The latch on your bonnet, or hood, seems like a minor feature of your Mercedes Vito. However, in an emergency, the hood is the only thing in the way to you accessing your engine. Making sure you know how to open it – and that it actually does open as designed – is very important. Although the Mercedes Vito is a reliable motor, we’ll explore some ‘what if’ scenarios just in case you come across a problem.
The catch on a Vito is on the right hand side. To open the bonnet on a Vito, locate the catch next to the kick panel. Normally, you pull on the latch, hear a ‘pop’ sound and the hood lifts a few inches before you manually lift the hood up.
The Mercedes Vito hood latch has a two-step mechanism. The first step is to lock the hood completely. The second step is to keep the hood down while the vehicle is motion.
Pulling on the lever inside of the vehicle opens the first lock. This is when you hear the door make a ‘pop’ noise. The second lock is released when you press on the tab under the hood.
Sometimes the locks do not close or open properly. Often the reason for this is quite simple. Sometimes all the latch needs is some lubrication for it to start working again.
Other times, damage may have occurred to the latch, either through wear and tear, or if involved in a collision.
If your hood is opening, but not making the ‘pop’ noise when the in-car lever is pulled, you may need to replace the hood springs
If your Vito cable snaps, try pulling the bonnet catch while someone grips the end of the bonnet, pushes down and then pulls up rhythmically.
If that fails to do anything, there are two further options.
By shining a torch through the grill, you can locate the bonnet catch mechanism. This is quite fiddly, and patience is required. With a long implement like a screwdriver, locate the latch and lever it over. The lock should pop up which will allow you to open the bonnet.
The second option is to access the catch from the base of the engine. This means manoeuvring past the engine and the radiator and pulling the remainder of the cable to the side that it attaches on.
Both these options can be a DIY job, but it can take a while to master. Alternatively, a garage will be able to carry out the job for you and replace the cable inside the hood too.
Make sure you carry out regular checks on your Mercedes Vito bonnet to make sure the lock mechanism works, the door and lock aren’t misaligned and the cable remains intact.
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