Here is one more item to add to your inspection routine or check list that will take zero time but add an often-missed service opportunity. Checking the spare tire as part of a vehicle inspection is a critical step. If you are opening the trunk, hatch or liftgate, check the condition of the lift struts.
Lift struts should make opening easy and support the hatch or lid while you are setting the spare tire air pressure. If you find yourself balancing the liftgate on your head or it slams shut while you retrieve your tire pressure gauge, you should recommend new support struts for your customer.
A liftgate strut is a gas spring. Within the body of the lift support are nitrogen gas and oil that are pressurized. As the hood is lifted the gas and oil transfer energy and push the lift support into the open position and can even hold it up.
Over time the gas can escape around the seal of the shaft and the seals of the lift support can degrade. This weakens the strut and prevents it from supporting the hood at full extension. According to a leading hood and hatch manufacturer, 3-5% of the power of a lift is lost annually and performance loss will definitely start to be noticeable after 4-5 years of the lift supports life and failure often occurring in the 8–12-year range, depending on climate and frequency of use.
If you notice issues with the support struts, chances are your customer already knows. Offering them a no-hassle solution for replacement will help you to gain even more trust.
This video is sponsored by Strongarm.