Identifying the Causes of Saab 9-3 Strut Problems
Struts are some of the toughest components of a vehicle--they have to be since they help carry the entire weight of the Saab 9-3 and dampen the vibrational forces on the road that could harm the vehicle. Unfortunately, this doesn't make the struts immune to wear and malfunction. Any problem with the struts should be immediately identified, so the appropriate fix could be applied. Read on to find out some of the most common problems of a Saab 9-3 strut and their causes.
Weird sounds on one side of the 9-3
To troubleshoot this problem, you will need to raise the problematic side of the Saab with a hydraulic jack. Grab the wheel and give it a good shake while observing the strut. If you see any loose washer or bolt rattling about, just tighten it; the problem will usually be solved this way. If the whole strut looks secure, inspect the bushings to determine whether or not they're worn out. Worn-out bushings will need to be replaced immediately to mitigate the effects of wear on the suspension.
Too much bounce when stopping the 9-3
If you feel that your vehicle is moving a bit too much as you step on the brakes, it could mean that your struts have failed. You can test the struts further by doing what is called a bounce test. Position yourself either on the front side or on the back side of the vehicle, push the car down with your entire body weight, and allow the car to bounce back up. If the struts are still good, the 9-3 shouldn't bounce more than twice. The struts should be replaced when there is too much bounce.
Feeling a bump on the steering wheel when going over road bumps
Struts dampen vibrations as the 9-3 drives through the rough portions of the road. Once the struts go, you will start to feel even the tiniest bumps on the road through the steering wheel. Check the struts underneath the vehicle to zero in on the problem immediately. If there is a significant amount of fluid leakage on the struts, the struts could have been seriously damaged. If they look intact, the fluid seals are probably broken. Either way, you will have to have the struts replaced.