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Saab stories saga continues.......bumpity, bump, bump

3+ weeks ago I had the front end struts replaced on a 1999 9-3, along with an alignment, and one of the motor mounts was broken and repaired.

The tires(Michelin,btw ?not? recommending) have worn down on the insides due to the bad front end struts and not knowing how bad they needed replacing. Have not replaced tires yet, but am researching options.

My question: After putting 200-300 miles on the car, the front end started vibrating profusely, but also intermittently. It would come and go at virtually any speed. This occurred after having continuously been driving for over 3 hours on the hwy. Immediately we stopped the car. Eventually, left it with a mechanic, who dropped another 100 miles onto the odometer, only not to find any apparent/obvious problems. He suspected the front tires may be bad due to uneven wear, rotated a front tire out and left it at that. Off we went and 23 miles later it began again to shake hard on the front end. It would come and go, then just flat out continue, or stop for short durations. We stopped, even rotated out the other front tire thinking the balance was off or this tire was bad, but still the same issues prevailed. Then an hour from home it stopped altogether. Any guesses yet?

We thought maybe the air/road surface temperatures or even elevation had some impact on things, ranging from 32-40 degrees. Otherwise we are not mechanics nor proclaim to be.

Some guesses from others:

tires separating

cv axle is going out

drive train or shaft it going out.

Would love to hear other opinions.


You need to replace the tires that are worn, as they will cause vibrations and other symptoms. When they are replaced, you will need to do the alignment again, as badly worn tires will affect the alignment specs.


If the vibration were caused by the tires it would be constant, not intermittent, and moving the tires from front to rear should have made some change.

You didn’t tell us how many miles your Saab has, so all we know is its age. Mileage might help.

I have to wonder is something happened during the 200-300 miles you drove before the vibration started.

I don’t think the temperature has anything to do with this.

I’ve had bad CV joints, but they were never bad enough to make anything vibrate, and it’s easy to diagnose bad CV joints. If your mechanic hasn’t told you the CV joints are bad, they’re probably not bad.

The tires may be contributing to the problem, but I find it hard to understand why they would only make noise or vibrate intermittently.

Have you checked to make sure all the lug nuts are torqued correctly?

I’d guess that you have either a bad wheel bearing or the axle nut has backed off. Second guess would be a severely worn ball joint or tie rod ends.

BTW, did you have the struts replaced yet? If so, the mechanic might not have tightened down the lower strut bolts. That would cause your problems too.

Keith nailed it - tires were fine, but a very badly cracked bearing. To worsen my experience, the mechanic failed to really diagnose and replaced the driver left BJ boot/bearing. Driving a few days later the same scenario led us back to the mechanic, and finally he figured out it was the right side BJ boot/bearing… it was Christmas time so he offered to re-do the work in exchange for some gingerbread men cookies!

Same guy who tinkered with my fuel gauge reading so Now I never truly know if I can drive it down to 1 mile to go… helpful? hardly. doubtful we will ever go back. Sadly, only 3 saab guys in town, and when you go for diagnostics you get 3 entirely different answers. makes it extremely difficult to entrust one with the car, already now unhappy with 2/3 ;/