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Hood Release Cable Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Hood Release Cable Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$250

Talent:

***

Tools:

Phillips & flathead screwdrivers, T25 Torx driver

Applicable Models:

 
BMW 525i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 528i xDrive Sedan (2009-10)
BMW 528i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 530i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 530xi Wagon (2006-07)
BMW 535i xDrive Sedan/Wagon (2009-10)
BMW 535i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 535xi Wagon (2008)
BMW 545i Sedan (2004-05)
BMW 550i Sedan (2006-10)
BMW 645Ci Coupe/Conv (2004-05)
BMW 650i Coupe/Conv (2006-10)
BMW M5 Sedan (2006-10)
BMW M6 Convertible (2007-10)
BMW M6 Coupe (2006-10)

Parts Required:

Hood release cables

Hot Tip:

Cables are two separate parts, so make sure to replace both

Performance Gain:

Repair faulty hood release cable

Complementary Modification:

Replace hood release latches

The hood release handle located in the interior of your BMW is used to open the engine hood. The handle is connected to the hood latches via steel cables. The steel cables are joined in the center and separate for easy servicing. Both cables are housed in plastic sheathing, however still prone to corrosion.

The hood release cables consist of two separate parts. One cable runs from the hood release handle to the cable junction under the hood. The other cables (serviced as one part) run to each hood latch. The cables that run to the hood latches tend to crack, allowing moisture to enter the cable. Once this happens, the cables' lifetime is greatly shortened. If your cables are sticking, your hood release handle won't return when you open your hood. It may be time to replace the cables. First check if the latches need to be cleaned and lubed. If the latches are in good shape, replace the cables.

Remember that your car may have been serviced before and had parts replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve, as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Working at the strut tower, remove the two Phillips head screws.
Figure 1

Working at the strut tower, remove the two Phillips head screws. Then remove the plastic expanding anchor by pulling them straight up (green arrows). Unclip the plastic cover (yellow arrow) and remove it from the strut tower.

Remove the strut tower plastic cover from the vehicle.
Figure 2

Remove the strut tower plastic cover from the vehicle.

Working at the left side of the front fender near the strut tower, open the hood release cable junction box (red arrow).
Figure 3

Working at the left side of the front fender near the strut tower, open the hood release cable junction box (red arrow). Remove the hood release cable (blue arrow) from the junction box (green arrow). Pull the cable end out of the front cable loop. Then pull the cable housing out of the junction.

Lever the cable junction off the fender.
Figure 4

Lever the cable junction off the fender.

Working at the top of the radiator support, remove the ten T30 Torx fasteners (green arrows).
Figure 5

Working at the top of the radiator support, remove the ten T30 Torx fasteners (green arrows).

Lift the radiator support in the direction of the green arrow to remove it.
Figure 6

Lift the radiator support in the direction of the green arrow to remove it.

Now it's time to remove the latches (red arrows) and cables (blue arrow).
Figure 7

Now it's time to remove the latches (red arrows) and cables (blue arrow). You have to remove them to detach the cables. Remove the two T25 Torx fasteners from the latch (green arrows). Then remove the latch from the radiator support. Detach the hood release cable end from the latch (yellow arrow). Slide the cable out of the latch. Then unhook the cable end from the latch release. This photo shows the left side. Repeat these steps for the right side. Remove the old cables from the radiator support. Install new cables to the latches. Then install the latches to the radiator support. Next we will replace the interior cable. Then join the new cables together.

Next we will replace the interior cable. Then join the new cables together.
First remove the left side foot well trim panel and the door entrance trim.
Figure 8

First remove the left side foot well trim panel and the door entrance trim. See our tech article for more information on these items. Then, remove the hood release handle. Remove the Phillips head screw (red arrow). Then pull the handle straight off.

Then remove the kick panel Phillips head screw (red arrow).
Figure 9

Then remove the kick panel Phillips head screw (red arrow).

Next, remove the kick panel by grabbing the bottom and pulling it straight off.
Figure 10

Next, remove the kick panel by grabbing the bottom and pulling it straight off. Then pull the kick panel away enough to access the trunk release button connector (red arrow). Pull the connector straight out of the button to remove it. Be sure to replace the trim clip (blue arrow) if it breaks. Mine stayed in the body of the subject vehicle when I removed the kick panel.

Working at the OBD connector, remove the two Philips head screws (red arrows).
Figure 11

Working at the OBD connector, remove the two Philips head screws (red arrows). Then detach the OBD connector and lay it aside. Next remove the two hood release lever Philips head screws (blue arrows).

Working at the hood release lever, pull the cable housing (inset) out of the mount.
Figure 12

Working at the hood release lever, pull the cable housing (inset) out of the mount. Then remove the cable end from the lever. The cable will be fed out through the firewall (red arrow) to remove it. Then back in from the outside.

Feed cable through the rubber grommet (red arrow) at the wiper cowl.
Figure 13

Feed cable through the rubber grommet (red arrow) at the wiper cowl.

When installing the new cable, you will have to fish it through the firewall.
Figure 14

When installing the new cable, you will have to fish it through the firewall. This can be a pain. I like to tie a string to the cable end. Then pull the old cable through the firewall (red arrow). The string should be long enough to remain inside the cabin. I always make it about six feet. This way I have enough of a safety net if I pull it too far. Tie the string to the new hood release cable end. Then pull it through the firewall. Install the new cable to the hood release lever. Then reassemble the hood release handle and kick panel. Connect the new cables together. Be sure that the nub on the end catches the loop of the latch cable. Then close and reattach the cable junction to the body. Check the operation of your hood release cables by closing the latches with a flathead screwdriver and releasing them with the handle. If all is well, install the radiator support and reassemble the interior.



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Comments and Suggestions:
2012Z4 Comments: Re: E60 hood latch fails to open - how to open hood without using the cable lever.
I just had this problem. Remove the wheel well for the left front wheel. Reach up with your fingers, fish around and find the hood 2 release cables running together. You can't see them. They will be forward of the shock/spring and lying on top a metal ledge. Once you find them, give them a good yank or two until the hood latch pops.
July 31, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for sharing your process and experience. These type of comments add so much to the Pelican tech community.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
tworock Comments: I have a 2007 E60 525i. Do you have technical instructions for opening the hood after the driver side latch fails to open. I need to replace one or all but not sure how to open hood when one fails or breaks. Only the passenger side hood latch opens and the driver side is locked. Help!

thnx,

Kind Regards,

Rick
April 26, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No, we do not.

You will need to work from below, with a long screwdriver to release it. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 02:40:38 AM