hatch lift strut

How To Replace a Gas Lift Support Strut

It is raining, you have a cart full of groceries, and a 3 year-old cheering about the prize buried in the bottom of the box of Fruity-O’s you bought her. You pop the hatch on your SUV, grab the handle and lift only to feel the full weight of the liftgate. That’s right, your gas strut lift support chose now to stop working.

Don’t worry, this is a 2-minute fix that anyone can do with just a screwdriver and new support from your local NAPA Auto Parts Store. Gas struts come in quite a few sizes with different ends, so you will need to talk to the counter person, who can get you’re the part you need for your car.

Some cars have one, while other vehicles have two supports, so keep that in mind when you are replacing them. It helps to have a second person hold the liftgate (or hood/trunk lid) open while the support is out. Start with the gate fully open and supported. If you don’t have a second person, you can use a broom handle or something like that.

A flat blade screwdriver is the best tool to release the bale clip from the strut.

A flat blade screwdriver is the best tool to release the bale clip from the strut.

 

Use a flat-blade screwdriver to release the flat bale clip that holds the support onto the post. Top or bottom post, does not matter. Repeat this for the other post.

You may need a pry bar to pop the strut off of the ball stud. We used some painters tape to protect the paint on the car.

You may need a pry bar to pop the strut off of the ball stud. We used some painters tape to protect the paint on the car.

 

Next, place the new support into position and snap the post into the mount on the support, again, top or bottom first does not matter.  Repeat for the other post.

Pop the new strut onto the ball stud and release the clip. repeat for the other stud.

Pop the new strut onto the ball stud and release the clip. repeat for the other stud.

 

If your vehicle has two supports, repeat this procedure for the other side. When you release the liftgate, do so slowly, checking to make sure the supports are fully installed and supporting the weight. That is all there is to installing a new gas strut support. Now go open that box of Fruity-Os so junior can claim her treasure…

Check out all the body & accessory products available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on lift support repair, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.

about author

Jefferson Bryant

A life-long gearhead, Jefferson Bryant spends more time in the shop than anywhere else. His career began in the car audio industry as a shop manager, eventually working his way into a position at Rockford Fosgate as a product designer. In 2003, he began writing tech articles for magazines, and has been working as an automotive journalist ever since. His work has been featured in Car Craft, Hot Rod, Rod & Custom, Truckin’, Mopar Muscle, and many more. Jefferson has also written 4 books and produced countless videos. Jefferson operates Red Dirt Rodz, his personal garage studio, where all of his magazine articles and tech videos are produced.

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