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1997 Sable: Battery Dead, Hood Release Won't Work

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Jan 30, 2014, 10:56 PM

Post #1 of 4 (1547 views)
1997 Sable: Battery Dead, Hood Release Won't Work Sign In

1997 Mercury Sable, six cylinder, app 100,000 miles

Came into the garage a few hours ago to use my 1997 Sable, and found the trunk open. I must have not pushed it down hard enough to close all the way when getting something out of the trunk the day before yesterday and unknown to me it popped back up when I left it. So the trunk was open and the trunk light on for two days.

Apparently this killed the battery because there was no sound when I tried to turn the car over. I took my other car-which I got running thanks to you guys Smile-for the short hop I needed, figured when I came back I would just take out the Sable's battery, take it down to get charged, and put it back in tomorrow.

I pulled on the hood latch-nothing. It has been cold as anything the last two days. The courtesy lights work, the radio works, even the headlights go on, but the car won't turn over, so I suppose the battery is not at full strength.

I wonder: Is the hood latch fully mechanical or when I pull the lever is it connected to a motorized switch which opens the hood? Because if it's a motorized switch maybe the reason it won't open is that the battery is run down. On the other hand, if the lever pulls on a mechanical switch, then it's just stuck-or maybe the cold has really gotten to it.

Any ideas on what to do now?

I'm wondering if there is some way to reach the latch from under the car, (if the latch is not motorized), then maybe I can open it that way and the latch might warm up once the car is running. Just guessing here-what is the best way to proceed? Any suggestion is appreciated.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jan 31, 2014, 12:59 AM

Post #2 of 4 (1537 views)
Re: 1997 Sable: Battery Dead, Hood Release Won't Work Sign In

I'm not sure of anything but hood should not require a motor to open but probably combo of frozen and never had latch lubed.

You can charge the battery thru a cig lighter or power port, slow but might work. Home centers or ask around as you could use a polarity protected battery maintainer charger thru especially the cig lighter. It's slow - trust me! 24hrs if the battery is any good to except a charge that way.

Other: If car is clear of most ice or snow go easy and push down on hood while a helper holds lever to open hood. I'd rather see you charge battery while in the car then take it out especially if you have any theft controls or things that might disable car. Automotive batteries don't like going dead and worse if cold. Totally dead and cold they can freeze a good one and crack open.

Your call but for ALL my own vehicles I take bulbs out for trunks, glove boxes and hood lights. Silly little bulb really can take down the car's battery in a day and some of the switches fail and some old ones if parked at just the wrong angle come on and you don't know it.

If not familiar with cold or ice and cars just relax and try not to hurt them chipping away at ice as you'll wreck paint, moldings and things that don't care just need to melt away. Don't use warm hot water but rather same outdoor temp windshield washer fluid if really needed. More windshields or glass anywhere in car gets instantly broken from that than vandalism.

I live it as many do. This season has caught more area that don't. No harm and should anyway, use at least WD-40 on every latch you can find. Any but plain Pledge furniture polish on door and trunk rubber on a good day ahead of time helps them from freezing up with ice just there. Don't pull on door handles too hard or open windows till car is totally warmed up either from running car or put inside a garage that's warm. You just break things,

GC profile image

Jan 31, 2014, 7:09 AM

Post #3 of 4 (1520 views)
Re: 1997 Sable: Battery Dead, Hood Release Won't Work Sign In

+1 to Tom
You say it was in the garage, but if the garage is not heated, it might have some ice in there. Might try a heat gun if you have one (dont get too close to plastic) or a hair dryer is safer and try to get some warm air in by the latch.

Willing to help, willing to learn... Rob

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jan 31, 2014, 10:15 AM

Post #4 of 4 (1514 views)
Re: 1997 Sable: Battery Dead, Hood Release Won't Work Sign In

Happened here so happen other places no doubt. Was nasty cold and a quick humid rain all metal caught the humidity and dripped off everything they froze up solid again later even stuff that wasn't outside! Inside vehicles were fine in my case but not everyone's.

Can't win with some of those wild swings so be pro-active.......... Tom

EDIT - Yes - regular hair dryer as Rob suggested is best as needed not a heat gun for stripping paint!

(This post was edited by Tom Greenleaf on Jan 31, 2014, 10:19 AM)

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