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How to Open Ford F150 Hood From Outside With Dead Battery?

A while back, I was on vacation. But my vacation mood soon got ruined when I was locked out of my car. The battery was so low that it would not let me unlock the doors. I could not get access to the inside, even with the keys.

So, I had to call for help. However, instead of calling a regular mechanic, I called a professional friend of mine. He works at a renowned mechanic shop. Nonetheless, he went over the topic of how to open F150 hood from outside with dead battery.

First, you need to try unlocking the driver’s side door. Then, work on opening the hood and try to reach the latch through the grille. If that does not work, trip the lock or try a different approach to getting the lock open from the hood.

Well, the process might be look look harder than it already is. But in reality, it is not that hard. Through this article, I will make things easier for anyone going through the same frustrating experience as I was.

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how to open Ford F150 hood from outside

Why Does Ford F150 Battery Die?

Before my friend went over the methods, he asked me how the battery died in the first place. I could not really tell what the reason was, but he managed to figure it out. Here are the causes that he had stated:

1. Battery Cables

When the battery cables are not in good shape, it will make the battery drain excessively. There might be corrosion or rust on the metal parts of the wire. And those defects can cause the metal parts not to make a proper connection with the ports. As a result, the battery drains excessively.

2. Alternator

There is a high chance that the alternator was not charging the battery correctly. If the alternator does not function properly, the drain will be excessive. And if the cells do not get charged correctly, the battery can die within a short amount of time.

3. Bad Battery

The reason behind the excessive drain and the cells dying might be a bad battery. However, this is something that you can address pretty early. The battery light will turn on, and it will illuminate even when the car is parked. Also, it might light up after you start the vehicle.

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What Happens If F150 Battery Dies?

When I witnessed the dead battery by myself, I wondered if there were any signs that I ignored for all this time. Whether the battery was dead for a long time and I was too ignorant or not. That is when I asked my friend about the signs that give away that the battery is dead. And these are the sings that he talked about:

1. Engine Does Not Crank

When the battery is about to die, the engine will not get adequate power to start. The start can be pretty rough, and sometimes, the engine might not start at all. No matter how much you turn the keys, you might not see any signs of life at all. And the engine not cranking is an obvious sign that the cells are toast.

2. Electrical Components Fail

The electrical parts of the car rely solely on the battery. Even if you manage to start the vehicle using the jump start method, the electrical components will not want to run if the battery is toast. And the electrical components include windows, headlights, wipers, dashboard lights, power seats, radio, and many more.

3. Battery Warning Sign

When the battery is about to die, the dashboard will often show a warning light. The battery light will usually activate when the cells are not working optimally. But if you notice rough starts and if the electrical components are not that easy to turn on, there is a high chance that the warning light means that the cells are toast.

4. Swollen Case

A visual inspection can also tell whether the battery is in good shape or not. When the cells die, there will be leaks. Also, the casing might get unnaturally swollen. Just pop the hood open and check whether the physical condition of the battery is good or not when you notice any of the dead battery signs.

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How to Open the Ford F150 Hood From Outside When the Battery Is Dead?

Now that you know all about why the battery dies and what happens afterward let me get into the thing you are primarily here for. Follow these steps if you want to open the hood of the car from the outside when the battery is toast:

Step 1: Get the Required Tools

First and foremost, you need to get the required tools. And the tools that you will need throughout the entire process are:

  • Flashlight
  • A thin and long tool (screwdriver)
  • Pliers

Step 2: Try to Unlock the Driver Side Door

First and foremost, you should try to unlock the driver’s door using the key. Most of the trucks will have a mechanical lock on that side. And the key should offer you access to the inside. If you can manage to get it open, get inside and disengage the lock of the hood.

Step 3: Press Down on the Hood

The driver’s side door might not cooperate with you all the time. In that case, you would need to do some manual work. You would first need to understand how the locking mechanism of the hood works. The lock features a unique design for most pickup trucks. It will disengage when pressure is applied on the top. 

However, it might not always work. And there is a good number of reasons behind it. Some of the latches tend to be sticky. That stickiness can make the lock not disengage when pressed from the top. In other instances, you might need to do some work. You would need to open the cable by sticking something in manually.

Step 4: Try to Reach the Latch Through the Grille

If the previous step does not work, you would need to improvise a little. Try to reach the lock from other angles. The grille area would be the perfect pick in this case. Take a flashlight and try to locate the locking mechanism from the grille. After that, try to disengage it.

Step 5: Trip the Lock With a Thin Tool

Fingers can not certainly fit through the small spaces. For that reason, if you can not reach the latch properly through the grille, you need to pick up a thin tool. A long screwdriver or a sturdy wire will do the trick in this case. If possible, remove the griller entirely.

Step 6: Approach the Latch From Under the Hood

Some of the pickup trucks will have hard cores. So, dealing with the lock from the front area can become difficult. But do not lose hope. Instead, try to approach the lock from underneath the hood. However, do make sure that you let the car sit for a while if the engine was on recently. The area under will be scorching hot.

Once you are under the hood, try to tug the cable using a pair of pliers. If luck is by your side, it will be possible to reach the lock and disengage it within a couple of minutes. But do remember not to damage any of the parts or wires underneath the car. That would call for another repair job.

What Happens If the Lock Does Not Disengage?

Often, the car might not want to cooperate with you. And the lock might still stay engaged even after following all of the steps I have mentioned above. If you find yourself in such a tricky situation, your last hope would be a mechanic. The professionals will know what to do in this scenario.

So, instead of opting to remove the front bumper by yourself, wait for the mechanic to arrive. If the mechanic knows the proper way of dealing with this mess, it will only take a few minutes.

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How to Keep Your Ford F150 Battery From Dying?

As you can see, dealing with a car with a dead battery is not easy. So, taking precautionary steps would be a wise idea. And these are the methods you can follow to enhance the lifespan of the battery:

1. Keep the Weather From Killing the Cells

The bitter cold of winter and the ravages of hot summer are two weather conditions that can kill the battery. And there is not much you can do to protect the cells from getting affected. But you can ensure that the car is parked at a spot where the extreme temperatures will not damage the battery’s condition.

2. Keep Things Clean

Make sure that you go through the maintenance steps quite often. Keep the cable and the connectors clean. By doing so, you will also ensure that the cells are getting charged correctly. Also, clean wires and connectors will ensure that the extreme temperatures do not damage the condition of the cells.

3. Cut Down on the Excessive Battery Drain

To enhance the lifespan of the cells, the best approach would be to cut down on the components that are power-hungry. DVD players, onboard computers, and power delivery systems will drain the battery reasonably fast. So, I would highly recommend cutting down on them a bit.


Photo of author

Kevin Shaw

Editor-in-Chief at F150Lab

Kevin Shaw has a vast knowledge of pickup trucks, especially the Ford F150. He has been doing various DIY fixes, upgrades, and modifications to pickup trucks for more than five years now.

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