It is no fun to open up the hatchback on your vehicle only to have to come down on your back or head. A functioning hatchback is essential in order for you to be able to use your rear cargo space for everyday tasks like storing groceries. When your hatchback fails to stay open and just shuts on its own, generally you need to replace the hatch struts, which is a relatively simple job that even the newest at-home mechanic or do-it-yourself-er should be able to accomplish.
Have someone hold the hatch open as you complete all of the steps below to ensure that you are safe.
Finding The Hatch Strut
In many vehicles, the hatch strut is visible to the naked eye and you don't have to go through any additional steps to access it. If that is the case, move on to the next step.
If the hatch strut is not visible, it is most likely located behind an access panel. Look for an area on your hatchback where there is a screw holding it in place. You will most likely need a torx screw driver for the screw holding the panel in place. Once the screw is removed, you should be able to easily pull the plastic panel covering it up out of place. The plastic panel over the hatch strut may overlap with another plastic panel; if that is the case, you'll want to pop that one out too so you don't damage either plastic panel. Set the panels and the screw that held them in place aside.
Remove The Hatch Strut
The hatch strut needs to be able to pivot easily so it can lower your hatch up and down. At the end of strut you'll see a round socket; this socket goes over a ball that is attached to the frame of your vehicle.
You'll need to remove the socket from the ball in order to remove the old hatch strut and put the new one in place. There may be a metal clip holding the socket in place that you will need to loosen in order to remove the socket with a wrench. Be careful as you remove the metal clip; it often has a lot of force built up in it and may fly off when you try to remove it.
Once you remove the metal clip, you'll need to use some force to pull the socket on the hatch strut loose from the ball on the frame of your vehicle.
Applying The New Hatch Strut
Now you need to take the new hatch strut and place it over the ball that the previous one was covering up. You may need to use a screwdriver as leverage to get the socket into place. Once it is in place, take the metal clip you pulled off the old one and secure it to the new hatch strut.
All that is left for you to do now is to slide the plastic paneling back into place if you had to remove it to get to the hatch strut and reattach the screw that was securing the plastic panels.
For more information, contact a local truck repair company.