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The bonnet is a crucial part of the car body, for beneath it is housed some of the most important components a car needs in order to run. In most cars the bonnet is the hinged cover that protects and allows access to the engine compartment. A bonnet is made up of an outer panel which is designed to be smooth and streamlined, assisting with the aerodynamics of the vehicle, contoured to match the shape of the car, and an inner panel which is strong and offers protection to the engine beneath.
Often made of steel, bonnets are also made of aluminium, fibreglass, dry carbon and carbon fibre. The bonnet is fixed to the frame at the front of the car and, with the action of hinges, opens outwards.
The bonnet works with a bonnet latch mechanism. It is held down by a latch which stops it from opening unexpectedly while driving along and also acts as a lock. The bonnet can be opened from the exterior, by releasing the latch, hidden just under the bonnet lip, or by pulling a small lever inside the car, usually located beneath the steering wheel, which is attached to the bonnet pull cable, which causes the bonnet to pop open. The bonnet can be held up and in place with the aid of a hinged rod, commonly referred to as a stay rod, or by a gas strut.
Issues can arise from a dirt build up on the bonnet latch mechanism, leading to a bonnet that sticks and is hard to open. In some cases, the bonnet may not open at all due to a faulty or worn out bonnet latch mechanism. Problems can arise if the bonnet pull cable is damaged, for example, that attaches to the latch mechanism. If your bonnet needs a new latch mechanism, buying a bonnet latch mechanism will ensure it fits perfectly to the bonnet.