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Car hood won't completely latch on 2001 Corolla

My car hood latches enough to not fly open but it is open a couple of inches and bumps up and down. Mechanic said all the air moving through the opened two inches is weakening the latch and soon it will fly open if not fixed - for $175. Since I am unemployed, I would like to find a dyi solution, even if temporary. Something to pull it closed, but so I can open it up when I check the oil every two weeks.

Try taking a spray lubricant and soak the latch mechanism. Then close and open the hood repeatedly.


Depends on how fast you’re driving. If you’re just puttering around town, then it shouldn’t be too bad, but if you’re on the freeway going 70+, then you should be worried.

One little strange fact is that the hood latch for any Toyota has not changed at all in the past twenty-something years. I guess someone bought in volume in a big way.
So you have the same thin, weak and erratic hood latch in your 2001 Corolla as I have in my 87. I’ve found that the hood will not latch correctly unless I seat the steel bar (that holds the hood up while I check the oil or whatever) into a position lower than the top of the radiator. In my car at least, there is nowhere to seat this bar. The best I can do is rest the bar lower than the top of the radiator.
Then I hold the hood about a quarter of the way open and slam it closed, and then check that the hood is secure by pulling up on the hood. If it stays put, it’s good, but if it moves, I try again.

If the cable binds or sticks when the cable is pulled to release, the latch cannot grip the the hood.

When the cable is sticking, the interior lever will be loose.

At the latch, the latch lever can be manually pushed to the passenger side so that the hood can be tightly latched.

Go to a junkyard and get a new hood latch. Installation should be simple, with only two bolts holding the latch mechanism in place. The hardest part is getting the hood release cable loose from the existing mechanism and replacing it on the new mechanism. Then just bolt the new latch back in place. Done.