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Liftgate repair

I have a 2009 Saturn Outlook. The rear lift gate does not work anymore, as a matter of fact it tries to slam itself shut whenever it is lifted. Does anyone know how to fix this problem or even what this problem is? I am not extremely mechanically inclined but I can do minor repairs so I also need to know if I can fix this problem or need to take it to a mechanic.

I think that there are gas or oil filled struts that hold the liftgate open. These aren’t difficult to replace. I replaced them on my brother-in-law’s Chevrolet Blazer. I used a 2 x 4 to prop the gate open while I changed the struts. I also replaced the struts that held the hood open on a 1989 Mercury Sable. The replacements struts aren’t expensive and are available in auto parts stores.

Thank you. The Auto Parts store that I talked to said about the same thing and I REALLY want to get rid of this pile of crap. It has been recalled for the headlamps three times and the motor once. It is a badly designed car.

As @Triedaq says, this sounds like the small struts on the door are dead, or at least one is. They resemble a small shock absorber. Unless you have something unusual, replacing these struts is non-technical, just support the liftgate with something suitable like a 2x4 or whatever, then remove screws and exchange the strut. The ones I’ve seen have one “Torx” screw at each end, which has a head like an allen screw, though the pattern is different. Therefore, you should check the screws on yours before you buy the struts, you may need to purchase a small set of these bits which work in a small size ratchet, or maybe you can buy just the size bit you need. I just checked my current minivan and found that the attachment location on the body is going to be hard to access due to the rubber insulation and interior trim, so it looks like I’d have to remove some of that first in order to get the Torx bit into the screw head. Check yours to see what it will take to get the bit on the screw, and remember that the screw comes out, further restricting clearance. There may be a special bit available which would make that unnecessary, I don’t know. The point is, take a good look at yours, and if the clearance seems restricted, be sure to check how much additional work you’ll need to do to get the screws out. If you have no clearance issues at all, this is an easy job. Since you say you want to get rid of the car, you might get by with replacing only one strut, you may find one is worse than the other. If you are going to keep the car, replace them both while you’re at it. Good luck!