Honda hood sag

I’ve had two Hondas with this same issue. The first was a 1999 Accord and now my current car, a 2006 Civic. Within the first year of buying the Accord, I noticed exactly what the caller described, an 8-10" diameter shallow dent smack in the middle of my hood. Since I was parking the Accord on a college campus I figured it was some type of prank/accident. I just noticed it in my Civic within the last month and wasn’t quite sure what to think. Barring Honda hood poltergeists, I think the suction theory sounds plausible. I don’t agree with blaming gravity since my cars were not very old. I’m hoping maybe it also has something to do with the cold weather?? I’m going to watch and see what happens once it warms up. Just another idea… thank you for shedding some light on this mystery!

“I think the suction theory sounds plausible”

Could you do us a favor and explain “the suction theory” to us?

If the theory posits that suction–either from the engine air intake or from “ground effects”–caused this sagging of the hood, I would ask you to take a look underneath the hood. This inspection will reveal a very large amount of open space underneath and around the engine and transmission. Unless your Honda is unique, you will readily be able to view the ground in several areas surrounding the engine and transmission.

Additionally, the hood does not have a hermetic seal around its edges.
Ergo, there are too many openings for there to be a signficant suction effect under the hood.

More than likely, you have been the victim of a prank on more than one occasion.

I would tend to agree. I’ve owned a good number of Hondas over the years, and never had a dented hood. I imagine if someone heavy enough sat in the middle of it, though, that it would dent. Someone’s been sitting on your car.

The Brothers Magliozzi need a refresher course in aerodynamics. There is no “suction” force from the engine air intake acting on the hood. There is, however, aerodynamic downforce on the hood at higher speeds, as air is displaced upward by the hood and windshield. I’ve never examined the particular hoods in question, but if they’re particularly flimsy in certain areas, I can imagine the downforce causing a shallow depression.

What jesmed stated about aerodynamic downforce is true, but if the hoods of Hondas were problematic in terms of being damaged by aerodynamic downforce, wouldn’t we see hundreds (or maybe thousands) of Hondas with that type of hood damage?

I can’t recall seeing even one Honda hood with that type of damage, and neither my '92 Accord or a friend’s '01 Accord had this problem.

I do agree with VDCdriver that, if it were purely a matter of aerodynamics and a weak hood design, all cars having the same (theoretically flimsy) hood design should exhibit such depressions after being driven, say, 70 MPH. Something else must be going on, like particularly heavy cats napping on the warm hoods…

I think you must be parking by some people that hang out and sit on the hoods of nearby cars. Take a look where you park on campus and see if you see any other cars with a similar affliction.

…and of course, let us not forget about the epidemic of obesity among young folks nowadays.

If one of the typical 5’ 8", 275 lb 19 year olds decides to pounce on a hood, he will undoubtedly damage it, even if the hood is on a military Humvee! What used to be the “freshman 15” weight gain is now more likely to be the “freshman 40” weight gain.

Some Hoods Of Dubious Construction Or Design Are Damaged In This Fashion When Individuals Slam The Hood Too Hard. The Inertia Of The Falling Metal Bends The Panel And / Or Hood Frame. Since No Others Have Seen This On A Honda, I Have To Wonder How Hard The Hood Has Been Slammed.

To properly close a hood, it should just be allowed to drop only a few inches (not propelled), just enough to activate the latch.


I think the brothers “suction theory” was said more tongue in cheek than anything. I don’t think they believed it was actually causing the problem.

You may well live in a neighborhood overrun by Precious’es, but let’s not forget that older Americans have had years to pack on the lbs. and are doing a bangup job!

275 lbs. “typical” for a 19 year old? On what planet, Sir?

Take a look at the starting lineup for some Texas high school football teams, and you will see some excellent examples. And, trust me–they ain’t Precious.

Granted there may be a structural problem with Accord hood bracing, but there’s one other possibility to check out. Tom and Ray didn’t ask whether the car was parked outside, and whether there were small muddy paw prints on the windshield. The caller mentioned that the depression was the size of a plate, leading me to think this could be a case of “cat sag.” The rural version of this is a slightly deeper depression known as “'coon sag.”