How To Pop The Hood On A Chevy Colorado

For most car enthusiasts, opening their vehicle's hood is a straightforward process. However, some car owners may not have peeked at their engine bays until absolutely necessary. So, if you're wondering how to pop the hood on a Chevrolet Colorado, we've done the research for your convenience.

Like in most cars, opening the Chevy Colorado's hood is a two-step process. First, you need to pull the hood release lever located at the lower left side of the instrument cluster. Second, you'll need to go to the front of the truck to release the secondary latch while pulling the hood upward.

In recent models, a set of gas struts will automatically hold the hood in the open position. However, in older Colorados, you will need to use the manual hood prop to keep the hood open.

Would you like some help locating the primary and secondary hood latches in your Colorado? Do read on, because we've also prepared some tips for malfunctioning latches. Furthermore, we've added some helpful information for easy engine bay troubleshooting for your truck.

Motor trend truck of the year Chevy Colorado truck on display, How To Pop The Hood On A Chevy Colorado

How Do You Pop The Hood Of A Colorado?

For some vehicle owners, popping the hood is part of a regular car maintenance routine. However, for some people who rely completely on their dealership or their trusted mechanic for vehicle servicing, opening the hood is unnecessary until they sense that something's wrong with their engines.

One study of 20,000 British drivers reveals that half of the respondents don't know how to open their own cars' hoods. The same statistics may not be exact for the U.S., but we can infer that a significant portion of the car-driving population also lacks this important piece of knowledge.

So how do you open the hood of a Chevrolet Colorado? It's the same two-step process as with most other cars because most engine hoods have a primary and a secondary latch.

First, release the primary latch by pulling the hood release lever inside the cabin until you hear a metallic popping sound from the engine hood. This lever is at the lower left side of the driver's instrument cluster, just above the pedals. It has a symbol of a car with the hood open.

Next, go to the front of your vehicle and release the secondary hood latch while pulling the hood's front lip upwards. Newer Colorado models have gas-type strut bars that will automatically keep the hood up. Check out this video on how to open the strut-equipped hoods of recent Colorado models.

As we see in the video, the two gas-type struts make hood opening a bit easier than it is in older models like the 2010 Colorado. For older Colorados, you will need to use the metal prop rod to keep the hood up.

Here's a short video demonstrating the use of the hood's prop rod in many older cars.

Chevy Colorado Hood Won't Open

Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 truck on display

If you came across this article because your Colorado's hood appears to be stuck closed, then you've come to the right place.

When you can't pop the hood using the release lever in the vehicle cabin, you can work on the latch mechanism directly. Using a long flathead screwdriver or a slender prying tool, you can try to release the main latch from the front of the grill or the lower part of the front bumper.

Here's a short video on how to pop the hood from outside the vehicle, particularly if you can't hear a "click" when you pull the release lever from inside the cabin.

The hood's locking and release system have four main mechanical parts:

  1. Hood release lever (inside the vehicle cabin)
  2. Latch mechanism (primary and secondary latch near the hood's front lip)
  3. Hood release cable (running from the lever to the latch mechanism)
  4. Propping mechanism (hood struts or prop bar)

Oftentimes, the hood can get stuck closed due to a failing latch mechanism. This mechanism can fail over time due to the impact of closing the hood. Furthermore, the latch mechanism is exposed to the engine's heat, dirt, moisture, and extreme outside temperatures that can rust, warp, or freeze the moving parts.

How Do You Clean A Dirty Hood Latch?

Pickup trucks for sale at the Mountain Chevrolet dealership

Sometimes, you may hear a "click" when you pull the release lever but you don't see the hood popping up. When this happens, you may try asking a friend to pull the release lever while you tap the hood lip gently.

Your objective is to try to jar any dirt from the latch mechanism so it can release the hood properly.

If your latch mechanism seems to be getting stuck due to dirt or corrosion, then you might want to clean it with some parts cleaner and a small brush.

You may also want to spray on some penetrating lubricants and work the moving parts to help dislodge any build-ups that can prevent smooth latch movements.

Now that we've discussed the techniques on how to open the hood, let's touch on the common reasons why you would need to open it in the first place. These include:

  • Overheated engine
  • Drained battery
  • Adding engine coolant

What Do I Do If My Engine Overheated?

Car engine overheating

One of the most common reasons why car owners open their hoods is to let them cool down. You can see this in automotive workshops as well as in carwashes (before engine washing). However, when you see a car with its hood open on the side of the road, then it's often due to an overheated engine.

In most cases, you should follow the steps below when you notice that your engine is overheating while driving.

  1. Slow down and turn on your hazard lights.
  2. Turn off the cold air conditioning to lessen the stress on the engine. If you have a cabin heater, you can also use it to help draw away heat from the engine bay temporarily.
  3. Pull over to the side of the road slowly and safely, then turn off the engine.
  4. Let the engine cool down for at least 15 minutes. Don't open the hood yet because the engine bay temperatures may cause automotive fluids to spew out and cause injury.
  5. While waiting for your temperature gauge to drop down, set up a plan for your car emergency. You could call a friend or try to locate the nearest service station.
  6. Once the engine temperature goes down below normal operating level, you can try opening the hood. Open the hood slowly, and you may want to use a thick piece of cloth to protect your hands.
  7. Check your coolant level, and top up if necessary. Never open the radiator or the coolant reservoir if the engine is still hot.
  8. After adding coolant, try to restart the engine. If the engine starts, drive carefully to the nearest service station.
  9. If you can't start the engine, call for a towing service to help you get to a service station.

Should You Open The Hood If Your Engine Is On Fire?

Your vehicle can catch fire if you keep driving while the engine is already overheated. If this happens, you should never open the hood because the additional air supply will only feed the fire and make it grow bigger.

If the fire and smoke are still small and you are prepared to put it out with a fire extinguisher, then you should only release the primary latch. This will give you a little more space through which you can spray the fire extinguisher.

However, make sure first that your other passengers are out of the vehicle and at least 100 feet away.

How Long Do Car Batteries Last?

Mechanic checking car battery

Another common reason to open up the hood is a dead battery.

Although many car batteries typically last around four years, some people claim that theirs last for six years. Both estimates are acceptable because a battery's lifespan varies greatly depending on several factors.

  • Climate - Extremely hot or cold weather can reduce a battery's lifespan significantly.
  • Vibration - Frequent jarring can detach and damage the battery's plates as well as spill the battery fluid.
  • Depth of discharge - Allowing the battery to get deeply discharged frequently shortens its life span.
  • Accessories usage: headlamps, wipers, air conditioning, heating, infotainment systems, etc. all drain the battery and increase the battery's charge and discharge cycles. The more frequent the cycles, the shorter the lifespan.

Wrapping Up

A motor trend truck of the year Chevy Colorado truck on display

To open your Colorado's hood, you will need to release both the primary and the secondary latches. The primary latch release lever is at the lower left area of the driver's instrument cluster, while the secondary latch lever is behind the grill.

If you can't pop the primary latch from inside the cabin, you can try opening it directly from outside the truck.

Thank you very much for reading. We hope we were able to help you know more about how your Chevy Colorado, particularly its hood and engine bay area.

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