Boxster Hood and Trunk Strut Failure

Over time the struts that hold up the front hood and rear trunk on a Boxster or Cayman will fail. Unfortunately, Boxster Hood and Trunk Strut Failure is inevitable.

Porsche Boxsters do not rely on a hood prop stick to support the hood or trunk that is commonly found in other vehicles.

As a result, when strut failure happens it can be quite painful as the front hood will potentially come down on your head.

It can be embarrassing to open the hood on your beautiful Porsche Boxster to only have the hood or trunk lid fail on you. Don’t put off this simple repair.

Make the inspection of your structs part of your yearly maintenance for your front and rear hood struts.

Replacing the Hood and Trunk Struts is an Easy Repair

Boxster Hood Assembly
Part #2

The good news is the replacement is fairly simple and can be done in under 15 minutes. The parts also don’t cost much at approximately $20 USD each strut.

3 Symptoms of Boxster Hood and Trunk Strut Failure

1. Your Hood or Trunk Closes on it Own

The first symptom of strut failure is that the lift supports will slowly begin to close on its own when opened. Strut lift supports work to hold the weight of the hood by using pressurized gas enclosed inside a metal cylinder. The seals in the cylinder will wear out over time. Therefore it will no longer be able to adequately bear the weight of the hood until enough pressure has leaked from the cylinder, which will result in the hood slowly closes.

2. Hood or Trunk Suddenly Closes on its Own

The second symptom of failing lift struts will be that the hood will suddenly closes on its own. A faulty lift strut with worn seals may appear to be able to support the hood, only to suddently give out and cause the hood to slam shut. This can be dangerous and unsafe as the weight of the hood can fall at any moment when someone is gaining access to the front or rear Boxster compartments.

3. Hood or Trunk does not stay up at all

The third and final symptom of faulty struts is the complete failure of the strut. It this predicament, the strut is non functional and there is no support of the hood or trunk. This makes it impossible to access the Boxster Frunk and Trunk. The entire weight of the hood and trunk cannot be supported and it is down to the user to support the complete weight of the hood or trunk.

Boxster Hood and Trunk Strut Failure

I have had the unfortunate experience of replacing my both hood struts and my trunk struts twice. That is a total of 6 replacement struts, 2 for the hood, and 1 for the trunk in my 2009 Boxster S.

I found this very frustrating, specially when my trunk strut is now failing (once again.)

Originally I was purchasing the cheapest struts in stock online from eBay and Amazon. I see now that this was a bad idea and as a result of the multiple failures.

Boxster Hood and Trunk Strut Failure Reasons

The only possible reason that I experienced multiple strut failures is due to storing my car during the winter in an unheated garage. The extreme cold weather plays havoc on the gas damping struts.

Other reasons could be wear and tear, age, or damage from abuse (track, accident, etc.)

Gas struts used for hood support contain nitrogen gas under pressure in a cylinder. The cylinder also contains oil to dampen the movement of the cylinder and lubricate the seals of the cylinder. Over time the seals in the strut begin to fail and the cylinder experiences the gradual loss of pressurised gas. As a result, the strut is unable to support the weight of the hood that it is supporting.

Strut Recommendations:

Boxster Hood and Trunk Struts
OEM Strut Manufacturer for Porsche

I am standardizing on the Stabilus (OEM) brand of struts for my Boxster from now on until I learn of a superior brand.

DIY Replacing Struts

All you’ll need to replace the struts are a small screwdriver, something to temporarily hold up the “frunk” or trunk, and the replacement strut(s.) Access to the struts is very easy, but be careful when replacing them.

Step 1: Prop Up Hood

Open the hood, frunk, or trunk far enough to release the load on the hood strut(s) (shocks or dampers.) Grab one of the struts and give it a light twist or wiggle to make sure it is not supporting any weight. At this point prop up your hood securely so it will not bang you on the head. Use a long lightweight stick such as a broomstick or PVC pipe.

Step 2: Removing Hood Strut

If there are 2 struts involved, remove 1 strut and replace it with a new strut. Use a small flathead screwdriver. It may be necessary to pry open metal clips on the top and bottom of the strut, otherwise simply pop off the strut connection head from the ball joint or pivot point. BONUS: take this opportunity to “lightly” grease the ball joint connection with some white lithium grease.

Make sure to replace only 1 strut at a time as your proceed.

Where to Buy the Struts

If you own a Porsche 986 or 996 you can find the replacement struts here. For owners of 987 or 997 models, you can find replacement struts here.

If you are planning to purchase from a Porsche Dealer directly, do not forget to show your PCA Membership card to receive a further 5% to 20% discount.

PCA DIY Spotlight

Replace worn hood struts on Porsche 986

Other Articles of Interest

Why do gas struts fail?

Gas struts used for hood support contain nitrogen gas under pressure in a cylinder. The cylinder also contains oil to dampen the movement of the cylinder and lubricate the seals of the cylinder. Over time the seals in the strut begin to fail and the cylinder experiences the gradual loss of pressurised gas. As a result, the strut is unable to support the weight of the hood that it is supporting.

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