An automotive gas strut is a rigid rod that produces structure in an automobile to the object upon which it is mounted inside the vehicle. Struts allow for minor movement, but a gas strut is not intended for full-on lifting; however, gas struts use stored pressure to assist in moving heavy objects. They contain highly pressurized nitrogen gas as well as a quantity of oil to lubricate the seals and slow down the movement of the part in which they are attached to.
Based on normal usage outlines, gas struts are very durable and do not break or require replacing often; however, they do have a life span even with being strong. Most strut failures come from a result of gradual loss of gas pressure in time which results in them being unable to support their part attachment load. The risk that the component the strut is attached to can gradually increase without warning, so caution is key.
Loss of efficiency can usually start to occur after about five years of use, though some last considerably longer, as reported IndGasSprings.com. Struts can generally be re-gassed by licensed professionals in the area in question. If the strut is used out to a point that it can not function, replacement struts are readily available, either as genuine or aftermarket parts at most vehicle retail locations.