How to Replace a Toyota Matrix Rear Hatch Strut

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Rear hatch struts are common on SUVs and wagons. Hatch struts are hydraulic and provide support to your rear door when it is open. The Toyota Matrix wagon has two hatch struts (one on each side). If your rear hatch becomes difficult to open or will not stay open, you probably need to replace your rear hatch struts. Since the Pontiac Vibe and Toyota Matrix share the same components, these instructions will also work for the Pontiac Vibe.

Things You'll Need

  • Assistant
  • Socket wrench (10mm)
  • Replacement hatch struts
  • Purchase Toyota factory replacement lift struts to ensure compatibility. Although aftermarket hatch struts are high-quality, the factory parts will always have a direct fit.

  • Find a friend or family member to help you. The rear hatch must be fully supported while you are replacing the struts. It can be quite heavy, so make sure they can handle the load.

  • Turn the engine off and open the rear hatch. Have your assistant provide support for the hatch.

  • Squeeze the tabs on the plastic cover on each end of the strut. Remove the plastic cover to access the bolt.

  • Remove the retainer bolts mounting each strut. Each strut is held in place by a 10mm bolt on the top and bottom.

  • Quickly install the new struts, using the existing hardware. Make sure the bolts are tightened well.

  • Open and close the rear hatch a few times to make sure the struts are working properly.

Tips & Warnings

  • Rear hatch struts are usually replaced in pairs. Even if one is still working it is likely to go out soon after the other one.
  • Make sure you are confident in your assistant's ability. If the hatch is released it will fall very quickly; it is very heavy.
  • Photo Credit Ifcar/commons.wikimedia.org
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