Common Problems with the Ford Explorer Liftgate Glass Strut
Liftgate glass struts help keep the rear of your Ford Explorer open. Though the strut is a rather simple mechanism filled with fluid or air, it can run into a number of problems. To prevent any unfortunate event from happening, like having the whole rear gate crash on your head, be sure to fix any problem with the liftgate strut as soon as it appears. Here are some common Ford Explorer liftgate glass strut issues:
Rust on the strut support pin and strut bracket
This is a common problem on a number of 1996 Ford Explorers. Be sure to keep an eye on the mount and support pins of your liftgate struts from time to time in case they start rusting up badly. A recall was issued for these struts back in 1997, so you should try to call the nearest dealer to have the issue fixed. Alternatively, you can have new support pins and strut brackets installed in your Explorer to fix the problem.
Liftgate glass strut offers no support
If it seems like the liftgate of your Ford Explorer is becoming heavier every time, it's probably because the glass struts are approaching failure. This is likely because the fluids in the strut are all puckered out or the strut mechanism itself is shot. In any case, you should replace the strut immediately.
Fluid leak on the liftgate strut
Significant fluid leak is a sure sign that the strut is about to give out soon. After a while, you will also begin to notice a significant decline in the strut's performance. As always, the only logical thing to do in this case is to replace the whole thing.
Popping sound from the strut as the lift gate is opened
Listen closely to where the sound is coming from. If the hinges and the brackets are making these sounds, it is probably because they are loose or in need of lubrication. Tighten the appropriate bolts and spray some penetrating oil on the noisy components to fix the problem. The popping sound could also be a sign that rust and corrosion have taken hold of the strut, so be sure to check for damage as well.