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Bonnet Stuck Fix

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Overview Guide
Ford Model: Mondeo Mk3
Petrol/Diesel: Both
Estimated Cost: ????
Difficulty? Easy
How long does this take? 30 minutes


This is a very common problem on MK3 Mondeo with the ignition key operated opening mechanism for the bonnet The basic fault is that while its a good idea to have the key open the bonnet the materials Ford decided to use are not up to the job!

There are lots of posts on here from owners who have had the problem and to get it fixed at a Ford dealer will cost you around @ £280 for a new grille (they destroy it to get access to the lock mechanism), new lock mechanism and the labour to do it, this method will cost you a couple of hours work and a small jubilee clip.

The original problem can be the key not doing anything when turned left or right, the key when turned to the left may release the bonnet but when turned to the right will not unlatch it etc, it all depends which segment on the operating rod breaks.

I went to check my oil before a 620 mile round trip to a job interview and sure enough when I turned the key to the left the bonnet popped but turning it to the right would not release the safety catch.

So a couple of weeks later..... Start with one Mondeo whose bonnet won't open


This is the familiar site of where the key goes to release the bonnet.


Either side of the lock barrel are two security type screws that when originally inserted had heads that sheared off at a specified torque and left just a plain head, they are visible in the pic below, I drilled two holes to see them and hoped I would be able to sort them via 'keyhole surgery'


However they are very difficult to drill out as the heads left are domed outward so its impossible to get a drill started, the domed shape also makes driving them round with a chisel hard, I figured the best way would be to cut a slot in the bolt heads with a Dremel type tool and get them out using a screwdriver, to do this however the hole in the grille needs opening up somewhat to get the required access as below!


Now cut a groove in each screw head, you can make it out in the next pic, this is tricky as you have to do it at a bit of an angle and it cost a few shattered cutting disks.


Now unscrew the screws, the left hand one came out no problem but the right hand one needed a couple of taps round with a chisel to get it going, once the screws are out, remove the lock barrel and the offending operating rod, you will now be able to see the bonnet latch mechanism and the cross shaped recess that the operating rod turns, use a suitable sized screwdriver and turn this left and then right to open your bonnet.


Now check the operating rod and you will find one or more of the plastic sections at the end split or cracked, why Ford use such a delicate looking item I don't know.


my fix was to reattach the rod to the lock barrel and secure the split end by compressing it with a small jubilee clip, a fuel hose clip is best as it has a good round shape, tighten it untill it wont slide off (I also had to trim the end of the clip screw off to get it through the lock barrel housing)


refit the barrel and rod and make sure it slots into the latch mechanism as below.


I reused the original screws as they where in serviceable condition but if you have mashed them up getting them out you will need some new ones.

Now while the bonnet is up remove the grille and clear up all the swarf and plastic bits that have fell into the under tray!


And that's it, flip the Ford logo back down and you'd never known anything had been wrong!


Its not the neatest or easiest way to do this but its the cheapest and a quick way to get it sorted.


I had the same problems, and found this was the way I manage to open the lock. This was to hit the lock with a big rubber mallet, this was enough for the lock and rod to reconnect so it could be open. Like the problem I found that it was disengaging from the rod, no visible splits/wear in the plastic but was popping out of the joint. My fix was a brass washer at the end of the rod that when into the lock unit.

Lock fix.jpg

As you can just make out is the brass washer used. This has allowed it to engage with the lock unit, but still allowing to work with the lock. This could be classed as a temporary fix (but most likely permanent.).

Inserted by another reader A word of warning to anyone with a CMAX who , like me has this problem (And also I am told some mondeo and focus owners). Thinking the lock was the same as the one in this topic, I drilled several holes as described in the text above with no sign of any bolts and got fed up and took a jigsaw to the grill and the lock barrel is entirely different on the CMax it clips onto the grill and taking out the lock barrel just ruins it and you still have a locked bonnet, I had to put my hand over the slam panel when I could unbolt the two bolts that hold the lock panel from the rear by feel. some people have managed to remove the undershield and do it from under, but on mine the air con pipes stopped me and there was no option but to ruin the grill, I got one on EBay for £31

Updated info by Col_Tubbs

Original Guide by stevedohc16v