Hatchback Struts Too Stiff??

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by TDIPWR, Aug 21, 2019.

  1. TDIPWR

    TDIPWR New Member

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    Hey,

    New Owner here. Loving the Prime. Came over from a '12 Volt. One thing that is a major annoyance is that the liftgate feels harder to close than it should. Like I am a somewhat athletic guy and even I feel better with two hands on the thing. I can't think of a reason for this, and think its kinda of dumb to have a carbon fiber liftgate that feels super heavy to close!

    Maybe its just mine? Its a used one with 77k miles on it. Didn't know if anyone has replaced the struts yet, thought I would ask.
     
  2. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    Typically worn struts make it easier to close and harder to open, since they lose damping and the weight of the hatch is acting undamped. Do either of the struts have evidence of significant leakage? Have you lubricated the hinge points?

    New struts are not particularly expensive - typically less than $15 each on the aftermarket (Rock Auto, for example). Or $23 each at McGeorge Toyota (plus shipping). Looking at mine, it might take 30 minutes to replace the pair.
     
  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    stop in at a dealer and check out a new one. i have never had a prius with a hard to pull down hatch, but i do realize prime is different.
    i did try one during a test drive, and didn't feel a noticeable difference from my gen3
     
  4. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    The struts are likely same part as the ones on the Prius. On a Prime, you have a lighter hatch, so less help from its weight in closing it.
     
  5. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    The hatch on my 2018 Prime with 10K miles is very easy to open and close. Light and well balanced. That is good advice above to go to a dealer and compare your hatch back to back with a new vehicle.
     
  6. huskers

    huskers Senior Member

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    I can do mine with one finger.
     
  7. smyles

    smyles Active Member

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    Hit the gym.
     
  8. TDIPWR

    TDIPWR New Member

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    Sounds good. a PO might have put in the wrong struts, but it also makes sense that since the hatchback itself is so light, it doesn't aid in the closing with its weight. I might remove one strut and see how it is. If it still holds it up reliably, it might be the cheapest fix.
     
  9. Prius Maximus

    Prius Maximus Senior Member

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    And then you would have a spare!
     
  10. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    Or it might be the expensive fix. With only one strut, that hatch will flex and twist and likely beat up the hinges. Just spend the few bucks to fix any struts that are dead.
     
  11. Pdog808

    Pdog808 Active Member

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    My 2018 Prime's hatchback has a decent amount of resistance when pulling it down. I try to close it as slowly as possible to preserve the struts, though.
     
  12. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i let mine up slowly. after 7 years, so far, so good
     
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  13. Pdog808

    Pdog808 Active Member

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    Agree with @bisco - I let it up slowly and close it slowly. Unfortunately the wife doesn't always keep to that plan :eek:
     
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  14. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    They feel stiff in August in the hopes that they don't feel too weak in February.
     
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  15. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    Exactly. That’s when the weak struts let the hatch slam you on the head. 1988 Volvo, 1996 Caravan and 2010 Subaru all got me.
     
  16. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    windstars had to be cut of with a welding torch
     
  17. smyles

    smyles Active Member

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    with one strut you'll probably end up breaking the rear window
     
  18. E72

    E72 New Member

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    Aftermarket struts from outfits like StrongArm are very stiff when new. Check to see if you have stock struts or if they've been replaced. Seems doubtful they have been replaced so soon but you never know.
     
  19. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Pretty sure mine are stock since it only had 23k miles when I got it. It's much stuffer than necessary. I don't mind, but my wife struggles. The fact that she can barely reach it makes it even harder for her.
     
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  20. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Having both the Prime and the Gen 4, the Gen 4’s hatch feels lighter (and the struts are a little looser). That being said, the doors on the Gen 4 also feel more tinny than the Prime’s.
     
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