How to fit and remove boot struts

A quick guide to replacing boot gas struts

Removing and installing gas struts on your car is often a quick and simple job which does not require a mechanic.

Band Type Ball Sockets

If your gas struts have a ball and socket fittings then the only tools required are flat blade screwdriver and someone to hold the boot for you. Replacing car tailgate struts is a two person job - do not remove one strut and rely on the other to hold the boot open by itself.

  • Look at the end of the gas strut for a rectangular plastic block with a metal band running around the back. Some struts use metal fittings but the band will be in a similar position.
  • Slide a flat head screwdriver down the groove along the back of the fitting and under the metal band.
  • Lever the band back and pull on the gas strut to remove it from the car. You do not need to remove the band to do this – just lever it back.
  • Remember where the piston rod end of the strut attaches to the car. It's important to fit your new struts in the same orientation to keep the oil over the seals and increase the lifespan of the strut.
  • Your new gas struts will simply push fit back onto the ball studs.
    • Push the rod end (the thinner part) of your new strut over the ball stud on the car. You will feel it click into place.
    • Do the same with the cylinder end. If the sockets do not line up with the ball studs then grip the cylinder and rotate it.
    • Never use pliers or clamp the piston rod in any way.
      Damage to the rod will cause the strut to fail.

Pin Type Ball Sockets

If your gas struts have a dome end fitting with a small metal pin -

  • Unclip the pin from around the base of the fitting and totally remove it from the fitting.
  • Once the pin is removed the gas strut can be pulled off, leaving the ball attached to the vehicle.
  • To fit your new struts remove the pin, push fit them onto the ball stud and replace the pin.