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VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old February 27th, 2011, 21:08   #1
s.pavel6
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Default Hood Latch Deflecting..

Hi Everyone,

Hoping someone has had this problem.. My hood latch is not latching. When I drop the hood down, the latch actually deflects towards the engine, and does not open to receive the hood bar. I have tried to bend the whole assembly forward, but doesn't really help.

Is there something I can do with this one, or how do I get it out to replace it?

Thanks!
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Old February 27th, 2011, 21:16   #2
Seatman
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It might be needing freed off, you could give it a good dose of releasing fluid like WD40 then get someone to work the release in the car while you work the other end with a screw driver. Make sure that the cable isn't holding the latch unlocked or that somehow the latch hasn't gotten locked by some bizzare accident.
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 14:14   #3
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It seems like it's moving fine, but I can try to see if I can get some more penetrant in there. Is there an easy way of taking the lock off to inspect?
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 09:08   #4
eb2143
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I have the same exact problem: Hood will not close, and inspection reveals that the hood latch deflects towards the engine quite a bit. I'm almost positive this is not a lubrication issue.

When I need to close the hood, I use a thin rope threaded into the latch that manually opens the hood latch to accept the bar. Once I've yanked the rope and done a little song and dance, the hood falls into place and can be pushed shut. I then pull the rope out and store it back in my trunk.

I think it's either a weak latch or alignment issue with the hood bar; my hood bar is noticeably crooked so I was leaning towards that. I've avoided digging into it, but I hope somebody has more information for us as I'd like to fix it eventually without having to troubleshoot it.

The car has mostly lived in central NH, so maybe we have found an problem endemic to the region!
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Last edited by eb2143; March 3rd, 2011 at 09:52.
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Old March 7th, 2011, 17:52   #5
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You could try loosening the bolts for the catch a bit, just enough for the catch to be able to move and no more then lower the hood down and see if it can latch, if it does then open the hood back up and tighten the bolts back up. Don't be scared to get stuck in, just take pics as you go and keep an eye on where everything goes.
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Old March 7th, 2011, 22:24   #6
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ok, so i recently went through a6hr ordeal with re-aligning a hoodlatch on my salvage beetle...it never shut quite right....heres what i did, so you can see whats not working, get a bolt thats about the same size as the hoodlatch and press it down in the lock and hopefully you can see whats wrong... in my case it was the top latch hook is attached to another piece that helps guide the hoodlatch in, it usually starts to bend away from the lock (there gets to be a large gap to work properly), you need to try bend it back as flush as posible (i stuck a screw driver in by where its rivited together then hammered towards the lock). also i found that the hoodlatch should be positioned to the far right of the gap, when you are closing the hood. wish i could post pics.... hope this helps
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Old March 8th, 2011, 14:17   #7
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I gave up and ordered a new latch. Attempting to bend it was not working for me. There is a few places that sell it and it doesn't take much to change.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 14:34   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coalminer16 View Post
I gave up and ordered a new latch. Attempting to bend it was not working for me. There is a few places that sell it and it doesn't take much to change.
Wondering if I should buy a new one, or hunt for an old one.. Was it pretty straight forward to r+r?
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Old April 25th, 2011, 08:19   #9
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UPDATE: Ended up going to the junkyard and pulling a "better looking" latch. Installed it, and what do you know, no difference. Hood still didn't latch. I then decided to check to see the level of the carrier, and of course, the whole lock carrier (rad. support) was sagging. I pulled upwards on it (with considerable force), and voila: the hood latches.

Sold the car, and just repaired the latch on my new-to-me 99.5 tdi with the "broken" one from the gasser. Everything works. I guess the latch wasn't the problem after all..
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 12:12   #10
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Thanks for the update Pavel!
My problems started soon after a front end collision and a AFTERMARKET radiator support was installed. So it looks like you found my problem too.

I haven't dug into things: do you recommend adjusting the latch height (possible?) or do I need to look into altering the level of the whole radiator support?
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Old May 4th, 2011, 04:29   #11
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I found that my latch was already at it's highest position. You might try adjusting, but there really isn't much room to adjust there. Loosen the two screws on either side of the latch, and the one right below it. If the tops of the "wings" of the latch are already poking above the plane of the carrier, I doubt you will have much further space to move.

I would try seeing if you can raise the whole carrier. My golf has something of the same problem (bumper sags because the whole front end was not put on properly, but I have not yet taken the time to remove the bumper and mess with the radiator support. It's not really noticeable, so I don't mind.

Good luck!
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Old April 12th, 2014, 18:38   #12
wdtony
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Default Hood Latch Problem FIXED

I wanted to add my experience here since I finally fixed mine. And seems like everywhere online a lot of people had a problem with this.

OK -


2000 VW beetle. Hood was difficult to close to begin with, had to slam it hard to close it all the way.

Hit some road debris so had to have the broken radiator and plastic holder replaced by mechanic.

Back from repairman, hood only closed correctly twice with very hard slams. Then the plastic piece broke from slamming so hard. After that I fashioned a metal piece from a wire hanger but couldn't get hood to close all the way. Bent the primary catch on the hood latch due to slamming. Bent it back but realized slamming was not an option.

Replaced the hood latch and plastic latch lever with new parts just to rule out faulty mechanism. Tried several adjustments but could not get hood to close. Tested both latch mechanisms out of the car and both functioned normally.

I reamed out the bottom of the bolt holes to raise the latch mechanism (on the latch mechanism) about 1/4 inch more. Still would not close. No more travel at the bolt holes or the secondary plastic lever would not function at such an angle.

Looked at hood alignment and realized the mechanic must have removed hood for the radiator job. I could tell the hood bolts had been moved and the alignment was off when the hood was put back on.

I loosened the 4 hood bolts, still wouldn't close while loose. I re-positioned the hood and held it in place while I tightened the bolts back down. I guessed where it should be by the marks near the bolt brackets and by eye-balling it.

Voila, the hood closed perfectly without much pressure at all. I was shocked.

I then moved the latch assembly down about 1/8th inch and took off 2 rubber bumpers from hood to see if misalignment was the only issue. Hood would not close. Latch height was also an issue.

I moved hood latch back to highest reamed position, put rubber bumpers at lowest position and the hood closed perfectly again. I then adjusted the bumpers until the hood wouldn't close and then backed them off a half turn.

Hood now closes easily and perfectly.

2 assumptions/fixes -

1, The hood alignment had been altered by mechanic and misaligned. This is important to hood latching. Hood bolts must be tightened down to properly close into the latch. Something to do with the curved shape of the hood I assume.

2, The height of the radiator assembly and chassis that holds the latch assembly seems susceptible to vertical misalignment (bending) due to repeated hood slams and or misalignment upon repairs. Fix by somehow raising chassis by force and/or reaming out bolt holes on latch mechanism.

Hope this helps someone.
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