Opening the hood of a Ford F-150 is no different than opening most car hoods.
The latch is in an area most people are familiar with, and the process is the same most of the way.
The two steps to open the hood of a Ford F-150 from the outside are pulling the latch and pulling the lever. If the hood is stuck, you’ll have to troubleshoot the problem and try a few other strategies, like slapping the hood or letting the engine run for a while.
Sometimes physical force (e.g., slapping) is necessary to reposition the hood or remove an obstruction. If you’re in cold climates and the hood is frozen shut, running the engine helps defrost any ice.
Opening a Ford F-150 Hood From Outside
Park the Car
It’s good practice to open a car hood when the engine and other parts are cooled down.
However, you may run into trouble on the road and need to check under your hood ASAP. If this happens, don’t touch the engine or other hot areas under the hood for several minutes.
If you have a garage, get home and park your car for a few hours to let everything cool down before popping the hood.
Pull the Latch
If your F-150 is stopped and you’re confident nothing’s too hot to touch, you can open the hood by pulling the latch from inside the car.
You’ll find it in the bottom left of the driver’s side, next to where your left foot goes, and close to the door.
The latch also has the icon of a car with an open hood. If your model’s latch isn’t at the bottom left, look for something with the engraved icon and pull on it.
You’ll hear a pop sound indicating the hood is unlatched.
Pull the Lever
Once you’re at the front of your F-150, you’ll see that your hood is only partially released, but there is a gap between it and the bumper. (In some models, you might need to pull up the hood to expose this space.)
Even though your hood is unlatched, it won’t open all the way – when you pull on it, you will feel resistance. The next step to fully release the hood is to pull on the internal lever.
Put one or both hands inside the gap and feel for a metallic structure holding the hood in place. If your hood pops up high enough, you may also be able to see it.
To release the hood, pull the lever to the left.
Some models require you to push the lever or slide it in a different direction. You’ll have to feel around or refer to your owner’s manual to figure out the best maneuver.
Once your cover is open, it will either auto-lock in place, or you must look for the metal rod to prop it open.
The rod usually has hooks that fit in a hole in the hood and on the body of the F-150.
Ensure it’s secure before letting go.
How To Open an F-150 Hood With a Dead Battery
Regardless of whether your battery is dead or alive, you can open the hood of your F-150. Fortunately, the battery doesn’t impact opening your hood.
That said, if you’re used to unlocking your door with a fob, you might need to use the key to access the hood latch inside the vehicle.
If your key doesn’t work in the lock, you may need assistance to avoid damaging your F-150.
How To Open an F-150 Hood With a Failed Latch
Sometimes, your hood might fail to open due to latch problems – that is, you pull the latch inside the vehicle, but you don’t hear the pop, and nothing happens inside.
The issue probably lies with the cable connecting the latch to the cover.
This cable is visible when you tug on the latch, and you can also see it connect to your hood if you take a peek from your grille.
Unfortunately, fixing a latch cable usually requires a mechanic; however, you can open your F-150 hood in a few different ways if you’re in a hurry.
Simultaneously Engage the Hood and Latch
This first maneuver doesn’t require much technical ability, but you do need to get help from another person.
One of you should press down on the hood while the other fumbles with the latch. If the hood opens, the cable connecting the two elements might have been stretched or sticky.
A stretched cable doesn’t work in a normal position. Pressing down the hood reduces the tension and eases disengagement.
If the cable is sticky, pressing down the hood releases some of the adhesive holding the two together.
Once your F-150 hood is open, clean the cable before closing it.
Pull On the Cable
If the latch fails, the cable might still work.
From inside the car, access the cable near the latch and tug on it with little force. If the hood opens, the cable was likely stretched or had slipped.
Once you’re at the front of your F-150, reposition the cable or consider replacing it.
You can also try this while pressing down on the hood, as pulling the latch itself might not work.
If this process doesn’t work, your latch is likely busted, and you must resolve the issue from a different area.
Access the Cable From a Different Side
The cable connecting the F-150 hood and latch is visible when you look into the car’s grille. Depending on the model, you might need a flashlight to see it.
Look for a cable that stems from the hood and runs to the driver’s side of the car.
If you see it, confirm that it’s attached to the hood. Try reaching in and pulling it to open the cover.
If the space between the hood and the car is too small, try the following:
Use a Long, Thin Tool
Find a screwdriver long enough to reach the cable from the outside and thin enough to fit inside the car grille.
Stick it inside and extend it to where the cable connects to the hood. Pop it, and your hood should be partially open.
Pull the lever to complete the process.
If the screwdriver doesn’t fit inside the grille, take it off or use a wire coat hanger.
Remember that this procedure only works if the cable is still attached to the hood. You’ll need to take the car to the mechanic if it isn’t.
Get Under the Hood
If you don’t want to remove the grille or don’t have a wire coat hanger or other thin metallic materials, your last hope is to reach the cable from under the hood.
First, ensure that the engine is completely cool to avoid any injuries.
Second, raise your F-150 for easy access to the hood.
Third, grab a pair of pliers and reach the cable from underneath.
You’ll likely access it from this position, and when you do, pop it to open the hood.
If these steps don’t work or you aren’t confident with what you’re doing, you may have to take your car to the mechanic.
Opening the F-150 hood involves only two steps – pulling the latch inside the car and releasing the lever under the hood.
Still, you might find yourself in a situation where your latch doesn’t work, so you’ll need a few more tricks up your sleeve if you need access.
You may be able to manually pull the cable from the latch to the hood if you can easily see it and grab it with your fingers.
If not, you can try the screwdriver trick, but don’t risk damaging your bumper or worsening the cable problem if you’re unsure what you’re doing.
Lastly, you can access the cable from underneath, but you’ll need to raise the vehicle to get under it.
If all else fails, you’ll have to take your truck to the shop and have a professional take a look.
Table of Contents
- Opening a Ford F-150 Hood From Outside
- How To Open an F-150 Hood With a Dead Battery
- How To Open an F-150 Hood With a Failed Latch