Hood latch inoperative

'03 Mercury Sable–the cable is intact at the lever in the cabin but will not release the hood. Is this an easy DYI fix?

Jay Jay, I’m Good At “Do-It-Yourself” Fixes, But Do-Yourself-It Fixes, Not So Much.

Are you asking if getting the hood open is easy or replacing the cable?

With some cars you can get under the front and look straight up and see the hood latch. Many are designed to take a blade from a long screwdriver. A twist will open them.

Maybe there’s a way to trip it through the grille with a piece of coat hanger.

Most good service manuals show how to get in there.

Maybe Ken Green, our resident Ford Expert will see your question and respond.
Hey Ken, are you in the building?


Thanks CSA–sorry for the dyslexia.Assuming I can get the hood open, is replacing the cable straightforward>

You may not have to replace the cable.

Just make sure the cable and release mechanism works freely then you may find it needs an adjustment or simply needs a good lubrication.

Inspect the hood latch as well for a binding surface which may prevent the latch from sliding off when you pull the release lever.

If you chose to route the cable as it was designed, installing hood release cables can be suprisingly time consuming.

I had to deal with this problem, and found the best info was obtained by looking at how the cable and latch was set up on another identical car. Find a 2003 Sable and have the owner open the hood, and you can see just exactly how your car is made. Then get to work. The other possibility is to go to a body shop and have them pop the hood for you.

Have someone push down on the hood while pulling on the release handle.


Both of the hood latches on my 2000 Blazer and 93 Caprice tend to stick. Either pushing down or pulling up on the hood usually works after working the release handle a few times.

Ed B.

Thank to all for the input. The car is out of town now but I’ll try all suggestions when I have it back next week.

And the winner is: Roadrunner. I had no luck (and not a lot time to play w it). My mech fixed it–as Roadrunner suggested he lubed & adjusted it. 1 hour’s labor.


OOPS! Pardon me. Thanks for posting back.

Too many don’t post back and we all sit and wonder where they went.

BTW, did your mech tell you HOW he got the hood open so as to be able to lube the latch?

He did not tell me & I did not ask–sorry.

Could you ask?

This problem has come up a number of times and too often there is no final solution posted as to the method of opening a jammed hood (or stuck shut due to a broken release wire).

Not all hoods open the same way or can be accessed the same way.

I’m sure that if you are able to find out the opening process was achieved there will be at least a few drivers thinking “so THAT’S what I have to do!”

Good Diagnosis, Road Runner!

I think they probably used an Acme Hood Release Explosive Charge. Beep! - Beep!


He got access through the grill in front to the release mechanism w a long, flat head screwdriver.

Thanks Jay.