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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 19 Jan 2010, 07:18 pm
JRStern
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Default hood flies open on freeway

Just had someone tell me a story of how they were driving on the
freeway in a 1999-ish Civic some time around 2005 when their hood flew
open, broke the windshield, dented the roof, totaling the car. And
they heard from the insurance adjuster that this was not the first he
had seen of this. Googling around, it looks like there are a couple
of similar stories - but was it likely a failure to securely close the
hood, or is this something that has been known to happen due to design
or latch failure or something?

Thanks.

J.

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 19 Jan 2010, 07:42 pm
Tegger
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Default Re: hood flies open on freeway

JRStern <JRStern@foobar.invalid> wrote in
news:u6mcl5homo17rpbt3q92kuo7ha59tpkha1@4ax.com:

> Just had someone tell me a story of how they were driving on the
> freeway in a 1999-ish Civic some time around 2005 when their hood flew
> open, broke the windshield, dented the roof, totaling the car. And
> they heard from the insurance adjuster that this was not the first he
> had seen of this. Googling around, it looks like there are a couple
> of similar stories - but was it likely a failure to securely close the
> hood, or is this something that has been known to happen due to design
> or latch failure or something?
>





Sniff, sniff... Smells like the famous Urban Legend to me.

It's theoretically possible that this could happen if the latch was very
badly rusted and was failing to rotate fully home.

BUT -- and this is a BIG but -- there's a safety catch that engages if the
regular latch fails to close, so BOTH latches would need to be inoperative
for the hood to fly open on the move. The safety catch engages with the
weight of the hood alone, so all you need to do is lower the hood until it
stops and the safety catch will engage automatically.

Plus, if the latch were inop, the hood would pop up again when closed and
would fail to seat anywhere near flush with the fender tops. Anybody paying
any kind of attention would notice that. You'd think, anyway.


--
Tegger

The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ
www.tegger.com/hondafaq/
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 19 Jan 2010, 07:49 pm
Joe
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Default Re: hood flies open on freeway

On 2010-01-20, Tegger <invalid@invalid.inv> wrote:
> JRStern <JRStern@foobar.invalid> wrote in
> news:u6mcl5homo17rpbt3q92kuo7ha59tpkha1@4ax.com:
>
>> Just had someone tell me a story of how they were driving on the
>> freeway in a 1999-ish Civic some time around 2005 when their hood flew
>> open, broke the windshield, dented the roof, totaling the car. And
>> they heard from the insurance adjuster that this was not the first he
>> had seen of this. Googling around, it looks like there are a couple
>> of similar stories - but was it likely a failure to securely close the
>> hood, or is this something that has been known to happen due to design
>> or latch failure or something?
>>

>
>
>
>
> Sniff, sniff... Smells like the famous Urban Legend to me.
>
> It's theoretically possible that this could happen if the latch was very
> badly rusted and was failing to rotate fully home.
>
> BUT -- and this is a BIG but -- there's a safety catch that engages if the
> regular latch fails to close, so BOTH latches would need to be inoperative
> for the hood to fly open on the move. The safety catch engages with the
> weight of the hood alone, so all you need to do is lower the hood until it
> stops and the safety catch will engage automatically.
>
> Plus, if the latch were inop, the hood would pop up again when closed and
> would fail to seat anywhere near flush with the fender tops. Anybody paying
> any kind of attention would notice that. You'd think, anyway.


Happened to me with an 87 Camaro. It was my own damned fault... I
had popped the hood to check the oil, and forgot to actually check the
oil (distracted). Never re-closed the hood. And the hood was heavy
enough that you couldn't really tell by looking at it, had to pull up
to get to the safety latch.

The safety latch doesn't really do much good at 60 MPH. The things
stayed closed until I got almost to full speed on the thruway, then
popped open. Didn't total the vehicle, or damage the windshield, but
it folded the hood at the hinges, creased the front panels, and had me
driving blind to pull over. Scary stuff.

But you can be sure that it'll NEVER happen again... ;-)


--
Joe - Linux User #449481/Ubuntu User #19733
joe at hits - buffalo dot com
"Hate is baggage, life is too short to go around pissed off all the
time..." - Danny, American History X
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 19 Jan 2010, 08:04 pm
JRE
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: hood flies open on freeway

Tegger wrote:
<snip>
>
> Sniff, sniff... Smells like the famous Urban Legend to me.
>
> It's theoretically possible that this could happen if the latch was very
> badly rusted and was failing to rotate fully home.
>
> BUT -- and this is a BIG but -- there's a safety catch that engages if the
> regular latch fails to close, so BOTH latches would need to be inoperative
> for the hood to fly open on the move. The safety catch engages with the
> weight of the hood alone, so all you need to do is lower the hood until it
> stops and the safety catch will engage automatically.
>
> Plus, if the latch were inop, the hood would pop up again when closed and
> would fail to seat anywhere near flush with the fender tops. Anybody paying
> any kind of attention would notice that. You'd think, anyway.


