Hood Mis-aligned, but only on right driver's side


#1

I have a 2011 Nissan and the hood has a 1/2 inch + gap one side but not the other. Vehicle still looks brand new, though it’s a former Hertz rental.

  1. Read somewhere that the rubber stoppers on the hood could not be balanced and need adjustment.
  2. Could the part just not be manufactured correctly?

Dealer suggested the vehicle may have been repaired but he could not tell. Hood lines are all aligned except for -this one area. Not on Carfax, as a repair.
If this is a “fleet” car, could their specs just be not as exacting as for consumers.

Will look again under the hood; maybe I will get some hints on the problem. I am aware that adjusting one side could harm the other.


#2

If the hood is perfect on one side but not the other…
I think it’s a fender issue.

The rubber stoppers would make the up/down askew but not a side to side .


#3

You could always use the method used on the GM assembly line in the 1970s & 80s when they spotted a mis-aligned hood. They would simply put a hammer handle in the opening and then slam the hood a few times until it was bent sufficiently to conform to the fender line. (Yes, I witnessed this on more than one occasion as I accompanied students on a tour of GM’s factory in Linden, NJ)

Seriously, however, it is very possible that simply raising or lowering one or both of the rubber stoppers will resolve the problem. If that does not do the trick, I would suggest a visit to a body shop for a more expert opinion.


#4

Thank you Ken Green.
Fender has one of those super fancy modern headlights that fit in there, which seems to be OK.
Adjusting the fender is out of the question. Other folks have this issue with Altima and Versa, as I have “googled” it. The dealer, as expected, said he never heard the issue before.

Happy New Year all


#5

Having done a few hoods and fenders, I would agree with Ken that its probably a fender issue. Why would that be out of the question? Its only a few bolts and it can be re-aligned. Either that or the whole hood needs to be shifted over to increase the gap on the left to equal the right, but then you have a latch adjustment problem. Yep, the bumpers just do the up or down. You can see if an after-market or new hood was put on but looking for the bar code tags on the fenders and hood. The number should match the VIN. If not, its been replaced.


#6

@VDCdriver…My dad owned a Dodge Aspen back in the early 80’s and had a trunk alignment issue. I took it in for him and watched as 2 “technicians” aligned the trunk with a 6 foot metal rod. I don’t think the hinges had bolts…just welds. I questioned them about the procedure and they showed me the Dodge repair manual with step by step procedures for using the bar. I hope things have changed.


#7

If you are speaking of gap between hood/fender I would suspect prior damage as 1/2 inch is large.
if you are talking vertical gap then that seems it could be adjusted. try turning the rubber bumpers.

I am sure the method VDCDRIVER described was used all across the industry and as long as other parts are not damaged it is an acceptable repair. Even from a factory nothing will be perfect no matter what the product.


#8

Take it to an expert: a body shop deals with panel alignment problems all the time. They will also be able to quickly determine if any repairs have been done.

And no, I’ve never heard of fleet cars being built to looser standards.


#9

I suspect this car had a fender damaged and repaired or replaced. I once nearly bough a Ford Escort that had an unusual gap in the hood. I researched and found it was a wreck, written off and later bought by a body shop.


#10

Like I said, easy to tell if the hood or fender has been replaced. Just check the paper bar code label on each to see if it matches the VIN. They have had these tags for at least 20 years to help with chop shop theft issues.