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Old 05-31-2017, 12:39 PM
SoulAssassyn SoulAssassyn is offline
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How to open a stuck hood on a BMW F30 2013

I asked for help with this a few days ago and user jparnes1 was able to point me in the right direction. I had a hard time finding solid information about how to fix this issue so I figured I'd make a post explaining what I did to solve it for anyone else out there.

The Problem: Pulling on the hood release once opened the driver's side latch but pulling on it the second time failed to release the passenger side latch. After yanking harder, pushing on the hood itself, trying all manner of things, nothing worked. So, how do you open the hood when the passenger side latch won't release?

The Solution:

To start. Here's just a couple of reference photos to get an idea of what the engine bay looks like and where you'll be sticking your hands feeling around for cables in the dark. I'm a visual person and it's nice to be able to see what you're looking at when you can't open the hood yourself.

The green arrow is pointing to the latch that won't release.



Close up



Step 1 - Remove the passenger side front wheel well liner. You don't even have to take the wheel off. There are 10 screws that you have to remove with an 8mm socket wrench. The first two are easiest to access if you turn the steering wheel all the way to the left so the wheel is out of the way.



Once you remove both of those, jack the car up. I used a simple scissor jack. The reason for doing this is to give yourself a ton of room to work with. Here's a comparison of how much jacking the car up helps!



This is the liner removed and the 10 screw points circled in case you have trouble finding them all.



Step 2 - Once the wheel well liner is removed, you have an excellent view of the inside of the engine bay. I highlighted the Bowden cable in green (the one that releases the latch mechanism). If it isn't completely disconnected from the latch, pulling on that will finally release the latch and you'll be able to open your hood!



The issue was a plastic part of the cable broke and caused the cable to fall out of it's housing. On the left you can see how it was just laying out of place and not giving enough tension to release the latch when pulling on the handle in the car. On the right is how it should be positioned when working properly.

*A Note from user Slack00 if you find your cable still attached: "Also, for those that need to MANUALLY open their hood because there is a physical break closer to the handle side of the system: At the latch end, for GOOD cables that aren't broken and are still secured, it is important to note that you must UNHOOK the sheathed end of the cable from its metal perch (while keeping the metal cable/ball inside it's retaining block) and THEN pull on the cable to release the hood--if you pull on the whole cable (sheath and all, still hooked up) you'll risk breaking the clip and you'll need to replace it along with any other broken parts."





Replacing the Bowden Cable - I ordered one from my local dealer and it came out to be $40 with tax. Not terrible. Removing the old cable is easy. Installing the new one was a little tricky. I used a couple screw drivers and a couple needle nose pliers to assist in getting everything reattached. The way you go about doing it will be unique to your hand size and the tools you have, but I documented some key information to hopefully assist you in doing this. It's not hard, it just takes a little patience.

The cable is connected to the latch with a wire with a metal ball attached at the end. That ball can slide up a small track and pop out the side of the enclosure. Not hard to do, but definitely confusing if you can't get a good angle of what the thing looks like. The image below shows the cable in green and the ball circled in red. The side view shows the balls position in the enclosure and the red arrows point in the direction you need to push it in order to unhook it.



Unhook both the left and right side of the latch and follow both of the cables to the connector point on the edge of the hood on the driver's side. This image is of both of the cables unhooked and the small black connection point that connects the hood release cable from inside the car to the cables in the engine bay.



Next, pop open the little black cover and unhook the ball (circled in green) and the connection point of the other cable that leads into the cabin (also circled in green).



Once you have those unhooked you can firmly remove the black box from the metal frame of the car. Congratulations! You removed the broken cable! Now to install the new one mount the new black box, reconnect the interior cable and the ball, close the box and begin reconnecting the new cable to the two latch points. This is the part that'll take some patience as I found it to be much more tricky getting them installed than it was to remove them. But you now understand where and how all of it works so it'll just take a little bit of time.

One last thing to note. The newest revision of the Bowden Cable is meant to be routed differently to the passenger side latch than the old one. Here is an image of the difference. The one on the left is the old one (you can see the broken plastic on the end) and the new one is curved on the right.



What this means is that if you try to route it the same way as the old one, it won't work. When I bought the replacement cable, the BMW tech also gave me two pipe clips (Part # 17127609160). Those pipe clips install in the two green circled areas to secure the cable. The cable follows the green arrows, NOT the old placement, which are the red X's.



