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The one part of the car you’ll never install for a customer

by | Nov 7, 2023

The title is a bit clickbait-y, but I won’t drag this out. Let me tell you about a part you’ll never get a repair customer to buy willingly: the hood strut.

Gas charged hood lift supports

Photo: Mike Apice.

How many times have you been working on something, and the hood comes down and clonks ya right on the dome? If you and I are the same, you say a bad word and then use the time-honored method of cranking a set of vise-grip pliers onto the shaft of the weak strut to prevent reinjury of your bruised noggin.

Now, I sold quite a few lift supports across my retail counter in the parts stores. (I even remember selling Dorman Mightylift! struts back when we used to make those.) However, once on the wholesale counter, sales dried up. That disparity continued when I began writing estimates as a service writer and mechanic.

Mightylift Hood Lift Support

Photo: Lemmy.

Some of you are brighter than me and see where I’m going with this: you can’t sell these to your customer because he never gets clonked on the dome. He’s never under the hood; that’s why he comes and visits you!

I have long held a theory (jokingly—well, half-jokingly, anyway) that all hood struts are installed by an owner or a body man after a wreck. No matter how many I recommended in a general repair scenario, I never sold or installed a set. You’ll sell hatch and liftgate struts, sure, but nothing for the bonnet.

I suppose now we can add locking pliers to the PPE checklist, eh?

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