Replacing the Gas Lifts on Your Car Hood, Trunk or Rear Hatch
Gas lifts that hold up car hoods, trunks and rear hatches can wear out and become a problem, especially in cold weather. Here’s how to fix the problem quickly and cheaply.
Replacing Gas Lifts: A Step-By-Step Guide
Worn gas lifts really lose their "oomph" in cold weather. Why risk injury from a falling hatch? You can fix the problem yourself in 20 minutes.
Small flat-blade screwdriver
While you've got the hood up, why not lubricate the latch and hinges?
Step 1: Support the hatch
Buy a pair of gas lifts (always replace them as a pair) at an auto parts store. Lift the hatch, hood or trunk lid slightly higher than its normal open position, and have a friend hold it up while you remove the gas lift. Alternatively, you can lock it in place with a lift support clamp (shown is the Lisle 44870). Don't rely on a 2x4 to hold the hatch open—it's not a safe alternative.
Step 2: Disengage the lift
Remove the top portion of the gas lift first. Use a socket and a ratchet to remove the bolted-in-place variety; a flat-blade screwdriver for the more common C-clamp style (shown). Jam the flat-blade screwdriver into the depression in the center of the C-clamp. Then pull the gas lift off the ball stud. Then perform the same procedure on the bottom connection. Reverse the procedure to connect the new lift.
Want to save more money? Here are seven car maintenance jobs you can do yourself.