Question about 2009 Toyota Matrix

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My car hood won't release to open

I pull up on the hood release lever and now the hood doesn't 'pop-up' like it used to. I then reach under the front hood with my fingers and it's very difficult but I can move the latch however this doesn't have any effect - the hood is still retained closed. I can open the hood as a 2-man operation: one person holds the hood release lever inside in the up position, while a 2nd person reaches beneath the front hood and moves the latch to the side and hood will then lift up. Close the hood and the original problem returns. WD-40 sprayed on hood latch parts liberally to no avail. Cable moves (with inside hood release) so cable is not broken. Appearance of all latch parts is normal (when hood opened through 2-man procedure). I am at wits end - what is preventing hood from 'popping-up' like it always did before?

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  • greg feret Apr 18, 2016

    thanks anyway - there're 2 extension type springs (big & small) I can see down in that latch and they're both whole and stretching or at least capable of it. I studied these springs just yesterday w/ my son

  • L Pfaff
    L Pfaff Apr 18, 2016

    Greg, when the hood release is pulled those springs have to pack quite a bit of force to pop a heavy hood, if springs are weak or latch is seized still the hood will not pop up to first stage release. Is the hood over closing, is it level with fender tops, if not try adjusting the hood stops, this could be part of the problem also.

  • greg feret Apr 18, 2016

    hood surface appears level w/ fender tops (not over-closed). But I can certainly appreciate your observation about possibly weakened springs vs. a heavy hood, because my son remarked yesterday how heavy my matrix hood seemed to him anyway (to me it's just the same as it always was). We were the 2-man procedure I referred to originally. If there're hood closure stops that're adjustable on my car I'll see if setting them a skosh higher has desired effect. Thank you

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Greg, the spring in latch release is weak or broken probably or it is still seized and lubricant still has to be worked into it. You can probably get a replacement fairly cheap at auto recyclers.
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Posted on Apr 18, 2016

  • L Pfaff
    L Pfaff Apr 18, 2016

    Greg, when the hood release is pulled those springs have to pack quite a bit of force to pop a heavy hood, if springs are weak or latch is seized still the hood will not pop up to first stage release. Is the hood over closing, is it level with fender tops, if not try adjusting the hood stops, this could be part of the problem also.

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