That's it! Enjoy being able to open your hood again! Hope this is helpful... or at the very least, can help you decide if you want to buy a $40 part and spend a couple hours listening to awesome music and getting your hands dirty or if you'd rather take it to the dealer and pay hundreds of dollars for time saved.

Cheers!

-Soul

Last edited by SoulAssassyn; 08-12-2017 at 12:54 PM. Reason: Adding Content/Formatting
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  #2  
Old 05-31-2017, 12:53 PM
viator092 viator092 is online now
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You lost me at "jack up the car". Back to the dealership.


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Old 05-31-2017, 12:58 PM
SoulAssassyn SoulAssassyn is offline
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Originally Posted by viator092 View Post
You lost me at "jack up the car". Back to the dealership.
Hahaha, fair enough. For me, the end result was a $30 part and maybe an hour of my time versus the dealership quoting me anywhere from $200-$500 depending on how long it took the tech to figure it out.
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Old 05-31-2017, 01:03 PM
wrickem wrickem is offline
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Thanks for posting this, it's good to know just in case. This sort of happened to me once but I was able to just push the "unlatched" side back down and start over to get it opened.
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Old 05-31-2017, 01:57 PM
southcoastguy southcoastguy is offline
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Thanks for the information.
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  #6  
Old 06-01-2017, 12:48 AM
SoulAssassyn SoulAssassyn is offline
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Updated with more pictures and added information on replacing a broken cable.
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Old 06-01-2017, 08:43 AM
jparnes1 jparnes1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoulAssassyn View Post
Updated with more pictures and added information on replacing a broken cable.


Nice write up. This should be a sticky somewhere


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Old 06-01-2017, 09:36 AM
181562 181562 is offline
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One of the best write ups I've ever seen on a forum. Especially liked how you colored the cable green in your photos to allow for easy differentiation from everything else.
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Old 06-01-2017, 10:58 AM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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This is a great writeup, thanks for sharing. The picture with the 10 bolts to remove wheel liner is very useful.
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  #10  
Old 06-05-2017, 01:42 PM
SoulAssassyn SoulAssassyn is offline
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Originally Posted by sunny5280 View Post
One of the best write ups I've ever seen on a forum.
Thanks a lot man... really hope it helps other's that have this issue.
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Old 06-05-2017, 04:11 PM
VCuomo VCuomo is offline
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I suspect that this is not that uncommon of a problem - I had it too with my 2012 335i. Dealer took care of it under warranty.

Great write-up, BTW!
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Old 07-03-2017, 10:20 PM
SoulAssassyn SoulAssassyn is offline
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Originally Posted by VCuomo View Post
I suspect that this is not that uncommon of a problem - I had it too with my 2012 335i. Dealer took care of it under warranty.

Great write-up, BTW!
Yeah, the replacement cable was designed differently, so it seems like BMW realized the issue and engineered a fix, which is nice to know.

My warranty had just run out unfortunately.
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:00 AM
Slack00 Slack00 is offline
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Just wanted to let you know...

...that this wonderful post helped solve this issue with my BMW this morning.

Oddly enough, the $100 Bentley manual I have makes NO MENTION of the hood latch or any hood opening features WHATSOEVER. What a waste. So, I was ready to take off the front bumper (!!!) to get to the hood latch. Thanks internet, for saving me from that fate!

Fortunately for me, no new parts were involved--a strong pull on my hood latch handle unsecured the cable from the other two at the joint inside the box. When I finally opened the hood, the box was open and I just had to press everything back down firmly into place. Even with everything back together, this F30 is one of the worst hood-latch systems I've ever encountered (half the time I have to re-press the hood down and make multiple attempts to open it...I suspect its the passenger side latch as other people have pointed out, but nothing seems to be broken and I'm not bothered enough to do anything more about it)

Thank you a LOT SoulAssasyn for the great writeup!

Another few tips:

1) Removing the wheel(s) helps with access to the fender well screws as well as the cable itself. If you don't mind spending extra time in exchange for a less frustrating experience, I'd recommend this step.

