The trunk is difficult to open or the tailgate no longer stays up? Then you should change the tailgate dampers as soon as possible. How a gas spring defect occurs in the first place and how you can easily carry out the change yourself: You will find out all this and much more from us – including tips, tricks and step-by-step instructions for the perfect tailgate damper change. Are you ready? Then let’s get started right away!
Defective gas spring: causes and consequences
If the gas struts on the tailgate are defective, you will see at least one of the following symptoms:
- The trunk opens harder than usual.
- The tailgate no longer holds up like it should.
The gas springs are one of the wearing parts of a car. That means they don’t last forever and can break at some point. In order to understand the underlying causes, you should first know how so-called pneumatic gas springs work.
Functionality of tailgate dampers
To ensure that the tailgate does not fall on your head when loading and unloading the trunk, it is held in place by gas pressure springs. And this is how it all works:
- Tailgate dampers have a with gas (mostly nitrogen) filled pressure tube.
- Inside this tube is a moving piston.
- through the movement the gas escapes through a small opening inside.
- This creates a certain gas pressurewhich facilitates the opening of the flap and then holds the latter up.
Good to know: If the dampers are extended, the pressure is low – and the tailgate remains open. When you close the trunk again, the gas pressure is increased. This prevents the flap from simply falling down without being cushioned.
Now that you know how gas springs work, we can better explain the causes of a defect. Are you ready? Then it’s time to read on and find out more!
Causes of gas spring defects
The tailgate dampers are actually maintenance-free. But especially in autumn and winter, when it gets colder again, they can break. Why is that? Very easily:
- If the seals are porous, the gas can escape.
- As a result, the necessary pressure can no longer be built up.
- As a result, the dampers can no longer do their job.
- Cold temperatures also lower the gas pressure.
- And this also has the consequence that the springs no longer work properly.
Now that you have some background knowledge about gas springs, you are probably asking yourself: Can I repair them myself if they are defective? Of course we will give you the answer immediately!
Repair gas spring of the tailgate – is that possible?
If you were hoping that you could easily repair your tailgate struts, unfortunately we have bad news for you:
- Because gas springs are a closed system acts, these can unfortunately not repair.
But that’s not a problem: changing the gas spring is child’s play and of course we have the right instructions ready for you! So if you want to know how to change your tailgate dampers yourself, just read on.
Replacing tailgate dampers: you need this
Just because gas struts themselves cannot be repaired does not mean that you should worry, because:
- The repair is even for laymen who have not otherwise dared to repair cars, very easy.
- It lasts even not long change the tailgate dampers.
- In addition, a new gas spring is very cheap!
Next, we’ll move on to the stuff you’ll need to make the switch. The list is actually quite short – you only need:
- a flat screwdriver
- a clean and dry cloth
- new tailgate dampers
- a helper – or a helper
Good to know: In order to buy the right gas spring, you should definitely look at the length and the extension force respect, think highly of!
That was it! Do you have everything? Then we can continue with the actual change. We will now explain step by step how to replace your defective gas springs!
Step-by-step instructions for changing the tailgate damper
Pro tip: Another short but important information before you start the change: you should always do the same change both tailgate dampers. Otherwise, one of the two will be more heavily loaded. This can lead to damage to the hinges of the trunk, for example, and you will soon have to replace your gas pressure springs again because of the one-sided load.
And here it comes – the simple instructions for replacing gas springs:
Replacing gas springs – Step 1: Secure tailgate
So that you don’t injure yourself when changing if the tailgate falls down (after all, it’s no longer held by the dampers), you have to secure it well enough. This is where your helper comes into play:
- While you are removing the defective tailgate dampers, the other person must hold the trunk lid up.
- Otherwise, it will not only bother you when you work, but can also cause serious injuries.
Pro tip: If no one else has time, you can alternatively use a broomstick or something similar. You should only make sure that the selected object is stable and cannot slip.
As soon as you have secured the tailgate from free fall, we can continue with the next step:
Replacing gas springs – Step 2: Open the safety clips and loosen the old tailgate dampers
The gas pressure springs for the trunk are attached to small ball heads. So that the dampers stay where they belong and don’t fall down, they are held in place by retaining clips. In order to be able to remove the old tailgate dampers, you first have to loosen these safety clips – this is how it works:
- Take your flat head screwdriver and place it under the brackets.
- Then you pry it open so that you can then simply pull the damper off the ball head.
- However, you should be careful not to damage the paintwork with the screwdriver.
- It is best to start with the upper end of the tailgate damper and then repeat these individual steps below.
Have you now removed the old tailgate dampers? Perfect! Then let’s go straight to the next step!
Replacing gas springs – Step 3: Clean the mount
To ensure that the trunk lid opens and closes smoothly, you should clean the ball heads before installing the new dampers:
- Take the clean rag and simply wipe over it.
- So that your new gas springs last longer, we recommend using a multi-purpose grease.
- This ensures that the dampers do not get stuck when opening and closing the trunk.
- It also protects against rusting and thus supports a longer service life of the springs.
Pro Tip: Most new gas springs are already pre-greased. If this is also the case with yours, you don’t have to additionally grease the ball heads!
Are all recordings now clean and greased? Are you ready to install your new tailgate struts? Here we go!
Replacing tailgate dampers – Step 4: Insert new springs
This brings us to the last step of the instructions. To install the new dampers, all you have to do is place them on the ball heads with a little pressure. You do this in reverse order to the removal:
- First attach the lower end of the gas spring and then the upper one.
- Finally, you should check whether the tailgate is now staying up and not closing again or whether it is still difficult to open.
So that you can watch the whole process again, we have a video for you here:
With our checklist to download and print out, you always have the instructions at hand!
The original problem is now fixed? Congratulations – you have successfully changed your tailgate dampers. Not that difficult, is it?
Granted. We still owe you an answer, namely: How much does it cost to change the tailgate dampers? You will find out if you read on!
Changing tailgate dampers: costs
As always, the costs depend on various factors:
- If you have the gas springs replaced in a workshop, you have to expect higher expenses.
- More expensive products are often used here and the working time is also calculated.
- If you decide to change the tailgate dampers yourself, you can save a lot of money.
Depending on how you decide, there are different costs for changing the tailgate damper:
- If you go to a workshop for this repair, you will incur total costs of up to €120.
- If you do the work yourself in your own workshop, the costs for the working time are eliminated – and you can also install cheaper parts if you like.
- So you definitely save money.
And how about you? Have you already changed the tailgate dampers yourself or have you always left it to the workshop? Feel free to tell us in the comments!