Replace the Gas Lift on Your Car's Hood

Avoid lift problems with this quick fix

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.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Replacement procedure

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. You only need a small flat-blade screwdriver and a 1/4-in. drive metric socket set.

Buy a pair of gas lifts (always replace them as a pair) at an auto parts store. Have a buddy support the hatch, hood or trunk lid, or buy a lift support clamp (shown is the Lisle 44870; available through our affiliation with amazon.com). Don’t rely on a 2x4 to hold the hatch open—it’s not a safe alternative.

Remove the top portion of the gas lift first. Use a socket and a ratchet to remove the bolted-in-place variety; a screwdriver for the more common C-clamp style (Photo 2). Then perform the same procedure on the bottom connection.

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Socket/ratchet set

You'll also need a flat-blade screwdriver and a lift support clamp.

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

  • Gas lifts