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
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Photo 1: Support the hatch
Lift the hatch slightly higher than its normal open position and have a friend hold the hatch up while you remove the gas lift. Or lock it in place with a lift support clamp.
Photo 2: Disengage the lift
Jam a flat-blade screwdriver into the depression in the center of the C-clamp. Then pull the gas lift off the ball stud. Reverse the procedure to connect the new lift.
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 2×4 to hold the hatch open—it’s not a safe alternative.