Hatch door does not stay up - Chevy HHR Network


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Old 10-05-2010, 12:41 AM   #1
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Hatch door does not stay up

A few days ago, I was rear-ended under 5 mph. There was no damage except for a few scratches so I let it go. Today I went to lift open the hatch and it does not stay up anymore, I am guessing something happened to it from the hit. Has anybody ever had to deal with their hatch door not staying open? What did you do? What type of place should I take it to to have it fixed? Thanks for any advice.
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Old 10-05-2010, 12:52 AM   #2
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A few days ago, I was rear-ended under 5 mph. There was no damage except for a few scratches so I let it go. Today I went to lift open the hatch and it does not stay up anymore, I am guessing something happened to it from the hit. Has anybody ever had to deal with their hatch door not staying open? What did you do? What type of place should I take it to to have it fixed? Thanks for any advice.
Sorry to hear about your fender-bender!! I noticed this was your first post! Welcome to the site!! I'm not positive, but on my HHR, I have a pump or shock-type pole thing (sorry, I don't know what they're called) on the inside of the liftgate on each side of the car. Maybe there could be something wrong with those??? It's hard to say, and I'm not very smart when it comes to cars, but that was just the first thing that came to mind. Hope you get it all figured out. I'm sure someone else will probably know more about it than I do.
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Old 10-05-2010, 05:12 AM   #3
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goetylsd is referring to the black hydraulic struts on each side of the hatch. They are a snap to replace, and be picked up from your chevy dealership (sorry, no idea onthe price). Any good auto parts store like NAPA, Shucks/O'Rileys, Autozone etc. should also be able to get you a replacement. I expect the price should be ~$30-$45 or so each.

Likely you will find one of the struts is leaking fluid (visible on the chrome rod that telescopes out of the black cylinder) and will need replacing (they are not repairable). If no fluid is visible, you will have to remove each strut one at a time to see which one is shot - if it does not extend firmly with good pressure on its own, it's shot. Once extended it should need a good deal of pressure to collapse it back down into the black cylinder - if it doesn't, it's shot..

Similar struts are used under the hood to hold the hood up.
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:46 AM   #4
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goetylsd is referring to the black hydraulic struts on each side of the hatch. They are a snap to replace, and be picked up from your chevy dealership (sorry, no idea onthe price). Any good auto parts store like NAPA, Shucks/O'Rileys, Autozone etc. should also be able to get you a replacement. I expect the price should be ~$30-$45 or so each.

Likely you will find one of the struts is leaking fluid (visible on the chrome rod that telescopes out of the black cylinder) and will need replacing (they are not repairable). If no fluid is visible, you will have to remove each strut one at a time to see which one is shot - if it does not extend firmly with good pressure on its own, it's shot. Once extended it should need a good deal of pressure to collapse it back down into the black cylinder - if it doesn't, it's shot..

Similar struts are used under the hood to hold the hood up.
Welcome...I bought a pair of used struts off E-Bay for $20
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Old 10-05-2010, 11:23 AM   #5
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goetylsd is referring to the black hydraulic struts on each side of the hatch.
Thanks!! I'm glad you knew what I meant. I knew what I meant, but I didn't know what they were called. Your name sounds a little bit better than mine.
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Old 10-05-2010, 03:06 PM   #6
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Thank you!
It is the passenger side hydraulic strut that is leaking fluid. It seemed that 2 migrating wasps lead me to figure that out, and seeing there were fluid stains on the right side of my bumper.

I cannot see how to actually take them off to replace them. Can anyone direct me to any on-line instructions or post here how I can do so? Thanks again!
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Old 10-05-2010, 03:20 PM   #7
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They are just a snap in, ball and socket arrangement with a retainer clip. On the back side of the the strut, where it connects the hatch and also body, you'll see a horizontal slot under the retainer clip. Just use a small flat blade screwdriver to pry it out. The clip is spring steel and flex over the ball stud.
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Old 10-05-2010, 03:42 PM   #8
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They are just a snap in, ball and socket arrangement with a retainer clip. On the back side of the the strut, where it connects the hatch and also body, you'll see a horizontal slot under the retainer clip. Just use a small flat blade screwdriver to pry it out. The clip is spring steel and flex over the ball stud.
Great description!!!
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Old 10-10-2010, 03:40 PM   #9
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just replaced it today, bought the strut at CarQuest for $25. It was very easy and your description of how to take it out was perfect! Thank you everyone for your assistance.
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Old 10-10-2010, 07:26 PM   #10
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depending upon how old your HHR is (and not that I want to spend someone else's money) you might be better off getting the other side a new one. During the winter the struts sometimes get sluggish and may not hold up the hatch that well if one is new and the other old. Sorta like getting one knee replaced when you need 2, then your walk is over compensated now resulting in hip failure... Or a hatch on the head.
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