Automotive

My car hood's locking mechanism is rusted - any fix?

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[OP]
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Sep 21, 2010
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My car hood's locking mechanism is rusted - any fix?

I tried to open the hood today and it was stuck at first so I closed the slight crack and tried again and luckily it opened the 2nd try. At first I thought some cable broke but it seems the prb is because the mating areas are rusted so there's rubbing/friction (pls see photo).

Is there anything I can do to fix this, or do I need to replace the affected parts? Tx.
car hood.png
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Sr. Member
Nov 6, 2014
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Clean it up with a wire brush. Heavily lubricate with something like WD40 or light grease. Actuate the lever/latch and the mechanism will likely smooth out. Rust is normal and unavoidable.
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Dec 7, 2011
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Soak it in penetrating fluid and let it sit. Then work it back and forth till it's free. You're supposed to lubricate that area as part of maintenance. I doubt you'll need to replace any parts unless the cable is damaged.
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fordmaple wrote: Clean it up with a wire brush. Heavily lubricate with something like WD40 or light grease. Actuate the lever/latch and the mechanism will likely smooth out. Rust is normal and unavoidable.
Silly question, WD40 is flammable, but no worries using it in those areas? I have some steel wool, tx, will get on that...so I assume it's only surface rust and not affecting the structure?
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I spray mine with can of rust proofing yearly or when I remember to. Even so, thing just rusts. Not as bad as yours but where paint is removed, it's rusted. If you are going to use wire brush to clean all that out, make sure to repaint it.
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peteryorkuca wrote: I spray mine with can of rust proofing yearly or when I remember to. Even so, thing just rusts. Not as bad as yours but where paint is removed, it's rusted. If you are going to use wire brush to clean all that out, make sure to repaint it.
It's painted? I thought it was just its natural metal state? *shrug* I don't think I'm gonna do anything beyond scrubbing the rust away though, besides not having any paint.
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You will want to use penetrating fluid - WD40, or Liquid Wrench is even better. Could be the cable sticking too, see if you can spray some in there.
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I'd just lube it, move it and call it a day
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I use white lithium spray grease for this. But any spray grease or lubricant would work. I wouldn't use WD40 or a penetrating oil. You need something heavier and longer lasting.

Once that's done, as others have said, just work the latch open and closed until it's smooth. You can use a screwdriver to close and open the latch with the hood open. Or keep closing and opening the hood (making sure to close it all the way so that the latch is worked through its entire range of motion).
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derass wrote: I use white lithium spray grease for this. But any spray grease or lubricant would work. I wouldn't use WD40 or a penetrating oil. You need something heavier and longer lasting.

Once that's done, as others have said, just work the latch open and closed until it's smooth. You can use a screwdriver to close and open the latch with the hood open. Or keep closing and opening the hood (making sure to close it all the way so that the latch is worked through its entire range of motion).
Can you also use it on those pressurized hood struts?
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I dunno if I wanna buy extra sprays. I have WD40 and this, which is better? Tx.
http://www.jigaloo.ca/

So imma scrub w steel wool, spray the parts and move/jiggle them, hopefully that'll do the trick to prevent future sticking.
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tranquility922 wrote: I dunno if I wanna buy extra sprays. I have WD40 and this, which is better? Tx.
http://www.jigaloo.ca/

So imma scrub w steel wool, spray the parts and move/jiggle them, hopefully that'll do the trick to prevent future sticking.
Use whatever you have to free it up. Thinner is better for lubricating areas you can't see. For maintenance, I'd use a grease like white lithium. Thicker will remain on the area longer. Any grease would work. I wouldn't even bother scrubbing it
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Nov 11, 2013
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Wire brush, spray light coat of silicon grease. They spray a coat of fluid film on everything in that area
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zobi123 wrote: Can you also use it on those pressurized hood struts?
I would use it on the pivot points. But avoid the piston area. If anything, the best thing you can do for that it is keep it clean. The cylinder is internally lubricated, and the lubricant is retained by a seal where the piston enters the cylinder body. When there's dirt on the piston, that gets dragged through the seal, wearing it out, until the cylinder fails.
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derass wrote: I use white lithium spray grease for this. But any spray grease or lubricant would work. I wouldn't use WD40 or a penetrating oil. You need something heavier and longer lasting.

Once that's done, as others have said, just work the latch open and closed until it's smooth. You can use a screwdriver to close and open the latch with the hood open. Or keep closing and opening the hood (making sure to close it all the way so that the latch is worked through its entire range of motion).
+1. Fluid Film is also a good option.
zobi123 wrote: Can you also use it on those pressurized hood struts?
I would use pure silicone lube like https://www.amazon.ca/Super-Lube-97008- ... 0081JEBFC/
Petroleum lubes like WD40, or other penetrating oils can damage rubber seals.
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Feb 8, 2010
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tranquility922 wrote: Silly question, WD40 is flammable, but no worries using it in those areas? I have some steel wool, tx, will get on that...so I assume it's only surface rust and not affecting the structure?
WD40 vaporize quickly. If you use WD40 to loose up the parts, remember to apply something that will stay on the metal surface longer. 3in1 oil or any light machine lubricant will do.
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tranquility922 wrote: I tried to open the hood today and it was stuck at first so I closed the slight crack and tried again and luckily it opened the 2nd try. At first I thought some cable broke but it seems the prb is because the mating areas are rusted so there's rubbing/friction (pls see photo).

Is there anything I can do to fix this, or do I need to replace the affected parts? Tx.
car hood.png
My go to is sand the rust (your choice, you don't have to, can apply directly on rust) and spray on Fluid Film while working the locking mechanism so it gets into the crevices. Brush it anywhere rusty. I'd do this every year or twice a year. It'll stop rusting out any further and act as a lubricant so the mechanism never sticks. Fluid Film really works on rust. I use to have rust on certain components, cleaned it, applied Fluid Film and years after there's no longer rust. I now have a few cans of fluid film on hand in my tool working area, it's useful for many things.
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Wow, when was the last time you changed oil? That thing wasn't opened for years.
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Tommy74 wrote: Wow, when was the last time you changed oil? That thing wasn't opened for years.
Amazingly it just rusted over a few months during winter. Was perfectly fine all these years. I'm as shocked as you are...
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tranquility922 wrote: I dunno if I wanna buy extra sprays. I have WD40 and this, which is better? Tx.
http://www.jigaloo.ca/

So imma scrub w steel wool, spray the parts and move/jiggle them, hopefully that'll do the trick to prevent future sticking.
WD40 is not a lubricant, it's a water dispersant. Jigaloo is a silicon based lubricant and water repellant. You can also buy small sachets of various greases if you don't want a spray.

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