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How to Align a Car Hood

Updated April 17, 2017

Replacing and installing a new bonnet on your car is not easy because of the awkward size and shape of the bonnet. Getting it on the car and bolted down is hard enough, but once you go to close the bonnet, it may not even line up correctly. This can leave odd-sized gaps on each side of the bonnet, between the fender and the bonnet. It can also keep the bonnet from closing properly. Align a car bonnet using a few tools and less then 10 minutes of your time.

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  1. Open the bonnet and use the ratchet and socket to loosen the bolts on the bracket that attaches the bonnet to the car. Loosen them only slightly. Loosen the bolts on the bonnet, not the bolts that are on the car.

  2. Gently close the bonnet to see how the bonnet lines up with each fender. The gaps on either side of the bonnet should be the same. Push the bonnet gently while the bolts are loosened to close the gap on either side of it. Once the gaps are even, tighten the bonnet bolts completely.

  3. Close the bonnet slowly and check the hood latch to make sure it is properly latching and that the gap along the front of the bonnet is even. Open the bonnet and find the hard rubber stoppers on either side, just near the edge of the where the bonnet sits when closed. Use your hand to loosen or tighten these until the gap along the front of the bonnet is even. These stoppers raise and lower the height of the bonnet when it is closed.

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Things You'll Need

  • Ratchet
  • Socket set

About the Author

Since 1997 Jenny Carver has served as editor and freelance writer for many offline and online publications including,, "Hoof Beat News," "Import Tuner" and others. Carver owns a custom automotive shop where she has been doing paint and body work, custom interior work and engine building for over 11 years.

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