When is it Time to Replace Your Car’s Gas Struts?
The gas struts under the bonnet and boot of your car are not generally unreliable, and it’s quite common for cars to never have them replaced in their lifetime. Sometimes they do fail however, and can be both a pain to deal with, and are a significant hazard too. The gas struts are after all holding up a heavy piece of metal, and you could really injure yourself in the event of a failure. So, how do you know when it’s time to swap out the old ones and put a new set in?
The clear and obvious sign is that the struts can no longer hold the bonnet or boot up. This is noticeable either by you having to use more force to lift, or the bonnet or boot simply doesn’t hold in position. You should look into making the change as soon as you notice this, as you can’t be sure how much longer they’ll last in their current condition. It can be difficult to work out which of the struts isn’t working properly unless there’s a very obviously lower side. It’s best to replace both struts in a situation such as this.
Another sign that most people aren’t aware of is damage to the struts. As they are pressurised, dents can be dangerous; if they turn into a hole the strut will fail instantly – possibly with you underneath. Pressurised containers such as this also carry the risk of exploding apart given a sharp enough force. Check the struts for damage every now and then, and if you notice any dents or bends in the metalwork, then it’s probably time to change them. It’s not worth taking the risk, and you can always seek specialist advice if you’re not sure.
Actually changing the gas struts is relatively easy, and can be done by anyone with very basic DIY knowledge. You can buy replacements from specialists such as SGS. Depending on the type of struts you have, it’s usually just a case of pulling a pin or clasp from the joint that holds the strut to the car. The reverse is then true for fitting the replacement. Always remember to have someone help you when you do this, as they will need to hold the bonnet or boot up while you work. One strut alone is often not strong enough, and it’s not safe either.