I had this happen once in a Datsun 510, not a Honda, but the hood latch
design was similar. Near as I could tell the hood was completely
latched (both latches) beforehand. I hadn't had the hood open for days.
I replaced all the latch parts afterward even though I couldn't find
anything wrong with the latches or the release cable.

I was lucky--I was driving fast on a twisty road but I knew it very
well, and I was able to use the view out the side window to keep it in
my lane while I stopped the car. Scared the crap out of me, though.

--
JRE
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 19 Jan 2010, 09:59 pm
jim beam
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: hood flies open on freeway

On 01/19/2010 05:42 PM, Tegger wrote:
> JRStern<JRStern@foobar.invalid> wrote in
> news:u6mcl5homo17rpbt3q92kuo7ha59tpkha1@4ax.com:
>
>> Just had someone tell me a story of how they were driving on the
>> freeway in a 1999-ish Civic some time around 2005 when their hood flew
>> open, broke the windshield, dented the roof, totaling the car. And
>> they heard from the insurance adjuster that this was not the first he
>> had seen of this. Googling around, it looks like there are a couple
>> of similar stories - but was it likely a failure to securely close the
>> hood, or is this something that has been known to happen due to design
>> or latch failure or something?
>>

>
>
>
>
> Sniff, sniff... Smells like the famous Urban Legend to me.
>
> It's theoretically possible that this could happen if the latch was very
> badly rusted and was failing to rotate fully home.
>
> BUT -- and this is a BIG but -- there's a safety catch that engages if the
> regular latch fails to close, so BOTH latches would need to be inoperative
> for the hood to fly open on the move. The safety catch engages with the
> weight of the hood alone, so all you need to do is lower the hood until it
> stops and the safety catch will engage automatically.
>
> Plus, if the latch were inop, the hood would pop up again when closed and
> would fail to seat anywhere near flush with the fender tops. Anybody paying
> any kind of attention would notice that. You'd think, anyway.
>
>


it happens, but only if it's not closed properly. chances of it
springing open and defeating the /two/ hood catches all on its own are
slim to zero.

meanwhile, why do we have front opening hoods? we don't have front
opening [suicide] doors any more - we should migrate to rear opening
hoods like some of the euros have.
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 20 Jan 2010, 08:05 am
Zeppo
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: hood flies open on freeway



"JRStern" <JRStern@foobar.invalid> wrote in message
news:u6mcl5homo17rpbt3q92kuo7ha59tpkha1@4ax.com...
> Just had someone tell me a story of how they were driving on the
> freeway in a 1999-ish Civic some time around 2005 when their hood flew
> open, broke the windshield, dented the roof, totaling the car. And
> they heard from the insurance adjuster that this was not the first he
> had seen of this. Googling around, it looks like there are a couple
> of similar stories - but was it likely a failure to securely close the
> hood, or is this something that has been known to happen due to design
> or latch failure or something?
>
> Thanks.
>
> J.
>


Had something like this happen on a '71 New Yorker. Driving on street (not
freeway) and the battery exploded due to voltage regulator failure. Blew the
hood open and pretty much soaked the engine compartment in battery acid. I
just stopped in the middle of the street, pulled down the hood most of the
way (it wouldn't close all the way) and pulled over and turned the car off.
The person who lived in the house I stopped in front of ran his garden hose
out and we hosed down the engine compartment to dilute the acid and try to
save the wiring.

Was OK for a few months then the wiring harness started to fail at multiple
places. Had to get rid of it.
Jon

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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 20 Jan 2010, 06:22 pm
zzznot
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: hood flies open on freeway

"Tegger" <invalid@invalid.inv> wrote in message
news:Xns9D05D2B238EA7tegger@208.90.168.18...
> Sniff, sniff... Smells like the famous Urban Legend to me.


Well, I'm sitting here with the person says it happened to her.

But apparently it's not an epidemic, judging from the responses.

Thanx all.

J.



