Lift Support Buyer's Guide
- Lift supports make use of a compression system to help you open your vehicle’s trunk, hood, liftgate, or hatches with ease while you handle repair work or load cargo.
- Gas-charged lift supports are energy storage devices that create energy through compressing gas inside a cylinder. When the lift support opens, it releases energy that holds up your car hood, trunk, hatch, and other compartments.
- It is advisable to replace automotive lift supports every five years. However, you do not have to wait for five years or more, especially when you already notice signs that your lift support is faulty, like difficulty holding up your car hood or trunk.
- A lift support replacement usually costs around $50 to $250. To ensure that you are getting the right fit, enter your vehicle’s correct details into our search engine.
Vehicles have many compartments like trunks, hoods, and hatches. At one point, you will need to hold these compartments open, either for repair or loading cargo. This is where the role of automotive lift supports come in. Sometimes called lift support struts, they are vital components for maintenance and repair but often go unnoticed until one becomes faulty.
In this article, you will get to know more about the importance of lift supports, how it works, and when it needs a replacement.
What is an automotive lift support?
Lift supports make use of a compression system to help you open your vehicle’s trunk, hood, liftgate, or hatches with ease while you handle repair work or load cargo.
Automotive gas-charged lift supports act as energy storage devices. They create energy through compressing gas inside a cylinder. When the lift support is closed, the energy remains stored. But once it opens, it releases energy that holds your car hood, trunk, hatch, or any compartment in an open position. This will let you freely access your hood, trunk, or any other car compartment that has lift supports.
Usually, gas-charged lift supports can store a charge of up to 1,500 psi, so technically, it is impossible to force it close by hand.
The number of lift supports installed in your vehicle will depend on your vehicle’s year, make, and model. Most likely, there would be two or more lift supports to hold your trunk, and a few more installed in your hood. To know more about the number of lift supports installed in your vehicle, you may check your vehicle manual.
Are there types of lift supports?
Lift supports are straightforward car parts. There is not much to talk about types. However, it is important to take into consideration the location of the lift support and what it is for before finding a replacement. For example, a hood lift support may have different specifications from a trunk lift support. Also, lift support types are vehicle specific, so it is important to check for compatibility before buying a replacement.
When is the right time to replace lift supports?
Just like any other car part, your vehicle’s lift supports will eventually fail. Oftentimes, they fail because of loss of gas pressure. Other additional causes include exposure to extreme temperature and normal wear and tear from frequent use.
To prevent your lift supports from malfunctioning at crucial times, it is advisable to replace them every five years. However, when you notice signs that your lift supports are failing, have it replaced right away. One obvious sign of faulty lift support struts is difficulty holding your hood or trunk up.
Aside from difficulty opening compartments, faulty lift supports may cause injury to you or your mechanic. For example, a bad hood lift support may cause your car hood to suddenly close unexpectedly. To prevent these things from happening, it is best to have faulty ones replaced right away. Don’t worry about finding a replacement because there are many high-quality lift supports in the market that sell for a reasonable price.
What to look for in a lift support
To help you narrow down your options for a replacement, here are things you should consider when choosing a lift support replacement:
Since your vehicle’s lift supports hold up heavy components like the car hood and trunk, it is important to consider the quality of the lift supports you are about to buy.
Low-quality or defective lift support replacements may cause your vehicle more harm than good. To prevent this from happening, always buy high-quality lift supports for your vehicle.
Value for Money
Aside from ensuring the quality of your vehicle’s lift support replacement, one thing you must also consider is value for money when buying lift supports or lift support struts. Your lift supports are straightforward car parts and there are many high-quality lift supports that sell at a reasonable price.
OEM vs OE Lift Supports
You might also wonder whether to buy an OEM or an OE lift support replacement. Which is a better choice?
OEM stands for Official Equipment Manufacturer. OEM accessories come from your vehicle’s authorized manufacturer. The chief advantage of buying OEM lift supports is the assurance of quality coming from the brand.
In comparison, the advantage of buying OE car parts and accessories is the number of options available in the market for you to choose from. Since these accessories come from third-party manufacturers, they may be available in your favorite car accessory shop or car part retailer. Even if it is widely available, OE lift supports work just like OEM. Some OE replacements even exceed the quality of OEM parts.
Whether you prefer an OEM or OE replacement, what is important is checking the quality of the lift support you are buying. If you’re planning to buy an OE lift support, always buy one from legitimate sources.
How much does a lift support replacement cost?
A lift support replacement usually costs around $50 to $250. Lift support replacements usually sell individually, in sets, or as part of a kit. Some brands offer universal lift supports, but most are direct-fit and specific for your vehicle type. Pore over the product specification before buying one.
Finding the right fit
Online car parts stores offer a wide selection of lift supports for you to choose from. To ensure that you are getting the right fit, enter your vehicle’s year, make, and model into the filter bar. Browse through the different options available and choose an individual replacement or a set of lift support compatible with your vehicle.
Replacing Worn-out Lift Supports
Your vehicle's lift supports are designed to wear out in 5 to 7 years. As time goes by, the pressurized from the lift supports escape through its seals. It loses its ability to hold up your trunk or hood; and factors like frequent opening or closing of the trunk or hood can shorten its lifespan. You will need an improvised support device, which proves to be dangerous.
Changing the lift supports is an easy task. We have prepared the steps and tools you need to replace them.
Difficulty level: Easy
Tools You Will Need:
- Screw driver set
- Wrench set
- A pair of pliers
- Replacement lift supports
- Make sure that you're working on a solid, level surface.
- Have someone help you hold the trunk or hood up while you're removing or replacing the struts.
- Always wear recommended safety equipment like closed-toe shoes, an industrial-grade dusk mask, safety goggles and gloves.
- Check your replacement parts and make sure that they are compatible to your vehicle's make and model.
Step 1: Raise the trunk or lid and have an assistant help you hold it up. Check all the fastening bolts and clips before removing them.
Step 2: Lift supports are mounted in three different ways: bolted, clipped and metal spring-type clips. Use a socket wrench to loosen bolts and save the sleeves for reuse (these sleeves act as a pivoting bush). For strut clips, use a small screwdriver and set them aside. Be careful when removing metal spring-type clips because they tend pop-off and are easily lost. They can easily pop-off and make sure not to break them.
Step 3: Make sure to also remove any locking clamps with your screwdriver. Have your assistant hold the trunk or hood for support.
Step 4: Carefully remove the lift support from the trunk lid or hood.
Step 5: Check your replacement parts for any signs of physical damage before installing it.Insert the new lift support into the ball where the old strut was fastened to. For bolted types; use a socket wrench and applied the necessary torque to secure it. Use a flat-head screwdriver to snap the metal spring-type or plastic clips into its retainer.
Remove the other lift support and follow steps 1 to 6.
Step 6: After installing both lift supports, close the hood or trunk lid slowly to test the installation. Make sure that it doesn't bind or bend-closes smoothly and fully.
Lift support installation will take about 45 minutes for an expert DIYer and around an hour for a beginner. Roll up your sleeves and have fun!