Under the hood of most cars, trucks, vans and even tractors is a latch. Known as a hood latch, it temporarily holds the hood down. Hood latches are connected to a handle. When you pull or engage the handle, the hood latch will release. For a better understanding of hood latches, keep reading.
What Are Hood Latches?
Hood latches are mechanical latching systems for hoods. Most vehicles, of course, have a hood. Hoods are square- or rectangular-shaped panels that lie flat across the front-end of a vehicle. They are designed to cover equipment like the vehicle’s motor, transmission, radiator, alternator, battery and other components. If you need to access any of these components, though, you’ll have to open the hood.
You can open the hood on a vehicle by engaging the hood latch. Hood latches typically connect to a cable. Engaging the hood latch will release this cable, after which you can lift the hood.
How to Choose Hood Latches
There are different types of hood latches. One of the most popular styles is barrel. As shown in the photo above, barrel-style hood latches feature an ergonomic handle and a cylindrical barrel. They are simple, reliable and easy to use.
There are vertical hood latches, and there are horizontal hood latches. Vertical and horizontal hood latches are both used to secure hoods. The difference is that vertical hood latches are installed vertically and upright, whereas horizontal hood latches are installed horizontally and on the side.
Whether you prefer vertical or horizontal hood latches, you should consider the material from which they are made. Stainless steel hood latches are popular. When made of stainless steel, you can rest assured knowing that the hood latches are strong, durable and able to withstand moisture without succumbing to rust.
In addition to a stainless steel construction, many hood latches are plated. They may feature a black or chrome plating. The purpose of this plating is to further protect them from damage. The plating will shield the underlying stainless steel, resulting in a superior level of protection against damage.
Hoods require some type of latching mechanism to temporarily hold them down, which is where hood latches come into play. They are complete latching mechanisms that are designed specifically for vehicular hoods.