Replacing Bonnet Latch

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The bonnet release mechanism is a fairly simple one, but it can be confusing to the uninitiated.

1. The latch is hidden, but easy to get to. First, pop the hood but don't lift it.

2. Remove the passenger side grille by removing the two small phillips head screws, then pushing the three top clips up & off.

3. If you look near the top of the radiator support upright (just to the left of the headlight assy), you'll see two small 10mm bolts. Remove these, being careful not to drop them into the cavern of the bumper and fascia. I sometimes use a dab of grease to 'stick' the socket to the bolts. Check the bonnet grounding strip too (mine needed replacing). Pull the cable and the latch will slide to the side.

4. There is a plastic plate that wraps around the front of the mechanism. It's clipped on one side and snaps over the cable retainer plate on the other side. Twist and tug it carefully to remove. If you are replacing your bonnet cable at the same time, follow those steps before continuing.

5.Inspect the return spring and mechanism for wear. Clean thoroughly with WD40 or Deep Creep (I avoided brake cleaner because it would destroy any replacement grease). I chose lithium spray-on grease to lube the mechanism. You'll be shocked at how much easier it'll be to operate. Lithium is very water-resistant, but you could use any heavy grease for this purpose. While you're at it, give the hood hinges a good spray too. Replace the cover plate.

6. Replace the latch into its little cavity, then squirt the bolts with a little more grease. Again, this will 'stick' them into the socket and keep them from falling into the fascia limbo. You should see where the bolts used to sit, slide the latch around until it's roughly where it used to be & tighten them down.

7. Stand back and enjoy your handiwork. You'll be amazed at how the bonnet pops up when you're finished.