how can i open the hood of my 1986 nissan sentra, latch isnt working

Asked by Jul 06, 2013 at 10:40 AM about the 1986 Nissan Sentra

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

latch for hood not working and the cable is loose in the front

20 Answers


Trying to open a hood with a broken cable is a big PAIN, Black Mistress- some of us love pain but I would advise that this is a simple and inexpensive job for a pro with a lift- unless you can find one of your slaves who is willing to do the job- or one of the Gurus here will succumb to your demands

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

need a mechanic's prybar to push it open, then replace the cable: you'll find them on ebay~

113,285 -- this for a Saturn but should work for you too

you're talkin' about a fishing expedition, I'm talkin' about beefin' the thing open with a 1/2 square chisel point bar 30" long~....enough strength to push on the lever at a great distance...would not trust a piece of wire for this operation~...just one roy's opinion~

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

If going to use a chisel point bar 30" long you might as well just break out the cutting torch and cut the hood off the car--in my opinion--


You see, Black Mistress, you have the Gurus debating which tools will probe, poke, penetrate and even CUT better- cars prove it- pleasure IS pain

NO. dandyoun---it's a mechanic's prybar and was my favorite tool at the garage...used it for everything~ this would involve the space between the radiator and engine...would provide the 'twisting' force needed to "jimmy" the latch open...once open a person could undo the safety latch and set up the prop rod~...just a thought....have done these....not this exact model, but something heartier then a piece of wire is what I'm thinkin'....that is all~

okay maybe the grille-work and radiator...we'd zero in on it and was never any good at the game "barrel 0 monkeys"...that is why to craft a special s- hook out of a coat hanger may work okay, but takes a minute to conjure up~ judge out~


I understand what you are saying judge. But just the thought of the look on BlackMistress s face when she sees you coming at her hood with a pry bar that is almost three feet long is just way to funny. Lmao.

could "tool up" for the job, then would have that tool then~....quite'll find~

$18.99 isn't that much money and if it ever happened again this way, you'd be could hit it over the guy's head (the intruder) and keep it near the door....Your black and white photo is the only hint of blackness I'm seein' there....jeez, don't let your monkey out of the barrel already~~:|


I have one just would be afraid of damaging the grill or taking paint off of the hood opening. But I am sure it could be done without doing either just probably not something I would try.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

you got a point there dandyoun, yes...a wooden dowel could get it's teeth into spring loaded (unless the inactive pull portion is blockin') so a little twisting motion with a perhaps 28" dowel should do the job~ looksee what might be needed here~

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

assuming there's a straight shot to the know dandy-0 you are probably right....fiddlesticks~

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

And so it was, that the Mistress of the Night was able to confound men's minds, so that they would use strange and twisted tools on themselves

1 of 1 people found this helpful.


1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Clamp onto the broken end of the cable that goes to the latch with a pair of vice grips. Then PULL as hard as you can. The hard part is gonna be getting to the broken end of the cable. You may have to fish through the grille or climb underneath the vehicle to reach it. Good luck!! HTH. -Jim

jamnblues, would you stop trying to turn up the heat...try for that business please~ not on our CARGURU site...nuh -uh don't belong HERE~

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Hedy Lamarr can still "turn up the heat"!?!

Black Mistress look between the hood and grill at latch you will see a hump on the latch at the lower part of the latch just behind the safety latch, there two horizontal holes about 3/32" wide and 3/16" long insert ice pick or other strong pick similar into the hole on the right side facing latch push in on the release lever real hard and shove to right this should release latch if it don't try to get pick into the hole as far to the left side of right hole as possible and pas release latch then push to the right. If this don't work you will have to unbolt the hood latch which difficult to do. before starting this proses find a care like yours and get a good look at the latch and how the release lever works. Hope this works for you

Your Answer


Looking for a Used Sentra in your area?

CarGurus has 49,601 nationwide Sentra listings starting at $2,000.


Nissan Sentra Experts

  • #1
  • #2
    Doran Harney
  • #3
    Tom Demyan
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Toyota Corolla
899 Great Deals out of 65,121 listings starting at $1,000
Used Honda Civic
795 Great Deals out of 76,594 listings starting at $888
Used Toyota Camry
1,056 Great Deals out of 70,872 listings starting at $750
Used Honda Accord
1,034 Great Deals out of 61,333 listings starting at $999
Used Nissan Maxima
351 Great Deals out of 23,418 listings starting at $1,550
Used Volkswagen Jetta
515 Great Deals out of 41,488 listings starting at $1,000

Used Cars For Sale

2017 Nissan Sentra For Sale
23 Great Deals out of 33,638 listings starting at $11,749
2016 Nissan Sentra For Sale
85 Great Deals out of 2,733 listings starting at $9,300
2015 Nissan Sentra For Sale
97 Great Deals out of 3,257 listings starting at $6,877
2014 Nissan Sentra For Sale
184 Great Deals out of 3,958 listings starting at $5,890
2013 Nissan Sentra For Sale
61 Great Deals out of 1,679 listings starting at $4,995

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.