Many newer vehicles have what’s called lift supports on the hood and/or the rear gate. These supports hold up all of the weight of the hood and/or lift gate when you open them up. The supports don’t require any maintenance, but over time they will wear out. And when they wear out, you'll know it.
The supports lose their ability to hold up all of that weight and all of a sudden you have the part bouncing off the back of your head when you are doing something like checking your oil or getting bags out of the back of the vehicle.
But if you do need to replace these supports, the good news is that it might be a do-it-yourself project for you. Here are some of the most common types of supports and what it takes to replace them.
First of all, use a helper to hold up the hood or rear gate while you replace the supports. A good prop rod can sometimes be used as well, but only if it is sturdy and can be placed where it can’t be knocked loose.
The most common type of lift support has spring clips on the sockets on both ends. Those clips hold the support onto a ball shaped stud that is mounted to the body of the vehicles. When you are removing the old support, just get a small flat bladed screwdriver and slide it in behind the spring clip. Then pry back on the screwdriver until the clip pops loose. Then you can just pop that end of the support loose. Repeat on the other end of the support and you are ready to install the new one.
Simply line up the ends of the new support with the studs on the vehicle and it should pop on without too much trouble. Other types of supports mount a little differently, but they are still do-it-yourself projects.
Some have the same type of spring clip on one side of the support, but have a nut and bolt to hold it in place. Some are simply bolted right to the vehicle on one end with a spring clip on the other end. Still others have what’s called "torx bolts" on both ends, which require a special type of socket or wrench to remove them. Even though the torx bolts look a lot different than regular bolts, it will come out just the same way as long as you have the right sized torx wrench.
You can find lift supports for most vehicles at auto parts stores and they can range in cost from about $20 to $50 each. That’s money well spent because it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than a trip to the emergency room if the hood or rear gate drops down on top of you.