What You Need to Know About Gas Struts for Your Car
When it comes to maintaining your car, you probably know to regularly check tyre pressure, make sure all lights are working correctly, and top up liquids including engine oil and screen wash. However, unless you are a mechanic or have extensive knowledge of cars, you may be unfamiliar with gas struts.
You may be wondering: What are they? What do they do? And why do I need to know? All these questions are answered below.
What are Gas Struts?
Also referred to as gas and boot springs, a gas strut is a pressurized gas system that allows a piston rod to move through a tube with ease. Using nitrogen gas, the pressure can be altered depending on the force required.
As well as cars, gas struts are used in a variety of applications, from skylights to office chairs. While in vehicles, they are commonly found in boot closures and bonnets.
Why Does My Car Need Them?
Essentially, a gas strut can be used to make it easier to lift, push, pull, open or close, whether this is on a door, window, lid or chair.
In the case of your car, have you ever wondered why your boot is so light? This heavy door is so easy to open because of gas struts. These are installed on each side of the boot, providing quick and convenient access with minimal effort.
How Can I Replace Gas Struts?
Gas struts do have a limited lifespan – usually around five years – and if they start to fail, then this is something you will quickly notice. If your boot becomes heavy or you have trouble keeping it open, it could be that the gas strut is on its way out.
This is usually caused by a loss of pressure, which can often be fixed by a certified mechanic, who can re-pressurise the struts. However, if this is not possible, they will need to be replaced. The good news is, even if you possess little car knowledge, you can do this at home with just one tool.
Firstly, purchase gas struts that have been designed for your car – like these for a Ford Focus. Then, with someone to hold open the boot, use a flat-head screwdriver between the gas strut and the clip that is holding it in place to remove the gas strut, then simply replace with the new one. Then repeat on the other side to replace the second strut.
Gas struts may sound complex, but you probably use them every day, either at home or in the office. However, hopefully, you are now better informed about gas struts, what they do and feel confident to replace them in your own car, when the time comes.