Help I can’t lift my bonnet!
Having decided it was time to check oil levels, it was a challenge to open the bonnet of my Prado as it suddenly weighed heavily. One of the gas struts had decided to fail, hydraulic fluid leaking down the shaft. I was impressed that it had lasted so long, especially having been in the midst of my engine bay fire, the scars still evident on the hardened plastic cover. Thankfully, changing the gas struts that open and hold up your bonnet is very simple, just remember that if you have to replace one, it’s better to replace both so they have the same pressure and age.
First thing I did was jump online and check out what was available for my 14-year-old vehicle. The usual automotive stores sold suitable replacements, but for my vehicle, individually not pairs. Then Google led me to Gas Struts Guys, an Australian owned and operated business that specialises in supplying automotive and universal gas struts. It was easy to enter my vehicle details and find the right kit to suit, and it came as a pair. When the kit was delivered, here is what I did to replace my old gas struts with new ones.
1. Remove the old struts:
This was just a matter of unscrewing the mounting points on the bonnet and body panel using a 12mm spanner and removing the strut with the mounting point attached. I used a broom handle to hold the bonnet up, but it is safer to have someone hold the bonnet for you, just in case. I replaced the faulty strut first so that the good strut could help hold the bonnet up.
2. Install the mounting points:
The kit comes with four mounting points, easily screwed into the existing holes and tightened with a 12mm spanner.
3. Attach the new struts:
Once the mounting points where installed, I used a flat blade screwdriver to release the clip and then pressed the strut onto each mounting point, before closing the clip. Having viewed videos since, releasing the clip may not be necessary for installation, only for removal of the strut. Having replaced the failed strut, I then replaced the second strut just as easily. The entire job took less than 10 minutes and was one of the easiest maintenance jobs ever performed.
So, if the gas struts that support your bonnet give up the ghost, it is simple and easy to replace them. The replacement gas struts cost me $39.95 with free postage for the pair from www.gasstrutguys.com.au.