Monday, March 16

2010 - 2014 Cadillac SRX or Saab 9-4x Trunk Fix

fix your cadillac srx or saab 9-4x liftgate
Our Saab 9-4x (similar to Caddy SRX) had a liftgate that started to creep back down after opening. We did not yet have the problem of it closing immediately or without warning like I'd seen on forum posts, but it was probably heading in that direction. I searched for the best replacement pressurized cylinder liftgate support, and this is the one I chose from Amazon.

First off, I wasn't sure if the pressurized strut would be enough or if I really needed the $200 actuator assembly, and it worried me when I took the old liftgate support off only to have a trunk crash down immediately, which seemed to imply that a replacement of one (non-powered) side would not be enough. However, giving it a try for under $30 was a better option than throwing $200 at the situation without obvious evidence I needed to do so. Apparently, according to forum posts, every Cadillac dealership will try to charge you for replacement of both sides (and it might even make more sense), but they will also charge over $500 for the service. Since these are now older model cars, many people will probably skip getting it done and settle for having a dangerous vehicle. At least give the $25 option a try.

caddy srx or saab 9-4x liftgate support
The fast directions are simple.
1. Hold the trunk up with one arm, or get a teenager to do it (it makes them feel useful). 
2. Use a screwdriver (flat) to pry up the clip of the old liftgate support. On the old and new one, about halfway is enough, and if you pull the clip off, it's a headache.
3. Pop the top and bottom of (where the clips are loosened) off the trunk. The trunk will fall unless you are holding it securely. Propping it isn't a good idea.
4. The clips on your new support should be pre-pryed open so that you can just pop them in.
5. Use a hammer to softly tap the clips back down so that the clips lock in place. My fingers worked for one clip, but I needed a hammer for the other one.

You will probably wonder if the clips will hold, so have your teen volunteer rummage around in the trunk after you open it up. It should be good if you can't pop the cylinder off by hand. Test it several times. I assume this fix won't last as long as replacing both sides at once, but it might last as long as the car itself, and it will make your decade-old SRX or 9-4x work as good as new until something else breaks.

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