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Hood safety latch

My hood safety latch is binding. It won’t return to its closed position. A very good mechanic lubricated it and even heated it with a small torch, all to no avail.

A very good mechanic would have fixed it.

A hood latch is a pretty basic mechanical device unassociated with other systems and components other than the relase cable and its mounting. I’m bewildered as to why he was unable to remove and repair the latch mechanism.

He didn’t fix it only because we didn’t have the time that day for him to do it right. But I guess I am looking for a lubricant that will work on the little shaft that the safety latch pivots on. Would plain old penetrating oil work or would there be a reason not to use it?