A faulty or failing hatch strut will cause the hatch lid to close when the operator of the vehicle is attempting to retrieve an item from the rear of the vehicle. This body support device is also referred to as the hatch lift or support by some parts manufacturers. This supporting device is in place to keep the hatch open by using resistance in the strut. It can be damaged by impact with a blunt object, but in most instances the plunger on its interior just wears out and can no longer maintain resistance in the cylinder in which it is mounted.
The hatch support is similar in appearance to a shock absorber on the chassis of a vehicle. One end is attached to the hatch itself with the other end on the frame round the opening the hatch covers in the rear of the vehicle. Inside of the hatch strut is a polymer plunger that is fitted into a cylinder. The plunger using air resistance to create the necessary friction to help keep the hatch open when moved into position by an operator. There is also a small amount of resistance that can be felt by a person closing the hatch from this support device.
The replacement of a worn hatch lift requires the hatch to be opened. For safety reasons, a piece of wooden board or other device should be put into place to support the weight of the hatch so it can remain open without it being held there. At each end of the hatch support device there is a clip that holds this component on a small rod. Once the clip is removed the device can be taken off and replaced.