Hood Latch problems

Would it be “necessary” having to replace your hood latch if your hood won’t shut properly even though you hear clicking that it is closed, after a bad tire blow out and Mississippi mechanics stated: “Latch half broken?” I am not knowledgeable about cars and advice would great be appreciated since going to Toyota for hood latch estimated $300+. Because I have to go on long drive with my car and haven’t gone over 50 m.p.h. in the car since tire incidence, and would there be possibility on the interstate if I was driving 75 m.p.h. that my hood could come off?? Resulting in dramatic accident. Thank you and any advice be wonderful to this college student!!

First, take the car to a reputable body shop and get an inspection estimate from them. Their cost will be less than the dealers and they may be able to adjust/repair rather than replace the latch.

I truly don’t know what half broken means, so I think it is best to get a good opinion from someone who can inspect the car.

Toyota has been building Corollas for many years. They are not all the same. It would help if you told us the age of your Corolla.

It’s hard to imagine how a tire problem could affect the hood latch.

“Latch half broken?” No, sorry, it’s either broken or it’s not. There is no “half broken.”

But if the hood won’t close properly there is a problem.

I suggest you lubricate the hood latch. I’ll bet it will work a lot better with a little lubrication.

I once had a Toyota Corolla’s hood fly up at highway speed. Very scary, but no crash. But that was 35 years ago. I doubt your Corolla is that old (you didn’t tell us your car’s age).

Modern cars have a secondary device to prevent this from happening.

Please give us more information about the tire blowout, and how it affects the hood latch.

You’re hood won’t fly off, but it might open if the latch isn’t working, and you don’t want that to happen.

I’m interested to know how the latch became ‘half-broke’ or damaged. Was this a result of an accident? Was the bad tire blow-out someone else’s tire that then hit your car? Or is this a 10+ year old car with an equally aged car problem. If it is the latter, a good soaking with a spray-on lithium based lubricant may help free up stuck or frozen latch parts.

Toyota Corollas are among the most common cars on the road. There are plenty of them in salvage yard across America. I wouldn’t hesitate to get an undamaged latch from a salvage and replace your possibly damaged one with it for a fraction of the cost for new. Of course with a generous application of lithium-based or graphite-based lubricant.

Corolla? Hood pins and forget about it.

From the sound of things the latch may be broken and the safety catch is the only thing holding the hood down. If this is the case then it really needs to be repaired because it is feasible anyway that a bump on the highway could lead to the safety catch losing its grip. This would likely lead to the hood blowing back into the windshield; ruining the hood, the windshield, possibly the roof, and maybe even you.

I’m in agreement about checking with a bodyshop about this problem. You might also consider checking with a salvage yard about a used latch, which should not be more than 5 or 10 bucks. Maybe even free on a good day. A body shop or general garage should be able to swap this out for you for far less than 300 bucks.

The hood blowing back is a real cause for concern. Many years ago a friend of mine had the hood blow back on his old Ford at about 65 MPH. The windshield was broken and the front of the roof was caved in. He managed to get stopped (with the roof shoving his head down) and got the roof raised some by lying down in the seat and kicking it back up with his feet. This was followed by beating the rest of the windshield out into the car seat and driving the last 10 miles home, at night, with no glass at all. All in all, he was lucky though.

Thank you so much for all the replies. My car is 1999 Toyota Corolla. It all started when I had a rough tire blow out that caused some front damage to my car, (i.e. took out the side head light, and along with some wires) and when replacing the flat tire in Mississippi, the mechanic had mentioned that the latch was “semi-broken” since they had to get someone underneath the car in order for it to shut properly.
Ever since then, I never touched or popped my hood, but recently I HAD TO get oil change. Wal-Mart wouldnt touch my car because of accountability since I told them about the hood incidence and how they would guarantee proper/full closed hood like how I presented to them.
Toyota I go to next, they do the oil change, and tell me the pricing of ‘new latch’ and the mechanic/service team member heavier guy pressed down on my hood and told me that it was closed… simple… but truly it wasn’t. Because after driving my car home from oil change, I realized the the hood isn’t fully closed. I have to press down on my hood every time. I am attaching a picture of the car, and maybe give you guys an idea. Because I need to get out of town by next friday (12/10) and dont have any family here or anyone to go to junk yards with me in order to replace the latch. Also, how do I know if my “safety catch” or “secondary device” is enough for me to make a five hour drive ??

With you experience and knowledge… all in all… is it gonna be risky for me to drive the car out of town, on the interstate, if I dont replace the latch by then? Right now I am driving in town top speed 55 m.p.h. I have been, and everytime I did park, the hood would pop up slightly. Thank you again for all the advice. Being in pharmacy school, and dealing with finals as well as car issue’s that im having, mean’s a lot for all your individual inputs in order for me to solve my situation. Thank you!

I’m still not clear on exactly what you mean, but if you’re relying on only the safety latch to hold the hood, that’s very irresponsible. One bad bump could result in you killing the driver behind you when the hood flies off. Get it fixed.

Question. Is the tire that blew out the left front by any chance?

You already have a broken headlight; strike one
The hood latch won’t close securely; strike two

If you are driving during the daytime, and you don’t encounter any bad weather, you might get by on one headlight. If you travel in rainy / snowy weather, it’s dangerous and you may get a ticket for having a broken headlight. (Ususally you have a period of time to get it fixed and mail a copy of the receipt for repair. You don’t have to pay the fine if you do this.)

I know I’m going to get beat up for this advice, but I was a college student once and didn’t have any money for repairs. You can do this if you are either somewhat mechanically inclined or have a friend who is.

Go to Walmart and get some chain (about 6 feet) and 2 padlocks. Open the hood and run the chain through the latch under the hood; looks like an open metal square just under the front of the hood.

Close the hood while you feed the chain down in front of the radiator and on each side of any cross beam or other brace you can find so that you can put the padlock through the chain links to secure it.

This should get you home, running at 65-70, no more. Keep an eye on the hood while you drive. If it pops up to the safety latch, slow down and stop in a populated area (lots of people around), check the chain. If the padlock broke, put the second padlock on and consider buying another one. Go slower this time.

If you aren’t feeling lucky, buy a bus ticket instead, go home, beg for repair money. Maybe that’s the best thing to do anyway.

Good luck