The hood hinge is probably one of the most easily forgotten parts of your car. But without a fully functioning hinge, the simple task of opening your car's hood becomes a headache. This is why it's important to regularly inspect this part for signs of damage such as misaligned or worn-out hinge bushings or pins, malfunctioning hydraulic supports or springs, obviously bent hinge arms, and severely corroded parts. If you see any of these signs, it's time to replace the hood hinge. Here's how:
What you need:
- Someone to assist you
Step 1: Pop the hood.
Open the hood and make sure it's properly and securely propped up. Then disconnect parts that may get in the way as you remove the hinge such as electrical connectors and wires, insulators, windshield washer hoses, and support rods. Before removing the hinge, mark its exact position along the hood body side.
Step 2: Unbolt the hood.
Your car's hood is most likely bolted to the hinge, so you just need a socket and wrench to remove it. It's best to have someone hold the hood while you're doing this to make sure the hood won't fall on you. Once you've unbolted the hood from the hinge, store it properly to avoid nicking or scratching it. Be careful when you and your assistant are lifting off the hood to prevent damaging the windshield and other nearby components.
Step 3: Remove the old hood hinge.
Once the hood is removed, unbolt the hinge using the socket and wrench. Remove any shims while taking note of their exact positions.
Step 4: Attach the new hinge.
Position the new hood hinge in place and install the fasteners, but don't tighten it down yet.
Step 5: Reinstall the hood.
Place the hood in position and attach the fasteners that hold the hood to the hinge. But don't tighten the fasteners yet. Then reinstall the shims (if any).
Step 6: Check the alignment between the hood, hinge, and your vehicle.
Carefully lower the hood, making sure that it doesn't come in contact with the fenders or cowl. To make things easier, you can remove the latch when checking for alignment. Adjust the hood as needed. Don't forget to adjust the hinge height with the help of the adjustable stops. Once everything is properly aligned, pop the hood and attach the support rods. Then tighten all the fasteners, following the torque specifications of the manufacturer. Close the hood again and double-check the alignment. Then reattach the latch. To test if the hood properly latches on to your vehicle, slowly lower the hood and check if the striker fits into the latch assembly without pushing the car hood out of alignment. If it doesn't fit right, adjust the striker or latch accordingly. Make sure to also check the alignment of the safety stops.
Step 7: Reinstall other parts you've removed.
Reattach the connectors, hoses, insulators, and other components you've removed to easily access the hinge.
To keep the new hood hinge in top shape, lubricate it every now and then.