is possible. You can try loosening them, but be careful – you don’t want to damage the threading.
Rust may also be an issue that prevents the smooth operation of the mechanism. At that point you should use some lubricant or anti-rust agent on the hinge. Hopefully it is salvageable, and can be fixed. However, it is entirely possible that it is beyond repair and replacement will be necessary.
With springs things can be more problematic. Usually, if the spring has lost its “springiness”, you can’t do much about it. It will never have the same snappy characteristic, so you would need to replace it. Luckily, they are not as expensive, so you should not be worried about it too much. Additionally, you may try to look into attaching gas struts. They are not expensive either and are often quite easy to install.