Auto Owners for Safety’s Sake Know How to Lift Your Car or Truck’s Hood

Driving down the road or highway it seems the universal S.O.S distress symbol.  Either the car is not working, has some type of mechanical trouble , may of been involved in an auto collision or perhaps the truck , car , mini-van , SUV or other type of automobile driver simply needs assistance. In 2012, with the preponderance and universality of cell phones you would think that all roadside assistance needs would be in the process of being taken care of.  Yet that is not always the case. If it’s safe – either by area, time of day, road traffic it’s always wise and prudent to offer help.  Yet as an automobile owner, driver and operator are you familiar with the means and ways of opening vehicle hoods – both yours and others?


PHOTO CREDITS: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lanacar/243681255/

The Three Basic Types of Auto Hood Mechanical Setups:

Overall it can be simplified that there are three basic kinds of automobile hood setups.  Simply put these vary both in their location and the way they open.  It’s all fairly simple and routine – that is “once you know how”

Most Common & Popular Is A Type of Hood That Opens Up At the Front of Car or Truck & Has Two Latches:

The most common or popular type of mechanical hood arrangement is where the “bonnet” itself is located at the front end of your truck or car and is hinged near the windshield.  It all opens at the front and for safety sake has a set of two, not one catch (or catches).  After you release catch number one (the first and larger more robust one), your hood will rise perhaps no more than an inch.  What you think is wrong – why cannot I lift up the hood. It’s a safety mechanism – not unlike a safety chain on a towed trailer.  This second smaller “safeties catch” must be activated in order to raise up the hood fully.
Generally you place your hand under the partially raised hood and fish around feeling for a smaller lever to push back to release your hood fully. It may seem redundant , or even a means of confusing novice drivers and auto owners , yet that second “safety” catch is there for a good and wise reason overall.  It prevents a hood from being accidentally released and blown back into the windshield, blocking the driver’s view of the road and potentially causing a collision.

Second Type of Hood Opens Up Near The Windshield- It Has One Latch Not Two:

The second type of hood is where the hood is also at the front end of car having the hinges themselves also at the front end ( not near the driver’s compartment of windshield),  This type of hood opens upwards nearer the windshield and passenger compartment   , not at the front end of the car. It’s trendy but less common. You should know that it exists.  Generally though there is only one latch not two.  With the laws of inertia there is not a need for a safety catch.  Even if the car is travelling (forward) at a good clip and the hood accidentally releases, the “wind” will not catch the hood and lift it upwards blocking the driver’s view and being a safety hazard.  Hence only one lever to pull and the hood should erect fully.

Rear Engine Vehicles With a Motor Lid:

Lastly is the third type of hood associated with rear engine cars.  In some vehicles the engines were in the back of the car – not in the standard front of the car position. The most well known of this group were classic VW (Volkswagen) Beetles of the original classic range. Additional vehicles that you may encounter in your travels can include Chevrolet Corvairs of 1960’s vintages, VW buses and Westphalia campers, some Fiats and some oddball French Renaults.  This rear covering is not so much called a “hood” but rather a “motor lid”.  Interestingly enough VW Beetle owners, who formed a loyal “niche market “at their time did have what they called a “trunk”.  Yet it was under the front hood of the car, not at the back.  Lastly one small tidbit which can come in very handy knowledge if need be.  In the VW the “motor lid release” is not located in the interior compartment of the car by the driver’s controls but rather in the glove compartment.

It’s Wise for Auto Safety & Maintenance for Auto Owners & Drivers to be Familiar with All 3 Types of Car Hood Arrangements

: Now you should be familiar with the three basic type of automobile hoods and how to release them fully if need be.  This could be for vehicle maintenance or to call for help in a mechanical emergency or a collision.

Rod McGillivray

McGillivray is a “car & truck guy”  from way back – even before he got his first Province of Manitoba driver’s licence way back in the 1970′s.  Still you can spot McGillivray’s distinctive voice speaking with authority expounding his views on car & truck models and the automotive industry at any of the Canadian donut shops around the Waverly Car Truck Mall.  One of the biggest ongoing debates that MacGillvary & his Waverley buddies engage in is whether the local M.P.I. Manitoba Public Insurance “Autopac” monopoly is a good thing or not ?  Were you better served in the old days where provincial motorists could buy their insurance privately and you could go to an auto collision shop of your choice or not ?  Both sides of the auto insurance debate no doubt have merit .  You may agree or disagree but then everyone is entitled to their experience and views when it comes to personal choice on vehicle preferences and purchases

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