Spyder owners, since you just read my post on how to check your oil and how you definitely need to be doing that, you're probably wondering how to put your engine cover into the service position since you're like me and have never read your manual either. Here's how:
1) Press the top up and down buttons at the same time and hold, the car doesn't need to be running. After four or five seconds, it will raise the back part of the top (if the top is up) and then will lift the engine cover as if it were going to put it down but then it will just top; you're now half way there.
2) Not much room under there to do anything is there? Pull the little red cable loop just below the center of this picture:
3) Be very careful, but now that you've pulled the loop with your right hand, you can lift the engine cover up to a higher position with your left hand:
The strut shown in the second picture has an extra sleeve around it that is supposed to drop into place against the larger portion of the strut to keep the engine cover in this higher position. This sleeve is simply a thin aluminum tube with a plastic piece on the end, it is NOT strong and I do not trust it to hold the engine cover up above my head while I'm in there.
Even though I picked my car up with only 68 miles on it, someone had already damaged the sleeve on mine which is what tipped me off that it is weak. What they had done is probably released the cover for service position, slammed it up to the end of the struts and let it bounce back down on the sleeve which drops into holding position automatically. The larger portion of the strut, with the weight of the engine cover pushing it, came down hard and bent the lip of this sleeve in so it would no longer hold the cover in service position. I had to brace the cover up, remove the strut, take the sleeve off of it and bend it back into shape before it would hold things up again. But I only let it hold the top for the time it takes for me to put an old broom handle in there between the convertible top tray and a nook on the engine cover, then I can mess with the engine without worrying about it busting my head open.
4) When you're done, remove your brace, push up on the engine cover with your left hand, push on the red ring on the holding strut with your right and then let the cover down slow. The car can be taken out of service position to top up or top down by using one or the other buttons in the cabin now.
Oh, and while you're under there, check to see if the foam gasket between your air intakes and the engine cover are coming off like mine were:
Some liquid nails to the underside of the foam has resolved that problem. You don't want those coming off and getting sucked in.