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What Are Gas Struts?

gas strut

Behind the heavy engines and tires, gas struts have got underrated for their necessary contribution to a smooth operation of a vehicle. However, it would be wrong to say that people don’t inquire about gas struts.

Questions like ‘What are gas struts?’, or where to buy tailgate struts in Australia, often get a high volume of search in Google and other major search engines.

If you are still interested to learn what gas struts are, and how to choose the correct gas struts for the job, I suggest you to continue reading because this info can help you in your work or in the everyday life.

What Are Gas Struts And How Are They Used?

Gas struts are just another helpful device that looks like a typical gas spring and are used to sustain horizontally hinged doors, hatches, covers and lids.

In practice, they are used for various purposes, such as: to replace older gas struts that just run their life and have become now too tight, if a new weight has been added to an existing door (maybe a solar panel), in this case the previous gas struts need to be replaced with more powerful ones, and lastly, gas struts could be added to something that previously didn’t have gas struts like: making your bed lift up in your caravan, when building your camper trailer and you need to lift up top.

Gas struts have gained quite a lot of traction as they don’t get damaged or deform their shape even when compressed by a piston at high pressure.

However, we cannot neglect the fact that faulty gas struts have led to deaths in the industry, so if you are new to gas struts or perhaps you are unsure of what are you doing, it is strongly recommended to contact a professional that can help you to safely work with gas struts.

The Role Of Gas Struts In Vehicles

Let’s now look at the role of gas struts in a vehicle.

Gas struts can be used for several reasons in conventional and electric vehicles:

  • 1. One of the major functions of gas struts is to provide safety when the vehicle is lifted, positioned, or moved to any other direction than normal during a repair.
  • 2. They can help in over-balancing weights because of their firm structure and compact size.
  • 3. Gas struts turned to be very helping when you need to lift a vehicle without losing balance, when you want to lift your trunk’s door, for the suspension system of the vehicle, etc.

The reason why they are called gas struts is that they provide a sealed lifting force when needed.

How To Choose The Correct Gas Struts For The Job?

In case you need to only replace older gas struts, this is very easy, because you only have to check a couple of things such as: the size of the gas strut when extended, the diameter of the shaft, the diameter of the cylinder, and ideally check the Newton’s force noted on the struts.

If you don’t know the Newton’s, you just need to know how much weight it can lift, and you can do this by roughly estimating the force, or by using a broomstick and a bathroom scale.

In case that the weight of the door has been increased because you just added a solar panel or anything else on it, you only have to know how much weight was there initially and how much weight has been added.

To do this, you have to measure again the extended length of the strut (from the centre of the end fittings when fully extended), the diameter if the shaft, the diameter of the cylinder, the Newton’s of force that was there initially, and how much weight you’ve added.

In case that you want to introduce gas struts to something that originally didn’t have struts, it usually occurs when people want to build their own canopies, camp trailers, toolboxes, etc.

When deciding what gas struts you need for your door there is a formula that you can use:

How to measure what gas struts you need

Formula to measure what gas struts you need.

Do Gas Struts Need Replacing Or Repairing?

As said earlier, gas struts might require replacing or repairing depending on their condition. This is because they are made up of steel, ensuring their rigidity and longevity over time, but the scenario is different in gas struts.

If you feel that something is wrong with the suspension of your vehicle, ask the mechanic if you need to replace some of the gas struts used by the suspension system. A suspension system that suffers due to faulty gas struts, will make you feel less comfortable inside the vehicle.

Sometimes, the gas struts only need light polishing due to the rust and corrosion created in time, depending on the extreme wear and tear your vehicle goes through.

Unlike expensive car parts, gas struts don’t cost too much, so you don’t need to dig a hole in your pocket.

How To Make Gas Struts Last Longer?

Like other parts of the vehicle, the best practice to make gas struts last longer is to care for them. You can do this by using your car in the humane way, without overloading it with large loads all the time.

Gas struts are just another important component of your vehicle that needs regular maintenance and sufficient care to remain in good shape and serve you well.

Another easy and simple way to make gas struts last longer is by re-grassing them at the time of need. This is a very simple task (greasing gas struts) that any mechanic can do during the routine maintenance service.

Final Conclusion

Gas struts can be found almost everywhere around us today, even if talk about our car, our camper, our boat, etc, or inside the house at the door, the treadmill, under the bed, etc.

I hope that this article helped you to better understand what gas struts are, where are they used the most, and how to choose new ones in case you wan to replace the old and rusty ones, or simply add a new pair of gas struts to an existing door that got heavier.

Article written by:

I am a writer and reporter for the clean energy sector, I cover climate change issues, new clean technologies, sustainability and green cars. Danny Ovy

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