Call them whatever you want-props, gas springs, struts, or lift supports. At the end of the day, they all have one thing to do, and that is to help lift and open the hatch, hood, trunk, rear window, liftgate, or door. Since they're gas-charged, they're able to support the weight of the vehicle's compartments and keep them open and easy to close. But once they lose gas, these will sag and fail. You have to replace them not only for your own convenience but also for your own safety. You see, without a sturdy gas-charged lift support, the hood, trunk, liftgate, or rear window will be more difficult to handle or operate. Worse, the door or gate might fall on you or suddenly slam close.
When the lift support fails
- You'll know that old lift supports need some changing when they've lost good tension and start to sag as you open the hood, window, trunk, or door. You'll also notice that opening the hatch, door, or liftgate has become so difficult. It can't be held in the open position for long.
- After some time, gas will leak or escape through the seal of the strut. Eventually, you'll have to replace this part.
- Extreme weather can take a toll on these struts. Frequent use will also wear them out. They may start to show signs of damage or weakness after 5 to 7 years, though this still depends on how they're used, if they're exposed to extreme cold or high heat or if the trunk, door, or hood is opened frequently or just occasionally.
- It's highly recommended that you replace both lift supports since these struts work in pairs. Replacing just one of the supports may lead to one of them providing better tension and weight support than the other. When one of them begins to wear out or sag, the other may be on the same rough path since they work side by side.
What to consider when getting a new lift support
- The replacement should match the OEM specs of your car's old support, whether it's for the hood or trunk. The right set can be easily installed in minutes without having to use special tools other than pliers and a screwdriver.
- A high-quality lift support is built to withstand any type of weather. It won't easily wear out even when exposed to extreme cold, high heat, or high humidity.
- A new support should have high resistance to rust and corrosion, so you can be sure that this won't easily deteriorate when exposed to harsh road and weather elements. It should also have dependable seals that won't easily leak gas.
- It should be manufactured using top-quality materials as well as the best technologies. For instance, high-quality lift supports may be manufactured with high-strength piston, steel body pressure cylinder, and nitro-carbonized rod.
- The most reliable lift support is tested for strength, resistance, and compatibility to ensure functional safety, long-term service, ease of installation, and top performance. It may be covered by a 1- to a 5-year manufacturer warranty.