1981 240D Mercedes Benz Hood Pull Lever

The hood pull lever, which you pull to release the catch for the hood to open, broke off in my hand when I was going to check the oil level. The hood is now closed securely however I cannot open it since the grey piece broke off. I found the replacement part on Ebay for $8.00. Could I replace it myself? How do I open the hood to replace? Thanks for any advice.

Have you tried pulling the cable with vice grips?

I’d also clean and lube the latch mechanism as well as perhaps lube or replace the cable itself. Or the next lever may just end up in your hand as well. It is, after all, 27 years old.

Are you talking about the exterior pull that sticks out through the grill? If so, it’s simple. Unlatch the hood from inside the car and use a bent coat-hanger to hook the safety latch, then just lift the hood. Replacing the latch is very easy once the hood is open, just a little pin that holds it in place. I’ve been through about three of those latches on my cars.

Edit: If this is the pull we are talking about, this photo shows you how it attaches:


That car has two latches, the cable release from inside (that would need the vice grip solution), and the safety latch that is released with a little pull that pops out of the grill when you release the main latch. The safety latch pull is what usually breaks, especially if you try to use it as a handle to lift the hood (ask me how I know). Fortunately, the little pull/handle only costs $6, see link below.

If we are talking about the interior cable release, I agree with the vice grip solution. The cable can be reached by removing the “kick panel” under the dash.

My VW passat has the same mechanism, and it rusted out in 3 years. Why do the Germans always over-engineer these things? If I look at the mechanism it has a bunch of cogs, springs, levers etc., all up front where the salt spray will hit it.

I settled for spraying it with lubricant every few months…

They over-engineer everything, you should see the inside of the power antenna on that car. I hit my hood latch with a little lube spray every-time the cable release starts to feel a little stiff.

Because of mandatory second-stage safety catches, all cars now have complicated mechanisms with cogs, springs, levers, etc.

It seems the manufacturers would put lubing of the hood latch mechanisms as a scheduled maintenance item. I grease mine with axle grease then wipe away all the “overkill” I can.