There are some parts of your car that are fairly reliable, and for this reason you’ve probably never thought about them before. This can leave you a little surprised when something does go wrong. Gas struts are one such part. You won’t find a modern car without them, but they are pretty handy indeed. Quite simply, you’ll find them holding up your trunk/boot when you open it up. Many cars will also have them under the hood/bonnet too, but it’s not always the case, particularly on budget vehicles.
Sometimes they can fail, which means that either they slowly close after you’ve opened them, or they offer no lifting power at all, and you have to manually keep your trunk or hood open. Fortunately, changing them is not at all difficult, and most people will be able to do it without the need to go into a workshop.
Safety First: Firstly, compressed gas can be dangerous, so do not pierce or crush any struts as you’re trying to remove them. Secondly, don’t attempt this by yourself – always have a second person present who can hold open the trunk or hood for you while you refit the strut. You don’t want it to fall down on you.
Step 1: Source a new strut for your vehicle. Not all auto parts stores will carry these as they’re a fairly uncommon repair, but there are specialists online like SGS who stock plenty for a variety of vehicles.
Step 2: Remove the old strut. This is usually very straightforward. At one or both ends of the strut will be either a pin or clip that needs pulling out. This will allow you to simply pop the strut off. A flathead screwdriver is often the only tool you’ll need to do this, though pin-nose pliers may also help.
Step 3: Attaching the new strut. This is generally just the reverse of whatever you did to remove the old part. Either clip on the ball joint or slot the pin into place, ensuring that everything fits snugly.
Step 4: The final step is to test the strut out. Open and close the hood or trunk with the help of a friend and make sure that everything is working as it should. If the strut is loose at all, then revisit the joints as this is where the problem will lie.