Sunday, May 31, 2009

Replacing the liftgate supports on a Hyundai Santa Fe

Last week the “shock absorber” looking things that held up the hatchback door of my Hyundai Santa Fe gave out. Once these things stopped working, the hatchback wouldn't stay open and it took real effort to hold the door up.

After calling around here is what I first found out:

  1. Depending on who you speak to, these shock absorber things are called by various names:
    1. Lift-gate/Tailgate struts
    2. Lift-gate/Tailgate lifters
    3. Lift-gate/Tailgate lift supports
  2. Having these replaced at a Hyundai dealership costs about $225.00
  3. A local garage quoted me $180.00 to replace them.
  4. The cost of one Hyundai OEM lift-gate lift support strut is about $62.50.

It looks like most of the shops quote about 1 hour of labor to replace these liftgate supports. After having figured out how to replace them myself, I found that it will take you all of 60 seconds to replace each liftgate support. Add to that, the fact that you can buy after-market liftgate supports that are exactly like the original for $60.00 for a pair, you can save yourself approximately $100.00.

So here are the instructions:

  1. Order the replacement liftgate supports.
    1. The lift supports I got (after-market) are manufactured by AVM Industries under the brand-name Strong-Arm. They have the model number 6109.
      They have the following specs:
      Extended Length 21.92IN
      Compressed Length 13.92IN
    2. I got mine from Advance Auto Parts, where they are called Lift Supports. (link). They are also available on (StrongArm Lift Supports), (auto), as well as other local auto stores.
    3. Remember to make sure that they fit your car’s make, model and year.
    4. According to the mechanic as well as the packaging, its best to replace these in pairs.
  2. Replacing the lift supports:
    1. You will need a screw-driver, maybe a nose-pliers and one other person to help you.
    2. With even one lift support not working, the liftgate will not stay open. Have the other person hold the liftgate open. They will have to be tall enough to hold the door fully open. In addition, they should be able to hold the door up for at least 3 to 4 minutes.
    3. Don't remove both liftgate supports at the same time! The door is EXTREMELY heavy – I learnt this the hard way (OUCH!)
    4. Remember – the chrome side of the support goes downwards. (shaft down)
    5. Each side of the lift support has a ball socket. The ball joint on the body of the car is held by the socket using a small metallic clip like spring.
      P5312433   P5312434
      A screw-driver inserted between the cylinder body and the spring clip will allow you to pull the old lift-supports away from the body of the car. Do one side and then the other.
    6. Once you have removed the old lift supports, you can put in the new ones. Again use the screw-driver to loosen the spring and allow for easy fitting of the lift supports on to the body’s ball joints.
      IMG_0161 IMG_0163 IMG_0162
    7. Repeat on the other lift-support.
  3. Save $100.00!


thankful said...

thanks SO MUCH for posting this information. I think it is just wonderful that you took the time to share your money saving tip with the rest of us DIYer' s out there. Man do dealerships rip people off.

jayshon777 said...

Thank you for your tip. I just replaced mine following your instruction. I used a stick to prop up the door and replaced them both within a minute one after another. Now it works like a charm. Great!

Andres said...

Very helpfull thanks. I am not English speaking by origin, owner of Hyundai Terracan and so many words for same part of car desturbing me a lot. I begun to search with keyword back door damper, so now I know that even English speaking public haven"t one word for same part.

Unknown said...

MY friend brought the same but, the head was too small. I believe the store gave the wrong part. It should be that easy to replace!
But, thanks!