How to Open the Hood With a Broken Hood Release Cable

When you pull the hood release lever in your vehicle, you are pulling on a cable, just like the brake or shift cables on a bicycle.  When the vehicle gets older, and you are under the hood every week to add oil, the cable will eventually wear out and break.  So how do you get the hood open without the cable?  My experience was with a 1991 Chevrolet S10 Blazer, but the technique I used may be applicable to other vehicles.

The only tools required are a set of pliers, a good work light, and some heavy aluminum wire.  The aluminum wire is about twice the thickness of spaghetti, and the stuff I used was 8 gage aluminum ground wire from Radio Shack.  The advantage of aluminum is that it is soft enough to work like a string, but stiff enough to create a hook.  It also is easily workable with your fingers.  If you don’t have that, a coat hanger may do.

Set the work light down low so that it shines up through the grill at your latch.  In the case of my Blazer, all I could see was the metal casing for the latch.  No portion of the mechanism was visible.  Here is where a mental picture becomes important.  The cable provides a pulling action.  You must hook your aluminum wire close to where the cable connects to the mechanism, and then pull in a direction as close to that of the cable as possible.  If you don’t know what the mechanism looks like, try and find a picture, or find a similar vehicle and examine its mechanism.

In the case of the Blazer, the business end of the cable connects near the front-center part of the case that encloses the mechanism.  Make a hook by bending the last 1/4 inch of the wire at a 90 degree angle with the pliers.  The aluminum wire can be bent very easily with your bare hands into as many compound angles as needed to make a tool that will reach the end of the mechanism.

It took me about 10 minutes and about four tries pulling to finally hook the mechanism.  When you think that you have it, apply some downward pressure to the top of the hood.  This will compress the latch spring, and hopefully take some pressure off of the mechanism so that it opens easily.  Then, pull steadily on your wire.  If you have hooked the mechanism, you will feel it give as the latch operates, and then you can stop pushing down on the hood, and try to lift it up.

Once you get it open, you can replace the latch cable.  This can be expensive and time consuming, so if you don’t care about how it looks, you can run the aluminum wire out through the grill as a new hood release.  In my Blazer, I ran a double length, and then bent it in half at the loop on the mechanism, so I have a double-strength pull.  The softness of the aluminum is what allows this to work.

Finally, be sure to grease your latch mechanism well, and also the spring latch on the hood, so that the latch will open as easily as possible.  The hood may have rubber leveling feet at each of its corners.  If you let these out too far, it will make for a nice, stable hood, but it will put too much pressure on the latch, making it difficult to open, and leading to premature cable failure.


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Okay here is the description for this wiring harness:
This interface will allow you to replace your radio in your 00+ GM vehicle with the class 2 data system.

GM Compatibility by either Class II or LAN Vehicle Applications:
Buick – Century 04-05, Rainier 04-06, Rendezvous 02-05, Terraza 05-up, Lucerne 2007
Cadillac – Escalade/ESV/EXT 2003-2007
Chevrolet – Avalanche 03-07, Blazer S-10 2003, Cavalier 00-05, Colorado 04-07, Express 03-07, Impala 00-07, Malibu 01-03, Monte Carlo 00-05, Silverado 1500/3500 03-06, Silverado 2007, Suburban 03-06, Tahoe 03-07, Trailblazer LS/LTZ 02-06, Venture 00-05
GMC – Canyon 04-07, Envoy SLT 03-06, Savana 03-07, Sonoma 03-04, Sierra 03-07, Yukon/Yukon XL/Denali 03-07
Hummer – H2 2003-06
Isuzu – Ascender 2003-06
Oldsmobile – Alero 2001-03, Bravada 2002-04, Silouette 2000-04
Pontiac – Aztec 2001-05, Grand Am 2001-05

Note: Not compatible with OnStar Systems or for use on Premium Bose Sound Systems

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My question is in regard to the "Note" at the end of the description. I have a 2003 Tahoe Z71 with the Premium Bose system, why would this NOT be compatible? I’m looking to replace the stock in-dash unit with the Pioneer AVIC-F700BT and need to keep all the chimes and everything working, so I would need this wiring harness, but what’s the deal with the Bose system? Why would it not be compatible? Is there any alternative harness that WILL work? Thanks!

The Bose has a separate amplifier, with a different harness.
The compatibility issue has to do with the LAN communications. There are a certain number of modules programmed into the BCM memory, and when the LAN is powered up, it looks for the correct amount of modules. If one is missing, it sets a code and can disable other functions.
At the dealership where I work, I have seen the original radio pushed back inside the dash panel, still connected to the harness, and an aftermarket one in the space for the radio,which is then wired up separate from the OEM harness.This allows the chime and all other original functions to operate, but still be able to have the super powerful system in place. Just an observation and a suggestion.

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