If you have an older vehicle that has a hood, trunk or hatch that used to raise itself unassisted but no longer does it or worse, doesn’t even stay up then this easy DIY is for you. Common on many vehicles now are gas struts or gas springs that are installed to help the user raise the hood, trunk, hatch, tailgate or liftgate without much effort.
These tubes known as gas struts or gas springs are also commonly known as or called gas rods, lift supports, lift rods, lift shocks, lift struts, hood lift supports, dicky shocks or dicky lifters.
They are filled with a compressed gas that pushes the piston end out with enough force to lift the weight of a car hood, trunk or hatch. Over time and as these lift supports age, the gas escapes and they no longer have enough force to hold a hatch, trunk or hood up.
When this happens, it is time to replace them. It is an easy and inexpensive repair that anyone can do. No need to pay a lot for a dealership or mechanic to do this simple fix.
For us, it was a quick replacement for less than $45 CAD and only 20 minutes of easy work.
Read on to find out how!
If you prefer, watch our DIY video
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First thing to do is to order the part yourself. There are many places to do this and it is as easy as entering the Year, Make and Model of your vehicle and you will be given many options of replacement parts to choose from. If you want to buy some check out our affiliate links below. Make sure to order the correct number of lifters … 2 in most cases.
Please note that there are different types of gas struts and some have different mechanisms for attachment. This DIY is for the spring clip type.
Check here to see how much to buy a set of gas struts for your vehicle.
Once you have the parts in hand you only need 3 other things:
- a flat head screwdriver
- paper towel / shop towel
- someone to help hold the trunk/hood/hatch up
1) Ask your helper to hold onto the hood/trunk/hatch to make sure it doesn’t drop on you as you work on removing the old and installing the new gas strut.
2) locate the spring clip on each end of the gas strut / gas spring. Using a flathead screwdriver, slide it into an opening under the clip. Once under, you should be able to lift the spring clip and pop off the end of the gas strut from the ball joint.
- Be careful not to jab the screwdriver into your hands or the body of the vehicle. You don’t want to hurt yourself or damage the paint on your vehicle
- You do not need to remove the spring clip. Only raise it enough so that the gas strut can be popped off.
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4) Clean the ball joints of the old grease on them using a paper towel or shop towel. The new gas strut / gas spring will have new grease already pre-applied so there’s no need for you to add any.
5) Installation of the new gas strut is as easy as popping each end onto the respective ball joint. If the 2nd end of the strut does not line up then just twist the end and turn it until it lines up with the ball joint.
6) Make sure both ends are secure. You should not be able to pull out the ends from the ball joint without lifting the spring clip.
7) Do the same thing on the other side / other gas strut