Everyone likes a job that they can do themselves, and this is certainly one of them.
The gas struts that you’ll find under your boot and potentially underneath you bonnet do break and wear out sometimes, but it’s very, very easy to fit new ones, and there really is no need to go to a garage and spend money when all you really need is a couple of basic household tools and a spare fifteen minutes.
Before you get stuck in, there are three things you’ll need:
• Firstly, a lesson in safety. Compressed gas struts can be dangerous, so never damage the housing of a strut, and handle it with care. It should also be disposed of safely; don’t just throw it in the bin where it could be pierced.
• Second, a person to help. When you’ve removed the broken or worn out strut, you’ll need someone to hold open the boot or bonnet for you. Trying to do this by yourself is dangerous and awkward.
• Thirdly, a new strut. SGS sell good, high quality ones for just about any car, so that’s a good place to get one from. You can just put in your car’s make and go from there.
Removing the old strut is the hardest part, but it’s still easy. There are usually two different types of struts to deal with; one is held in place by a pin, and the other a band. If you’ve got the pin, then you’ll benefit from a pair of pin-nosed pliers to pull it out with. If you’ve got a band, then you can pry it off with a flat-headed screwdriver.
The only reason this will be difficult is if anything has seized up. One the fixture is off, you simply pop off the other end from the ball joint.
Attaching the new strut is the exact opposite of removal, and can be done in seconds without much trouble at all. When everything is in place, you should thoroughly check however, that it is properly secure. You don’t want to run the risk of the joint becoming loose when you’re under the bonnet or boot.
It really is as simple as that. A few minor modifications will even allow you to attach a gas strut if your car is older and still has one of the old style stands to hold open the bonnet.