2) Also, for those that need to MANUALLY open their hood because there is a physical break closer to the handle side of the system: At the latch end, for GOOD cables that aren't broken and are still secured, it is important to note that you must UNHOOK the sheathed end of the cable from its metal perch (while keeping the metal cable/ball inside it's retaining block) and THEN pull on the cable to release the hood--if you pull on the whole cable (sheath and all, still hooked up) you'll risk breaking the clip and you'll need to replace it along with any other broken parts.
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  #14  
Old 08-12-2017, 12:52 PM
SoulAssassyn SoulAssassyn is offline
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Hey Slack00, thanks for the feedback! Great information in #2 for people whose cable clip things didn't break! I'll add it to the OP. Super glad the information was helpful for you.
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Old 08-12-2017, 12:57 PM
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Saintor Saintor is offline
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That's the kind of nonsense why BMW lost me.

Why does this happen? Bad design (again)

My E90 had the contrary; when closing the hood the hatches wouldn't maintain it locked. Of course a lack of lube is a contributing factor.
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Old 08-24-2017, 06:24 PM
Miner2380 Miner2380 is offline
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How do I get the cable out of the clip without breaking it?
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Old 09-08-2017, 04:25 PM
g530 g530 is offline
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Thank you! i will follow your clear instructions this weekend. Excellent write up!
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Old 09-08-2017, 05:01 PM
Matthew424 Matthew424 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoulAssassyn View Post
I asked for help with this a few days ago and user jparnes1 was able to point me in the right direction. I had a hard time finding solid information about how to fix this issue so I figured I'd make a post explaining what I did to solve it for anyone else out there.

The Problem: Pulling on the hood release once opened the driver's side latch but pulling on it the second time failed to release the passenger side latch. After yanking harder, pushing on the hood itself, trying all manner of things, nothing worked. So, how do you open the hood when the passenger side latch won't release?

The Solution:

To start. Here's just a couple of reference photos to get an idea of what the engine bay looks like and where you'll be sticking your hands feeling around for cables in the dark. I'm a visual person and it's nice to be able to see what you're looking at when you can't open the hood yourself.

The green arrow is pointing to the latch that won't release.



Close up



Step 1 - Remove the passenger side front wheel well liner. You don't even have to take the wheel off. There are 10 screws that you have to remove with an 8mm socket wrench. The first two are easiest to access if you turn the steering wheel all the way to the left so the wheel is out of the way.



Once you remove both of those, jack the car up. I used a simple scissor jack. The reason for doing this is to give yourself a ton of room to work with. Here's a comparison of how much jacking the car up helps!



This is the liner removed and the 10 screw points circled in case you have trouble finding them all.



Step 2 - Once the wheel well liner is removed, you have an excellent view of the inside of the engine bay. I highlighted the Bowden cable in green (the one that releases the latch mechanism). If it isn't completely disconnected from the latch, pulling on that will finally release the latch and you'll be able to open your hood!



The issue was a plastic part of the cable broke and caused the cable to fall out of it's housing. On the left you can see how it was just laying out of place and not giving enough tension to release the latch when pulling on the handle in the car. On the right is how it should be positioned when working properly.

*A Note from user Slack00 if you find your cable still attached: "Also, for those that need to MANUALLY open their hood because there is a physical break closer to the handle side of the system: At the latch end, for GOOD cables that aren't broken and are still secured, it is important to note that you must UNHOOK the sheathed end of the cable from its metal perch (while keeping the metal cable/ball inside it's retaining block) and THEN pull on the cable to release the hood--if you pull on the whole cable (sheath and all, still hooked up) you'll risk breaking the clip and you'll need to replace it along with any other broken parts."





Replacing the Bowden Cable - I ordered one from my local dealer and it came out to be $40 with tax. Not terrible. Removing the old cable is easy. Installing the new one was a little tricky. I used a couple screw drivers and a couple needle nose pliers to assist in getting everything reattached. The way you go about doing it will be unique to your hand size and the tools you have, but I documented some key information to hopefully assist you in doing this. It's not hard, it just takes a little patience.

The cable is connected to the latch with a wire with a metal ball attached at the end. That ball can slide up a small track and pop out the side of the enclosure. Not hard to do, but definitely confusing if you can't get a good angle of what the thing looks like. The image below shows the cable in green and the ball circled in red. The side view shows the balls position in the enclosure and the red arrows point in the direction you need to push it in order to unhook it.



Unhook both the left and right side of the latch and follow both of the cables to the connector point on the edge of the hood on the driver's side. This image is of both of the cables unhooked and the small black connection point that connects the hood release cable from inside the car to the cables in the engine bay.



Next, pop open the little black cover and unhook the ball (circled in green) and the connection point of the other cable that leads into the cabin (also circled in green).



