You will normally just need to release the hood inside the car and then use the lever to free the hood to be opened. However, if you don’t have a lever or the lever in your car is broken, you will need an alternative approach. 

To open car hood without lever, you will need to trip the latch and then you might need to use a long and thin screwdriver to poke under the hood to find the latch location or latch assembly.

If you do not have enough room for a screwdriver, a coat hanger might work better. You should be able to hook the hanger or the screwdriver around the latch assembly and tug to allow the hood to open.

You can also open up your car grille to get better access to the latch assembly if it has broken or is frozen completely and will not work. Open the grille can be a better option than fumbling around blindly hoping that the latch will come unstuck as you probe at it.

Opening a Car’s Hood Without the Lever is Possible

In some cases, it can be quite easy to open a car’s hood without a functioning lever. This might be necessary if you are having engine trouble of some kind or if you have realized that you need to get under the hood for an oil change or some other process despite the broken lever.

Always remember that you will need to get the lever repaired, and if you are not comfortable doing this process you will need to make arrangements with a mechanic to take care of this need for you.

Being able to open your car’s hood is a necessary part of being able to operate it safely. These tips and tricks will get you into your car’s engine compartment even if there is an issue with the lever.

Always remember that your car’s engine compartment can be quite hot if the car has been running, so you will need to take care not to burn yourself while you are trying to diagnose and fix this issue.

Why Does the Lever Quit Working?

Your car’s hood latch lever could be broken or not functioning for a whole variety of reasons. Cars are exposed to a lot of weather and other environmental challenges when they are used daily, and these elements can lead to the breakdown of these kinds of parts.

Common reasons for a frozen hood latch are as follows:

  1.The cable has stretched

This can happen when the cable that is between the hood and the latch has become stretched out somehow.

This makes it impossible for the latch to affect any change, even when depressed or pulled on. If you cannot pop the hood, you cannot replace or repair the cable, so you will need to use these tips and tricks to get your hood popped open.

2.Frozen Latch

This can happen due to rust or other environmental damage to the metal of the hood latch. In places where deicer is used on the roads, breakdown of parts that get sprayed with this substance during daily driving in the winter can lead to an issue like this.

3.Broken Latch

If your car has been involved in an accident or has had something fall on the hood hard, the latch that opens the hood could be broken altogether. This can lead to the hood not closing at all, or it can lead to it being stuck shut. The latch may be broken because the car was sitting for too long. 

4.Broken Hood Release

If the hood release button is unresponsive, it could actually be the part that is broken. You might feel like it will not move at all, or it could feel very loose and floppy and like it is not connected to anything.

This is not a common failure, but this would be a key sign that this is what your problem is.

How to Locate the Hood Lever

If you are not sure how to find your hood lever, you can look online for some advice about the location of your unique car’s make and model.

You might find diagrams that will show you where the hood latch is so you can try to get to it more easily. There are some other ways to find your hood lever if you are not sure where it is at. 

Get out a flashlight and shine it through the grille of your car. Most levers will be located near the front center and out to the right a little. This might not always be the case, but with some light, you should be able to find the lever assembly so you can try and get it freed up.

You can also use a small mirror inserted into the grille to look for the assembly and to try and see why it is not working. Between some careful probing with your fingers and these tools, you should be able to find the lever so that you can try and diagnose what is wrong with it.

In some cases, jacking the car up in front can help you to see better, but you will need to be sure that you do not try to lift up your car and work under the hood when it is hot from running. Allow your car to cool down first before you try to jack it up to see better what is going on.

Use Caution To Avoid Unneeded Damage

If you are ready to try and open the hood without the use of the lever, you will need to make sure that you use the release that is located inside the cab of your car.

This will make sure that there is nothing else that is preventing the hood from being operated. You do not want to be fighting with what you think is a broken lever only to find out that the hood was just locked shut from inside the cab.

Use the mirror and the light method, or feel around to see if you can locate the lever readily. You might already be able to see what is causing your issues, but at least you will be able to start trying to force the lever to open since you know where it is.

Use a screwdriver or a coat hanger to try and force the lever to work. In some cases, the damage is not so significant that the lever will not operate if you give it some extra incentive to do so.

You might still need to replace or repair the lever once it has been opened with these tools, but at least you will not have to struggle to get the hood open after this first time.

If you have not been able to budge the lever using this method, you can also try to find the interior latch that should be located near the driver side fender well.

You will have to remove the inner fender well to get to this release, so make sure that you feel comfortable doing so before you start tearing things apart. If the latch wire is still intact, this will take care of your problem.

If you do not feel comfortable taking out the inner fender well, you can also try getting the car up onto a jack. Use pliers into the latch and tug. In some cases, this will release the hood. You will want to be sure that you do not use this process until the car is cooled off so that you do not burn yourself on a hot engine part as you try and access the hood.

Additionally, When becoming meticulous  trying to get rid of roaches in your car, it’s important to thoroughly clean all areas, including under the hood. However, if you’re having trouble accessing the engine compartment due to a broken hood lever, you can review this to [again] ‘How to Open Car Hood Without Lever’ guide for alternative methods. With the hood open, you can properly clean and eliminate any roach infestation in the engine compartment.

Consider Repair or Replacement 

At the end of the day, if you are worried about damaging your car and do not feel like you can access your hood without help, you can always take your car to a mechanic for some assistance getting the hood open and the lever repaired.

For most people, the replacement of the lever itself will not be something that they are going to undertake anyway, so a mechanic will need to be involved at later stages of the process to fix the issue anyhow.

No matter what process you are going to try, always shut your car off and make sure that you are careful about having your fingers near any hot or moving parts in your engine.

You should not encounter too many issues when working on this fix, but a hot engine can cause severe burns and you might not be paying attention to what you are touching when you are struggling with the hood latch located so near the engine itself.


Opening your car’s hood without a lever can be a snap if you use these simple tips and tricks to lift the hood without the lever.

Tips and Tricks to Give Your Old Car a Fresh New Look

If you want to make an old car look new, there are several things you can do, such as washing and waxing the exterior, cleaning and conditioning the interior, and replacing worn out parts. And if you’re having trouble opening your car hood, check out our guide on how to open it without a lever! Additionally, learn how to clean car seat straps for a complete car makeover.



Welcome to my car seat blog! As a mom of 3, I put together with other hard-working moms a highly informative one-stop car seat resource, full with many reviews and buyer guides. I hope you find it invaluable. Thank you for trusting me & my team! - Keren

Keren Simanova

Welcome to my car seat blog! As a mom of 3, I put together with other hard-working moms a highly informative one-stop car seat resource, full with many reviews and buyer guides. I hope you find it invaluable. Thank you for trusting me & my team! - Keren