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Your Bonnet struts (hood struts) worn out? » Read more about common malfunctions • Repair • Replacement manual
Useful addition for enthusiasts
People who often tinker in the car's engine compartment will find a hood strut to be a handy addition. It eliminates the need to latch the annoying hood support into place and offers maximum safety for inspection and repair. Furthermore, the struts also offer an optimal freedom of movement for the hood. A hood strut fully eliminates the need to use the standard integrated support. A hood strut offers the best effect and maximum safety when mounted in pairs. A hood strut makes checking the oil, brake fluid and coolant much more comfortable than with a fixed hood support.
How does a hood strut work?
A hood strut is technically the same component as a strut for the trunk of a station wagon or compact car. It consists of a gas pressure shock absorber, which is mounted to the body and the trunk door with a ball joint. The technically correct term is "gas spring with end-position damping". It essentially consists of a piston that plunges into a cylinder. The cylinder contains a highly pressurized gas. If the gas is pressed together a high counter-pressure is created. Thus, as soon as the door is lifted, the gas will expand. The counter-pressure now supports you when you open the hood. This facilitates safe and effortless opening and closing of heavy doors and hoods. The gas pressure shock absorbers are mounted in such a way, that the leverage effect easily overcomes the gas pressure when closing the door. As is the case with all gas pressure shock absorbers, the life of the hood strut is limited. The cause of this issue are the internal seals. If these become brittle over time or are damaged by dirt particles, the gas inside can escape. As a result, the component's damping effect subsides and it must be replaced.
Hood strut defects
If the internal pressure of the gas inside the strut is no longer sufficient, it ceases to function properly. The hood can no longer be opened easily and it constantly falls back into its resting position. A gas strut is generally not repairable. Also, the residual pressure in the shock absorber can still be dangerous, wherefore defective gas pressure springs should never be opened by force! The gas spring can be brought to a specialist workshop for controlled "discharge". If the pressure was discharged professionally, a gas pressure spring is easily recyclable as metal scrap.
Repair and installation of the hood strut
The replacement of a hood strut is very easy. It is fixed with split pins, which can be loosened using some needle-nose pliers. A spanner is a suitable tool for prying off the ball-shaped head. The installation of a new hood strut is also not very difficult. The complete mounting kit is included in a strut set. In most cases, an angular bracket must be bolted to the body and the hood. Then the damper is simply installed and fixed with the split pins.
Select the right fit
Any gas pressure shock absorber is always precisely tailored to the particular component and vehicle. The counter-force exercised by the compressed gas is always based on the weight of the hood. If the gas strut is oversized, the hood or door may slam open uncontrollably when unlocked. This can lead to injuries and definitely puts strain on the connection points of the hood and body.
This is especially true when a hood is to be equipped with two struts. The double implementation effectively prevents an open hood from shaking and flapping around, for example due to strong winds. Additionally, the angle can be dimensioned extremely flat in a double design. This strongly increases the freedom of movement when working under the hood. Yet, one can’t simply install two single struts to achieve a double design. Instead, a special kit that includes two struts must be used. Brand quality promises durability Production, gas pressure, seals and precision during the manufacture of single parts can significantly differ depending on the manufacturer. Although gas pressure shock absorbers are inexpensive large-scale produced parts that are easy to replace, premature wear is nonetheless annoying. Only quality products by a brand manufacturer promise lasting durability. These are also not too expensive: A high-quality hood strut is available for as low as 8 euro in the spare part trade.