Universal to all of the DIY projects we help you with here at FCP Euro, is the need to get under the hood. Much like opening the car door, opening the hood can be something we take for granted. It’ll always pop open, right? Not in our experience.
As we went to open the hood on our VW Mk7 GTI for a video, nothing happened. The plastic cup that the hood release cable sits in had broken, leaving the GTI with a hood that was stuck shut. Rather than hacking up your car to get the hood open, keep on reading as we show you how to get it open safely for both you and the car.
Volkswagen models and years applicable:
Tools required to open a stuck VW hood:
Parts used to fix a stuck VW hood:
How to open a stuck VW hood:
Option A: Reach through the wheel well
Reaching through the wheel well is the first method we tried. Jack the car up and remove the driver’s side wheel. Use a trim tool or flat blade screwdriver to remove the fender liner’s clips and then peel the liner back.
Pop the headlight bulb out of its socket, and you’ll have access to the hood release bracket.
Use any tool you can to pull the cup in the bracket towards the driver’s side of the car to release the hood. We used picks and pliers, but couldn’t make it happen. Maybe you’ll have better luck.
Option B: Pry bar and a prayer
This option isn’t for the faint of heart, as you run the risk of destroying the grill. Wrap the end of a pry bar in a rag and slip it between the hood and the grill. The objective is to remove the two bolts holding the hood latch striker to the hood.
Use a flex head ratcheting box wrench to slip between the hood and the grill to loosen the two 10mm striker bolts. Switch to an open-ended 10mm wrench as the first bolt gets very loose. Switching wrenches will prevent the box wrench from getting trapped between the bolt and the grill.
Remove the second bolt with only the box wrench as the hood’s pressure will keep the bolt head against the striker plate. Keep at it, and you’ll eventually see success!
The hood of your VW should now be free and open. Now's the time to inspect as to why your hood was stuck in the first place, and replace any parts like the hood release cable before it happens again.