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Mercedes Benz Ml320 Hatch Strut

Mercedes Benz ML350 Hatch Strut: What Can Go Wrong and What You Can Do

While Mercedes Benz ML350 hatch strut failures aren't terribly catastrophic in consequence, it becomes very inconvenient to have them damaged and malfunctioning. Can you imagine having to prop up the SUV's rear hatch every time you have to load something? Didn't think so. Here are a few ways to tell if things are going south, and the little things you can do to quick-fix it.

Limp hatches

The first signs that your hatch struts are starting to wear out are a noticeable squeaking when you move your hatch up and down as well as a noticeable limp when the hatch is fully opened. That is to say, the hatch doesn't stay up all the way and instead precariously hangs over your head threatening to hammer it painfully. Ideally, by this point, you replace the old, worn hatch strut with a brand new working one. If you can't or simply don't want to, an option for a quick fix is to cover up the damage-which is most common-if there is any with duct tape. Done early enough, it can "re-pressure" the strut a bit giving a little bit of traction. Alternatively, you could attach a clip to the thin part of the strut to keep it propped up and prevent it from falling on your noggin'.

Lock-ups and "freezing"

Another symptom that the hatch struts are wearing out or damaged is the occasional difficulty in opening the hatch at all. At times this can be manifested in greater resistance to tugging at the hatch. At worst, it actually "sucks" the hatch back to a close despite your best efforts and application of strength. This is a tougher nut to crack because it implies a greater fault with the pressures within the hatch strut itself-this should be a signal for replacement if there ever was one. The only real option if you have to access your hatch then and there would be to force it open from the inside. Again, however, if it gets this bad, start ponying up for a replacement to save you the heartache.

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  • How to Keep Your Mercedes Benz ML320 Hatch Struts in Tip-top Condition 04 March 2014

    Hatch struts are those little parts that are easy to never think of until they breakdown. They function simply, after all, keeping your Mercedes Benz's rear-access hatch propped open so you can load or unload anything you might need to transport. When they breakdown, however, they bring a whole world of inconvenience you never though you would have to experience. All of a sudden, that door becomes much heavier and impossible to keep open. Here are a few simple tips to keep your hatch struts from breaking down-at least for a little longer.

    • Be clean, but not too clean.
    • It's easy to neglect something like a hatch strut. After all, it's such a minor part. To avoid a big headache from a little thing, however, it's recommended that you clean these at least once every three months. A simple wipe down with a clean rag will do. Note that the goal is to keep tiny dirt particles from messing with the internal pneumatics of the strut-it doesn't need to be squeaky clean. Conversely, you'd be smart not to use water or any detergents or solvents. Trading dirt for water isn't going to help you much.
    • Lubricate for silky smoothness.
    • Some newer hatch struts are gas-powered, so lubrication in this sense involves recalibrating the pressure of the gas within the enclosure. If that's the case-if you got your stock struts replaced-then this is something you do not yourself do. A smart move is to take it to a mechanic (still attached, of course) and have them do it right. If you own a stock or older set, a little bit of lubricating oil along the exposed metallic portion of the strut should do it. It's critical to not over lubricate. The point is simply to reduce friction damage.
    • Don't stress it out.
    • This is a simple thing to do, either the hatch is open or it's closed. Never have it straddle the line in between these two states-as some might be apt to do. This actually weakens the struts as a whole, and reduces the service life significantly.