Once you have those unhooked you can firmly remove the black box from the metal frame of the car. Congratulations! You removed the broken cable! Now to install the new one mount the new black box, reconnect the interior cable and the ball, close the box and begin reconnecting the new cable to the two latch points. This is the part that'll take some patience as I found it to be much more tricky getting them installed than it was to remove them. But you now understand where and how all of it works so it'll just take a little bit of time.

One last thing to note. The newest revision of the Bowden Cable is meant to be routed differently to the passenger side latch than the old one. Here is an image of the difference. The one on the left is the old one (you can see the broken plastic on the end) and the new one is curved on the right.



What this means is that if you try to route it the same way as the old one, it won't work. When I bought the replacement cable, the BMW tech also gave me two pipe clips (Part # 17127609160). Those pipe clips install in the two green circled areas to secure the cable. The cable follows the green arrows, NOT the old placement, which are the red X's.



That's it! Enjoy being able to open your hood again! Hope this is helpful... or at the very least, can help you decide if you want to buy a $40 part and spend a couple hours listening to awesome music and getting your hands dirty or if you'd rather take it to the dealer and pay hundreds of dollars for time saved.

Cheers!

-Soul
Very interesting post and tutorial. great pictures!!
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Old 09-08-2017, 06:04 PM
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Nice write-up, well done.
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  #20  
Old 11-03-2017, 12:27 PM
br4dc br4dc is offline
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I have had this problem for a while now, I call it a ?feature? at this point... for anyone who may see this, here?s an easier trick to try first. Pull the release to open the driver side. Then get someone else to continue pulling the release over and over, while you press down on the passenger side of the hood. Directly above the headlight, but not extremely hard. Like giving CPR. The hood should release.
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  #21  
Old 06-08-2018, 10:43 AM
bmwlearn bmwlearn is offline
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Great post @SoulAssassyn, this is the only post on internet for f30 stuck hood problem!
My 2012 328i is having this problem right now. The situation:
- The hood release lever does have tension and the hood does pop up on the first pull and then there is a click sound on the second pull as well. So I believe, the cable is working fine from the lever end.
- When somebody holds the lever on the second pull (or anytime after the first pull), then the hood does get released and I can open it just fine. So I think the latches are locking the U shaped hooks on the hood even after the second pull on the lever.
- I have checked the cables, they don't seem to be out of place or not have tension. I tried to pull the cables to see if the latches move, but they didn't move. Are the latches supposed to move if cables are pulled?
Do the latches need some lubrication? I can't seem to figure out the problem. Would really appreciate any help!
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Old 06-21-2019, 10:33 PM
pitzerwm pitzerwm is offline
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Great write up, thanks. I started a thread before I was led to this one: https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sh...od+open+sensor .

Just an FYI the cables #s that you used are for a convertible and a coupe, I'm not positive, but I think that you need 51237411315 frt. and 51237313782 sedan rear.

I have another issue, my hood open sensor which is "pinned" to the right inside of the driver's side latch is saying hood open. Apparently, the older ones were adjustable and separate. The plug is located on the "wall" behind the headlight about midway in front of the air cleaner. I disconnected it and it still says open. I tried shorting the pins in the "car" part of the plug, but it still says open.

Anyone happen to know what the computer is expecting from that sensor. One would think either closed (most likely) when the hood is closed, open when you open the hood. BTW the sensor is now part of the latch assembly.
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Old 06-22-2019, 02:23 PM
pitzerwm pitzerwm is offline
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Update: This AM nothing worked and thankfully, I had added the "pull wire" in the wheel well and that enabled me to open the passenger side and then I was able to get the driver's side open. I took apart the latch again to try and figure out what that sensor sent. Turns out that it is a microswitch so an open or closed contact. I shorted out the car side and that didn't change anything. In the process, I realized that the driver's side wasn't actually fully locked, so I finally saw that the screw that I had attached the "pull wire" to was too long and catching the mechanism preventing it from "locking". God, I hate being stupid. I put in a shorter screw and reconnected the sensor plug and everything worked right EXCEPT that the 2 stage release is a pain and you need 2 people to open the hood. At least I can get it open.

I'm thinking that there is a trick getting the hood "catches" and the hood stops adjusted just right.
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2013 328, 328, 328xi, bonnet, bowden cable attachment, hood broken, hood cable, hood doesn't open, hood issues latching, hood latch


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