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How To Open A Semi Truck Hood? (Solved For 6 Popular Brands)

The hood of a semi-truck serves the essential purpose of protecting the engine compartment and all its parts.

When your semi-truck needs to undergo a diagnosis, maintenance, or repair, you may need to open its hood to access the engine and all its parts quickly.

But the problem is that opening a semi-truck hood is more challenging than smaller vehicles such as cars.

This article will tackle how to open your semi-truck hood for some of the popular semi truck brands, and also discuss some problems you may encounter that will prevent the hood from opening.

Here’s a Short Summary of How to Open a Semi-Truck Hood:

To open a semi-truck hood, ensure you lift it from the side. Then, place your hand under the latch to lift it. Once it opens, the safety lock will automatically put it into place, preventing it from closing down while you do some inspections in the engine compartment.

Common Reasons Why Your Semi-Truck Hood Won’t Open

It can cause you a lot of hassle and delays if you get stuck opening the hood of your semi-truck, especially if you are in a hurry or the middle of the road and need to diagnose your semi-truck immediately.

There are three common reasons why it is hard to open the hood of your semi-truck. These are broken cable, broken lever or loose cable, and jammed hood.

Most people bring their vehicle to the repair shop when they experience difficulties opening the hood. Still, you can fix it yourself (or with assistance from someone else).

  • Broken Cable

For broken cable, you must assess if it is already too old. Over time, moisture starts to build up on the surface of the cable, making it rusty and fragile.

Once it breaks, it will be too difficult to fix. Thus, bringing it to a mechanic is the ideal solution to prevent further damage.

  • Broken Lever or Loose Cable

For broken levers or loose cables, you can handle them yourself with the use of pliers. You need to remove the panel on the hood release lever first to see the cables connecting to the lever. Get your pliers and pull the cable hard until the hood pops up.

Depending on the severity of the loosened cable, you may bring your semi-truck to a mechanic for further assistance.

  • Jammed Hood

For a jammed hood, it can happen if the hood is already too old and rusty. You can do the same procedure when fixing broken levers, but you may ask for help from someone to open up the hood while releasing the lever.

If it does not work, you may try to pull down the hood carefully. It will open immediately if it is just a jammed hood.

You may want to apply oil to the latch assembly to prevent difficulty opening the hood again.

How Do the Hood Cable and Latch Mechanism work?

The hood cable and the latch in a semi-truck work hand-in-hand to allow you a safe and easy way to open the hood.

You can pull the cable assembly from the under or the front grill of the semi-truck. It will then remove the cables or strands connected to the latch, thus releasing the latch mechanism.

Where is the Hood Release Latch on a Semi-Truck?

Knowing the location of the hood release latch on the semi-truck will help you open it quickly, especially on sudden vehicle check-ups.

You can find a semi-truck hood release latch between the wheel well and the bottom of the door. A latch holds it on each side to store it securely.

It would help if you placed your fingers under the latch to lift it to open it.

How to Open a Semi Truck Hood if the Cable or Latch is Damaged?

Sometimes, you may encounter a broken cable or latch on your semi-truck, making it harder to open the hood.

To open it:

  1. Get a flat screwdriver and head to the front grill.
  2. Look for the cable that goes right to the hood latch.
  3. With a screwdriver, stick it behind the latch until it pops.

It will open, and you can now lift the hood. 

How to Open Volvo Semi-Truck Hood?

Opening a semi-truck hood has slight differences based on its brand.

When it comes to Volvo semi-trucks, you can open them by pulling the hood release lever on the bottom of the steering column.

The lever will then unlock the two latches at the back of the hood and raise or open for at least two inches from its resting position.

You can open the hood from the front of the semi-truck or on the rear fender edge. Since the hood has a pneumatic tensioner, it will open smoothly and safely.

How to Open a Peterbilt Hood

Opening the Peterbilt semi-trucks will require you to locate and undo the hood latches first. You can find them by the fenders.

You need to place one or both of your hands on the hood while keeping your feet on the ground for stability. Slowly tilt the hood forward until the hood holds the open latch.

To close the hood, you only need to squeeze the latch until it snaps over the strut. Do the same when opening it and gently lower the hood to avoid damaging the cab.

Do not forget to close the hood latch back on the hook to ensure it will not suddenly open, especially when driving the semi-truck.

How to Open Kenworth Hood

Opening and closing the Kenworth hood is easy. It is pretty similar to how you open the Peterbilt hood.

First, you must undo the hood latches on both sides of your Kenworth semi-truck. To open the hood easily, place one or both of your hands on the front of the hood with your feet on the ground for stability.

It is the ideal position for you to lift the 35-pound hood.

Slowly tilt the hood forward until you are sure the hood holds the open latch fully engaged. Then, release the lever so the hood hold open is located near the front hinge of the hood.

To disengage it, squeeze the latch until it snaps over the strut. To close the hood, do the same as when closing the Peterbilt hood.

How to Open Freightliner Hood

Opening a Freightliner hood may be a bit more demanding than the previous semi-truck brands we have shared since you need more effort or energy to do it.

The steps are the same. You need to unlatch the hood from the side first, then pull it up from the front.

Once it opens, you will see the shock or the one responsible for opening and closing the hood of a Freightliner semi-truck.

You will also see a bump on the opposite side. Its purpose is to securely fit over the hood to prevent it from moving once closed. It also has a hook that holds the latch to lock the hood in place securely.

How to Open the Hood on a Mack Truck?

The Mack semi-trucks also have enormous hoods, making them more difficult for others to open.

Opening its hood is also similar to other brands. Once you locate its hood release, you can push the lever on the right side and lift the hood.

You can do the similar position mentioned previously for other brands to have better support and stability as you push the hood up.

How to Open the Hood on an International Truck?

Since the International semi-trucks are designed to help you conduct fluid checks regularly, they simplify the procedure of opening and closing the hood.

The steps are the same as the other popular truck brands. You can lift the hood as long as you locate the latch and release it from both sides. This goes as well when closing the hood.

How to Fix a Semi-truck Hood Locking Mechanism?

Misalignment is the main problem encountered with the locking mechanism of the semi-truck hood.

To fix it up, check for possible obstructions or damages on the moving parts, such as the latches.

Grease and rust may also prevent you from locking the hood securely. Remove all these and see if the hood will close quickly.

If the problem persists and you still cannot determine the exact cause, it is always an excellent solution to consult a repair shop and let them fix it.

Suitable Hood Release Cable and Latch Kits for your Semi Truck:

To further help you out with your semi-truck hood problem, here are the ideal hood release cable and latch kits you can use based on your vehicle’s brand.

For Volvo semi-trucks, the Dorman 924-5503 Hood Release Cable is a better replacement you can use for selected Volvo models.

It is durable, reliable, and a good value for your money, ensuring fit to your Volvo semi-truck.

For Peterbilt trucks and semi-trucks, you can use the Peterbilt Hood Latch Kit HLK1035K2 as an excellent replacement to solve the locking mechanism of the hood.

The Kenworth Hood Latch HLK1035 is also an ideal latch kit you can use for Kenworth semi-truck models, mainly for T300, T600, T800, and W900.

You can check out this item to ensure you get the suitable latch kit for your Freightliner semi-truck. You can guarantee a safety lock mechanism to the hood once again.

This hood latch kit is a suitable replacement for OEM #3QM214 and FLH4664 of your Mack semi-truck as it will fit and secure your hood well.

This hood latch kit is the ideal replacement for DuraStar, HC Series, LC Series, LoneStar, ProStar, Transtar 8500/8600, and WorkStar models.