First things first. Welcome to the Werkz, we all hope that you enjoy your time here. Post some pictures of your car when you get a chance..
Now hood issue, I hade the same problem on my 2000 740iL, but its an intermittent problem, when it just won't work, push the hood shut so its all the way down, get someone to operate the release lever (inside the car) while you put s little bit of pressure downwards on the front of the hood, when the release lever is operated, the external handle on the right end of of the grill should pop out, at which point you gently lift the bonnet a finger width and pull the external handle out, which should then allow the hood to be opened fully.
Thank You. However it more complicated. The cable broke in two places, and the levers on both locks rusted and seized. After many hours, a body guy I know spent 2 hours and finally realeased it.I must replace everything now.
I had a similar symptom on my 2000 740iL, especially when it was cold. The mechanic said blocked cats, but through the help of the werkz family I tracked it down to a faulty MAF. The easiest test that I found was to disconnect the MAF from the wiring loom (at the MAF body) and see if it makes any difference. It was very obvious to me when I did this, a totally different car to drive. I think the Engine Managenement system goes into a default mode which ignores the dead input from the MAF and uses the other inputs only. The performance story got a whole lot better when I replaced the MAF and tested it, the performance was impressive, I had bought the car as it was intially and had no expectation of what it was supposed to be like.
Have a look at RealOEM.com Online BMW Parts Catalog for the details and location of your MAF (if you don't know where it is) and then visit Buy Car Parts - Aftermarket Auto Parts - Volvo Parts, VW Parts, Audi Parts, BMW Parts, Mercedes Parts, Porsche Parts for the replacement parts, they offer a lifetime warranty of parts and sponsor this site.
Good luck with this. Let us know how you go.
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