Mechanic told me the struts on my 1999 Saab 9-3 are leaking. Expensive to fix, almost as much as the blue book value of my car. How long can I drive around with leaking/busted struts?
The Blue Book value of your Saab may be $6000-$10,000 or more depending on convertible, turbo, etc. Really, how much is the estimate for front struts?
Clarifying: struts are the most expensive problem of many small problems. Car is not in great condition. Strut estimate was $1,600. Car is a 9-3, not a convertible.
As long as you can stand the handling of the car. leaking struts may not yet be bad, but when it bounces too much and won’t hold a corner it becomes a danger to you and others. Save your pennies until then and price out parts from various sources in the mean time.
Thanks man. Appreciate your help
If you are reasonably handy, strut inserts for that car, Sachs or Bilstein, are $300 for the pair on line.
I have never done struts on a Saab so I don’t know what tools it takes. You need a spring compressor. Harbor freight sells one that is not the safest or nicest, but it works. The most exotic thing I ever had to buy to do struts was a cheap electric impact wrench from Harbor Freight (for removal, not reassembly). Harbor freight is great for those tools that you are only going to use once every 5 years.
Advance Auto shows strut cartridges at about 50 bucks apiece. Figure in an hour or so of labor per side and it can be done for far less than 1600 dollars.
Weak struts affect the handling and can cause premature and abnormal tire wear. If they’re REALLY bad you will feel the car pogoing down the road.
Sometimes a little oil film around the top of the strut can be considered normal so make sure this is not what is being passed off as junk struts.
If you really need struts then price this around. You can beat that 1600 dollars by a bunch.