Winter is hard on the car's gas springs
Winter time and low temperatures have never been gas springs´ best friend. Very low temperatures can cause gas springs to leak gas in the seal between the piston and cylinder. This leads to a pressure drop which causes the gas spring to fully or partially cease to function. The phenomenon is especially prevalent with very cheap gas springs of poor quality.
However, intact gas springs are affected by the cold as well. Declining outside temperature causes the pressure in the gas springs cylinder to drop. This results in decreased performance. This can, for example, be seen by the luggage compartment door or engine bonnet slowly closing, when open. Another sign thereof is having to use more force when opening the luggage compartment door or engine bonnet.
Construction of a gas spring
Although gas springs are virtually maintenance-free, we recommend to always keep the gas spring parts free of rust and dirt. This applies particularly to the gas spring piston rod, which in opposite case can lead to damage to the seal on the gas spring, which in turn causes the spring to start leaking and lose its function. Also, avoid bending or straining the gas spring laterally.
Visible signs of defective gas springs:
- Defective / broken fittings which are often made of plastic.
- Oil at and around the assembly of the gas spring cylinder and piston.
Hidden signs of defective gas springs:
- Inability to maintain the tailgate or the bonnet in the open position.
- Increased use of force required for opening the tailgate or bonnet.
The effects of Temperature on the gas pressure:
- Temperature fluctuations changes both the pressure in the gas spring and the viscosity of the oil.
- +/- 3 degrees = 1% change in pressure.
- In winter the pressure typically drops 10-15%, which has effects the gas springs’ performance negatively.
- The pressure of the gas spring is stated at 20 degrees.