How to Open the Hood of a Honda Civic from the Outside

How to Open the Hood of a Honda Civic from the Outside

At some point with your Honda Civic, you will need to pop the car’s hood either for routine checks or to fix other issues. It takes more than pulling the hood release to open your Civic’s hood fully. You will have to step out of the vehicle.

How can you get your Honda Civic to open from the outside?

To open the hood of your Civic from the outside, lift the hood release by the driver’s side first. Then, proceed to the front of your car and disengage the safety catch. You will have to slip your fingers under the hood and move the lever to the right to disengage the safety catch.

Opening a Civic’s hood is easy. In this article, I will walk you through the easy steps to get your hood to open from the outside. 

You also get to know how to handle a stuck hood in your Civic. And finally, I will provide answers to some frequently asked questions.

How do you open your Honda Civic’s hood from the outside?

Before popping the hood of your Civic, ensure you are parked in a secure location and on levelled ground. Afterwards, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Locate the hood release lever

The hood release lever is usually located at the lower left corner of the dashboard on the driver’s side. It is a plastic handle with a picture of an open car hood.

Check your owner’s manual if you still can’t find the hood release lever.

Step 2: Pull the hood release lever

Open the driver-side door and pull the hood release lever until the hood opens slightly. You should hear a click or pop when it slightly opens.

The hood release lever is connected to an insulated cable that runs to the front of your Civic. So, pulling the release lever disengages the hood latch and opens the hood partially.

Step 3: Disengage the hood’s safety catch from the outside

The safety catch, also popularly known as the hood latch, is a safety feature that keeps the hood shut and prevents accidental openings while in motion.

Opening a Honda Civic hood from the outside
Opening a Honda Civic hood from the outside.

With the hood partially open, walk to the front of the car to disengage the safety catch and fully open the hood. The safety catch is under the left centre of the hood. It is on the left of the big ‘H’ Honda logo.

Slide your fingers under the centre of the hood, move the lever to the right, and then lift the hood.

Step 4: Hold the hood in place

Your Civic has a support rod in the engine bay that holds the hood ajar during an inspection. Grab the support rod and insert it into the receptacle in the hood.

With the support rod holding the hood in place, you can easily access and inspect your engine.

Step 5: You did it!

Yes, you have now successfully opened the hood of your Civic from the outside!

To close your Civic’s hood, lift the hood just enough to remove the support rod, then replace the rod. Once you’ve done that, lower the hood until it is just a few inches (12 inches or 30cm) above the latch and let it slam.

Finally, double-check to confirm that the hood is shut correctly.

How can you open a stuck Honda Civic hood?

It is not uncommon for your Civic’s hood to get stuck and refuse to open. When faced with this challenge, you can use any of these methods to get it to open:

Method one: Use a tool

  • Park your Civic on a levelled ground and turn off the engine.
  • Pull the hood release lever under the driver’s side dash until the hood opens slightly.
  • Walk to the front of your car and try to locate the hood latch lever under the hood.
  • The hood latch lever is directly above the Honda emblem. You may need a flashlight to get a clearer vision of it.
  •  Stick a flat-head screwdriver or pry bar into the grille and push the hood latch lever to the right until the hood releases.

Method two: Get assistance

  • Place both palms on the hood and then press down on it with extra pressure.
  • Get a friend in the car to pull the hood release lever and hold it in position.
  •  Lift the car’s hood the same time your friend lifts the hood release lever.
  •  Repeat the steps at intervals while applying more pressure on the latch till it opens.

Handy Hint: I’ve also put together notes on how to open a stuck Civic trunk.

Why is your Honda Civic’s hood stuck?

There are several reasons your Civic hood becomes stuck and difficult to open. Some of them include:

1. Broken hood release lever

With use and, in some cases, improper handling, your hood release lever may wear out or become broken.

The hood release lever may be broken if it is sloppy or stiff when pulled. It is best to seek professional help to address this issue.

2.  Stuck hood latch

The latch that opens the hood of your Civic may not be responsive if it has been in an accident or has had something fall on it forcefully.

Lubricate the latch to unstick it. If lubricating the latch doesn’t work, consider replacing it.

3. Broken release cable

The cable that operates the release mechanism may break or snap. When pulled beyond its limit, it detaches itself from the release mechanism and snaps.

You will not be able to access your Civic’s hood if the cable is broken. Get it reinstalled or replaced if need be.

FAQs on opening a Honda Civic hood

Can you drive your Civic with a broken hood latch?

Although it is possible to drive your Civic with a broken hood latch, it is not advisable. You risk having the hood open while driving if the latch is faulty.

Having your hood pop up frequently while driving will obstruct your view of the road and may cause an accident.

How do you replace your Honda Civic’s hood latch?

You can replace your Civic’s hood latch at an auto shop with an expert or do it yourself.

To replace the latch yourself, grab a few tools, then follow these steps:

  • 1. Open and secure the hood with the support rod.
  • 2. Pop off the plastic clips mounted on the grille with a flat head screwdriver.
  • 3. Remove the four screws still holding the grille in place.
  • 4. To remove the hood latch, loosen the three bolts securing the hood latch to the frame.
  • 5. Disconnect the hood release clips and cable.
  • 6. Attach the release cable and spring to the new latch.
  • 7. Return all bolts, clips, and screws to the original position.
  • 8. Close the hood.
  • 9. Test the hood to verify that the latch and hood are engaged properly. 

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