Hood Latch Problems?

Had a small fender bender the other day, my fault but sh*t happens. Only noticeable damage is my hood doesn’t close properly now. Still latches and doesn’t seem to pop open, but it’s stuck in the position that it would be in after releasing it (after pulling the hood release under the steering wheel). Not sure what’s broken so any info would help along with how much I can expect to spend to repair it. My car is a 2004 Ford Taurus SE.

It depends on what’s wrong. The only way to find out is to remove the mechanism and see if you can figure out why it’s stuck. Perhaps a part of the mechanism is simply pinched between two bent pieces and a bit of muscle will fix it. Can’t tell from here.

Most hood latches are to the right or to the left. Take a good look at the alignment and determine what was misaligned during the “fender bender.” It sounds harder than it really is so just take your time and you will see the problem. If you can’t then take the Taurus to a good body shop and they can fix it or show you how to fix the hood latch. Bear in mind that when you get the damaged fender fixed…the latch will probably need aligned again. Good luck.

Keep in mind that one good jolt could cause the hood to fly open and possibly tear off the car while you’re driving. If this were my car, I wouldn’t be driving anywhere other than the body shop or mechanic at low speed.

This could indicate other damage, and possible alignment problems. I’d get the front end checked and aligned.

It sounds like the primary latch is not engaging (and the advice from other posters above is excellent). The hood is now being held in place by the secondary latch. If this secondary latch fails then there is nothing that will stop the hood from flying up towards the windshield. This is very scary, damaging, and (depending on where and when it happens) possibly very dangerous. I highly recommend that you get the primary latch repaired ASAP and, in the interim, tie the hood down with some rope to prevent the hood from flying up unexpectedly.

Attach pictures.

The latch is mounted to the radiator support. On a Taurus the latch is mounted in the center of this support. If the latch is not aligned properly the radiator support is damaged and out of position or the hood is buckled. If the hood is buckled the striker is out of position.
If the hood will not latch the vehicle cannot be driven safely.
Park it and repair.

Gotta agree. The hood latch is nothing to fool with. Sounds like you’ve got some bent parts that need to be repaired or replaced by someone that knows what they are doing. A hood flying open on the highway can ruin your day.