|That hood isn't going to hold itself up!|
Under "World's Easiest Car Repair" we've written about some simple maintenance tasks that you can do yourself and save a ton of money compared to paying someone else to do it. Of course car dealers are entitled to make a living too, and I sure don't mind seeing mechanics and technicians making a good salary either. But, me personally, I like to save money even more than to give it to someone else! Heck, if I SAVE money, then I CAN give it to someone else!
Right up there with replacing your own air filter, cabin air filter, or even pumping your own gas (outside of New Jersey,) another simple job is to replace worn out hood or trunk struts! Last week I noticed our 10 year old Camry's hood didn't really want to open like normal (easily that is) so I figured I'd just replace the 2 struts. While this IS an easy job, I'd never done it before, so I Googled it up and found a great video that showed me how easy it was.
OK, first let's review the EXTENSIVE tool list you will need for this job:
1) flat head screwdriver
2) nothing else
3) really, nothing else at all
Got that? It's easy! Actually, I seem to remember that if my writing has a number 1, then it should also have a number 2. (total lack of number 1 requiring number 2 jokes here) If I have to list another tool, maybe a
2) knife to open the package
|Camry OEM struts from STABILUS|
So you first have to remove the old struts. This step is amazingly similar to the only thing you have to do to install the new one. Grab that screwdriver, and just loosen the clamp that will hold the strut in place. Once you look at it once or watch a video, you'll see it's amazingly simple.
|This open end just slides over the ball on the hood and engine bay|
Loosen the clamps on the strut on the car, both the top and the bottom connections are the same. After that the strut comes right off. SAFETY wise you might have to support the hood at this point, until the new one is in place. If you're not sure about needing to support the hood, a sudden clunking feeling on your head or hand from the hood falling down will indicate that YES YOU SHOULD HAVE HELD THE HOOD UP.
|Old dirty strut still fastened. Just have to loosen that center band with a screwdriver.|
Now to install the new strut, you just loosen the clamps enough to pop the strut in place, slip the clamps back into the secure position. That's it. Repeat on the other strut and you should be all done.
After doing this on our Made-in-Kentucky-Camry, I peeked at the struts on the Made-in-Finland-Cayman, and even though the struts said Made in Germany, they sure look like the same design to me. If you're looking for probably the cheapest prices on struts or just about any car parts, I'll again recommend mail order from our friends at RockAuto.com. The struts I ordered are from Stabilus, which is the same company that made the original ones on the Camry, and since they've lasted this long, I'm a happy customer.