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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 20 Jan 2010, 07:41 pm
Tegger
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: hood flies open on freeway

"zzznot" <zzznot@invalid.net> wrote in news:hj86nd$c0$1@news.eternal-
september.org:

> "Tegger" <invalid@invalid.inv> wrote in message
> news:Xns9D05D2B238EA7tegger@208.90.168.18...
>> Sniff, sniff... Smells like the famous Urban Legend to me.

>
> Well, I'm sitting here with the person says it happened to her.




Ah, a woman. You never said that in your original message.

You originally said "they", applying a plural to a singular when the sex of
that singular was known to you. And you then in the same message defined
the insurance adjuster as the singular "he". Poor grammar all around,
m'boy.

I'm (happily) married 15 years. I have intimate knowledge of the female
mind. I deduce that there is more to this issue than what has been so far
revealed.



>
> But apparently it's not an epidemic, judging from the responses.
>



Then some more details of this event would be nice. Such as the exact
sequence of events that immediately preceded the incident.

I'm imagining something like... a hood opened then closed, a prop rod
improperly replaced, thus preventing even the safety catch from engaging,
and then...


--
Tegger

The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ
www.tegger.com/hondafaq/
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 21 Jan 2010, 06:03 pm
JRStern
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: hood flies open on freeway

On Thu, 21 Jan 2010 01:41:15 +0000 (UTC), Tegger <invalid@invalid.inv>
wrote:

>Then some more details of this event would be nice. Such as the exact
>sequence of events that immediately preceded the incident.
>
>I'm imagining something like... a hood opened then closed, a prop rod
>improperly replaced, thus preventing even the safety catch from engaging,
>and then...


All I can elicit is that it happened out of the blue, nobody (to her
knowledge) had any reason to have opened the hood in the hours or days
preceeding events. The story is, she was driving on the freeway at
about 75mph, when events suddenly transpired.

I'd rate the subject here as a generally reliable respondent and
witness, as such things go.

.... though she did just buy a new Kia Forte and had no idea what model
it was she had bought nor what the engine was or even the EPA mileage,
so yeah I hear what you're saying, but cannot find anything further
that bears on the (alleged) events.

J.


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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 21 Jan 2010, 07:04 pm
Tegger
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: hood flies open on freeway

JRStern <JRStern@foobar.invalid> wrote in
news:0eqhl5pcj4o8boo4ce719idmo7nakgtgi7@4ax.com:

> On Thu, 21 Jan 2010 01:41:15 +0000 (UTC), Tegger <invalid@invalid.inv>
> wrote:
>
>>Then some more details of this event would be nice. Such as the exact
>>sequence of events that immediately preceded the incident.
>>
>>I'm imagining something like... a hood opened then closed, a prop rod
>>improperly replaced, thus preventing even the safety catch from
>>engaging, and then...

>
> All I can elicit is that it happened out of the blue, nobody (to her
> knowledge) had any reason to have opened the hood in the hours or days
> preceeding events. The story is, she was driving on the freeway at
> about 75mph, when events suddenly transpired.
>
> I'd rate the subject here as a generally reliable respondent and
> witness, as such things go.
>
> ... though she did just buy a new Kia Forte and had no idea what model
> it was she had bought nor what the engine was or even the EPA mileage,
> so yeah I hear what you're saying, but cannot find anything further
> that bears on the (alleged) events.
>





Well, I guess there are always exceptions to every rule, and maybe this is
one of them.

But I've noticed that Honda hood latches operate /very similarly/ to a
passenger door latch. There's a notched plate that needs to roll around to
an "over center" position before it can latch in place and secure the hasp.
Going "over center" means that any upward/outward force tends to INCREASE
the latching pressure, not decrease it.

Honda hood latches are designed in such a way as to be impossible to be
only partially-engaged. This means that if they don't rotate fully and
latch home completely, they won't lock at all, and the hood will pop up and
won't seat fully flush with the fender tops.

Plus, take a look at the safety catch. It's independent of the latching
mechanism. See how it's slightly undercut? This means that any movement or
vibration will cause the catch to INCREASE its engagement rather than
reduce it.

I find it /extremely/ unlikely that a (fairly new) Honda's hood, properly
closed, would simply fly open on the highway, considering the extensive
design work that has gone into the latching/catch mechanism to make this
event just about impossible.

I do know that most women are about as interested in cars as they are in
the temperature of the planet Neptune. They have a tendency to ignore the
most unbelievably dire and horrible warning signs of trouble until
something really awful breaks. So...

--
Tegger

The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ
www.tegger.com/hondafaq/
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