Touring Hydraulic Tailgate

My touring came with the hydraulic opening / closing option. This is a really neat option and when the car first came out this would have been really impressive. Of course, most cars these days come with this option as standard but I still think it is great.

When I first got the car the hydraulic lift was not working as it should and I have been asked a few times on how I got this working again. The system is quite simple and there  are really only a couple of things to look at if the tailgate does operate but not to your satisfaction. If the hydraulic pump has gone and you get nothing then this will be an expensive fix. If it does work but needs some help then it will most likely a combination of the hydraulic fluid needing to be topped up or the struts for the tailgate and window section that need to be replaced.

I started off with the simplest check, the hydraulic fluid. The fluid recommended is AeroShell Fluid 41. You can buy this from many places. I got a 1 ltr can for around £10. You can get it from eBay, Amazon or direct from a number of aircraft parts websites. The place I got mine is the URL below.

https://transair.co.uk/aeroshell-chemicals/aeroshell-fluid/aeroshell-fluid-41/aeroshell-fluid-41-1us-quart-defstan91-48-om15-mil-prf-5606h

Once you have the fluid you need to carefully remove the fluid reservoir from the pump. This is a push on affair with a clip. You need a screwdriver to loosen the clip and then really carefully pull off the reservoir. It is only a small holder so does not take much liquid at all. Fill it up just past the max level and put it back on carefully. You will no doubt spill some.

Once you have the reservoir back on then grab a hold of the tailgate and move it up and down a few times to pump the liquid around the system. Do this before you try it with the buttons.

When I first changed the fluid  it seemed to make little to no difference to the system but should always be tried in the first instance.

Next came the more difficult check which I left to my local garage. What I noticed was that if I opened the window portion of the tailgate and then pressed the button to open the tailgate then it would magically work with no issue. The hydraulics could not lift the weight of the tailgate and window combined. What we did next was to change the struts for the tailgate and the window so that they are all new and at their best. Changing the struts can be a bit fiddly, which is why I left it to my local garage, but can be done.

Check out this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VaFBlyuk6Y&t=77s

Once I had the struts replaced the tailgate now works as it should. It does have some difficulty if the car is pointing down a hill. I am figuring that this is because the tailgate will need more of a push to get it going and the system is not up to it.

Would be great to hear if this has helped or if you have other suggestions for getting this working or making it better.