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2003 Subaru Forester XS
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I bought my '03 XS from a guy who used to live in Massachusetts. So yeah, it's got a wee bit of rust on the boots in places. Anyways, anytime I pop my hood to do stuff in the engine bay, I've always felt the usual resistance and pop with my hood latch thing on the interior of the car. But this time when I went to go pop the hood to put oil in for an oil change, the pop may have been slightly more dramatic. The hood won't close at all and can only be held by the safety latch. And I'm not feeling any resistance when I pull the lever to pop the hood (but that could just be because the hoods not closed.)

Am I right in guessing that the cable snapped somewhere along the way? I haven't dived too much into, but I just wanna see if anyone else has had cable snapping issues and if this sounds like it.
 

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2016 & 2018 2.5i Premium CVT
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There are 2 metal parts that slide across each other and can get rusted together over time. This happened to my 2003 after a few years in New Hampshire. They are accessible through the opening at the top. A squirt of PB Blaster every year kept them clear.
 

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2004 FXT 4EAT
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1,268 Posts
I had the same problem with my 2004. I ended up removing the latch mechanism and figured out that the parts that bbottemley is talking about would no longer pivot.

Ended up lubricating the crap out of it and moved the pieces back an forth a LOT to ensure free movement for the foreseeable future...

Good luck!
 

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2003 Subaru Forester XS
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7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sounds more like the cable/latch is stuck “open”... if the cable snapped the hood should still fully close. Someone will correct me if I am wrong.
Its definitely stuck in an open position.i don't get that sound or click you get when close you hood. After it hits the hook, and you push it down after that. The spring pops it right back up after you let it go.

There are 2 metal parts that slide across each other and can get rusted together over time. This happened to my 2003 after a few years in New Hampshire. They are accessible through the opening at the top. A squirt of PB Blaster every year kept them clear.
These two parts are free from each other. I checked these out and played with the mechanism some to make sure everything was moving properly. I even soaked it in some silicone lubricant like other threads said before making this post and worked it around really good. Didn't seem to make a difference.

I had the same problem with my 2004. I ended up removing the latch mechanism and figured out that the parts that bbottemley is talking about would no longer pivot.

Ended up lubricating the crap out of it and moved the pieces back an forth a LOT to ensure free movement for the foreseeable future...

Good luck!
Are they supposed to pivot in unison with each other, and can they move seperately without the other one moving? Because I have a feeling that a piece of metal may have broken off on the mechanism somewhere from some rust. I feel like there is a piece missing, and this is what's keeping it from staying latched down. Because I have gone through all of the other threads and tried various things and it seems that my only option is to buy a new hood latch at this point (which I don't mind doing :cool:) even if it's just to compare and to get rid of a part that's got rust on it and to match up with my new cable.
 

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2003 Forester 2.5X 5MT & 2008 Impreza WRX 5MT & 2009 Impreza 2.5i 5MT
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277 Posts
Yeah I have the same problem I use wd40 or supertech lubricant from walmart. Lower the hood slowly and you will see where the loop on the underside of the hood meets the latching mechanism. Lubricate the latching mechanism and also if you look really close you will see a tightly coiled spring. Lubricate the spring really well. That's what I always do and it works for me. Good Luck.
 

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They move separately. I can’t recall whether one remains stationary or just moves differently. I fixed it long ago, and then a squirt or two simply became part of my spring cleaning thereafter. So I’m weak on the details.
 

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2004 FXT 4EAT
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Yeah, it's been a while since I've done mine as well.

I do recall that it's the part that the cable is hooked into. It pulls the lever to the right (when viewing it from the front of the vehicle) and then gets stuck there. You can force it back and your hood will latch again, but you will have the same problem again next time. I used WD40 to git things moving again. But WD40 dries up after a while and you're back to square one. So, once I got everything moving properly, I squirted a healthy dose of white lithium grease over the whole mechanism.

If you're careful, you can remove the grille fairly easily. DON'T BRAKE THE TABS.
Once the grille is removed, you can remove the bolts that hold the mechanism to the body.
 

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2003 Subaru Forester XS
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7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So I didn't wanna leave this post unanswered. I had a few things go wrong at once with the hood latch (because that's my luck). Part of the latch that retains the larger spring in place, broke. Then the smaller spring on the latch just broke, most likely from rust also. Then, the part of the latch that holds the little nipple on the end of the cable ALSO broke 😂 so yeah, my latch was just giving up on life lol
 
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